Wednesday, September 01, 2010

It's Always Something ...

Currently playing on iTunes: Hells Bells by AC/DC.

So just got back a review on a manuscript I'm a 2nd author on. It's a collaboration I struck up with the help of a senior researcher at the institution I work at. He was friends with a couple of guys, and they needed some microbial work done. Since I'm the lone microbiologist here, the match was made fairly easily. Bonus, they've become good drinking buddies (and at this point owe me lots and lots of free beer).

At any rate, we put together a manuscript on a problem that my collaborators face in their neck of the woods. It involves agent X, used to deal with issue A. When exhausted, it is disposed of in manner NG (which stands for "not good"), which creates issue B, and effects crop 1 and 2. Got all that?

It's some fairly straightforward work, and I was asked to look at the impacts on microbial diversity. They shipped me samples, I did my work, I wrote it up and sent it off to them. They worked it into the overall manuscript, we beat and banged on it a bit and then sent it off. Well we got the reviews back last week.

Reviewer 1: Loved it. Had nothing but praise for it. Comments were all of a paragraph in length. Either they did a last minute review and couldn't be bothered with it or not, I have no idea. I love Reviewer 1 regardless.

Reviewer 2: Someone pee'd in their Wheaties before they did this review. They picked every nit that could be picked. Heck, they even took issue with my use of the word "microbial". I mean really, dude? All told, their review was three single space pages long. We've all decided that we don't like Reviewer 2, but would love to take Reviewer 1 out for a beer.

So now ... off to address the comments of Reviewer 2. Hopefully we address them to the satisfaction of the Associate Editor so this puppy doesn't have to go out for a re-review.


soil mama said...

do editors intentionally put the bad review as #2, because it always seems like # 2 is the PITA!

did the editor seem to agree with reviewer 1 or 2? if the editor seemed to be on the side of reviewer 1, then you can use editor+reviewer 1 as reason for ignoring some comments by #2. I have a tenancy to put snarky comments in my response to #2, but coauthors have been good at keeping me from saying something I regret :)

soil mama said...

oh, and there was a great AC/DC cover band called Hells Bells that is all women and they are great! you made me think of them :)

Tom said...

The letter reads more like he leaned towards Reviewer #1, but we'll be diligent and take all of Reviewer #2's comments to heart and make the fixes. Honestly Find/Replace "microbial" with "bacterial" really doesn't make much matter to me.