I've written my MSc thesis and my supervisors and myself think that the results we got are worth writing an article. Of course, we cite my original thesis in the article to avoid self-plagiarism issues. However, it seems to be in direct contradiction with the requirement that some conference enforce, which is that the authors must be anonymous at the time of submitting the article (no names, refering to their work using the third person, etc...).

Not only am I quite unaware of the extent up to which an accepted paper can be modified (is it possible to include "This paper has been derived from XXX's MSc thesis" once it is accepted?), but I am also unsure about how ethical it is to submit a paper without mentioning this. What is the ethical way of conduct in this case?

2 Answers 2


Removing "This paper is based on XXX's MSc thesis" would be part of anonymising a submission for double-blind review. The edits made for anonymization purposes are typically undone after acceptance, so this part is not a problem.

I would presume that the conference chairs can see who has made which submission. A referee who spots that the paper and the MSc thesis have significant overlap would point something like "If XXX is amongst the authors, accept; otherwise this looks plagiarized." whereupon the conference chairs can accept the paper. If you want to be sure that the conference chairs notice, add a note/cover letter.


Write your paper just as you would do it without the double-blind review process in mind. Cite all relevant sources (inlcuding your own thesis) and then, before submission, anonymize the paper. That means (temporarily) replacing all possible identifiers of yourself or your institution with "Anonymous, 20XX" or "this reference has been omitted to maintain the integrity of the review process" or similar expressions. More info can be found e.g. here. This is perfectly normal, no-one will object, and after the review (and before publication), you simply de-anonymize everything.

  • 1
    And be careful about the use of first person pronouns.
    – Buffy
    Aug 23, 2021 at 13:47

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