My conundrum is this:
- I want to write a blog post to commemorate every significant event that happens in my (academic) life as it happens and when it happens. That includes writing a blog post about every paper I submit to a conference or a journal.
- But the review process for conferences and journals is often (but not always) supposed to be "double blind", meaning I am not supposed to know who reviewed my submission and the person reviewing it isn't supposed to know who wrote it (in order to be able to treat it impartially).
- The problem is that when I publish a blog post with the title and the abstract of the text I just submitted, I de-anonymize myself and the process isn't double blind any longer.
I personally don't have a problem with the process being "single blind" rather than "double blind". It's sometimes not very hard to figure out who (or at least which research group) has written a particular article. But my big problem is rather this: what happens if a conference organiser or a journal editor finds out and becomes pissed off at me for flaunting the rules? What if that decreases the chances of my text being accepted to the conference or the journal? What then if I'm not the first author and the article is rejected partly due to my "careless actions"?
But if I don't write a blog post directly after I submit an article, exactly when should I then blog about it? Let's say I submit two articles to a conference. That would - up until now - have result in two blog posts in the week following the submissions. But what if I have to wait for the better part of two or three months only to find out that one article was accepted and the other wasn't. Should I then publish two separate blog posts and state in the blog posts that "this article was accepted" and "this article wasn't accepted" (which is kind of a downer)? Here's what I have decided (for now):
- I will not publish a blog post about every submission from now on (especially if the process is double-blind). This is not because my respect for the double-blindness of the double-blind review process has increased as of lately, but rather just a tactical judgement so as not to decrease the chances of my texts being accepted for publication. I will instead make moment-to-moment decisions about publishing or waiting depending on the venue etc.
- I will however write a blog post directly after I submit a paper, but I will hold on to publishing it until I know whether it's been accepted or not so as not to "interfere" with the review process.
- I will then publish the already-written, waiting-to-be-published blog post. I will not rewrite the blog post except perhaps to add a sentence about its status (accepted/not accepted). I very much want the blog post to retain the post-submission high that captures the "just-submitted-a-text-feeling"
Here's a concrete example:
- I just (less than 12 hours ago) submitted no less than three articles to the upcoming (Denver, May 2017) CHI conference.
- Instead of directly publishing a blog post about one of those articles, I instead publish this text (about not publishing that text!).
- I will still write that blog post - about just having submitted that article - but you won't see it because I will save it as a "draft" that only I can see (in the blog editor mode).
- According to the CHI homepage, the final decision notifications will be disseminated on December 14.
- My then-previously-written blog post (about just now having submitted an article to CHI) will then enter the December stream of blog posts. It will at that time be slightly anachronistic due to just having made a time travel trip the better part of three months into the future - but that's the price that I have to pay to comply with the double-blind review process.
This complicates matters in ways that have to do with the blogpost production pipeline also in other ways. It could be hard to find a(nother) topic to write about right now since I haven't worked with anything very important during the last week except my three CHI submissions. Even should I find topics to write about, I will have to write up such blog posts in parallell to writing up just-having-submitted blog posts that will languish in the blog editor mode for a couple of months. Again, that's the price I will have to pay to keep the sanctity of the double-blindness of the double-blind process and so that's how it's gonna be from now on. Well, at least for now - I might change things later if they don't work out the way I want them to.
All of this is slightly awkward, but what can you do? Well, what can you do? Does someone have any advice or suggestions on this?