Geophysics shifts to double-blind review process

The change from single- to double-blind review aims at reducing positive or negative bias that might affect the review process.

Tulsa, OK, 15 March 2018 – Geophysics, the flagship journal of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, began using a double-blind review process as of 1 January 2018.

Editors began discussion in 2015 about moving from single-blind review, in which reviewers know the identities of authors but authors don’t know who reviews their papers. In double-blind review, editors know the identities of all parties, but author names and affiliations are not revealed to the reviewers, and reviewers are anonymous unless they choose to be identified by signing their reviews.

Editors proposed the change from single- to double-blind review with the aim of reducing as much as possible either positive or negative bias that might affect the review process. After thorough evaluation and an author survey, editors decided in September 2017 to introduce double-blind review beginning with papers submitted on or after 1 January 2018. This is not an optional process. All authors must submit a separate title page and make efforts to conceal their identities and those of funders within their text, including withholding the Acknowledgments section until the paper is accepted. The journal’s Instructions to Authors have been updated to reflect the new instructions.

"When we started the discussion about moving to a double-blind review process, I was one of the editors who was slightly skeptical about the need for this move,” said Geophysics Editor-in-Chief Valentina Socco. “The discussion stimulated me to read scientific studies and to get information from another geoscience journal that adopts double blind review, and I realized that we can all be victims of unconscious and unwanted bias sometimes. The discussion and evaluations of the pros and cons have been very thorough, and, after two years, the final decision was unanimous. 

“We will carefully monitor the effect of this move that, up to now, seems to be very smooth. We are convinced that double-blind review will further improve the quality of our review process and help maintain the high standard that Geophysics authors and readers expect and deserve."

Geophysics  is an archival journal published by SEG since 1936 and encompasses all aspects of research, exploration, and education in applied geophysics. Geophysics articles, generally more than 325 per year in six issues, cover the entire spectrum of geophysical methods, including seismology, potential fields, electromagnetics, and borehole measurements. Geophysics provides theoretical and mathematical tools needed to reproduce depicted work, encouraging further development and research.


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