I believe you don't have to nominate reviewers.
Your supervisor may know typical reviewers for the journal and some may be more suited to understanding your paper and so more likely to accept it than others.
I think you may be able to request NOT to have certain reviewers (e.g. names from that faculty you know is doing awfully similar work to you)
As you will know peer review is totally unbiased and no reviewer is more likely to choose a paper because of any of the authors. If that was the case you might suggest reviewers who look favourably on your department. But as I say no favouritism so that is not a reason to choose a reviewer and no one does it.;-)
you do not have to nominate reviewers, yet the editor likes it if you do, as it may prevent him / her having to search for them. Always good to have the editor on your site. Also as you wrote the article you probably know the key authors in that field, so you are in a good position to advise on it. You may even know some of the potential reviewers personally, know their style of working and may use this to aid selection.
Be aware that some journals use an open review system (the reviewers will know your name and you will know theirs) and others a "blind" system. As you can imagine both may have advantages and disadvantages.
Oh, yes, how to select them?
I think you have a few options. For example academics you know and who are familiar with your research. You can ask whether they are happy to review an article for you, if so, you can give their names to the editor. Obviously this has the disadvantage that it is not anonymous. Alternatively you can provide names to the editor blindly and these people may then decide themselves whether they want to do it or not.
In a similar fashion you could suggest key authors from your field, for example from the references.:-)
Thank you all for your replies.
I'm afraid I have to nominate reviewers for this particular journal or I won't be able to submit (although I'm relief to know this is not the norm!)
Chobba, that's what I did when nominating an editor but I can't seem to find a list of potential reviewers so I'm guessing I'll just have to choose them carefully.
Thank you all for all your suggestions of how I can approach the task. I can't ask the editor as the journal states that nominating an editor doesn't mean they'll be assigned my paper but Rick is right, I know of some relevant people in the field so that will have to do. Let's just hope they're nice and kind!
I guess this depends a lot on the field of study. I've had to suggest reviewers for all my papers, and I never found it to be a problem - you pretty much always build on someone else's work in sciences, and naturally they are likely to be good reviewers. Usually, googling the names is a good idea because most journals prefer to have someone with some experience of academic publishing as reviewer - a first-year phd student who has a single publication is not likely to be chosen. Remember that it is always the editor who chooses the reviewers - what you might do is just poke him/her in a certain direction.
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