Q: Should I inform the suggested peer reviewers that I have provided their names to a journal for reviewing my paper?
I have some potential peer reviewers in mind. Do I need to contact them personally to check their availability and/or readiness to review my paper before I suggest their names during [the] submission of my manuscript?
Firstly, that’s an impeccably framed query, both the header question and the detailed question. The query read so smooth and articulated so clearly that we almost hated adding the one word we did, although we have included it in parenthesis to indicate that it’s a mere enhancement.
Coming to your query, you’ve also shown great consideration in identifying and suggesting potential peer reviewers for your manuscript. Journal editors are always swamped with submissions and attendant responsibilities, especially now with the challenge of COVID-19, as you may read in this recent query. So, actions like these are a big help. For you, it would help speed up the review and/or a decision on the manuscript.
It’s even better that you are considering checking with the reviewers before sending their names over. That will help everyone – the reviewer, the editor, and you – know for sure who’s available and during what time. That might bring your list down a bit (depending on how long the present list is), but will almost make sure that the provided names are ready to commit to the review (if and when it happens). So, yes, go right ahead!
Finally, once you’ve checked with them, you can also include this information in the cover letter to the journal. This will convey your proactiveness to the editor and is sure to be appreciated.
Now, a sideways note. As your writing and articulation seem quite competent, you may wish to look at a couple of avenues we have for researchers to provide contributions. One is our Researchers and Their Stories space, where researchers and academics share narratives around various aspects of the research and academic life, including personal ones. You may find out more here. The other is our Guest Contribution section, where expert and seasoned scholars talk about a subject or area of expertise, be it research, publication, or related. You may find out more here.
However, before all that, all the best for your own paper!