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The CHI 2005 Anonymous Submission / Blind Review Policy

The CHI 2005 Papers Submission and Review Process supports anonymous submission and blind reviewing. The intent of this policy is to support authors who wish to be anonymous, but to avoid requiring excessive efforts from authors who, for one reason or another, do not wish for complete anonymity.

The gist of the policy is that authors are required to exclude identifying information (e.g.. names, affiliations, geographical locations) from the title area and headers of their submissions; however, anonymizing the content of the papers is left to the discretion of the authors.

This note explains the rationale for this policy, the requirements for paper submission, and provides optional guidelines for those who wish to produce completely anonymous papers.

The Rationale

We have chosen to require that authors exclude identifying information from the title areas of their submissions, but have left obscuring identity in the content of the submission to their discretion. There are four reasons for this decision. First, it is not easy, and in some cases difficult or impossible, to remove all traces of an authorsí identities, locations, or institutional affiliations from a submission. Examples include descriptions of system use in work places, or design work in which the portrayal of institutional identity is one of its aims. Anonymizing work of this sort may require masking photos, extensive editing of screenshots, careful production of videos, and may, in some cases, obscure core aspects of the submission to its possible detriment in the review process. Second, given the many ways in which identity may be expressed in the body of a submission, it is extremely difficult to uniformly screen submissions for compliance. Third, some authors object to the requirement to anonymize the content of their work either because they donít believe bias is a problem, or because they their style or research program is sufficiently well known that they will be identified anyway, and thus that the work they are being required to do is futile. Fourth, some authors feel that their identity is a legitimate aspect of their work, and object to being required to obscure it.

Anonymization Requirements

Authors are required to exclude identifying information from the title area and headers of their submissions. Thus, do not enter author names, affiliations, or contact information (location, phone, email, etc.) in the title area of the paper. You will asked to be enter this information during the electronic submission process.

Please do NOT try to make your submission anonymous by entering author and contact details in the title area and then blacking it out - the information is still readable when viewing the PDF file

Guidelines for Further Anonymization

If you wish to completely anonymize your paper, you should work through the following checklist:
  • Are authorsí names, etc., revealed in the text of the submission?

    Rather than:
         "In previous work (Smith and Jones, 1999), we observed that..."
         "Smith and Jones (1999) have observed that..."

  • Do screenshots, photos or videos reveal identifying information?

    The presence of names, email addresses, location names, institutional logos,etc. in screenshots, photos or videos can provide identifying information, if it is clear that the submission describes work in the authorsí institution. Eliminating this source of identifying information requires careful attention to producing and editing such materials.

  • Is a large proportion of the references in your bibliography to your own work?

    If a large proportion of the references in your submission are to Salmoth and Billingsgate, many readers will infer that you are Salmoth and Billingsgate. You may wish to remove some references to your other work; they can be added in the final version if your paper is accepted.

  • Do you explicitly or implicitly (by thanking well known colleagues by name) reveal identity in the acknowledgements?

    Saying thanks "to my colleagues at Sneezylabs" or "my doctoral advisor at Euphoric State" may compromise anonymity. It is best not to make acknowledgements in the submission; they can be added if the submission is accepted.

  • Does your submission contain bookmarks?

    Make sure not to leave bookmarks in your submission, since these contain user or organizations names.

  • Does your document file contain meta-information?

    MS-Word and other word processors may generate and store meta-information which will be preserved in the PDF file. Therefore, do not enter any meta-information (author, organization etc.) for your submission file. In Microsoft Word, for instance, you can check whether the system generates such info:
    1. Open the document in MS WORD
    2. From the "File" Menu, select "Properties". If your or your institution's details are revealed in here, delete them before saving the file and converting it to PDF.

  • Does your PDF file contain Meta-Information?

    Check the PDF file for meta-information before submitting it: In Acrobat Reader, Select "Document info" from the "File menu", then "General info". If the filename or author reveal your identity or whereabouts, you can erase them from the original document and convert it again.

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