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I am writing a conference paper of the first time, and the conference I am targeting requires anonymized submissions for the peer review. But at the same time, we (as in, my research group) are required to acknowledge the grants and support of our funding agency in all our publications. Plus, I also need to refer to a previous work of our group.

Is it appropriate for me to leave out the acknowledgements section and the reference to my work while sending the paper for review, but add these details later on if and when the paper gets accepted?

Is appropriate to add details (the acknowledgments section, for instance) which were not a part of the paper when it went for review?

I could think of this as the only way to satisfy all concerns. Are there better suggestions from more experienced people in academia?

  • Regarding your latest edit, did you you mean Is it fair enough to add details (the acknowledgments section, for instance) which were not a part of the paper after it went for review? – scaaahu Apr 19 '13 at 9:34
  • @scaaahu I meant exactly what I wrote. ... which were not a part of the paper when... – pnp Apr 19 '13 at 9:42
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You're required to acknowledge grants and grant agencies in your publications. Right now, all you have is a submission. If and when the submission becomes a publication will be the time to add the grant information in, especially if the venue has a strong anonymization policy for submissions.

  • If the OP submits the paper to a jounal, when the submission becomes a publication would not be an issue. Would it be a problem when the OP submits the paper to a conference? – scaaahu Apr 19 '13 at 7:51
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    I don't understand. the paper has to be accepted either way. That's when it becomes a publication. – Suresh Apr 19 '13 at 7:56
  • If it's a journal, somebody(editor, copy editor,etc) can add the Acknowdgement back in. Who is going to take care of that for a conference? – scaaahu Apr 19 '13 at 8:00
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    hmm. In my area, the authors do all of this. In a conference, the paper is accepted and then you're expected to produce a "final version" which is when you insert the information. – Suresh Apr 19 '13 at 8:03
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    I would preface this answer with the sentence: Yes. It's not only appropriate, but also necessary. – JeffE Apr 19 '13 at 17:17
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I would go about it slightly differently. I would write the manuscript as you wish it to appear and then redact any identifying information. The redaction process should given a sense of what has been redacted without revealing the identity of the authors. See for example: https://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/41995/efficient-ways-to-anonymize-a-document.

In summary I would not leave the acknowledgement section out, but would rather do:

Author XXX was funded by XXX and Author XXX was funded by XXX. We thank XXX for help with the fancy piece of hardware.

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To your best ability, you should remove all identifying information for the blind review. This includes removing author names and affiliations, avoiding phrases such as "in our previous work," and removing acknowledgements. During the camera-ready portion of the review process (should your paper be accepted), you will add in that information. You'll almost certainly have to make some changes to the paper, so if you are concerned about leaving space for an acknowledgements section, don't be, as you can't really predict the exact text right now.

As for referring to your previous work, make it as anonymous as you can. In general, you should refer to your other work as if it was any other work--i.e., don't link it directly to yourself at all. Although it may sound odd for an author to talk about himself/herself as if he or she was a different person, it's acceptable and expected in academia.

  • p.s. Good luck with your first submission! – Chris Gregg Apr 19 '13 at 4:54
  • I think the OP's main concern is how to add the personal information back? – scaaahu Apr 19 '13 at 5:35
  • @scaaahu is that it? I think the question needs to be edited if that's the case; I read it to mean "should I take it out?" because of "Is it fair enough that I leave out the acknowledgements section..." – Chris Gregg Apr 19 '13 at 5:43
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    @scaaahu Again, I think it needs clarification -- "we are required" could mean "we" as in, (1) researchers in general, or (2) my research group, or (3) my university. I don't see the issue being about how to add the information, but if it is okay to leave it out for the blind review. – Chris Gregg Apr 19 '13 at 7:08
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    Chris and @scaaahu - I am not sure if I follow your comments, but I would say what both of you are saying is right. Yes my question was- is it fair to leave out acknowledgements etc. for the blind review, and is it fair to add things (i.e., the acknowledgments etc.)to the paper which were not there when it was reviewed. I have edited my question as well, and I hope it will be clearer to future readers. Pardon my naivety but this is the first time I am experiencing something called a blind review !! – pnp Apr 19 '13 at 9:23

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