Misunderstanding of the Concept of Double-Blind Peer Review


Single-blind peer review is a conventional method of peer review where the authors do not know who the reviewers are. However, the reviewers know who the authors are. Whereas, double-blind peer review, is when neither authors nor reviewers know each other’s name or affiliations.

The 2017 Web Search and Data Mining conference provided a good opportunity to experiment this theory. In Computer Science, papers often appear first (or exclusively) in peer-reviewed conferences. The program committee decided to randomly split its reviewers into two groups. One would serve as double-blind peer reviewers. The other as single-blind peer reviewers. The experiment would help decide which approach might have more bias.

The authors found that there were differences between the review groups. All reviewers had access to paper titles and abstracts. Based on this, reviewers indicated which papers they wanted to review. The single-blind reviewers requested to review 22 % fewer papers. Single-blind reviewers were also more likely to choose papers from top universities or IT companies to review. They were also more likely to give a positive review to papers with a famous author.

Single-blind reviewers have access to the authors’ names and institutions. The study indicates that author institution had a significant influence on single-blind reviewers’ decisions to bid for a paper. There was no detected bias against female authors for this conference. A metareview combining this conference’s data with other studies indicated that there was a significant bias against female authors.

The Web Search and Data Mining conference experiment show that single-blind reviewers use information about authors and institutions in their reviews. It could be that this information is helping the reviewers make better judgments. It could also be that this is putting work from non-prestigious institutions and authors at a disadvantage. Two papers of equal value may be rated differently by single-blind reviewers based on who wrote the paper.

Source: https://www.enago.com/academy/double-blind-peer-review-for-better-or-for-worse/

We would like to point out that the journals of our publishing house PC TECHNOLOGY CENTER practice double-blind reviewing:

– «Eastern-European Journal of Enterprise Technologies»

– «Technology audit and production reserves»

– «ScienceRise: Medical Science»

– «ScienceRise: Pedagogical Education»

– «ScienceRise: Pharmaceutical Science»

– «ScienceRise: Biological Science»

– «ScienceRise: Juridical Science» 

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