Anonymizing Your Manuscript Submission

What is anonymization and why is it important?

In an effort to reduce biases in academic publishing, many peer-reviewed scholarly journals follow double-blind or double-anonymized peer review processes. In double-blind peer review, authors don't know the identity of the reviewers for their paper, and the reviewers do not know the identity of authors. Having authors strip identifying information from their manuscript submissions can help reduce unconscious bias in the peer-review process and, ultimately, help make publishing more equitable and objective.

How do I know if a journal requires an anonymous version of my manuscript?

Each journal that uses Scholastica for peer review operates according to its own best practices, including setting its own standards around manuscript blinding/anonymization. For this reason, it's imperative that authors check a journal's manuscript formatting guidelines before submitting to ensure they are following the exact requirements of that journal. When authors follow journal submission guidelines, it helps editorial teams send papers through peer review more efficiently without unnecessary delays. If you have questions about a journal's submission guidelines, please email that journal before submitting using the contact information found on the Home or About page of its Scholastica submission site.

How do I anonymize my manuscript?

Before you submit to a journal that conducts blinded/anonymized peer review, you'll need to make an anonymized copy of your manuscript. Anonymizing your manuscript means removing your name, the names of any co-authors, your institutions, and any other factors that could indicate who wrote the manuscript.

Steps for anonymizing your manuscript before submission:

  1. Remove authorship information (name, institution, titles) from the anonymized version of your manuscript file. If you’ve been asked to include a supplementary biographical file or C.V., you may leave the biographical details in those supplementary files and just remove the identifying information from the manuscript itself.
  2. Don’t mention grants or acknowledgements — those can be added to the manuscript prior to publication. If you have removed acknowledgements, thanks, or grants, replace them with something brief to indicate their removal, like “Acknowledgements removed”.
  3. Avoid, or try to minimize, self-citation. If citing your own work is unavoidable, make sure you make your references using the third person. For example: “Flores and Nagy (2014) have demonstrated”, rather than “as we previously demonstrated…(Flores & Nagy, 2014)”. 

  4. If you edited your manuscript using Track Changes, avoid unintentionally distributing hidden information, such as the document author and names associated with comments/changes, by removing hidden Track Change data. Scholastica cannot strip this data for you. All the revisions that were made to a document while the Track Changes feature was turned on remain part of a document until they are accepted or rejected. All comments that were inserted remain in the document until deleted. Need help with this step? Here are a couple of links to help you: