Our books

Become a Fan

« Publishing two-part papers? | Main | Philosophy Journal Insight Project »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

a classic

I was in the same situation as the OP, and I encountered a different problem. I used the first option (cite your own work as a third party). But the paper was rejected because, according to one reviewer, it was relying too much on other people's work, and it was not original enough. Moreover, I was also told that I was mischaracterizing my own view, but that's a classic, I guess

Richard Yetter Chappell

I think the first option (cite yourself in the third person) is completely fine. It doesn't formally violate anonymity, and I don't think there's any reason to speculate about what referees may or may not infer about my identity from how I argue.

Compare: I might have such quirky interests that literally nobody other than me would write on topic X. But it doesn't violate anonymity for me to submit a (formally anonymized) paper on X.

There's a separate question whether referees will be willing to accept the paper if it relies on assumptions that they disagree with. I think they *ought* to, if the assumptions are tolerably reasonable (and defended elsewhere), and -- most importantly -- the new paper makes significant and interesting progress on the basis of those assumptions. But many referees fail to understand their job, so who knows. Good luck.

Bill Vanderburgh

How about this? "In earlier work, I argued that Y [reference removed for blind review]. This paper builds off Y by arguing X."


OP here. a classic: that's so annoying, sorry to hear. Thanks to Richard Yetter Chappell and Bill Vanderburgh for their very helpful suggestions. Bill's suggestion also removes the worries regarding relying so much on other people's work. Both options risk outing myself, but I guess there is no way around that.

Tyler Hildebrand

The method Bill mentions has downsides. It makes your identity obvious to many qualified referees. And if it doesn't, they won't be able to consult the cited work, which they might need to do to offer a recommendation.

Third-person anonymizing is the way to go.


I am sorry to sound harsh, but I think third-person citation is the proper way to go. We will just have to accept the criticism (if it occurs) that the paper relies too much on other people (or other work, including one's own), just like any other criticisms. It shouldn't matter who wrote that paper you are citing. I am an early career who struggle with similar issues, but I never adopted Bill's strategy. I just try, and sometimes unsuccessfully, to make the paper independently interesting and have enough original content.


actually, I would like to add that some journals do not allow Bill's strategy. (I can't remember which ones)

what happened (twice) was that I cited my under-review work in this way "I have argued in [anonymized] that..." and the draft was returned because of this.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Subscribe to the Cocoon

Job-market reporting thread

Current Job-Market Discussion Thread

Philosophers in Industry Directory


Subscribe to the Cocoon