Double Blind Review reveals authors to reviewers

OJS 3.3.0-10

Problem: For a journal that is configured as double blind peer review: When the editor informs the authors about the result of decision on a submission and tickmarks the “Send a copy of this email notification by BCC to the following reviewers” option (see screenshot 1), the e-mails received by the reviewers reveal both the TO: e-mail adresss of the author(s) and the name of the author in the e-mail body to the reviewer (screenshot 2). This isn’t anymore double-blind.

Proposal for a solution:
A different Email template should be used by the system in such a case,
All the mail addresses (authors and reviewers) must be used in the BCC: field only.

Screenshot 1: BCC_to_Reviewer
Screenshot 2: Editor_Decision_to_Reviewer_Mail_merge

Hi @mpbraendle,

Looks like there was some previous discussions about this here: CC other users on Editorial Decision emails - #5 by RickMath

And, there was an effort to move ahead with this despite the risk that editors may reveal an author’s identity: Re-add "blind copy reviewers on editor decision" feature · Issue #4834 · pkp/pkp-lib · GitHub

I’m not sure about future development planned around this - @asmecher may wish to speak to this?

PKP Team

I agree with @mpbraendle that this option is not common at all for many double-blind journals.

I had to hide this option editing its template file, because the journal editors can’t understand why this “trap” was there.

If part of the community want to move ahead with it, is it possible to add an option to manage the visibility of this feature in Setup>Workflow>Review? What’s your opinion about that?

Thanks for your feedback @Michevole,

I’m paging @NateWr to weigh in on the feasibility of developing such an option.

PKP Team

I agree that BCC’ing reviewers on an author email is a bad approach in general, and bound to cause problems. For the next major version (3.4), reviewers can be sent entirely separate notifications. You can see some examples of what the new editorial decision workflow looks like here:

We don’t have plans to revisit how this works in 3.3. However, if there is large enough community interest in addressing this during the 3.3 LTS lifecycle (until Jan 1, 2025), we may consider a change in a future 3.3.0-x line.


Hi @mpbraendle , we are trying to make all first “Feature Request” posts follow the same structure to facilitate the understanding of the petitions and at same time, will ensure no relevant info is missing.

Do you mind to reEdit your fist post following this template:

Describe the problem you would like to solve
Example: Our editors need a way to […]

Describe the solution you’d like
Tell us how you would like this problem to be solved.

Who is asking for this feature?
Tell us what kind of users are requesting this feature. Example: Journal Editors, Journal Administrators, Technical Support, Authors, Reviewers, etc.

Additional information
Add any other information or screenshots about the feature request here.

You can use this post as a reference.

Please don’t answer: As soon as you make the changes, we will remove this post to avoid adding noise to your FR thread.

Thanks for your help.