the sometimes senseless ravings (and the occassional rant) of an aspiring marine ecologist who may enjoy killing things a little too much

Friday, May 20, 2005

Things That Bother Me About Manuscript Reviews

i'm sitting here at my desk doing (*gasp*) actual work, and i'm getting more annoyed by the minute. i'm still working on those revisions to my paper that i was so excited to be making the other day, and i gotta say i'm not so excited right now. one would think that when a manuscript is sent out for peer review, said reviewer would pay attention to the manuscript on which he/she is making suggestions for the authors. i guess getting what you expect from 2 out of 3 reviewers isn't bad, but the one who makes stupid comments that are already clearly explained in the document he/she was supposed to have read really pisses off the author who is trying to make the suggested changes (i.e. ME). this person says that we made statements that were not supported by our table and figures, but had this anonymous reviewer actually paid attention to the text, table, and figures he/she would know that we said the same damn thing that was in the table and the figures. so i have two pages of mostly useless comments that are completely invalid and are disputing things that he must have pulled out of the crack of his hiney because what he says that our paper says is not what our paper actually says! so, in my letter to the editor explaining what we changed, what we didn't change, and why, i spend a page and half telling ken heck that most of the first reviewer's questions are already explained in the text and citing page numbers so he knows that i'm not a complete spaz (which i don't think he thinks, anyway - he's still apologizing for missing our meeting on wednesday). anyway, i've made most of the necessary changes (although there are a couple that i need to look at references for, so i'm putting them off until last), so i'm working on the letter, and i'm getting more annoyed with each bulleted statement i make that indicates that one of the reviewers' comments should never have been put on paper to waste my time. the trick to this? i have to not sound as peeved as i really am in the letter. oh, i could complain my spunky little heart out to ken in person, but this letter is supposed to be professional. apparently, professionals don't rant about stupid people posing as colleagues. i guess it's a little early in my career to go and do something dumb like pissing off people who could keep my research from being published. and yes, professionals are that petty, although they do not rant about their colleagues (on paper, anyway).

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