I have submitted a paper to a journal. One of the reviewers is asking me what is the difference between the current paper and a previous paper I've written. In the 2nd paper I have completed the work mentioned in the previous paper. In fact the first one is a general idea and in the 2nd paper I have completed this idea.

How can I explain this? Should I say something like this:

The current paper is the completion of the first paper.

Is there any better way to state this?

  • 2
    It might be better to say the current paper extends, builds on the first one (allowing for a possible third paper taking the ideas even further). But there's nothing wrong with is the completion, even though obviously completes is more natural (that's why in your explanatory text you twice used the "active" verb form I have completed; active phrasing is almost always more direct and easier to understand). Note that it's fine to say the paper completes the idea as an alternative to I (or we, the author/s) complete the idea. Oct 26, 2020 at 16:48
  • I would add some details in your rebuttal about what form the completion takes. Have you proved some new theorem? Have you done a further experiment which tested the hypothesis further? Reviewers and editors are busy people so give them as much help as you can. Depending on the form of completion @FumbleFingersReinstateMonica suggestion of extends may well be the word to choose.
    – mdewey
    Oct 26, 2020 at 17:01

1 Answer 1


This would be a suitable response if you're looking for one line to explain the situation to your reviewer

The current paper cements and solidifies my ideas and notions that were presented in the paper prior to this one.

  • I think that will lead to immediate rejection as the paper is supposed to advance over the old one not just rehash the ideas.
    – mdewey
    Oct 27, 2020 at 13:56

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