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  • The initial submission of this article was received on September 10th, 2020 and was peer-reviewed by 2 reviewers and the Academic Editor.
  • The Academic Editor made their initial decision on October 21st, 2020.
  • The first revision was submitted on December 2nd, 2020 and was reviewed by the Academic Editor.
  • The article was Accepted by the Academic Editor on December 12th, 2020.

Version 0.2 (accepted)

· Dec 12, 2020 · Academic Editor


The authors have addressed the reviewers' comments.

Version 0.1 (original submission)

· Oct 21, 2020 · Academic Editor

Major Revisions

Please address all the comments of the reviewers carefully.

[# PeerJ Staff Note: Please ensure that all review comments are addressed in a rebuttal letter and any edits or clarifications mentioned in the letter are also inserted into the revised manuscript where appropriate.  It is a common mistake to address reviewer questions in the rebuttal letter but not in the revised manuscript. If a reviewer raised a question then your readers will probably have the same question so you should ensure that the manuscript can stand alone without the rebuttal letter.  Directions on how to prepare a rebuttal letter can be found at: #]

[# PeerJ Staff Note: The review process has identified that the English language must be improved. PeerJ can provide language editing services - please contact us at for pricing (be sure to provide your manuscript number and title) #]

Reviewer 1 ·

Basic reporting

1. The English language should be improved, such as line 49, lines 120-121, lines 129-130;
2. The format of references should meet the requirements of the Journal;

Experimental design

No comment

Validity of the findings

1. Line 20, RSDs were between 1.6% and 14.0% in different samples were inconsistent with the datas given in Table 4, should check it;
2. Figure 1a-1c, the title of the Y-axis were unclear;
3, form Figure 3, the effects of C18 and PSA-C18 nearly the same, even in grass Carp and Scylla serrata higher average recoveries were achieved using C18, why select PSA-C18 as the sorbents?
4, In Table 1, the structure of target compounds was unclear.

Additional comments

The reviewed manuscript describes the development and application of a new analytical method for determining antibiotic residues in aquatic products by an optimised QuEChERS method and UPLC-QToFMS determination. The information in systematically well described and organised. The design of experiments for the QuEChERS and cleanup steps is well organized. The interest of the manuscript is high and it could be published in PeerJ after minor modifications.

Reviewer 2 ·

Basic reporting

The figure quality should be improved, the reference format should be consistent with the journal.

Experimental design

1. May be modified as “Screening of 49 antibiotic residues in aquatic products using modified QuEChERS sample preparation procedure and UPLC-QToFMS analysis
2. Abstract, Line 19 to 20, The recoveries of target antibiotics at the different spiked levels ranged from 60.6% to 117.9% …, 60.6% should be changed to 60.2% from table 4.
3. Introduction, a small description of regulatory limits of pesticide residues in China/EU/Codex/USA may be given to justify the LOQ and LOD requirement of the method.
4. Materials and methods, a separate section may be given for a brief description on different treatments used with respect to each optimization parameters may be given for the clarity of readers.

Validity of the findings

1. The spiked concentration selected is 10 μg/L, 50 μg/L, and 100 μg/L, however, as the LOQ of the most of the pesticides are 1.0 μg/L, first level recovery should be of 1.0 μg/L. Further ensure that, the highest calibration level should be 200 μg/L or more.
2. In a multi-residue method, the crux of the method is the optimization of sample preparation, especially in a matrix like aquatic products. Hence, more emphasis should be given for sample preparation optimization, matrix effect minimization, clean-up optimization, sample size optimization, sample preprocessing optimization and further validation.

Additional comments

The authors presented a good piece of work on analysis of multi-residue antibiotics in aquatic products. The manuscripts used sound analytical technology (UPLC-QToFMS) for antibiotic residue analysis. However, some of the gaps detailed below should be addressed carefully before publishing the paper in PeerJ.

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