I am working on my second paper (as phd projects) which is an extension of my first paper. For my first paper, I will send it to a journal very soon. As I know acceptance of a paper by a journal is not an easy journey. Therefore, may I need to submit my paper for different journals (not at the same time) until it can find a place. My question is, how can I cite my first paper in my second one. I need to submit them at a very close time. For example, if I submit my first paper in this week (for example) then I may send the second one into two weeks (two weeks after the first one is submitted).

Any help, please?

  • Does this assume the first paper will be published - how would you reference it if it was not published?
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 9:14
  • @SolarMike this is my question. My supervisor advised me to put it on the eprint service of my uni. However, most of the journal does not accept the work that has already put in the eprint.
    – user91551
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 9:34
  • So, if that first paper is not published, HOW would you reference it?
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 9:37
  • Is that mean, I do not cite it at all.
    – user91551
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 9:39
  • I vaguely remember notes on "unpublished" work here and there, but I can't remember where exactly.
    – SK19
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 10:58

3 Answers 3


You can submit the first paper to a pre-print sever such as arxiv. Once, it appears in arxiv as a pre-print, you will get a citation information, which can then be used in the second paper.

I don't see any other way of doing it unless it appears somewhere as a pre-print or a published article.

Further, if you are citing a small portion (such as a method or a result) of first paper, you can replicate the same thing in the second paper with a note saying

The initial approach of this method is to appear in the article entitled 'ABC Approach for ZYZ Analysis [draft]'.

  • 1
    The problem is that the journal does not accept any paper that appears in arxiv before submit to the Journal.
    – user91551
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 10:02

If the journal you've chosen doesn't accept papers previously published on preprint servers then you need to find a different journal. You can't have everything in this situation. If it's that crucial to submit everything in a short period of time then you've messed up your time management (trust me, I know that feeling). If you need to cite a lot of the work included in your first paper you have no other choice other than using a preprint server or waiting for it being greenlit and published – which probably is something between half a year to a year.

You can't cite unpublished work.

  • Not downvoting, but this answer has a strong conclusion, which is demonstrably not true, at least not universally. Secondly, this situation seems quite reasonable for an early PhD student, so I wouldn't call it poor time management or wanting to 'have everything'. Commented May 22, 2018 at 15:37

Journals in some fields do not accept preprints;such journals often allow you to include 'unpublished manuscript' in the reference. You should have the author list and title though. You may need to supply this unpublished work upon request. Sometimes, the journal may recommend that you include it as supplementary material.

There is an entire page dedicated to this here, do have a look.

In any case, take all your options to your supervisor and let him/her guide you into the decision.

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