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I am going to submit a paper to a conference that uses double-blind review. The paper extends my project X, which was published somewhere else last year. In order not to break the anonymity, in the paper shall I hide the fact that project X was mine? (If I don't they could simply look at the reference associated with project X to identify the authors.)

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Yes, refer to Project X without stating that it is yours.

In my field, instructions to authors for conferences that are double-blind reviewed often say:

Do not omit references to provide anonymity, as this leaves the reviewer unable to grasp the context. Instead, a good solution is to reference your past work in the third person, just as you would any other piece of related work.

In reality, of course it is often obvious that the paper under review is likely to be an extension of the cited work by the same author. However, as an author, it is not your responsibility to make sure that the reviewers can never identify you. It is only your responsibility to

make a good-faith effort to preserve the anonymity of your submission, while at the same time allowing the reader to fully grasp the context of related past work, including your own.

Citing your own previous work in the third person is a good faith effort to preserve anonymity, and (at least in my field) that's all that's required.

  • +1 for "In reality, of course it is often obvious that the paper under review is likely to be an extension of the cited work by the same author." – O. R. Mapper Jan 9 '15 at 8:57
  • Citing your own work in the third person is often the norm anyway. – Chris H Jan 9 '15 at 15:03
  • @ChrisH: It can also be something to avoid - especially when the text is not supposed to be blinded, speaking of one's own prior work as if it had been done by someone else can come across as a stealthy way to increase one's own citation count, or as a way to hide one's affiliation with the cited authors and unfairly create the impression that the topic discussed enjoys a wider attention than it actually does. – O. R. Mapper Jan 9 '15 at 18:55
  • @O.R.Mapper, that's true, though in single-blind paper reviewing the reviewers (and editor) have your name at the top of the paper as well as on the reference. – Chris H Jan 9 '15 at 19:01

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