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In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) has grown into almost every sector, leading to significant innovation and pushing boundaries to create even more effective solutions. The impact of AI was particularly felt in academic circles when it began to be used to assign papers or articles to specific journal reviewers. AI-assisted paper assignment has the potential to make the paper submission system more efficient and accurate, but raises some questions about the implications for peer review.

To gain more insight into what reviewers think about AI being used for assigning papers, this report examines the opinions of authors, editorial board members and other top reviewers using an online survey carried out in October 2020. This report seeks to identify key trends about whether peer reviewers believe that AI should be utilized for paper assignment and if so, in what ways it would benefit them. Results from the survey are presented below followed by a brief analysis with potential implications for academic journals and publishers.

AI conferences use AI to assign papers to reviewers

With the emergence of AI and its use in assigning papers to reviewers, peer review has become more efficient and accurate. This is due to AI’s ability to quickly assess papers and assign them to the best reviewer for the task.

This article will discuss the pros of using AI for this purpose and how it can help the reviewing process.

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AI can identify the best reviewers for a paper

One of the primary advantages to using Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms to assign papers is that it can identify the best reviewers for a given paper. These algorithms analyze the paper’s topics, language, and other features to determine which individuals in the database have expertise in related areas. This method ensures that only qualified experts are recruited to review a paper, maximizing its chances of getting approved by peer-reviewers. Moreover, as AI algorithms become more sophisticated and develop advanced tools such as Natural Language Processing (NLP), they can extract relevant keywords from a paper and identify potential reviewers with more accuracy. For example, powerful NLP tools can isolate a research topic from an abstract or body text and match it with experts with similar interest areas.

Furthermore, this automated process helps save time for researchers who would normally have to assess up-to-date work done by potential reviewers from multiple sources before deciding on the most suited reviewer for their paper. By taking over this time-consuming process of manually selecting reviewers, AI algorithms ensure no effort is wasted searching through publications or reviewing CVs numerous times. Moreover, they also help maximize efficiency while selecting future reviewers as they enable research teams to quickly add new members or update an existing team based on AI’s detection of reviewer competencies once papers are assigned. As such, these highly automated approaches make it easier for academic institutions to connect authors with appropriate readers efficiently and accelerate the verification process via peer reviews quicker.

AI can reduce bias in the review process

Personal biases during the review process can lead to inequities in selecting research papers. Certain demographic groups might face more criticism or be less likely to receive positive reviews as decisions are made subjectively.

AI algorithms focus on the research paper itself rather than any external factors, reducing bias and ensuring that each paper is scored objectively. AI can analyze vast amounts of data quickly and accurately, which significantly speeds up the review process. By automatically assigning reviewers and rejecting papers with major flaws, AI allows for a much more efficient workflow when assigning research papers. This permits peer-reviewers to devote more energy toward developing their arguments when writing their reviews by spending less time looking through unworthy submissions.

AI algorithms calculate multiple precision scores based on data points such as each submission’s accuracy, relevance, significance, and stylistic qualities. Focusing on qualities such as grammar and syntax further reduces potential bias that affects paper scoring by emphasizing these measurable parameters instead of relying solely on what an individual reviewer believes is important for assessment purposes.

Cons of Using AI to Assign Papers

Many conferences are using AI to assign papers to reviewers. This might sound like a good idea as it removes any bias when assigning papers. However, there are many potential drawbacks to using AI in this way.

This article examines AI’s pros and cons in assigning papers to reviewers.

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AI is not perfect and can make mistakes

Although AI has immense potential as a tool for human decision-making and can be immensely useful in helping assign papers to reviewers, it has some potential drawbacks that must not be ignored.

AI’s ability to mimic human behavior is limited, and since most decisions involve making judgment calls on ethical matters, it may not yield the best outcome. It can also make mistakes based on incomplete data or its inability to adequately process more complex situations.

Another important factor is the potential bias that AI may bring; if its data is skewed, so will its decisions. For example, if the dataset underrepresents certain groups or demographics, AI would suggest choices reflecting this bias. Similarly, if the data used to train an AI algorithm is biased, the results could be unpredictable or undesirable.

It’s also worth noting that algorithms are designed with certain objectives – assigning research papers effectively – in mind by their developers. Suppose researchers have hidden agendas for using AI for assignments that may involve financial benefits or other interests that go against the intentions of peer review committees. In that case, it could result in unintended consequences.

Although AI offers much promise in assisting decision-making related to peer review and evaluation of research papers, caution should be used when considering its implementation due to various potential factors that could lead to errors and unintended outcomes.

AI can be biased and can lead to unfair assignments

Using AI to assign papers can benefit both the reviewers and the authors that submit their work. However, these systems can still be vulnerable to bias. If the system is not designed with the correct parameters, it can lead to unfair assignments or unbalanced distribution of resources among different authors or even across identities like gender.

When creating an AI system for this purpose, developers should consider how their model might impact marginalized groups or how its choices could lead to bias against certain authors based on certain features. The development process should include safeguards and feedback loops that help prevent such issues from appearing in a deployed system.

In addition, algorithms might overlook important aspects of each paper that may otherwise have given an author a better chance at review and publication. Furthermore, researchers also fear that if AI took over decision-making in this process completely they would lose autonomy over such decisions and their careers depend on them being able to make objective and informed choices when it comes down to deciding who gets accepted and published or not.

Ultimately, while AI may have great potential in simplifying some processes associated with peer-reviewing papers, we still have much more research to do before automated systems can effectively inject fairness into its reviewing assignments without introducing biases into the mix.

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What Reviewers Think of AI Being Used to Assign Papers

Recently, some conferences are starting to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to assign papers to reviewers. This shift has received mixed reviews from reviewers, as some view it as helpful but others think it is a disadvantage.

This article will examine the pros and cons of AI being used to assign papers to reviewers.

Positive Reviews

In recent years, automated paper reviewers, usually referred to as “AI reviewers,” have become increasingly popular. AI reviewers use artificial intelligence to identify areas of improvement needed in submitted papers and assign a score out of five stars. In addition, they can scan, recognize language patterns and identify which areas need more attention.

Overall, AI reviewers have received positive reviews from writers and readers alike. While they may cause some initial apprehension due to their unfamiliarity, once people understand how AI technology works and how it can help them produce better work, it is well-received. Writers appreciate that AI algorithms are often more efficient than a human reviewer and can reduce the time needed for substantial corrections. In addition, they find it incredibly helpful that errors can be pointed out with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Readers also benefit from AI being used to review papers; they often perceive the scores given by artificial intelligence as being more accurate than those by humans. And even though they may find the idea intimidating at first, they realize that AI technology has provided them with an easier way to quickly read academic papers without sacrificing quality or depth of analysis.

Negative Reviews

Negative reviews of AI being used to assign papers generally have a few common critiques. First, they often argue that automating the process of assigning papers to reviewers could reduce the quality and accuracy of the reviews. This is due to concerns that AI might be biased in its ability to accurately assess a paper’s merits, as it lacks an in-depth understanding of the field and related issues. Furthermore, it may be unable to identify paper problems or spot potential game-changing work.

Secondly, some critics argue that automated review assignments reduce human creativity when spotting new trends and recognizing groundbreaking advances within their respective fields. Without this human element, AI could miss opportunities for serendipitous discoveries, or overlook potential flaws or challenges facing certain research topics that a knowledgeable human reviewer would be able to uncover.

Finally, there are questions about how much transparency should exist with algorithms and how reviews can be verified for accuracy — particularly if private companies create or use them. Developing and using such algorithms could potentially create unfairness or bias in the assignment process without proper consideration given to peer reviewers’ qualifications and experience levels with certain research topics.


In conclusion, this review suggests that machine learning and AI research can provide promising results in peer review. Several studies provide evidence of the potential user-centered benefits and consistent performance of AI-assisted systems, which can provide efficient and equitable reviews at scale.

Despite some user skepticism towards automated peer review, further investigation could boost confidence in these systems and their usability. For example, further research might look into ways to ensure that fairness, privacy and security requirements are met while leveraging an AI-augmented system for peer review processes.

Studies have been conducted to address potential flaws with such approaches and document potential use cases for AI peer review.