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I asked this question About withdrawing manuscript in academia about one month ago. At that time, I decided to wait more and sent the editor in chief the name of three potential referees. Today I sent a tracking email. The editor in chief said that none of them accepted to be the referee and he told that he sent to more potential referees. ( I am sure one of the potential referees has not received any email to review my paper, because I asked him). Now I need your guidance in this regard, what is the best option for me now? Shall I withdraw the paper? Now it is about 6 month that I have submitted my paper and unfortunately they have not found referee for that!

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    If you have a close enough relationship with the potential reviewer that you can casually ask if they received the review request, I'd question if they were an appropriate reviewer. Perhaps the editor did as well. – GrotesqueSI Sep 30 '19 at 18:15
  • The editor knew that, because in bibliograohic there exists a joint work with him. But for me the question is that, why editor told me that he sent review request for mentioned potential referee as well!! – user40491 Sep 30 '19 at 18:51
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    I can't tell you why the editor told you they sent the manuscript to that person, but if you have joint work with that person in the bibliography, that is likely why the editor did not select them as a reviewer. – GrotesqueSI Sep 30 '19 at 19:38
  • Maybe the editor did not realise that he was a collaborator until after he spoke to you. Maybe keep approaching other potential reviewers that don't know you? – Poidah Sep 30 '19 at 22:32
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This kind of decision is always a balancing act with no obvious answer.

If you do not withdraw: Do note that the editor might not invite all the reviewers you suggested. That's the lazy thing to do, but they might also be doing their own checks, e.g. did you coauthor a paper in the last five years? Did you work at the same institution in the past five years? Et cetera. Remember there're systemic differences between author-suggested and editor-suggested reviewers; you cannot expect the editor to rely entirely on the reviewers you suggest.

If you do not withdraw, there's no way to tell how long it'll be before this journal finds reviewers.

If you withdraw: in this case you'll probably wind up submitting to a different journal, which means you start from square zero, which means they are also going to be looking for reviewers. It's possible the new journal handles things quicker. Perhaps their editor is more motivated and/or has greater connections, perhaps they invite more reviewers, perhaps they send more reminders ... but it's also possible the new journal handles things worse. They might not even respond to your queries.

Ultimately nobody can tell you the answer, because nobody can predict the future. You'll have to make the decision yourself. Are you willing to give up what you've already reached in this journal for the uncertain prospects at another journal? Expressed differently, is a bird in hand worth two in the bush for you? It's a question only you can answer.

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