I am reading a paper in which the author cites his paper in a very explicit form. The reformulation of one of his sentence in the paper was in this form:

I have already made this point in a few papers, within a general framework in (Some Name) (1996) and in a related framework in (Some Name) (1999).

This paper is submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. With this sentence, the author gives an explicit information about his identity and becomes non-anonymous to referees. By the way, he is a well-known guy in his literature.

Is it an acceptable situation ?

ps. I edited the question in order to avoid a confusion. I am just reading the paper and I wanted to know, by curiosity, how a such situation is considered in academia.

  • 17
    A quick note - it sounds like you are reading and not reviewing the paper so I'd like to mention that not all review processes are double-blind. Even when they are, it can sometimes be nearly impossible to have complete author anonymity given the need to have properly cited related work.
    – user58322
    May 10, 2017 at 9:53
  • 2
    I assume it should be "I am reviewing.... this paper is submitted to a journal with double-Blind reviewing" but I'd let the OP confirm and edit. May 10, 2017 at 10:02
  • 7
    In retrospect, I am really not sure whether OP is just reading the paper, reviewing it, or reviewing it for a double-blind journal. Somehow, the question sounds like (s)he is just reading it ("published in a peer-reviewed journal"), but I guess I am not understanding the question then.
    – xLeitix
    May 10, 2017 at 10:50
  • I think that OP is reading a published paper, but is pretending to be a reviewer in order to create an answerable question. In other words, this question turns hypothetical towards the end. It's quite unclearly written, though. @xLeitix.
    – TRiG
    May 10, 2017 at 12:08
  • @TRiG But how would that make sense? The blinding done to disguise the identity of the author is undone upon publication, so why would one expect it to still be there? May 10, 2017 at 12:27

2 Answers 2


If this is in the context of double-blind reviewing, the correct response to this situation is to alert the handling editor or PC chair to this situation. Different venues are differently strict about double blind reviews, so the response to the situation may vary between "well, we don't care if the authors wants to reveal himself" to a reject and resubmit (without the incriminating statement and a new set of reviewers). However, which of those it is is not your decision as a reviewer.

If this is not in the context of double-blind reviewing, you are aware of the identity of the authors anyway, and this statement gives you no additional information.

If you are just reading the paper (and not reviewing), as implied by the wording of your question, then I don't understand the issue. Published papers generally have publicly visible authors, and it is not clear that the incriminating wording was already visible during review. For instance, in many software engineering venues that nowadays use double-blind reviewing, it is customary to "blank" self-citations and to slightly change the phrasing for the review version to make sure that identities are not, or at least not obviously, revealed. This can then be changed back for the camera-ready version.

  • 2
    It might even not have been in there, but a reviewer asked why Some Name's work has not been mentioned, as it is relevant and so Some Name added that sentence after review (where it is not relevant any more that they are their own).
    – skymningen
    May 10, 2017 at 12:39

To pick up a necroposting, if this was not a review situation, this is fully valid.

I typically define a flag if the paper is anonymous or not, and include things like acknowledgements in the non-anonymous version only. If the anonymous wording in the paper sounds strange and I'd know no better, I'd also have two versions of this sentence, one anonymous but clumsy for the peer-review and one non-anonymous and better sounding in case of acceptance.

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