I have cited a recent pre-print posted in arxiv in one of my papers that is accepted for presenting at a conference. One of the reviewers (who is one of the authors of the pre-print I suspect) has suggested citing the pre-print as an accepted version in an upcoming conference (different from where my paper is accepted). Now, the suggested conference does not have its proceedings published yet. The only evidence that this pre-print will be included in the final proceedings is the fact that it is mentioned in the published technical program.

Is it appropriate to cite the paper as published or should I keep the citation as a pre-print?

  • 10
    How about "to be published in: ..., preprint available at: ..."?
    – Dirk
    Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 11:13
  • @Dirk, your comment is worth a proper answer, I think.
    – Buffy
    Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 11:46
  • Thanks for the answer
    – 0x5050
    Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 12:05
  • The title asks about listing this as published and the body asks about listing this as accepted. Could you fix one or the other?? Commented Jun 9, 2022 at 16:34

1 Answer 1


In general, a citation needs to make it easier for a reader to find the referenced article. This seems to me the good most worthy of protection here.

Anyone involved in the conference that accepted the "other" paper would know about the acceptance of this other paper that you are trying to cite. (Incidentally, do not assume easily that the reviewer is one of the authors of the other paper.) I understand and approve of your reluctance to cite with information that is not publicly available, but on the other hand, your readers might not appreciate your concerns, if the preprint gets withdrawn from the preprint server and they will now have to guess what your citation means.

If you go to the conference website, then you might find a list of accepted papers or a program. If the paper is listed there, I would think that this enough for the proper citation.

Finally, you can just trust the reviewer. There is no incentive on having you cite a non-existent paper, but there is an incentive to cite the "other" paper properly which includes your readers as beneficiaries. If you are still hesitant because the preprint and the conference paper could be different, use the "to appear in" clause that Dirk in the comment proposed.

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