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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 prepare two copies of the manuscript for submission. One file will need to have all your author details included, and one will need to be anonymized. Both versions should include the title, abstract, body, and references.

Tips for anonymizing your manuscript:

  1. Don’t mention any grants or acknowledgments in the anonymous version of your manuscript. You can provide these in the non-anonymous version, and you may also be asked to provide funding information separately during submission.
  2. Don’t add any page headers or footers that would identify you.
  3. Avoid, or try to minimize, any self-citation. If you have cited your own work, 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)”.
    (If you’re unable to avoid referring to self-cited work in the first person, then delete the author names, or other identifying information (such as your institution) and replace it with [author(s)] in the text. In the reference list, delete the citation, and use a placeholder [author(s)].)
  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

Made your article anonymous? Don’t forget to also provide a non-anonymous version of your manuscript containing author names, institutions, and email addresses; acknowledgements; funding information; and complete references. We’ll need this for publication.