Objective: To compare reviews done by editor-selected reviewers with reviews by author-suggested reviewers, examining the quality, timeliness, and recommendations of the 2 sets of reviewers.
Study design: Comparison of reviews for 140 manuscripts submitted to a pediatric journal in 2005. For each manuscript, a review by an editor-selected reviewer was compared with a review by an author-suggested reviewer. Reviews were rated using a 7-item quality scale with summary scores ranging from 0 (worst) to 100% (best).
Results: The mean quality score for all 7 items was 48.2% for reviewers selected by editors and 43.9% for reviewers suggested by authors, a small difference that was not statistically significant. Mean days to review completion was 25.4 for editor-selected reviewers and 27.8 for author-suggested reviewers; this difference also was not statistically significant. Editor-selected reviewers recommended acceptance less often than rejection or revision compared with author-suggested reviewers (risk ratio = 0.67; 95% confidence interval = 0.53 to 0.85).
Conclusions: Editor-selected reviewers did not give significantly higher-quality reviews, nor where they significantly faster compared with author-suggested reviewers. Editor-selected reviewers were less likely to recommend acceptance.