I am currently doing my PhD in Economics in a UK university and have a couple of working papers —one of them almost finished—. Each of these working papers corresponds to one chapter in my PhD Thesis, which is in the field of Game Theory (Theoretical Microeconomics). I am expected to complete my PhD Thesis with a total of three chapters. This month, I am presenting one of my chapters in a couple of relevant conferences in my field, and have been asked whether there is an available working paper that can be checked (and perhaps circulated and cited). Whether one should make his/her working papers public is a question that depends on the field one is working on. To be honest, I do not know what to do because I do not know what is the standard practice in my field.
Some time ago, all my working papers were available on my personal website via a public Google Drive link. However, I decided to make them private because I was afraid of getting my ideas stolen by other researchers. Now I do not know what to do. On the one hand, I see the benefits of making my working papers public: I may get useful feedback and may also get my paper some attention before it is published in a peer-reviewed journal. On the other hand, I’m afraid of other researchers publishing my work under their name, and I am also afraid of reputable journals rejecting my submissions on the basis that they have been published as working papers prior to being submitted to the journal.
I currently have three options:
- To make them public in my website via a Google Drive public link;
- To make them public by uploading them to arxiv.org (or some similar repository);
- To keep them private and unavailable to the public.
With this post, I would like to ask fellow theoretical economists what they think I should do. I am inclined to upload my working papers to arxiv.org, but I do not know whether reputable journals in my field will reject my submissions because of that. I am also not sure whether this is a useful measure at all against the theft of ideas.
I am a newbie in academia, and therefore any help will be much appreciated.
Thank you all very much for your time.