A chapter in my dissertation has not been published in an archival conference. I am writing a paper based on the chapter for a conference that does double-blind paper review.

The paper will include pretty much the entire chapter, which presents a method, and will perform additional analysis of the method. The analysis on its own, without the method, is not enough to merit a paper. In the interest of the full disclosure, I should cite my dissertation. How do I do that without revealing my identity?

Is citing my dissertation without name and institution, just the title, appropriate or not?

I know there were similar questions recently, but none asking about the dissertation. The dissertation is different because it is a publication, a literature search will return a hit, but does not count as one, and is considered OK to publish chapter from in conferences and journals. The field is Computer Science.

  • 1
    possible duplicate of How to make a paper completely anonymous for reviewers? Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 21:02
  • 1
    The difference from the previous question is that when you are extending the new publication from the old one, the delta between the two needs to larger. Your new one must have enough contributions to stand on its own. So, you can write the paper as if you were extending a third party's work. This is not the case with the dissertation chapter-based paper.
    – afaust
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 21:11
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    Oh, I see. So you're concerned if you cite "afaust's dissertation" and submit your paper with no name, they will reject it saying "This whole thing just plagiarizes afaust's dissertation!" Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 21:16
  • @NateEldredge Exactly.
    – afaust
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 21:28
  • I may mussunderstand the situation, but have you considered to publish all the relevant part in your paper? I mean on the long run, even if you cite those details, they might be totally inaccessible to the readers if they are only in the paper. And the very same problem (your approach makes no sense without the details) may hurt the quality of your paper.
    – Greg
    Commented Nov 8, 2014 at 2:33

2 Answers 2


The challenge here is seems to be to ensure that if the reviewers do stumble across your thesis, then the failure mode will be penetrating blinding rather than accusations of plagiarism.

It is my belief that with an "extract" paper like this, the thesis should be cited in any case. In most cases, there will be some connection to other portions of the thesis that could motivate such a citation (e.g., a motivation or an application). I also think that it is good to explicitly acknowledge the relationship to the thesis, e.g., "This manuscript is based on work also presented in [cite]", though the customs of your field may differ.

Then you can appropriately blind the citation to the thesis, e.g., "Ph.D. thesis, blinded for review." This makes the relationship clear without violating blinding. At that point, you are preserving blinding to the best of your ability, and while a reviewer can certainly try to penetrate blinding if they want, you certainly won't run into any problems with misunderstanding about plagiarism.


Your goal is to publish. The conference apparently requires that review be double blind. I do not see any reason why you should care if the reviewer figures out who you are; simply cite your own work in the normal way. Then you will have complied with the conference's requirements because you have not explicitly identified yourself.

In my experience reviewers do not like incomplete citations.

  • I don't see how that addresses the concern expressed in the comments, namely that the paper can be perceived as a plagiarization of "someone else's" dissertation (because reviewers will not know that the paper author is the same as the dissertation author).
    – BrenBarn
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 22:22
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    It seems to me that, if the paper is acceptable except for the plagiarism issue, a reviewer could reasonably recommend that it be accepted if and only if the author is afaust. I did essentially that once when I was "blindly" refereeing a paper whose content I had previously heard in a talk at a conference. Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 23:07
  • @AndreasBlass, that might qualify as an answer.
    – vonbrand
    Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 16:45

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