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When reviewers want you to cite their work

It has happened to me a number of times: (anonymous) reviewers who not-so-gently ask me to cite their work as part of a revision of my manuscript. I’m not talking about reviewers who suggest publications I may have missed, from various source (I too will add references to my review report where I think these are necessary to improve the manuscript). ‘m talking here the reviewer who said I have missed Something Really Important and gives me 5 references by the same first author that necessarily should be included to represent the state of the art.

To see how common this malpractice is, I ran a poll on Twitter. Results and the following discussion are below

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