I am going to submit a paper IEEE Communications letters.

In the paper, I cited my source code repository to provide an open access:

... For more detail, please refer [1] ...

However, IEEE Communicaitons Letters is doing double blind peer review and information about authors should be blinded. In this situation, how could I make it blinded?

  1. Anonymize project name
  2. Anonymize repository URL
    • Reviews might not able to validate the work
  3. Anonymize project committer
  4. Anonymize everything

3 Answers 3


I think most reviewers for IEEE Communications Letters are unlikely to visit your source code link and try and validate your code. It's fairly unusual in this field (I say this as someone in the same field.) Certainly the reviewers will not expect access to your code. So if you want to anonymize everything, that would be fine.

If you want to preserve the ability of reviewers to access your code (which is a very good thing!) and don't mind going to a little bit of extra trouble, you could always just upload an anonymized tar.gz archive containing the source code (without the version control metadata) to any file sharing site. Then use that URL in the version you submit for review. (When the paper is accepted, you can update the reference to point to your non-anonymous repository.)


Instead of source code, you should provide the executable binary, together with all the scripts to re-produce your experiments. I don't think any reviewer has the patience to read your source code.

In some conference in my field, it is suggested that the authors set up a virtual machine, e.g. a Ubuntu image, and install the compiled tool there.

In order to host these artifacts, you don't need a repository. You only need to put it in, e.g., google drive or dropbox.

Please note that if your repository is in your website, the reviewers will not visit it, for fear of being tracked.

  • 3
    "Please note that if your repository is in your website, the reviewers will not visit it, for fear of being tracked." Smart, thinking about the double-blind from the reviewers' perspective, also.
    – hBy2Py
    Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 11:55
  • 5
    Distributing an executable binary does not allow reviewers to validate the work the way that distributing source code does. Without source code, all I could say is "Yes, this black box does indeed produce the output that the authors claim for the input that the authors specify".. but I can't say whether the inner workings of that box are valid. (I agree that reviewers are not likely to review source code, but if the author is willing to share code, I would never recommend to only share a binary executable instead!)
    – ff524
    Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 17:19
  • (See this story for example: "When I look at the part of the project which should process the general_input_file, there is a statement which looks like this: if the name of the given input file equals specific_input_file, then return specific_output_file. This is a file inside the project. Otherwise, try to process the generate_input_file and generate general_output_file. At this point the software breaks.")
    – ff524
    Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 17:32
  • 1
    Just because the executable binary works on one computer doesn't mean that it will work on another computer (say, the reviewer's computer), which could be a completely different architecture. Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 18:34
  • 1
    Would a typical reviewer really be so lax about their security as to run random executable binaries? (I am afraid the answer is yes, but I'm still shocked at the suggestion of distributing executable binaries to someone who doesn't know your identity and has no good reason to trust you.) Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 18:36

Though it is good to add your source code reference to your manuscript, I don't suppose citing it in its full form is encouraged as per the double-review guidelines of IEEE Communication Letters. One alternative would be to store it in a temporary cloud location as @ff524 suggested and then cite it anonymously (with Author1, 2... as in the guidelines). Once accepted, you may relocate it to a proper location with appropriate citation in the paper to be published.

Having said the above, this question is better asked to the publisher for a better clarification.

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