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If I submit two papers in the same area at the same time to the same journal, and the journal allows me to choose from a list of editors, should I choose the same editor or different editors? What are the pros and cons of each way?

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    If the two papers are closely related -- e.g. if one of them cites the other in an important way -- then it seems logical to try to have them processed together, even by the same referee. In that case the same editor makes things more efficient. If the papers are not closely related: do you really need to submit both to the same journal at the same time? Though I can't think of a critical reason for this, most people like to spread things around more than this. – Pete L. Clark May 12 '15 at 6:33
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    @PeteL.Clark Re your last sentence: That's certainly true in math, but I believe in many fields there may only be a couple of suitable journals for a given article. Because of this, the answer may depend on the field (if the papers are not interrelated). – Kimball May 12 '15 at 8:39
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I've have multiple papers under review at the same time in the same journal for various reasons (e.g., special issues, highly preferred venue, standard community venue).

  • When the papers were linked, we made sure to request the same editor---otherwise, you're just making life more difficult for the editors because the editors of the two papers will have to coordinate in any case.

  • When the papers were not linked (and I've had utterly unrelated papers simultaneously under review, since they came from different collaborations), we selected an appropriate editor to request independently, which might or might not turn out to be the same.

The key principle here is to remember that your selection of an editor is only your personal recommendation to the journal. Just like a statement preferred reviewers, the journal has no particular compulsion to abide by your selection. If they think a different editorial distribution makes sense, they will assign it that way instead.

Thus: don't handicap a paper unnecessarily by recommending a suboptimal choice of editor.

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