Metropolis BC

Things you should know before submitting to our working paper series

Metropolis British Columbia has an open policy on working papers. We invite submissions from all of our affiliated researchers. A typical working paper is 25-40 pages of text, plus supporting materials. We expect a high standard of composition and clear presentation. WPs are read by a wide audience that includes academics, specialists in policy, and representatives of NGOs that provide settlement services. They therefore need to be written accessibly and to include a clear statement of the policy/practice implications of the research that is being reported.

Perhaps the most important advantage in publishing a WP in our series is that we aim to review and post papers quickly, meaning that authors can publicize their work as soon as possible and receive meaningful feedback that is far more timely than in other academic publications, which usually take at least a year between the submission of a manuscript and the printing of the book or journal.

When Metropolis British Columbia posts a WP, we do so as a service to the author and our institutional partners. Copyright remains with the author. We assume that the author will revise the paper towards a standard, peer-reviewed academic publication such as a book or journal article. In most fields, publishers support the use of WPs as an early publication, with a polished paper/chapter emerging later that is often quite different from the WP upon which it is based. However, authors should know that there are some publishers who think otherwise, and who refuse to publish material that has been previously posted on the internet.

    There are three ways around this:
  • Authors can ask editors of journals (or book publishers) about their policy with respect to WPs, and submit their work to those who are more open to this form of communication.
  • Authors can include different parts of their research in their WPs and other publications, essentially seeing them as different kinds of publications for different audiences. With minimal duplication between these manuscripts, editors need not be concerned about prior publication.
  • Authors can reverse the order of publication, starting with a journal article or book/chapter, and seeking permission from the publisher to post a WP later. On the positive side, this broadens the scope of the audience for the paper. On the negative side, it delays the feedback process by a long time. Also note that some journals refuse to give permission for secondary publication.

We emphasize that literally 99% of the time, the conversion of a manuscript from a WP to a chapter/article has not been a problem. However, researchers need to know that publication policies and practices vary, and should plan their work accordingly.

 

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