Ensuring a Blind Review

To ensure the integrity of the anonymous peer review process for submission to CMS, every effort should be made to prevent the identities of the authors and reviewers from being known to one another. We request that all authors, editors, and reviewers (who upload documents as part of their review) check to see if the following steps have been taken with regard to their text and file properties.

Checklist for ensuring a blind review

  1. Title (remove any identifying information).
  2. Cite papers published by the Author in the text as follows: (Author, 2020)
  3. Do not eliminate essential self-references or other references but limit self-references only to papers that are relevant for those reviewing the submitted paper.
  4. For anonymizing in the reference list: Author(s). Details omitted for peer review.
  5. Footnotes (remove any identifying information).
  6. Make sure figures and tables, including figure and table labels and captions don't contain any affiliation related identifiers
  7. Remove references to funding sources.
  8. Do not include acknowledgments.
  9. Remove any identifying information from file names.
  10. Ensure document properties are also anonymized.


Ensuring document properties are anonymized

With Microsoft Office documents, author identification should also be removed from the properties for the file (see under File in Word), by clicking on the following, beginning with File on the main menu of the Microsoft application:

  1. File
  2. Save As
  3. Tools (or Options with a Mac)
  4. Security
  5. Remove personal information from file properties on save
  6. Save


Removing revealing information in PDFs

With PDFs, the authors' names should also be removed from Adobe Acrobat's main menu: File > Document Properties