Great Plains Natural Science Society


The Prairie Naturalist

Date of this Version


Document Type



The Prairie Naturalist 44:1-2; 2012


Published by the Great Plains Natural Science Society. Used by permission.


Greetings GPNSS members! Hopefully by now you have read my previous editorial notes about the transformation of The Prairie Naturalist (Journal) during the past few years and the work the Editorial Staff continues to do to provide a quality publication venue for the Journal’s membership and prospective authors. During my tenure as Editor-in-Chief (Editor), I have had the good fortune of working with many authors and a truly dedicated Editorial Staff. Most topics for editorials come to me relatively easily, though admittedly I found myself scratching my head when thinking about a topic for this editorial. After much pensive thought, I felt compelled to focus on a recurring issue that often causes substantial delay in the peer-review process. In the remainder of this editorial, my intention is to describe a scenario and offer some advice in the hope that it may prevent a similar problem from affecting you (or at least minimize your frustration) with future manuscripts prepared for consideration for publication in the Journal.

After completing the field component of your research project and subsequent analyses of your data, your manuscript is submitted and the initial review process identifies a number of significant flaws (Chamberlain 2009). Fortunately, these flaws can be adequately addressed and the Associate Editor recommends further consideration of your manuscript following major revisions. The referees and Associate Editor have provided you with a long list of content-related and editorial comments to consider (Chamberlain 2009). Sound familiar? We’ve all been in this situation, right? Typically following a call from the Associate Editor for a major revision, the subsequent product that results is a significant rewrite of the manuscript (Chamberlain 2009). It is not unusual for the body of the text to receive substantial editing, complete rewrites of one or more sections of the manuscript, or new/additional analyses included (Chamberlain 2009). At this point you may be thinking that in response to comments provided by the Editor, Associate Editor, and referees, your manuscript no longer resembles the original version you submitted. Following your diligence addressing the concerns of those who reviewed your manuscript, a common problem arises despite your best intentions (Chamberlain 2009).