There's a senior researcher who literally "wrote the book" on the topic of a paper I'm writing. I'll draw from and cite the book but introduce some new things.

As I am new to this long-established field of physics with a strong mathematical component, I'm certain that I may be missing some perspectives and references that will be important to include, and there could be some important points I fail to recognize.

I'd like to ask1 this senior to read my manuscript, and I will mention to them that while I would welcome any suggestions in the areas outlined above, if they see some real room for improvement and would be interested, we'd also be happy to welcome them as a co-author.

Assuming that doesn't happen and I end up thanking them at the end of the paper for helpful suggestions and insight, if I then submit this to a journal which asks for suggested reviewers, have I now excluded this person from the pool of potential reviewers by involving them in the process and thanking them in the manuscript?

I don't see that as necessarily a bad thing -- other reviewers, seeing mention of the person who "wrote the book" on the topic may feel more comfortable about the work and results -- I'm just curious how all of this works.

update: ...but I do not necessarily want to exclude them. I'm only asking if this would have that unintended effect. That completely differentiates this question from Acknowledging the discussion with someone in the paper but excluding this person as a reviewer: how to do this? As far as I can tell, this question is also not answered in Acknowledgements and reviewer selection.

1We're not strangers; we've had some basic and helpful discussions already


1 Answer 1


You are not necessarily removing the acknowledgee from the potential reviewer pool, but you are reducing the likelihood of them being invited. Editors seeking impartial referees would be disinclined to invite reviewers who are perceived as close to the author or invested in the fate of the manuscript. Presumably there is somewhat of a spectrum of disinclination, depending on the nature of the acknowledgment. Thanking someone for pointing out Ref. [50] may be perceived differently from thanking someone for providing substantial help and feedback, for example. Personally, I have been invited to referee a couple of physics papers in which I was acknowledged for discussions.

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