Anonymous peer review

How to make your article anonymous, ready for peer review

Before submitting your article, you may need to make it anonymous if your chosen journal uses double-blind peer review (you can check the instructions for authors to see if this is the case). This is to ensure that reviewers won’t be able to identify you, your co-authors, or the institution where the research was carried out, ensuring that the review process is as objective as possible.

What to do

You will need to have two files ready to upload to the online submission system or email to the editor (depending on how the journal asks you to submit your paper).

One article will need to have all your author details included, and one will need to be anonymized (please ensure that both versions have the title at the top). For the anonymous version, you will need to replace any information that would identify you or your co-author(s) with [author(s)].

Other tips to follow are:

  1. Don’t mention any grants or acknowledgments awarded to a named person (you’ll be able to add this later).
  2. Don’t add any page headers or footers that would identify you.
  3. Make sure you’ve referred to your own references in the third person, e.g., write “Smith and Black (2007) have demonstrated” not “We have previously demonstrated (Smith & Black, 2007)”.
  4. You will need to check that all identifiers have been removed from files such as MicrosoftTM Word® documents. Personal or hidden information is stored in File Properties, which you can edit or remove using these steps:

Tools→ Options → Security tab → File properties → Remove personal information → Save

  1. Avoid, or try to minimize, any self-citation. If you have cited your own work, delete the author names, and any other identifying information (such as your institution). Replace it with [author(s)]. In the reference list, delete the citation, and make a note to add it back in before submitting your final draft. You can also use a placeholder [author(s)] in the reference list.
Made your article anonymous? Don’t forget that before submitting your final article, ready for publication, you will need to put any references to yourself, your institution, grants awarded, etc., back in.