# [Tex/LaTex] Nigrification of references for double-blind refereeing

biblatexjournal-publishing

I really love biblatex, the only disadvantage is that it is not so simple any more to mess with the bibitems manually any more.

Here is a problem that caused me grief: I was asked to blacken out (nigrify) the identifying parts of self-references in a paper to maintain double-blind refereeing. When I used regular bib, I just define

\def\blackbox#1{\setbox0=\hbox{#1}\rule{\wd0}{\ht0}}


and put around the text
after every \newblock. Not very elegant, but doable. (note that there are better ways of nigrification, see
Efficient ways to anonymize a document but that is not the point)

In biblatex, I can do the same, but things are much more tedious since the data is organized in a much more granular way…. very very tedious (I just did it for two papers and it took me more than an hour).

Ideally, I would like to just specify the authors whose citations I would like to nigrify and then in these bib entries the author names, the title, URL, and page ranges are nigrified e.g. by \blackbox. But I would also be willing to do some editing e.g. by replacing \entry and \endentry by \blackentry and \endblackentry. This \blackentry could call things like
\renewbibmacro*{url}{\blackbox....}
locally for nigrification. In principle biblatex should be uniquely suited for this; I just do not understand the code deeply enough to do it myself.

The apa6 class works with biblatex and defines \maskcite macros that remove the citation from the text and reference list:

\documentclass[biblatex,mask]{apa6}

If you are willing to replace \cite with \maskcite, then the way apa6 works is pretty universal. Essentially the class checks for the mask flag. If it is not there it does \let\maskcite\cite otherwise it defines \maskcite to print some text (handling pre- and post-notes nicely). You could easily make it print a black box. It would take some work to make the black box be exactly the size of the reference with the identical line breaks.