I have been asked to serve as the (only) referee on a paper that is in my field, but is not within my specific area of expertise. As far as I can recall, this paper seems to be on a topic that is also being independently worked on by a large collaboration of established researchers in the field. The work I am reviewing seems to be OK, though not especially good. I am under the impression, though I am not sure, that the large collaboration is working on a much more detailed and thorough version of the same work, but they have not published it yet. Should this affect my review in any way?

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    Suggest to the editor to approach members of that group as additional referees. Then write your own review anyway.
    – Bergi
    Jan 22, 2021 at 22:45
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    @Bergi An author on a competing, unpublished work would have a huge conflict of interest and could not serve as a referee Jan 22, 2021 at 23:09
  • @thegreatemu Sure, but OP said "I am under the impression, though I am not sure". The potential referee would know whether they are currently authoring on the topic :-)
    – Bergi
    Jan 23, 2021 at 1:30

1 Answer 1


No. Jugde the paper based on the currently publicly available knowledge. The authors are not to blame for future knowledge.

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