I have long been a proponent of double-blind reviewing. People suffer from expectation bias, and double-blind reviewing is a tried and true approach to combat it. I adopted double-blind reviewing when I co-chaired VEE 2010 and just recently for WoDet 3, and have decided to take a stand to sway more program committees to implement it. Join me!
When asked to serve on a PC, agree only if double-blind reviewing is used.
This approach doesn’t always work, but the fact is that most program chairs simply had not considered it and are happy to adopt it. My advisor Kathryn McKinley‘s case for double-blind and Mike Hicks‘ fantastic FAQ on the topic make excellent ammunition. I suggested it to Todd Mowry and he implemented it for ASPLOS 2011; P. Sadayappan did the same for PPoPP 2012 (I am grateful to both for their patience!)
But there has been some backsliding; double-blind reviewing is not going to be used for POPL 2013, despite the overwhelmingly positive response of the POPL 2012 committee members.
So the next time you get asked to serve on a PC, at least bring it up. Let’s help make this a standard practice across our community.