My impression is that authors catastrophize and focus on negative comments, all of which blur together and seem to be sending a message of "YOU SUCK!" I thought it would be helpful to have authors go through the comments and assign them to the following categories:
a. I honestly don’t understand what the hell they’re talking about.
b. The comment is trivial, not sure why they even bothered pointing that out.
c. I disagree with the comment and I can say why.
d. I disagree with the comment but am not sure why.
e. The comment is insightful and a revision might actually make my paper stronger.
For each category, the following action steps would then be recommended:
a. Anything you don't understand can be inquired about it in your cover letter. Or, if you'd like, email the editors and ask for clarification.
b. Trivialities are unfortunately part of the process; e.g. it's a pain to find DOI numbers for all your refs but that's just time-consuming and not an attack on your work.
c. Great! Write a brief, respectful counterpoint and include references if applicable.
d. Give it some more thought and see if it can be asssigned to one of the other categories. (*** possibly room here for another module on how to recognize and separate emotion-based reactions from logical counterpoints)
e. Great! Take three minutes to draft a plan for how to incorporate the change. Approx. how much more research & writing will it take? What are the steps to make the change?
Any reactions to this? Would this kind of guidance have been helpful when you got your first submission back? Would you add to these categories, or change them in any way? Thanks in advance...