This Study is Intentionally Left Blank - A systematic literature review of blank pages in academic publishing

Common in all areas of publishing, the phrase “This Page is Intentionally Left Blank” has been found in peer-reviewed academic articles costing $30 to access. To the best of our knowledge, this paper represents the first known review of Intentionally Blank Pages (IBPs). We provide an analysis of the IBPs available in the literature and develop a means of quantifying the amount of blankness on such pages, using a new metric, the “Blankness Defect Rate” (BDR). We posit some possible explanations for this phenomenon, including “editor’s block”, a creative impairment similar to the well-known “writer’s block”. Finally, we offer some alternatives to the traditional IBP paradigm and identify avenues for future research.

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