OJ had strated creating a Cover letter containing a table sheet in which he had extracted and structured the reviewers’ comments in the left column and then gave room to our responses in the right column.

Furthermore, he had divided the work load in such a manner that I was assigned to look at and revise certain issues while my co-authors were assigned other.

As I started going through the list, I realised that the most challenging part was to edit the parts were the reviewers had recommended to read up on and include theory that I was not acquainted with. In this case this concerned the following critical comment from one of the reviewers:

Furthermore, the current study focuses on ‘wicked problems’, however I suggest for further research to consider as variables both negative and positive features of the built environment through a performance based approach. In relation to this, I suggest to consult the two following articles, the first one about a performance-based decision support system for housing renovation, in relation to sustainability and Universal Design, the second one about healthcare facilities for dementia

Kapedani H., Herssens J., Verbeeck G. (2018) The ComfortTool - Assessing perceived indoor environmental comfort improvements in four deep energy home renovations

Brambilla A., Maino R., Mangili S., Capolongo S. (2020) Built Environment and Alzheimer. Quality Evaluation of Territorial Structures for Patients with Dementia. https://archive.fo/3Lwn7

I downloaded these articles and started reading them to gain some insights about what kind of theory that the reviewer refered to and what to make of it. I found that I could relate more to the article by Kapedani et al. and while reading it I took some notes. I did not find the article by Brambilla et al. interesting enough to take notes.

Even though I understood what was written in the articles and what was the main take away, I found it very challenging to know how to judge the quality of these articles since I knew almost nothing about this field before. So, I had a really har time to know how and where to enter some text about this in our manuscript.

After a while, I decided to write the following lines in the discussion:

The biophysical dimension revealed that there is a lack of systematic information about the state of housing accessibility in the ordinary housing stock, as well as a low level of knowledge and lack of evidence on the health and well-being impacts on individuals and society. Here, the application of performance-based assessment methodologies for quality evaluation of built environments, such as the ones described by Kapedani et al. (2018) and Brambilla et al. (2020) have the potential to bring more evidence on how housing accessibility, as well as other housing aspects, impacts on individuals’ and so-ciety’s health and well-being.

This was later revised by OJ and SI to the following:

The biophysical dimension revealed that there is a lack of systematic information about the state of housing accessibility in the ordinary housing stock, as well as a low level of knowledge and insufficient evidence on the health and well-being impacts on indi-viduals and society. Here, the application of performance-based assessment methodologies for quality evaluation of built environments (see e.g. [38]; [39]) might have the potential to contribute to the much needed evidence base.

I think it was edited to the better, but my main reflection here does not concern that.

It is instead about the ethical aspect of asking the authors of academic articles to integrate some theory - supposingly completely new to them - into a manuscript and only give them a few days to do that. How much opportunity do you actually then offer the authors to fully understand and fairly judge this new theory? Isn’t there a high risk that the authors mainly just enter something ad hoc and do not have time to think it through sufficiently? I see a clear risk here. However, most academics also appreciate a quick review process of their manuscripts, and journals that can provide that presumably gain in popularity.

These are just some thoughts after making my first real contribution in revising an academic article manuscript.