A reviewer asked me in three separate questions about each of these sections. However, I do not understand the differences between practical implications, insightful implications, and limitations of a research study. It seems that practical implications and limitations refer to the same things, but if this is true, why did the reviewer ask in different comments about each?

Any help would be appreciated.

  • Could you clarify your question? Were these three terms titles that you used for three different sections of your paper? Or were they just terms the reviewer used in questions. More context would help. "Practical implications" and "limitations" don't sound similar, but it's hard to say without knowing more about the paper and the comments. Commented May 14, 2020 at 9:32
  • Thank you. No, they are not titles of the paper. They are just the terms that the reviewer used in his questions. for example, comment 1: "Which are the practical implications of your method"; comment 3: "It will make this paper stronger if the authors present insightful implications based on their experimental outcomes"; comment 6: "where are the limitations of your study? Clarify the limitations of your study".
    – SahelSoft
    Commented May 14, 2020 at 9:37

1 Answer 1


Practical implications really means

  • 'what will (or more accurately is likely to) happen if a certain event happens or perhaps more usually if a certain policy is implemented'.

But [the findings of] a research study usually [don't /] doesn't trigger events, especially if kept secret, so here, a broadening from the usual sense to 'what the research predicts is likely to happen' must be intended.


Insightful implications is no more than (at most) a loose collocation, and certainly not a disjoint set; 'insightful' here refers to the astuteness of the pundit-forecasters predicting what the future holds based on the findings of the study. There is a hint of encouragement for more out-of-the-box thinking, the venturing of less likely scenarios, here.


The limitations of a study are discussed comprehensively in this excellent article by Wordvice (here highly condensed):

What are study limitations?

Every study has limitations. Study limitations can exist due to constraints on research design or methodology, and these factors may impact the findings of your study. However, many researchers are reluctant to discuss the limitations of their study in their papers, feeling that bringing up limitations may undermine its research value in the eyes of readers and reviewers.

In spite of the impact it might have (and perhaps because of it) you should clearly acknowledge any limitations in your research paper in order to show readers—whether journal editors, other researchers, or the general public—that you are aware of these limitations and to explain how they affect the conclusions that can be drawn from the research.

In this article, we provide some guidelines for writing about research limitations, show examples of some frequently seen limitations, and recommended techniques for presenting this information....

There are several reasons why study limitations might exist. But two main categories of limitations are those that result from the methodology and those that result from issues with the researcher(s)....

Limitations due to methodological problems can be addressed by clearly and directly identifying the potential problem and suggesting ways in which this could have been addressed—and SHOULD be addressed in future studies.

  • The following are some major potential methodological issues that can impact the conclusions researchers can draw from the research:

    • Issues with sample and selection
    • Insufficient sample size for statistical measurement
    • Lack of previous research studies on the topic ...
  • Common Limitations of the Researcher(s) ...

    • Limited access to data
    • Time constraints
    • Conflicts arising from cultural bias and other personal issues
  • Thank you. However, it is still difficult to distinguish these things in different sections.
    – SahelSoft
    Commented May 14, 2020 at 11:01

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