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This is my case: I've recently co-authored and sent an article to a journal that follows a double-blind review process, so that reviewers shouldn't be able to know the name of the authors. ---I mean, I (as the corresponding author) am responsible for hiding any authoring information to them.

Now I am writing another paper and I want to cite the article that is under double-blind review.

So, it is not only that I should add the typical "under review" label when citing that article, but moreover I can't give any information about the article that may spoil the double-blind process. For instance, if I add the name of the authors and the name of the journal it was sent to, then I can't include the title of the article (because it could happen that the citing article is sent for reviewing to one of the blind reviewers of the first article, or that it is even published before the first one...).

Anyway... How can/should I cite an article that is under review by a journal that follows a double-blind review process without potentially revealing too much information?? How is this problem usually solved?

I must say that I usually publish pre-prints as technical reports, but I didn't do it this time, in order not to reveal any information that could be accessed by the blind reviewers.

EDIT:

I was thinking about putting this label instead of the title of the cited article: "[Title is omitted to protect the double-blind review process]". But I still have some doubts. If I mention the name of the journal it was sent to, could the article be potentially recognized by the blind reviewers?

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    Which field is this? The journals in which I publish never allow references to articles that are not at least accepted for publication. – Cape Code Oct 21 '14 at 18:16
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    @Cape code: Interesting. In my field (mathematics) people cite preprints all the time and nobody bats an eye. – Nate Eldredge Oct 21 '14 at 18:52
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    @NateEldredge in fact the criterion is 'publicly available' so preprints are fine, but not manuscripts in an ongoing peer-review process. – Cape Code Oct 21 '14 at 18:55
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    @Cape Code: I am talking about preprints of papers currently under review, or even preprints that have never been submitted at all. Of course, you want to be proportionally more careful about relying on unpublished results. – Nate Eldredge Oct 21 '14 at 18:58
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    It might be worth asking the journal editor. They could have some policy for what to do, or they could just ensure that they won't assign it to the same reviewers. – BrenBarn Oct 21 '14 at 19:07
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Considering the following extreme case can help to clarify: what will you do if article B is accepted before article A finishes peer review? This could easily happen, given the high variability in time in review cycle and number of reviews.

At that point you've got basically two options:

  1. Drop the references. Can your paper survive without them? If so, it's not a big deal.
  2. Put your blind review article into a pre-print archive, in order for it to be available. This might "spoil" the blind review process, but only if the reviewers go looking for it and only if it significantly changes their opinion.

In the mean time, I would recommend citing it as "[omitted due to ongoing blind review; available on request]", and letting the reviewers request through the editor if they feel reading your pre-print article is important.

  • But would you add some information about the authors and/or the journal? – Vicent Oct 21 '14 at 19:05
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    If I'm blinding, I generally blind the whole set of information. You certainly can't say the journal, since the journal might decide it doesn't want your paper. – jakebeal Oct 21 '14 at 19:09
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    You can cite is as "Author names omitted due to the blind review", "Your paper A title", under submission technical report available upon request. – afaust Oct 21 '14 at 19:53

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