There are journals which employ double-blind review. Suppose I want to submit in such journals but my paper to be submitted depends on another paper of mine which was already accepted in another journal but does not appear in its issue. In my view, this might reveal my identity and hence defeats the purpose of the double-blind review? Do these kind of journals allow such submissions? I read the authors' guidelines but seems this particular concern is not stated.


It's allowed. Ask the editor how they'd like you to blind this particular reference.

  • This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post.
    – RoboKaren
    Feb 4 '15 at 1:39
  • @RoboKaren, I think it answers the question as well as it can be answered. Of course the submission is "allowed", but every journal with double-blind submission will have different standards for blinding this kind of reference. I don't think it's a big deal, and it should be easy to get a response from an editor on how best to handle it.
    – Bill Barth
    Feb 4 '15 at 2:48

The typical way to handle a reference of this type is to list its authors as "blinded" (or similar verbiage). This makes it clear that it is a legitimate article, but that it cannot currently be fully revealed for the sake of blinding.

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    This is probably not the ideal place for such comments, but: it seems to me that "double-blind" refereeing could lead to all kinds of awkward progress. Just two examples: (i) if the work which is being used is "blinded", then the referee cannot check it. This means that at best the work can be certified correct modulo certain black boxes and thus seems like a good way to propagate errors. In practice, many errors occur "between the two papers", i.e., in the application of paper 1 to paper 2. Feb 4 '15 at 4:23
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    (ii) If the used work is being blinded, how on earth can the referee assess the marginal novelty/value of Paper 2 with respect to Paper 1? A quite common cause of rejection of papers is "This is too similar to your last paper to be published in a journal of this quality." This concern seems to go out the window with double-blinding. Feb 4 '15 at 4:25
  • @PeteL.Clark Both of these are good arguments against double-blinding. Still, many venues use it, and one must deal with their requirements.
    – jakebeal
    Feb 4 '15 at 4:32
  • "[A]nd one must deal with their requirements". Your sentence ended a little early: you left off "...or risk suffering the consequences." One could equally well say "There are good arguments that Elsevier works against the interests of academics. Still, some of their journals are among the top ones in a given academic field, so one must deal with whatever they require." Again the sentence ends too early. If one happened to feel sufficiently strongly that something is not a good practice: don't do it, but be prepared for the consequences. Feb 4 '15 at 4:43
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    @PeteL.Clark, there have been studies done in CS that show that double-blind review removes bias (which is/was a big problem) and improves quality. Most venues have ways of dealing with your objections (often breaking the blinding after a first round of review in order to determine the answers to your questions).
    – Bill Barth
    Feb 4 '15 at 16:19

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