Hi guys. I’ve submitted my first article and a reviewer is questioning my stats. I never had this problem before and I need your help!

Quick rundown: it is a clinical study (n=150ish) and I was interested in how well exposure to a certain toxin (main predictor) could predict scores on a clinical questionnaire (DV). I used a standard linear regression model (which means the "enter" method) and included other predictors that are known to affect scores on my DV (age, education, disease duration and motor disability). All variables are on a continuous scale. I’ve found that my model is significant (R2 = .285), and my main predictor (toxin exposure) is also significant (Standardized Beta = -.195), along with two demographic predictor (age = -.233* and education = .334*). There is no collinearity problem as per the VIF index.

One reviewer is questioning my model because he says that since about 70 people out of 150 had an exposure value of 0 (non exposed), my model is only a fit for to those who were exposed to the toxin (about 80). My understanding of the regression model and the number of degree of freedom in the ANOVA table makes me thinks he is wrong. For instance, if I were to run a simple Pearson correlation between toxin exposure and my DV, I would use the whole sampel and not exclude those who were not exposed. Can you please help me figure this out and do you have any advice on how to tell the reviewer/editor about that?

He is also criticizing the fact that in the model I report in the article as a table includes both significant and non-significant predictors. I’ve seen countless articles reporting it that way, i.e. the regression as it was ran in SPSS. He also asks me what were my criteria to retain or add variables to the model, but I’ve used an “enter” method were all the predictors are entered at the same time and the significant predictors are only the marginal effects (unique individual effect) of each on the DV.

So please, can you confirm that I am right/wrong, and do you have any advice on how to write this to the editor/reviewer so my paper doesn’t get rejected in the second round?

THANK YOU SO MUCH!

PS: attached histogram and normality plot of the residuals

/RESIDUALS HISTOGRAM(ZRESID) NORMPROB(ZRESID).

Quick rundown: it is a clinical study (n=150ish) and I was interested in how well exposure to a certain toxin (main predictor) could predict scores on a clinical questionnaire (DV). I used a standard linear regression model (which means the "enter" method) and included other predictors that are known to affect scores on my DV (age, education, disease duration and motor disability). All variables are on a continuous scale. I’ve found that my model is significant (R2 = .285), and my main predictor (toxin exposure) is also significant (Standardized Beta = -.195), along with two demographic predictor (age = -.233* and education = .334*). There is no collinearity problem as per the VIF index.

One reviewer is questioning my model because he says that since about 70 people out of 150 had an exposure value of 0 (non exposed), my model is only a fit for to those who were exposed to the toxin (about 80). My understanding of the regression model and the number of degree of freedom in the ANOVA table makes me thinks he is wrong. For instance, if I were to run a simple Pearson correlation between toxin exposure and my DV, I would use the whole sampel and not exclude those who were not exposed. Can you please help me figure this out and do you have any advice on how to tell the reviewer/editor about that?

He is also criticizing the fact that in the model I report in the article as a table includes both significant and non-significant predictors. I’ve seen countless articles reporting it that way, i.e. the regression as it was ran in SPSS. He also asks me what were my criteria to retain or add variables to the model, but I’ve used an “enter” method were all the predictors are entered at the same time and the significant predictors are only the marginal effects (unique individual effect) of each on the DV.

So please, can you confirm that I am right/wrong, and do you have any advice on how to write this to the editor/reviewer so my paper doesn’t get rejected in the second round?

THANK YOU SO MUCH!

PS: attached histogram and normality plot of the residuals

/RESIDUALS HISTOGRAM(ZRESID) NORMPROB(ZRESID).

Last edited: