New Type of Entry: Working Paper

Dear Community,
I have been using Zotero for almost a decade now. What I always missed was the "Working Paper" entry. Currently, you can only enter Conference Paper, but a Working Paper is something different, obviously.
Would that be possible to implement?
  • Report or Document are good options here.
  • I think we're relatively commited to add one more item type in this direction. I think I've resigned myself to the fact that'll probably be called preprint (even though I still think it's a stupid label).

    That should comfortably cover working papers as well (which are effectively preprints endorsed or published by a specific organization)
  • edited May 12, 2019
    I am very much in favour of this. In fact, I have been waiting for this for years. The preprint concept (as well as the name "preprint") is deeply rooted In Physics and related disciplines, where preprints have played a central rôle for a very long time. And they continue to do so to this day. With the advent of the computer and databases, where nowadays preprints (sometimes under the name eprint) can be put on line and therefore be much more accessible than in the pre-computer era, the preprint has become even more important. A preprint is neither a draft or manuscript, nor an official publication. It is a distinct entity in its own right, filling the gap between the two and playing the rôle of a kind of publication candidate. In fact, many physics journals encourage their authors to put their paper on a preprint server before submitting to the journal. Some very prestigious physics journals don't want you to submit to them directly but prefer that you put your paper up as a preprint first, exposing it to a wide audience that can provide feedback to the authors that, if deemed necessary, can upload an improved/corrected version. Only then the authors inform the journal that they want to submit the paper and the journal then downloads the paper directly from the preprint server.
  • edited May 12, 2019
    In my discipline, a working paper is not the same as a preprint. It's essentially a "lesser" journal article, printed in a "lesser" working papers journal.* I wasn't aware that it would need to be cited any differently than a normal journal article. (I've been the editor my department's "working papers journal", so I have experience with this, although I realize that's just one perspective.)

    A preprint, on the other hand, seems like a draft, which just happens to be available somewhere officially. I've considered these "manuscripts" in Zotero and that seems to work out fine for formatting. Rather than writing "unpublished manuscript" (or similar), you could write "preprint" there. This does mean that the manuscript type should be allowed identifiers like DOI, but otherwise it seems OK. There is also a distinction between a preprint of a specific journal article (e.g., author's draft on their personal website) versus a more generic preprint (e.g., pre-submission) as described by @bothide but either way, that should either just be cited as the final published article or as a manuscript separate from that.

    But are there cases where a "working paper" is different from both? Or where a "preprint" is yet an additional fourth category?

    [*One complication would be if the "working paper" isn't associated with any sort of journal at all, or perhaps just a series, but distributed by itself, e.g. decades ago as a "mimeo" copy. In that case I'd just cite it as a manuscript as described above, or perhaps as a very informally published book if it was long and intended as such, especially if it was part of a named series. I've run into a few reports of that type published by a university department, and cited them like books, I think, especially when they're held by at least some libraries.]
  • @djross3 Outside linguistics in the social and natural sciences, preprints or working papers generally mean what bothide described—a paper posted on a website or repository, either directly by the author or less often by a curator for an institutional repository. Things like ArXiV or SSRN papers.
  • That makes sense, but it would mean that "working paper" isn't a special category, just an alternative name sometimes used for journal articles (in a "lesser" journal) and other times for a paper-in-archive.

    Not that I object to having a specific category because it's so common now, but why is paper-in-archive distinct from manuscript? Or is it that some style sheets would treat them differently?
  • I don’t actually think what you are describing is any different really from bothide. I would describe a paper posted to ArXiV and a paper posted to the “Cornell Working Paper Series” as both being posted content/working papers/preprint, rather than “journal articles”. They indicate a similar publication status.
  • edited May 13, 2019
    But the "Cornell Working Paper Series" has publication information (page numbers, volume number, journal name, etc.). I don't see why you would want to treat it as the same thing as an unpublished article on an internet repository. (That is, while you're correct that they might both hold the same prestige, bibliographies are not formatted based on prestige, just information on how to locate the work. There isn't any distinction between top-tier and small journals for example.)

    And again I'm genuinely wondering why "manuscript" isn't appropriate for ArXiV (etc.).

    (My curiosity upon reading this is the reason for responding, nothing more. I'm not trying to change any outcome.)
  • Any new development on this? Until there is a "preprint" or similar item type, what would you suggest as a placeholder? Document or report, as mentioned above?
  • I suggest Document in general. New items types will likely be coming fairly soon to a new version of Zotero.
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