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Seems to me like all you can do is convert it to a standalone paper. Most of that work can probably be accomplished by changing your framing and signposting, but some of it will require more extensive tinkering. It's a little tricky to shift from reply-mode to making-a-more-general-point-mode.

One of my most-rejected papers was like that, and it took a few years to finally get it published. It's out in a very good generalist journal now, however, and I'd say it's one of my best!

Good luck!

Response Author

Send it somewhere else. I submitted an article to journal X that was responding to an article in journal Y and it was published. If the target article was published in a good journal and has had some impact on a particular debate, there's a better chance that another journal would be interested in a response, even if this not the norm.

a few ideas

some ideas: Use it as your focal example, mention the paper/author 1-2x max in intro and conclusion, & fill in 2-4 more discussions of 1-3 paragraphs of related lit where it fits, and/or add one more section not directly on the paper.

Marcus Arvan

Thanks for the tips!


I have a related question. I reviewed a paper for a journal and it was accepted. It is bad form to now go and write a paper that largely rejects the argument of the paper I accepted. It is a good paper. I just think it is susceptible to problems and counterexamples that I had not considered in my initial review.


X: I don't think it's bad form at all. TBH, I assume that's how most replies get written and published.

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