The HST peer review process will move to a double-anonymous review process, in which authors’ identities are concealed from both review panel members and TAC members. Provided here are guidelines to assist proposers in preparing their proposals, specifically their PDF Submissions, to help conceal the identities of the proposers, and insure a fairer proposal evaluation process. See the Anonymizing Proposal Reviews Working Group Home site for information in the working group that compiled these guidelines, and the FAQ on Anonymizing Proposal Reviews for more general information on this change. A similar page gives Reviewer Guidelines for the same purposes. Please send questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The anonymous review does not mean proposals will be accepted from anonymous sources. As with previous cycles, proposers must still enter the names and affiliations of all investigators into the APT system. APT will not include names or affiliations in the versions generated for the reviews.
While APT will largely obscure the proposing teams identities in cover materials, it will not change or alter information contained in the PDF submission. it is also necessary for proposers to take additional steps to further anonymize their PDF attachment before it is uploaded to APT. Below are some guidelines to follow to do this:
- Do not include author names or affiliations anywhere in the PDF attachment. This includes but is not limited to, page headers, footers, diagrams, figures, or watermarks. This does not include references to past work, which should be included whenever relevant (see below).
- Referencing is an essential part of demonstrating knowledge of the field and progress. When citing references within the proposal, use third person neutral wording when possible. This especially applies to self-referencing. For example, replace phrases like “as we have shown in our previous work (Doe et al. 2010)” with “as Doe et al. (2010) showed...”. Do not refer to previous campaigns using HST or other observatories in an identifying fashion. For instance, rather than write "we observed another cluster, similar to the one we are proposing under HST program #XXXXX," instead write "HST program #XXXXX has observed this target in the past..."
- Do not include acknowledgements, or the source of any grant funding.
- Check that no author information is included in the metadata that is automatically created by many word processing programs. In many common programs, like Word or Acrobat Reader, this information can be displayed (and edited) in the “File” tab, under “properties.”
It takes some effort by authors to anonymize their PDF submissions. As the guidelines show, grammar and structure are expected to be different than in previous HST submissions. Take sufficient time to prepare the manuscript, especially if one plans to resubmit a proposal from a previous cycle or other submissions.
It make take more effort to describe past work in the field, and how this proposal will improve or build upon that past work. Some tactics might include:
- Discussing the state sample goals or statistical completeness, and how this work will fit in.
- The uniqueness of the sample, goals in comparison to similar work.