It’s not uncommon, at least not in my field, to refer to articles, books, chapters, etc., which have not yet been published. In in-text citations, these simply appear as Author (fc.) (or forthc. or forthcoming) instead of Author (2020).

Generally, in bibliographies, you’ll write as many details as you can about where the source will appear – often you can write either “To appear in Journal Name” or “In Editor Name (ed.), Book Title” since these things are generally known as soon as the source in question is accepted for publication.

But what do you do when the source has been accepted for publication in a Festschrift? Naturally, the details will likely have been worked out already, but an essential part of the nature of a Festschrift is that its existence must remain a secret from the person it’s dedicated to until it’s handed over to them. So you can’t just write “In Editor Name (ed.), Book Title, Festschrift to XYZ” in a bibliography, because that would likely spoil the whole thing (and you likely don’t know the editor(s) and title anyway, since such details are kept within as small a group as possible up until publication).

I am co-editing a volume in which one chapter refers to such an article. At the moment, the bibliography simply says, “To appear in a Festschrift”, which strikes me as rather… clunky and odd. Somehow both too vague and too specific. I considered leaving it out altogether, so only the author and the name of the article remains, but that would imply (to me, as a reader) that the article had not yet been accepted for publication, which I do believe it has.

Are there more or less standard strategies for informing the reader that an article has been accepted for publication in a specific location, but without actually giving that location?

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    If the downvoter would care to leave a reason for the downvote, I’d be happy to try to improve the question accordingly. Commented Sep 18, 2020 at 9:54
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    Why not just "to appear"? In the age of Google, it would be easy for a later reader to find the paper and then also understand why the volume title was not disclosed. Commented Sep 18, 2020 at 15:15

1 Answer 1


Although you ask specifically about a Festschrift (i.e., a commemorative paper or publication) the problem of wanting temporarily to hide some details of a publication does also occur in other contexts.

To me, this seems like an ideal situation in which to make (non-obvious) use a repository like figshare or Zenodo. Both those repositories — and there are probably others more oriented towards the kind of content that you are thinking of — will allow you to obtain a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for an as-yet undisclosed publication. With a DOI at hand, you can indeed write "to appear", or "to appear in a Festschrift", as you see fit, but you can also provide a DOI which will only work properly once you decide to make the Festschrift content public. That way, the reader will not have to undertake a haphazard search, and nor will you have to try and amend or update missing reference information. The DOI will do the job for you.

Note: Both figshare and Zenodo are primarily research repositories but there is a great deal of content on them which is not directly research related. Moreover, there are other repositories that are more oriented towards text than towards data.

Added in response to OP comments

The problem as it is now described is more complex than originally stated. Nonetheless, I think that my earlier answer (above) will be relevant to other readers so I have left it unchanged.

However, the question as it now stands is along the following lines:

I am writing document A. In document A, I want to refer to document B which is, as yet, unpublished. I have little information regarding document B and no direct control over it. Moreover, even if I did have more information about document B, I might not want to reveal much of the information until after document B has been published. At the same time, I would like to do as much as possible to ensure that, following the publication of B, readers of A will be able to identify, locate, and read B.

The constraints certainly complicate things but there is a solution even so. Specifically,

  1. Reserve a DOI for a not-yet-created jump-document (see point 3) on a repository like Zenodo.
  2. In your own citation and referencing, include "To appear" and the reserved DOI.
  3. When document B (in your case, the Festschrift) is published, and you know the referencing details, you publish (i.e., reveal and make publicly accessible) the jump-document which will be along the lines of:

Title: Jump document from [Title of your publication] to [Title of Festschrift].

[Title of your publication] made reference to [Title of Festschrift] but at the time that [Title of publication] went to press, [Title of Festschrift] was unavailable. [Title of Festschrift] can now be accessed at [DOI of Festschrift allocated by someone other than you]. The full reference is: [Include correct referencing for Festschrift].

It isn't as elegant as one might like, but it is nicely generalizable and applicable to a wide range of difficult situations. Moreover, if you also upload your jump-document to the WayBack Macnine, you will have done as much as you can do to preserve all the relevant information.

  • This would work fine if you are also the publisher of the volume you don’t want to reveal too much about. In the case of Festschrifts, at least, that will rarely be the case, so you cannot create a DOI for it – that’s for the publisher to do. In my case, as one of the editors of the book, but also an employee of the publisher, I did not know anything about the Festschrift in question at all. ‘My’ book was an edited volume, and the author of one of the chapters was also one of the authors in the Festschrift, so he of course knew at least whom it was for, but probably not much more than that. Commented Feb 24 at 15:46

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