Blind refereeing – request for info

Here’s something you don’t learn in grad school – probably because it isn’t an issue until after you’ve been publishing for a bit. When submitting a paper, you make it suitable for blind review. Usually, that’s really easy: just delete self-references, your name, acknowledgements (well, the latter isn’t always done – but I think it should be), etc. But what if you’re responding to a paper that is itself responding to you? Do you still need to prepare it for blind review? That would be much more work and might significantly change the tone of the paper, because while you might say things like ‘I was unclear: what I meant was . . .’ or ‘X has misunderstood me’ or ‘I would respond thus . . .’, you would have to hedge everything: ‘perhaps Cameron meant . . .’, ‘Cameron might respond’, etc. I’d be interested to hear from people who have experience of writing such replies whether that’s what they do or whether they ignore the request to prepare the paper for blind refereeing in such cases (or whether they do something else).


2 responses to “Blind refereeing – request for info

  1. I did have a case like this fairly recently. I prepared it for blind refereeing. It seemed sorta’ silly. But I did it anyway. Often ‘reply to reply’ cases involve some negotiation with a journal (since some journals do not seem interested and others have special requirements for such cases–e.g., limits on word counts). I might just ask your target journal.

  2. I have gotten in the habit of doing two things. First, I refer to my work the way that I refer to the work of others. Second, I write about the issues and not about the people who hold them. After all, what should be important is the subject matter and not the protagonists debating that subject matter. Sounds simple, but both will drastically affect the narrative you construct. And the issue you raise won’t arise…

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