Originally posted on Progressive Geographies:
Revise and resubmit. This decision from journals has recently been discussed on the New APPS blog, and Peter Gratton has responded here. Here is my take on this – this refers to no specific case, but is the product of six years as an editor, and more as an author, referee and board member:
Yes, revise and resubmit is usually a good thing; and certainly not a moment to despair. It is not a reject, but nor is it an accept, however conditional. You are being given a chance, with guidance on what to do. If that guidance isn’t clear – ask for clearer guidance from the editor.
It is not sensible to argue with an editor that has given you a ‘revise and resubmit’ decision, seeking to get them to turn it into an ‘accept with revisions’ decision. You as author don’t know the whole picture, the identities of referees, the discussions between co-editors, etc. that got to that decision on what were likely conflicting reports. You’re also likely too close to your vision of the paper to understand. Editors have a wider perspective, and remember: they are authors too.