My colleagues and I are planning to submit to a conference which adopts double-blind review. The deadline of the conference is in 3 weeks. The work we plan to submit is built on our previous work that has just been accepted 2 weeks ago.

The first paper was actually submitted 6 months ago, but it was rejected at the first time. That's why there is only a very small gap of time between the two papers.

We need to cite the first paper, and its title together with the list of authors already appeared in the list of accepted papers on the conference website.

We can try to cite it as somebody else' work. However, any reviewers can conclude that this is the work of the same group. In this case, do we violate the double-blind review policy?

How should we proceed? We desperately want to submit to this conference, waiting should be the very last option.

  • Double blind is a nice idea but it often just doesn't work because in some cases you can figure out pretty easily who did it by looking at the research alone.
    – user64845
    Nov 4, 2017 at 21:53
  • This is a situation that pre-prints can help with, in communities that are ok with it. It helps if the pre-print was up a while ago: you can cite the pre-print and say you build on that work, and then replace the pre-print cite with the conference paper cite in camera-ready. Unfortunately, this requires making the preprint available substantially earlier. Jan 2, 2018 at 17:45

3 Answers 3


I've been in a similar situation before. After consulting with the conference chair, we decided to place an anonymized version of the accepted paper in a dropbox folder and cite it anonymously as our own with a link to that dropbox file in the reference. I also added a footnote in the paper to explain that this previous work is accepted but not yet published, and how this previous work contributed something totally different from the work presented in the paper.


In any case, do not cite your accepted paper as somebody else's work.

I've seen research presented in two parts in Conferences. Ask the organisers about that.

On the other hand, I just found out these guidelines:

  • Use the third person to refer to work the Authors have previously undertaken.

e.g. "...has been shown before [Anonymous, 2007]" instead of "we have shown..."

  • Cite papers published by the Author in the text as follows: ‘[Anonymous, 2007]’.
  • For blinding in the reference list: ‘[Anonymous 2007] Details omitted for double-blind reviewing.’

Other advice is given in this Q&A.

  • 7
    I have never been able to figure out how it can work out to review papers with these guidelines. Either there will be parts that cannot be properly reviewed because they rely on information hidden from the reviewer, or the reviewer does know those things and thus also knows who the authors are. Apr 28, 2016 at 5:31
  • 2
    I think this is the way to go. You can also make a note and say that you can provide the still unpublished paper to the referees if needed. If the paper is really yours you should be able to remove the name from it easily! Apr 28, 2016 at 11:20
  • 2
    The approach described is the general set of guidelines for certain journals, regardless of whether the cited paper has been published. What I don't understand is how it can work in practice to have such guidelines. Apr 29, 2016 at 18:12
  • 1
    @TobiasKildetoft that's my thought. I mean we are using a custom build instrument in most of our research. We published it some time ago and we simply cite it if we need it. If we now write "The instrument described by Whoever et al. [1] was used for..." everyone will know it's our group.
    – user64845
    Nov 4, 2017 at 21:58
  • 1
    Putting too much honest effort in hiding identity can backfire spectacularly. We had a case where we most meticulously avoided indicating that a paper might be our own group's work (although we cited all relevant previous work). The paper was rejected because the reviewer said the "anonymous" we did not make sufficiently clear that we build on our "official" group's work. We did, but the reviewer clearly thought he did the "official" us a favour. Nov 4, 2017 at 22:48

conference which adopts double-blind review.

Just remember that it's always "reasonable effort at being double-blind" rather than actual double-blind and your question becomes moot. You're doing nothing wrong by citing a recent previous paper of yours if it's justifiable on the merits ignoring the question of review.

H-o-w-e-v-e-r - check whether the conference has specific rules about these cases and follow them to the letter.

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