Many authors receive an invitation to revise and resubmit their manuscript when the first version of their manuscript has potential for publication but is not quite ready for final acceptance. Journal editors may send the manuscript out for peer review, and then the reviewers suggest changes or pose questions for the authors. For example, reviewers may request that authors provide additional explanatory text, edit overlong passages to be shorter, or conduct additional analyses. The APA Science Student Council provides further guidance on and strategies for navigating the peer review process.

Authors should address this feedback from reviewers in a response to reviewers. A response to reviewers specifies how the authors addressed each comment the reviewers made. The response to reviewers is usually organized by presenting reviewers’ comments one by one, followed by the authors’ response. Authors should distinguish their responses from the reviewers’ comments by using phrases such as “author response” and/or a different font color. Then, each response should clearly explain the change made and where that change can be found in the revised manuscript (i.e., page number, paragraph, and/or line). In the revised manuscript itself, the authors may use highlighting to draw additional attention to the change. If the authors did not make a suggested change, they should provide a rationale for their decision.

Authors should also include a cover letter to accompany the response to reviewers and the revised manuscript.

Responses to reviewers are covered in Section 12.8 of the APA Publication Manual, Seventh Edition

Sample response to reviewers

This is a sample response to reviewers. It includes suggested language for responding to comments from reviewers. Use this as a template to guide your own response to reviewers, being sure to modify the content to address the specific comments raised by reviewers of your manuscript. When crafting your response to reviewers, carefully read all comments and respond to them thoughtfully and accurately.

Date created: September 2019