Please submit, with the manuscript, the names, addresses (including countries), and e-mail addresses of five potential referees who are outside the authors' institutions and must not have conflict of interest with the authors.

Do you think I should name 5 researchers from a similar area that are not affiliated with my university and co-authors? Is this what referees are?

  • 1
    why is this downvoted?
    – SSimon
    Jan 15, 2016 at 11:22

1 Answer 1



A "referee" in an academic context is

An expert who judges the manuscript of an article or book to decide if it should be published.

You should make sure to find established researchers who are capable of judging your manuscript and who do not have conflicts of interest (e.g., frequent collaborators).

This canonical question may be helpful: What does the typical workflow of a journal look like?. Or the tag (although peer review is somewhat more general than manuscript refereeing).

  • Thank you very much, @stephan is it by conflict of interest also count "frequent communication and discussion"
    – SSimon
    Jan 6, 2016 at 13:12
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    The question usually is whether a referee could stand to gain personally (financially or non-financially) by judging your manuscript better than it deserves. Frequent communication and discussion does not seem to be enough for that, but if the referee also collaborates with you or your supervisor, it might cross the line. Conflicts of interest are a somewhat subjective topic. We have an entire tag conflict-of-interest; it may be helpful to browse the questions so tagged. Jan 6, 2016 at 19:12
  • Thank you, @Stephan one more sub question, if referees are also cited in the paper ( becuase they have already done research that was important to cite) that can be also conflict of interest or maybe advantage for submitter? Since reviewer tend to be more subjective toward their works, or that should not be a problem
    – SSimon
    Jan 7, 2016 at 1:30
  • You are completely right. Ideally, your referees should work on sufficiently similar topics that they understand what you are doing (so you will likely cite them), but on the other hand, they will be more favorably disposed towards a manuscript that cites them and pushed up their citation count. There is some tension here, and no clear demarcation. I gave a couple of thoughts on this here, from the perspective of "citation padding", i.e., adding extraneous citations. Jan 7, 2016 at 12:33

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