Need to publish results of one my research in a journal. Springer’s manuscript guidelines prompt me to make a blinded manuscript containing no author information, but links in the References section (this one and to my images published with explicitly advertized authorship) quickly reveal who the author is.

Should the author
 formally obey the blindness rule and ignore its silliness in the conditions given,
 or replace such references (at least for the peer-review time) with some stuff included directly,
 or what?

Would it be acceptable to hold the paper/preprint accessible by URL (especially with links from third-party sites) during expected peer review?

  • How can references and credited images unblind a paper? Anyone can cite your papers or (with your permission) use your images.
    – JeffE
    Aug 11, 2017 at 12:42
  • Possibly something along the lines of: "In previous work [citation with author's names], we did X" Aug 11, 2017 at 12:52
  • 1
    A single point of data, but both times I've read a blinded manuscript and gone "I clearly know who the author is" I've been wrong. One was especially embarrassing as I knew the author who actually wrote the paper.
    – Fomite
    Aug 11, 2017 at 21:08

1 Answer 1


I have reviewed papers, where some of the references are blinded as well. So that is one way of doing it, and that certainly happens. Sometimes the authors and the journal are more lax. There are pros and cons to blind reviewing, but if a journal chooses to use blind reviewing, then I would prefer it be done consistently. However, if, after carefully reading the materials for the authors, you are still unsure what to do, then you can always contact the editor about this.

  • 2
    Blinding references seems very dubious as it makes it impossible for the referees to check claims about those references. I guess that wouldn't be a problem in cases such as "Widget theory has become an important area of study in recent years [4,16-18,26]" but what are you supposed to do in cases such as "It has been shown that reticulated widgets are no more powerful [12], so we only consider simple widgets here." On the one hand, any widget theorist is going to know what paper [12] is anyway; on the other hand, if it's some obscure paper, the referees will want to check what it really says. Aug 11, 2017 at 12:39
  • Sure, there is a trade-off. In cases like that the editor has to decide what is more important: maintaining the blind review process or allowing the reviewer to have access to all the reference at the price of revealing the author. My take on that is that there is no use having a policy of blind reviews and only partially enforce it. That is not bad: the reviewers are "only" advising the editor, and you can only expect the advisors to advise on stuff they can see. So the editor can take that into account, and will have to check that part him or herself when making her or his final decision. Aug 11, 2017 at 14:25
  • @DavidRicherby I agree with your fact on blinded references. Recently, I received peer review comments from a conference. In our paper, we had blanked ['?'] few of our own recent publications that the present work extends on. The referee was ironic in their comments and said: "the introduction section is written in such a way that the authors seem casual and can be seen from the fact that the references are ignored."
    – Coder
    Aug 12, 2017 at 3:28
  • 1
    @Coder A citation to [?] looks like you screwed up the LaTeX, which probably explains those comments. Aug 12, 2017 at 8:00

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