I submitted one paper to the journal, and in one of the reviewers' reviews, he said that "some latest references are missing and can be added".

He gives two papers that could be added as references, however, those two references are published in non-popular conference/journals (I have never heard about those conferences/journals) and are not very related to the topic of my paper.

Further, I found out that those two papers are from the same people, so I guess those two papers are written by this reviewer. I guess that he wants me to add those two papers as references so it could boost the number of references for his paper.

Should I just add those two references?

  • 4
    You are "guessing" that the papers are by the reviewer. Why is that? Are they relevant? You say "not very related". Do they add anything? Relevance is the standard.
    – Buffy
    Aug 5, 2021 at 19:27
  • If you find methodological or theoretical mistakes or weakness in those articles, you don't need to cite them. Relevance and the quality of the paper should guide your decision
    – Tigerx
    Aug 5, 2021 at 21:27
  • 1) include them as 'payment' for the reviewer's time. If they are not relevant, then you need to find a reason to make them relevant, 2) argue why they are not relevant, and omit them, or 3) include them as they are relevant. Aug 6, 2021 at 0:00
  • When you list the changes you have made and arrive at that point, tell this to the editor. Like we checked the suggested refs and decided that their are only marginal bla bla bla. The fact that the journal are obscure is marginal as well. The only point is if they fit in or not.
    – Alchimista
    Aug 6, 2021 at 7:57

1 Answer 1


If the papers are relevant then add them. If they are not relevant then you need to make a well reasoned arguement in your reply to the editor as to why you don't want to cite them. It doesn't matter whether they came from the referee (as referees should be experts in your field they should have papers that could be citable in your work).

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .