Presenting papers currently under review?

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In our November “how can we help you?” thread, an anonymous postdoc writes:

I’ve seen a few discussion here about presenting papers before they are under review. And the consensus seems to be that this is fine (as I think it should be).

However, I’m not sure you’ve touched on presenting papers that are currently under review.

Specifically, I am giving a talk next week on a paper that is already under review, and at a venue where I expect some of the most obvious reviewers for the paper will be attending (although it is not a particularly niche paper, so the probability the reviewers are actually there is reasonably low).

The following reasons make me think this should not be a problem: 1. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen people do this before. 2. If the reviewers are in the audience and haven’t started reading the paper yet then this is really just an instance of pre-review presentation.

But the final reason goes rather the other way: 3. If the reviewers have started reading the paper and my presentation changes their views of the paper (either positively or negatively) then they might need to excuse themselves (or feel that they should) from review—and that would be annoying for everyone (me, the reviewers, the editors) due to the wasted time and effort all around.

So, have I made a mistake? And assuming that I will present the paper anyway (it would be difficult to change now), is it better to flag that the paper is already under review or not to mention it?

My sense is that it is fine to present papers that are under review at journals. I suppose it could “pollute the reviewer pool”, as it were, particularly if the paper is on a niche topic where there aren’t many reviewers for the journal to choose from. But this is a problem even before a paper is under review, as presenting at conferences or colloquia can disclose your identity to potential reviewers too. I also don’t think it’s a good idea to flag it to the presentation organizers or participants. But, I’m not sure. I have to confess that I’ve never thought about the OP’s questions before myself!

What do you all think?

Originally appeared on The Philosophers’ Cocoon Read More

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