After submitting my article in September, I recently received my reviewer’s verdict. I had some revisions to do and two weeks to do them in, but now V2 of the article has been completed and re-submitted.
Luckily, most of the sections were satisfactory. My abstract needed some extra information, to which I initially thought “that’s impossible, I’ve only got 150 words!” However, I was wrong — my new abstract fits way more information into the limited space.
I expected my discussion and methods sections to be weaker than my introduction, but I was wrong here as well. My introduction required the most revision and the most thought. I needed to make my definitions clearer and to more precisely explain which of the subtopics of my larger topic I was actually studying. Updating my introduction was essential too; during the gap between submitting my paper and receiving the verdict, a new development appeared that was both essential for my subject and relevant to my conclusion.
Although my other sections were considered to be acceptable, I wanted to revise them as well. My discussion and conclusion could have been more concise, while my original results were a wall of text which could have been livened up. I’m glad I did look at every section again, because leaving the paper alone for a few months let me see plenty of improvements.
Finally, I asked a super-smart friend to check the paper over so I could see if it still made sense to a non-specialist. Apparently, it did, which is a relief.
So, what happens next? The most likely outcome is that I could need another round of revisions, if the reviewer feels that I haven’t performed the original revisions well enough . But if the revisions are accepted I should go through to the copyediting stage, which is for small changes that make the article flow better or make it more concise.
Although turning my dissertation into a published article is taking longer than I expected (that’s mostly my own fault, to be fair) I’m excited that I might soon be able to say I’m a first author on a paper.
P.S. – I’m happy to say that my revisions have been accepted, and so I now just need to wait for the copyediting stages.