Anonymous peer review

How to make your article ready for double-anonymous peer review

Before submitting your article, you may need to make it anonymous if your chosen journal uses double-anonymous 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.

How to make your article anonymous

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

  • 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.

  • Don’t add any page headers or footers that would identify you.

Vector illustration of a female character holding a large magnifying glass and smiling.
  • 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. For example, “Smith and Black (2007) have demonstrated” – not “We have previously demonstrated (Smith & Black, 2007)”.

    Please note, 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)].

  • Remove any clinical trial numbers and registration dates from the anonymized version of your manuscript.

  • You will need to check that all identifiers have been removed from files such as MicrosoftTM Word® documents. Make sure you are working from a saved copy of your manuscript as once you remove this data, it may not be recoverable.

Article submission and peer review free guide

More tips for Windows users

  • In the copy of your original document, click the ‘File’ tab, and then click ‘Info’.

  • Click ‘Check for Issues’, and then click ‘Inspect Document’.

  • In the ‘Document Inspector’ dialog box, select the check boxes to choose the types of hidden content that you want to be inspected.

  • Click ‘Inspect’.

  • Review the results of the inspection in the ‘Document Inspector’ dialog box.

  • Click ‘Remove All’ next to the inspection results for the types of hidden content that you want to remove from your document.

Make your article anonymous - screenshot of Word Inspect your document

More tips for Mac user

  • Click on ‘Tools’.

  • Click ‘Protect document’.

  • Click ‘Remove personal information’ from this file upon save.

Made your article anonymous?

Don’t forget to also provide a non-anonymous version of your manuscript containing: author details (names, institutions, and email addresses), acknowledgements, funding information, details of any clinical trial registrations, and complete references.

We’ll need this for publication.