The history of science is replete with important works that were originally published without the author's legal name being revealed. Most modern scientists will have worked anonymously in their capacity as peer reviewers. But why is anonymity so popular? And is it a valid approach? I argue that pseudonymity and anonymity, although not appropriate for all forms of scientific communication, have a vital role to play in academic discourse. They can facilitate the free expression of interpretations and ideas, and can help to ensure that suggestions and criticisms are evaluated dispassionately, regardless of their source.
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