A reviewer's attitude toward a submission may be affected, even unconsciously, by the identity of the author. We want reviewers to be able to approach each submission without such involuntary reactions as ``Peyton Jones; he writes a good paper'' or ``Who are these people? I have never heard of them.'' For this reason, we ask that you omit your names from your submission, and that you avoid revealing your identity through citation.
Different conferences handle double-blind review differently. For ICFP, most of the burden is on the reviewers; the burden placed on you, the author, is light:
Your part should be simple: omit authors' names from your title page (or list them as ``omitted for submission''), and when you cite your own work, please make it difficult to figure out exactly who you are, even if a reviewer might be able to make a good guess. For example, if your name is Smith and you have worked on amphibious type systems, instead of saying ``We extend our earlier work on statically typed toads (Smith 2004),'' you might say ``We extend Smith's (2004) earlier work on statically typed toads.'' If anonymizing your submission isn't easy, please ask the program chair for help.
Our part is to arrange that reviews of your submission are written by reviewers who do not know your identity. Once all reviews are written, your identity will be revealed to the program committee. This procedure makes it possible for the committee to understand the entire context of your work as well as to perform such necessary tasks as checking for dual submissions.
If you are curious about details, here are the organizers' thoughts:
The bundling mechanism is not limited to technical reports. If you find it appropriate, you may bundle your paper with source code or even web pages—just please remove evidence of your identity. (find and sed are your friends.)
For example, suppose that you have previously worked on the Fungol system, and now you have developed a static type-checking algorithm for it. It is perfectably acceptable for you to say ``Building on our experience implementing the Fungol system, we realized that static type checking would be easy.'' We want you to be able to demonstrate that you are an expert in the Fungol system. We recognize that if Fungol is well known and there are not many Fungol developers, your identity may well be revealed to some reviewers. When you cite those earlier Fungol papers, however, please leave your names out of the citation. That way you preserve the element of doubt, at least for those reviewers who aren't certain who's who in Fungol.
Our guiding principle is this: while anonymity helps make us more confident that the reviewing process is objective and fair, anonymity must not force an author to weaken a submission. So please try to hide your identity, but not to the extent that it warps your submission—if you try to hide your identity and fail, there is no penalty.
If you are not sure how to apply these guidelines, please make contact with the program chair. (And if you do, please do not mention the title of your submission—if the chair needs to know it, he will ask for it.)