I was wondering if the editors really follow the list of reviewers the author/s suggested upon the manuscript submission in the journal?

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    The list is certainly a resource for them, but there is no guarantee that reviewers will be selected exclusively from that list. – Jon Custer Jan 16 '19 at 16:33
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    I've heard of some editors actively avoiding reviewers suggested by the authors, see e.g. this answer. – Anyon Jan 16 '19 at 16:38
  • Anecdote: I met someone at a conference. I expressed strong views on topic X, impressing the someone as someone who knows a lot on X. I have never published on X. Last week I get an invitation to review a paper by someone on X. Most likely, I was recommended as a reviewer by that person. – Gimelist Jan 18 '19 at 16:41

If your paper is especially esoteric, they might. They might find it difficult to find another reviewer and so the list will help them. But they would rather send the paper to someone that they can assume will be unbiased and evaluate the paper on its own and not because of a possible relationship to the author.

But, your list is also a resource to the editor who is looking in the long term to build a large "stable" of reviewers. It may be that someone you list is not chosen for your paper but for another paper on a similar topic sometime in the future.

In addition, the list might give an editor an idea about the "sort of person" who would be a good reviewer, rather than a specific person.

Ultimately, though, the editor needs someone he/she can trust to do an impartial but thorough review.


Sometimes, and it varies by editor. On a personal level I try not to use suggested reviewers unless I've really run out of ideas (which rarely happens), because of two reasons:

However there are also editors who think that it's unfair to the author if they judge the submission relying solely on editor-found reviewers, precisely because these reviewers are less favourable than author-suggested ones. This group might invite one reviewer themselves, and one author-suggested reviewer.

It's also possible that the editor is lazy/overworked/believes in the authors' integrity etc and relies entirely on suggested reviewers.

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