Are there professional standards which discourage the circulation of a submitted scientific work, in order to get feedback from colleagues?

  • 2
    Isn’t that exactly what Arxiv is for?
    – Jon Custer
    Jun 11, 2022 at 18:00

2 Answers 2


Generally, private circulation is fine. Sending it by email to some people, with a request not to pass it on, won't cause any issues.

Putting it in a public place (website, ArXiv,...) is a different matter, however, a bit more subtle and is a form of publishing. Some publishers don't object, but some do. This is true at any point, before or after submission. Some publishers want complete control, of any "publishing" actions. Just be aware.

But circulation in a private group has no issues, partly because it is invisible to everyone else. Some results, in fact, are widely known already before publication since some experts in specialized fields communicate much (most?) of what they do with each other. This can result in those most interested in an advance already knowing it long before publication.

Note that this is also somewhat field specific. In mathematics ArXiv is widely used. And, it seems that standards for such may be loosening over time.

Also note that few papers are published in exactly the same form as first submitted due to the review and editing process. This means that at time of submission the work is still a "preprint". Some requiring heavy revision are still works in progress when first submitted though the author(s) may not think of it that way.


In the sciences, circulating unpublished manuscripts on the internet is the standard.

In order to receive useful feedback, you have to get pretty lucky.

In my opinion, the extra effort of circulating a manuscript is rarely justified by the benefits.

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