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I am looking for ideas and suggestions on when someone would have enough experience and expertise to be presented as a potential peer review candidate.

I am specifically looking at using review history data as a source and keywords search to search that source. So a solution could be related to attributing keywords. But don't let that lead you too much, this is just my current thinking.

The configuration of such a process of when does someone becomes worth showing as an expert of candidate is main area I would like suggestions and idea on.

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  • Please edit your post so you ask only one question. You have five different questions which can have independent answers. – padawan Mar 8 '18 at 10:20
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    Nothing like that is used. Some journals ask the author of the article to name say 5 potential reviewers. The editor may look into his/her own network. The editor may look at the authors of previous work in her/his journal. Usually disciplines are sufficiently small that one just knows who the experts are. – Maarten Buis Mar 8 '18 at 10:49
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    The criterion for being enough of an expert to review a paper is not quantitative; it is simply that the editor values and trusts the prospective reviewer's opinion about the paper. Nevertheless, this criterion might correlate quite well with something quantitative. It would be interesting to know whether anyone has studied such possible correlations. – Andreas Blass Mar 8 '18 at 14:40
  • @AndreasBlass Yes, I understand what you are saying I from what I have heard I agree. The finial decision is qualitative. However how could one reduced the list of potential reviewers on expertise if say the reviewer does not specifically clarify their area. I would like to say more but don't want to bias too much the answers. – Cool Hand Luke Mar 9 '18 at 12:58
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If I had to find peer reviewer for a field I have no knowledge of, but a lot of data, I would first come up with a citation graph and look at all papers near to the paper that should be refereed.

If I had a list of reputable journals, I would filter that paper list by this list. The resulting paper list can be scanned for authors. Now you can compare key words of the important papers of the authors to the key words of the paper. This allows you to come up with a list of persons that may be "experts".

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    If you had to find a peer reviewer for a field you have no knowledge of, then you are the wrong editor. – Maarten Buis Mar 8 '18 at 11:49
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    @MaartenBuis That is certainly true. – J Fabian Meier Mar 8 '18 at 12:03
  • Don't worry because I am thinking about presentation of reviewers to editors via a system. So the system does some filtering and presents useful candidates to the editor, for that more qualitative checking. But the relevancy of expertises is important to reduce the chaff. – Cool Hand Luke Mar 9 '18 at 12:53
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This might not be a universal answer, but it is a practical answer of how I find peer-reviewers when needed: I go to Google Scholar and search for the topic. I find which authors with Google Scholar profiles match my keyword search based on the article. Then I examine each Google Scholar profile looking at the following things:

  • Total citation counts (to get an idea of total citation impact of the researcher)
  • Citations on works whose titles resemble the subject I'm interested in (to get an idea of the researcher's recognized expertise on the specific topic of interest)
  • How recently the author has published in the area of interest (I would be less likely to invite an expert who obviously no longer publishes in the area)

With these objective measures from Google Scholar, I of course add my subjective knowledge of the area and then prioritize whom to invite one by one. So, to answer you question more directly, I would not try to objectively decide based on a fixed number of articles or a minimum number of citations. The decision of whom to invite depends on whom I find with Google Scholar profiles and how more outstanding they are than others with whom I compare them. The decision must necessarily be subjective, though aided with these objective citation criteria.

Of course, some invited reviewers would decline or not respond, but then I move to the next expert in my priority invitation list until I receive enough positive responses.

Following this methodology, I have been able to recruit highly expert peer-reviewers whom I did not know personnally.

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