Ensuring a Blind Review

Ensuring a Blind Review

To ensure the integrity of the blind peer-review for submission to this journal, every effort should be made to prevent the identities of the authors and reviewers from being known to each other. This involves the authors, editors, and reviewers (who upload documents as part of their review) checking to see if the following steps have been taken with regard to the text and the file properties:

1. To ensure that a manuscript is properly blinded, authors should:

a) Ensure that their manuscript is anonymous and does NOT include any identifying information.

Identifying information includes (but is not limited to):
‐ author names
‐ author institution details
‐ author contact details
‐ ethics approval statements that refer to a specific institution
‐ the names of institutions, participants, or geographic locations involved in studies

Such identifying information should be removed and replaced with “XXX.”

b) Ensure that the third person is used to refer to any work previously undertaken by the author(s). For example, replace any phrases like “as we have shown before” with “has been shown before.” In the list of references treat this type of citation information like any other citation (i.e. do not anonymise it).

c) Ensure that figures do not contain any affiliation related identifiers.

d) Ensure that any references to funding sources are removed.

e) Ensure that the acknowledgments section is blank (if present). Place the content of the acknowledgments at the end of your cover letter.

2. With Microsoft Office documents, author identification should also be removed from the properties for the file.

For Microsoft 2003 and previous versions, and Macintosh versions of Word:

  • Under the File menu select: Save As > Tools (or Options with a Mac) > Security > Remove personal information from file properties on save > Save.

For MacIntosh Word 2008 (and future versions)

1. Under the File menu select "Properties."
2. Under the Summary tab remove all of the identifying information from all of the fields.
3. Save the File.

For Microsoft 2007 (Windows):

1. Click on the office button in the upper-left hand corner of the office application
2. Select "Prepare" from the menu options.
3. Select "Properties" for the "Prepare" menu options.
4. Delete all of the information in the document property fields that appear under the main menu options.
5. Save the document and close the document property field section.

For Microsoft 2010 (Windows):

1. Under the File menu select "Prepare for sharing."
2. Click on the "Check for issues" icon.
3. Click on "inspect document" icon.
4. Uncheck all of the checkboxes except "Document Properties and Personal information".
5. Run the document inspector, which will then do a search of the document properties and indicated if any document property fields contain any information.
6. If the document inspector finds that some of the document properties contain information it will notify you and give you the option to "Remove all," which you will click to remove the document properties and personal information from the document.

For PDF files:

  • With PDFs, the authors' names should also be removed from Document Properties found under File on Adobe Acrobat's main menu.