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How to Make Your Article Ready for Double-Blind Peer Review: Guide to Prepare Manuscript for Peer Review

Today, many journals use a double-blind peer review system. This means that the identity of the author and reviewer are kept hidden. Read general instructions provided by the journal to know what type of peer-review system does it use. You ought to make your article anonymous if the journal uses a double-blind peer review. This confirms that the reviewers don’t get to know the author, co-author, or the research facility. In short, the process ensures the complete anonymity of the author and reviewers.

How to make your article ready for anonymous peer review?

To facilitate the process, the author needs to make his article absolutely anonymous. This means that the content of the manuscript should not disclose the author’s identity in any possible way. Prepare two models of the manuscript. One model needs to have an author’s information and the other should be anonymized. However, the structural format of the two remains the same.

Below mentioned are some useful guidelines to effectively anonymize your manuscript.

  • Avoid self-citations

Habitually, every author cites his own previous work. However, for the anonymous copy of the manuscript you cannot use self-citations. Instead of using self-citation, cite your work as a third person’s work. This may look a little unusual, but it is the only possible alternative.

  • Pay attention to document properties

The software you are using to write your manuscript may add your information to document properties. This information can easily be found. Take the example of Microsoft Word, you can check this information by clicking ‘FILE’ and then clicking ‘Inspect Document.’ Delete all the information that can disclose your identity. The example given is only for Microsoft Word, the method for other software can be different.

  • Do not mention acknowledgments

Authors usually add acknowledgments to commend the efforts of those who assisted them in their work. But for the anonymized version of the manuscript, you cannot add any acknowledgments. Besides, you should use a statement such as ‘Acknowledgements deleted’ to highlight that no acknowledgments have been mentioned. Moreover, many authors mention acknowledgments in the body text. Make notes if you do so and delete such acknowledgments while preparing the anonymized version of the manuscript.

  • Remove all the dates

It is common to write dates in the manuscript. However, to perfectly anonymize your manuscript you will have to delete all the dates written.

Finally, besides making a copy of the manuscript anonymous, you need to also work on the non-anonymous version of your manuscript. Include every relevant detail. Such as name, E-mail address, funding details, acknowledgments, information of the research facility, detailed references, etc.

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