How to blind your manuscript

I come across this ever so often when doing a review, and there are even journal guidelines giving bad advice on how to blind a manuscript for double-blind peer review.

A good guide can be found here at Oxford Univeristiy Press.

What gets me every time is violations of this:

Do not employ (Author 2016) and similar devices.

While it may look like a good way to anonymize, it actually encourages guessing who the author may be more than anything I know. Often it provides good clues, especially if we can read the titles in the reference list. The funny thing is that as a reviewer, typically I do not want to know who you are (at least not until I have completed the review).

The guidelines cited above are pretty clear:

  • do cite yourself if it is relevant
  • use appendices/supplements to describe methodology
  • do not use (Author 2019)
  • do not cite unpublished work

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