Please Note I am asking how to cite a paper under blind-reviewed in an accepted paper, NOT a new paper to be submitted.


  • First, I submitted paper A that requires double-blind review.
  • Then, I cite it in another paper B. (In paper B, I explained that paper A is not available since it is under a double-blind review process)
  • Paper B is accepted while paper A is still under review.
  • Now I have to submit the camera ready version of Paper B before the notification of Paper A.

Solution I

Put my blind review article into a pre-print archive (e.g. arXiv) so that it can be available for citing. But, would it "spoil" the blind review process?

Solution II

place an anonymized version of paper A in a dropbox folder and cite it with a link to that dropbox file in the reference. (Inspired by dsfgsho's answer to Double-blind review: submit a follow-up paper in a very short time)

What's the better solution? Is there any other solutions?

Related Questions:

  • 13
    Solution III: ask the editor? Jun 2, 2017 at 12:36
  • 1
    Forget the dropbox thing. For the citation to be relevant, it has to be traced to the published version of paper A once that is available. Preprints published on arXiv should be automatically identified with their printed version (appearing later) by good citation databases.
    – Walter
    Jun 2, 2017 at 15:37
  • The first post you're linking (Citing an article ...) is an exact duplicate. If I had enough rep, I would vote for closing this post for this reason.
    – Walter
    Jun 2, 2017 at 15:41
  • 2
    @Walter, I disagree this is a duplicate, though it is related. The OP points out this is for a published version and not a submission. For a submission it's totally appropriate to say "under submission" for a related paper. For the publication, that would not be appropriate. // My own sense is that if the publication of B predates the acceptance (or not) of A, then B just shouldn't cite A. "A" does not yet exist. If it's important to cite it, then I'd use arXiv. But I like the "ask the editor or program chair" approach. Jun 2, 2017 at 17:29
  • Let me note that solution II still gives away the fact that the authors of A and B at least have a substantial overlap. So you're not really anonymizing the dropbox folder version. Jun 3, 2017 at 11:00

3 Answers 3


While something is under review, it's in an indeterminate state and might not survive the review process. Once something is published, all of its critical supporting references need to be available.

Thus, I believe that the correct approach here depends on whether paper B actually depends on paper A, or if it's just a "related work" (e.g., "In Paper A, we solved a different problem from the same family of problems."):

  • If Paper B depends on Paper A, then I think you have no choice: put a preprint of Paper A into arXiv (or similar), and hope it doesn't hurt the blind review process---and in most cases it probably won't.

  • If citation of Paper A is only a "nice to have" for related work, then I would instead suggest simply dropping the citation, since the related work has not yet come into being. When I had much the same thing happen to me, I ended up following the second route, which was the right thing to do.

Nothing, however, can protect you entirely from the vagaries of the scientific publication process: in my own case, the first version of my Paper A was rejected partly because the reviewers took so long that they ended up complaining that I didn't cite my Paper B in it!


Reason is very simple: You don't do that, because you don't even have bibliographical info about your paper that is under the review. You don't even know if it will be accepted at all!

There is a very well known paper in my field, cited more than tens of times, from a top journal. The problem? Paper was never published, but somehow the authors managed to cite themselves or make the paper available online, along with the name of the journal where it was under review. Created hell of a confusion.

So the only decent solution would be, depending on your field, perhaps putting the paper up as technical report (if it is not under double blind review, otherwise you will violate double blind review concept) and cite that.


You can cite your work as an unpublished result, see e.g. http://academicanswers.waldenu.edu/faq/72964

(related to Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association)

Unpublished research includes work in progress, work submitted for publication but not yet published, or work that has been completed but not submitted for publication.

You will cite unpublished work the same as you would published work, with the author’s last name and the year the work is in progress or was completed.

  • NO. You don't do that! Not if subject to double blind review! You have to take care that you cite yourself as a 3rd person in a very neutral tone that will NOT reveal that you are actually citing yourself. Now, if the paper is under review, only authors would know that and then even this does not help. The question here is not "unpublished work" but double blind review rules!
    – xmp125a
    Feb 15, 2019 at 12:46
  • @xmp125a I understand your consern, but the reference to own, unpublished results does not violate the blind review, as there is a difference between the results you have obtained in your study, and the (attempt) to publish them. In my opinion, you own the results, and the journal (more or less) owns the published work. I realise that it is not, in practise, so clear-cut as I have descibed here.
    – Stefan
    Feb 15, 2019 at 12:53

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