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« Resources for mid-career philosophers: should the Cocoon (officially) expand its scope? | Main | Do's and don'ts for responses to referees? »



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This is something that seems obviously wrong to me. I would also be surprised if it weren't grounds for retraction, or at least publication of one of those brief "correction" type notices that one sometimes sees.


Agree this seems like a bad idea to me. The paper accepted by the reviewers is the paper that should be published.

the unacknowlegement section

Authors can use the acknowledgement section to say things. This one recently appeared on a Facebook page

"We appreciate the suggestion of one anonymous reviewer to expand the analysis in the light of achievements in Akarsu and Genç (2022), Bilgili and Sahin (2009), Genç, 2010, Genç, 2011, Genç and Gökçek (2009), Genç et al., 2012a, Genç et al., 2012b, Karipoglu, Genç and Koca (2021), Karipoglu, Genç and Akarsu (2022)."


I appreciate the attraction of thinking "am I really going to get caught". But I think it's best to approach publications (and professional life more broadly) with the mindset of "assume every colleague/dept chair will know how I comported myself". This seems like a bad idea, and asking for trouble.

a strict editor

Absolutely do not delete it. And we do check - as editors. In fact, the editor will even typically get the proofs to check AFTER you have checked them and made corrections and changes. And they can see the changes you have made. As an editor, I have reversed changes authors have made.

Early career

I don’t think it’s fine to add a clarifying sentence, much less two! That phase of the process is for spotting typo’s and errant commas.


Even setting the ethics aside, potentially risking a publication in order to delete a portion of your paper that you think is tangential just seems like a pragmatically terrible idea.


I agree with the general sentiments expressed above; if you really think the referee's recommendations are silly AND you really don't want to change them, the time to do that is when you send in the revisions, explaining to the editor why you think the changes are unnecessary. Of course, that might keep the paper from being published, but you can then send it to another journal instead. (Obv not great advice if you need the publication in the short run to find a job or get tenure).

Santa Monica

Whether or not to change a paper after getting it accepted is about as perplexing a question as whether or not to send a paper to multiple journals in the hopes it won’t get caught.

Santa Monica

Also, there is a conceivable scenario in which one’s motivation for asking such a question is (in part) dissatisfaction with the response on one’s own part to a deceptively challenging quote-unquote silly objection. In such a situation, that needs to be taken up through the proper channels, or else (and ideally) avoided in the first place.


I would not delete something I added in response to a referee's comment. Once it's in, it's in--unless, after the R&R is accepted, the editor tells me that I need to cut a pile of stuff. (This happened recently; the limit was 7500 words, the R&R saw me add about 1500, and then the editor asked me to cut a further 2000 once the R&R was accepted. Deciding what to cut was _very_ difficult).

One thing that's mildly annoying is journals that don't ask you to upload a final version after the acceptance and before copy editing. Once the referees are satisfied I often find a few sentences I'd like to tweak, or a footnote I'd like to add/delete, but we're discouraged from doing so at the copy editing stage.


You owe it to yourself to get the paper out of your sight once it's finally been accepted, especially if it's been a slog.

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