Sunday, March 2, 2014

Double-"Blind" Refereeing is Misguided in Principle and a Charade in Practice

I view the title of this post as almost self-evident. But lots of do-gooders out there disagree, touting double-blind refereeing as somehow promoting "fairness."

(1) Misguided in principle: One never makes more-informed decisions (or predictions, or inferences, or whatever) by shrinking the information on which they're based. It's that simple.

(2) A charade in practice: It now rarely takes more than a few seconds to identify the author of a "blinded" manuscript. And on the rare occasions when Google can't nail it instantly, the author usually helps in various ways, such as by over-citing himself (whether innocently or strategically).

Whenever I'm requested to review a blinded manuscript, I decline immediately. I simply refuse to participate in the charade. You should too.