Some journals propose authors to suggest potential reviewers for their submitted papers.

Is there any research/study/survey that tried to quantify to what extent suggesting potential reviewers for one's submitted paper impacts the likelihood of the paper being accepted?

  • 1
    Being in a position to suggest reviewers probably means you are integrated in to your research community and accepted within it. One's prior success is likely the best predictor of future success.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Apr 23, 2017 at 18:47
  • Suggested reviewers are often a path to collusion as well. I don't think naming them helps your chances. Commented Apr 23, 2017 at 20:40
  • @JonCuster However, the ancedotal evidence here: academia.stackexchange.com/q/10474/19607 suggests that suggesting reviewers lowers the likelihood of a paper being accepted (interpreted in an appropriate statistical sense).
    – Kimball
    Commented Apr 23, 2017 at 23:39
  • I highly doubt there has been a study on this, and you will not get more than ancedotal evidence such as in the post I linked to above.
    – Kimball
    Commented Apr 23, 2017 at 23:40
  • One journal I sent one of my articles to had the requirement of naming 4 potential reviewers. If you did not name any or not enough, your submission was not accepted. I don't know if this is the case with other journals as well, but in this instance, it did not improve your chances at all.
    – Sursula
    Commented Aug 14, 2021 at 3:53

1 Answer 1


This question was asked a long time ago but remains on the unanswered queue. The answer is yes, there was a research paper studying this question. According to this answer on academia.SE, "the overall conclusion seems to be that reviewers suggested by authors provide reviews of equal quality than those selected by the editor. While they are more likely to suggest acceptance in the initial review, at later stages these suggestions seem to equalize."

Does that mean authors should aim for journals where the author gets to choose/suggest referees? I would say not! For an author, it's very worthwhile to point out that "likelihood of the paper being accepted" is the wrong metric to care about for your career, long term. If you want to maximize your likelihood of being accepted, you could publish in a vanity press journal, where you pay them to publish your work and acceptance is essentially guaranteed. But this would not be good for your career.

A better metric would be: "is this journal well-regarded by experts in my field? Will publishing there reach the audience I had in mind when I wrote the paper? Will this journal provide me with a referee report that will make my paper stronger?"

Right now, in math, essentially no journals allow the author to pick the referee. I recently wrote an answer about this, and the ways such a review process would subvert critical reasons for peer review. So, if an author came across such a journal, it would be unwise to try to publish in it, because experts might view the journal (and hence, the author, for having published in it) with suspicion due to this highly unusual referee process. Furthermore, a "soft" referee report from a friend of yours will not make your paper stronger. Others agree with me that this practice should be discouraged.

The OP is a well-respected expert in natural language processing with over 100 publications and surely knows this, so I'm aiming this answer more at a random reader interested in this kind of procedure for picking referees. In every field of science that am aware of, a large majority of experts believe it's important for referees to be chosen by editors, not authors.

You must log in to answer this question.

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