I am applying for some kind of Visa. Part of the application is to prove my contributions to the research community and one of these contributions is the list of papers I reviewed. Not just the number of articles but the titles, emails from editors inviting me, screenshots from editorial management websites, etc. I feel uncomfortable doing so where these reviews were intended to be anonymous. Is it unethical to do so? Is it a bad thing to do? Should I refuse to do so and just include the number of articles I reviewed per journal/conference?

Update: I have consulted a lawyer and she said that "there should not be any privacy issues with that, at least to what I am aware of".

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    This seems like an unreasonable request. Providing names of journals and editors and anonymized screenshots/email seems ok, though (although I haven't heard of such a request before). Who requests such information? – Dirk Nov 5 '16 at 1:54
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    It seems like whoever is asking this has a poor understanding of the academic publishing process. Reviews are anonymous and should stay so unless they are disclosed by the journal. – Cape Code Nov 5 '16 at 6:28
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    @emory "Bizarre"? – xLeitix Nov 5 '16 at 7:49
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    @CapeCode This may be so, but I doubt that this observation is helpful to the OP. Visa processes are from the applicant's side pretty much always "abide by the rules or don't get a visa", there usually is very little wiggle room to negotiate, explain, or clarify. – xLeitix Nov 5 '16 at 7:51
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    I don't really see a problem, personally. It's not like your identity as a reviewer is some critical state secret, it's just information that shouldn't be spread unnecessarily. Presumably you can trust the visa office to keep these titles confidential, just like you have to trust them with your bank records, passport, etc. – Nate Eldredge Nov 6 '16 at 5:48

I believe that this sort of disclosure can be ethical, especially to a neutral third party, and when only discussing papers that have already been accepted and/or published elsewhere. (Papers still in the process somewhere else might be different.). Anonymity of referees isn't a deep ethical good in its own right - it has very clear and specific reasons, and this doesn't seem like a relevant violation.

Consider the reasons why referees are often given anonymity: 1) to allow referees to give honest feedback without fear of (real or imagined) retaliation, 2) to encourage authors to engage with the referee's arguments, not their personality or status, 3) to avoid the appearance/possibility of quid pro quo reviews, and 4) to ensure that broader perceptions of the article are not influenced by knowledge of its referees.

None of these problems would occur by giving the names of articles to a (I'm going to assume) completely uninterested immigration clerk. If you want to be very conscientious, google your contact to make sure they aren't doing immigration processing to make ends meet while an adjunct professor :)

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It's just unethical, but, no one will be mad if you reveal those details, provided that the papers are already been published.

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