I submitted my first paper to a reputed journal and it came back with major revisions. One review is positive while other suggests to reject the paper. Though the reviewer who rejected the paper was under a wrong impression that a smaller version of the paper had earlier been published somewhere else (I provided a preprint on arXiv and declared so in the cover letter).
I have made significant changes to some sections of my paper and now writing the review text. So my questions are:
What is the etiquette for replying to the reviewers. "Thanks for such comments" etc after each comment seem very repetitive to me and seems they sound just as formality. Are there any established etiquette to reply to reviewer comment (specifically for very negative comments)
Is it OK for the review text to have 5-8 lines in response to comments which are not there verbatim in the revised manuscript. (Since I want to connect to the revision as compared to the previous version)
Should I include the changes (such as tables for new results etc.) in the review text or rather point to relevant sections in the manuscript ?
The more you write the more people need to read before they get to the stuff they need to know, so I would keep the formalities short. I typically start my response letter with a general thanks to all reviewers. If one has been especially useful I will mention that there.
If there was a comment that happend in all (or many) of the reviews I will discuss that at the begining as well.
After that the letter becomes very "tabular", For each reviewer I just discuss point for point how I dealt with that comment. Usually it is just a sentence and the page (and line) of where that change happened in the text. Occationally it may make sense to write a bit more, and I do so whenever required.