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Further to my recent question on a similar topic (As handling editor, should you invite only female reviewers for manuscripts authored by women (eg 1st, last, and/or corresponding)?), I am wondering whether same or different country reviewers should be preferred.

Indeed, as Chief Editor, Associate Editor, or Handling Editor of scholarly manuscripts, mainly but not solely focusing on cardiovascular disease), I have often the last say on which potential reviewers to invite.

It could be argued that different-country reviewers should be more impartial and provide a more externally valid appraisal of a scholarly manuscript (of course keeping review quality high).

Probably, the first author country should be most factored in, but also the other authors', as well as the last one's or the corresponding one's are relevant.

Evidently, this question applies only to peer-review approaches based on open or single-blind review (the author does not know who is reviewing), but not to double-blind review (neither the authors knows who is reviewing nor the reviewer knows who is authoring).

Is this reasonable? Is there any evidence in favor or against this approach?

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    In my opinion, it is uneeded. Reviewers could be biased on other grounds than citizenships. Commented Dec 27, 2021 at 8:39
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    I think the answers at your other question apply here too - essentially, "no". Commented Dec 27, 2021 at 12:46
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    Always choose a reviewer who is an expert in the topic area and capable of doing high quality work (this latter part is quite important). Equivalently, you select people who are experienced in generating high quality work. Commented Dec 27, 2021 at 20:17

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Country of authors/reviewers has no impact.

Source

We use the EasyChair conference management system to manage submissions and reviewing. During submission, each author’s name, institution, and country are provided to the system. Based on this information, we generate some additional covariates as part of our exploration of the behavior of single-blind vs. double-blind reviewers. To begin, if there is a single most common country among the authors (even if not the majority country), we associate this country with the paper. For each (reviewer, paper) pair, we then compute the following six Boolean covariates:

...

v) Same country as reviewer. We wish to study whether knowledge of the authors allows a reviewer from the same country to treat the paper preferentially. This feature is true if the country of the paper as defined above is the same as the country of the reviewer as provided during the EasyChair registration process.

The paper reaches three conclusions about single-blind vs. double-blind peer review (see the results section). Conspicuously, none of them are based on the country of the authors/reviewers.

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  • I find your reply very interesting, but still the trial you quote simply compares different means of blinding... The section on country/gender is basically observational... Am I right? Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 21:11
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    @GiuseppeBiondi-Zoccai what does the paper say?
    – Allure
    Commented Dec 29, 2021 at 0:23
  • The paper basically is a trial allocating multiple reviewers to a single paper... with a single- vs double-blind approach to invitations... therefore, my take is that this comparison can be considered for hypothesis testing purposes, while the other analyses are mainly exploratory... Commented Dec 29, 2021 at 8:43

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