If the variable is as bright as one of the comp stars, I've been reporting only that single comp star, and leave the field for the second one empty in WebObs. When making the estimate, I compare the variable to other stars, but since rigorously speaking I'm not bracketing, I found that this would be the correct procedure. I noticed that others are reporting a second comp star, so: have I been doing this wrong?
Well, in my opinion as a long-time observer/data contributor I say, yes, you are doing it improperly.
Listing a second comp star, either brighter or fainter than the one the variable matches clearly denotes that a comparison with two, or more, comp stars has been made. Normally, listing only a single comp star is the approach employed when reporting "fainter than" estimates.
While I sometime come across variables that match a particular comp star, I always compare the variable against a brighter, or fainter star...or both...and report two of the three comps. I feel that doing so implies for the record that a truly careful assessment of the variable's brightness has been made, rather than just a quick glance and assumption that it more or less matches some comp star. Personally, I often wish that the WebObs report form included an entry box for a third comp star.
I also compare the variable with several brighter and fainter stars as carefully as possible, before concluding that my best estimate is that the star matches the magnitude of a comparison star. My question only has to do with the reporting. I respect your opinion and from now on I'll start recording one extra comp star and reporting it. Thanks! Nuno (CNQ)