Have you received a decision on that journal article you submitted? Are you procrastinating about actually opening the reviewer comments?
You are not alone. Peer review can be nerve wracking. Even experienced academics find that opening reviewer comments requires emotional labour. If you don’t have the emotional resources necessary right now, or aren’t sure you have the emotional resources, it’s pretty difficult to get on with moving this project closer to publication.
One way to get over this particular block is to have someone else open the comments for you and give you a heads up about what’s in there. You might have a friend who would do this for you (and then you can do it for them when it’s their turn). You may have a mentor who will do this for you. If so, ask them and forward the reviewer comments to them asap.
If it feels risky to tell a friend or colleague that you are struggling with this or you don’t have anyone you trust emotionally enough to ask, then you can pay me £50 and I’ll do it for you. I have no other stake in your career. I’m absolutely on your side. I will not judge you for finding this step hard.
What I’ll do for you
I will read the comments with an eye to anything that might trigger your freeze/flight/fight reaction and then send you an email either reassuring you that there is nothing in there to be worried about or warning you about where that difficult thing really is.
I’ll tell you about the encouraging things the reviewers say so that you read that first even if they didn’t write their reviews that way. And I’ll remind you that this is still your paper and that you have options for addressing the issues the reviewers have raised.
I’ll also provide a couple of suggestions for how to get started on the revisions. In my work I have discovered that Newton’s First Law of Motion applies to things like writing. It takes greater force to get something started (or restarted) than to keep it moving. These suggestions are intended to help you overcome that starting inertia. Rest assured that I m absolutely okay if you think my suggestions are rubbish as long as they prompt you to come up with another way to get the process moving again.
I’ll send you a link to download Peer Review (A Short Guide) which provides an overview of what peer review is and why it’s important, along with practical advice for both authors and reviewers. Guided by the principle that peer review supports academic writing, topics include the emotional work involved in writing and receiving reviews, and advice on finding time to review.
I am not an editor. I will not tell you how to respond to the comments. This service provides emotional support and practical suggestions to help you access what you already know and do the work you are capable of.
How it works
Fill in the form below and either upload your files with the form or forward me the email with your editor and reviewer comments in it when you get a confirmation email. I’ll email you on the next working day to let you know when I expect to get you my comments on your reviewer comments (usually within 7 days).
This form is long. You can save it and return to it later if you need to.