I don't think it is a reject. If you make the changes, the chances are quite high that you will be accepted. So you should revise & resubmit. At the very least it should make it a better paper. View the feedback you have got as constructive suggestions for improving things.
I got something similar from a journal recently (I've had 2 journal papers published before), one recommending revise & resubmit, the other reviewer thought it should be aimed elsewhere. But I was invited to revise & resubmit, and that's what I intend to do. The worst that can happen is that the editor ultimately says no, and I try another lower-impact journal.
I've had a similar experience to Bilbo in that a paper was sent back for revision. Not because it was terrible but because A) there were a few issues that needed correcting and B) some of the reviewers felt it would be more suitable for a slightly different journal (in terms of specialisms rather than impact).
I wouldn't take it a rejection just yet, though revisions can still sting
Hey Zipidee! Absolutely not- I have had a 'revise & resubmit' job on two of my papers and both of them were subsequently accepted. It is definitely worth a shot. One thing I learnt as well through this process is to argue your point. I felt that some of the comments on both of my papers were unfair or inappropriate and I although I responded to most suggestions by the reviewers, there were several that I did not respond to because I though the suggestions were inappropriate. In my letter to the editor I outlined the things I had changed and explained why some of the suggestions seemed inappropriate and this was well-received both times, so don't feel as though you have to roll over and change your opinion or point of view just because the reviewer doesn't agree with it. If you have a strong argument then stick to it! Of course, your comments might not be like mine- my topic is quite controversial so it always raises a few comments from the reviewers! Of the two papers, one was accepted by the editor on resubmission, despite him saying that it would need to be re-reviewed, and the other went back to the reviewers and was then accepted. So don't give up- it's great just to not receive a rejection on your first paper, and although I was slightly disappointed (with my confidence a bit knocked!) with the 'revise and resubmit' verdict, it's definitely worth a go. Reviewers are instructed to only give the 'revise and resubmit' verdict if the paper has true promise, so go back and have a look at how you can respond to the suggestions, and remember to look at the positive comments as well- it's easy to ignore them! Good luck with it! KB
I had a good mauling in a recent peer review process that ended in the editors bringing in a third reviewer to break a deadlock. To make it more frustrating the reviewer who took particular issue with everything I had written (or so it felt) was one I had suggested!
However 8 mths later after much reworking and defending, the paper is out there, and is on reflection much better for the process. It has been accessed 2500 times and is something I am thoroughly proud of.
Listen to the reviewers comments, think about them and make changes that feel right to you. Where you feel sure what you are saying is important to either your data or in moving the topic forwards don't be afraid to defend robustly. Atnthe end of the day you can always submit elsewhere.
Good luck and remember to try and enjoy the process as it is actualy quite fun..
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