Policy on Reviewer Anonymity

Created: 19 November 2003
Last Updated: 22 January 2018

The form of reviewing for all ACM journals and transactions, as well as for some magazines, is a single-blind peer review. The "Rights and Responsibilities in ACM Publishing" policy assures that ACM will maintain the anonymity of reviewers. Editors and administrators of ACM publications must keep the identities of all reviewers of particular manuscripts hidden from authors, other reviewers, and the public. To facilitate this, reviewers access and perform their review of the text via a manuscript submission system, and their identities are not released. Identities of reviewers may be divulged to members of a publication's Editorial Board or to ACM staff as needed to solicit expert advice in special circumstances. In such cases, identities of a reviewer may also be made known to other reviewers of the same manuscript, provided that the consent of all affected reviewers is obtained. Reviewers must also maintain the confidentiality of reviewer identities, as well as the reviews themselves, that are communicated to them at any time.

An exception to the anonymity policy is made in the case of review of conference submissions by a program committee. It is permissible to make reviews and the identity of reviewers visible to the entire program committee, provided that all committee members and solicited reviewers are notified in advance of this practice. (A further exception occurs when a program committee member is also an author. Names of reviewers can never be disclosed to the author.) ACM is opposed to any attempt by authors to determine their reviewer's identities, and will not engage in any speculation regarding this.

This policy does not prevent the simple listing of all reviewers of a particular volume or proceedings without reference to particular manuscripts for the purpose of acknowledgement, or the appearance of reviewers names in a composite database for use by the editors.

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