Q: What documentation do I need to provide if I cite unpublished work?

Detailed Question -

I have submitted a manuscript to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry and received the email below. However, I am not sure about the document which supports ”unpublished work”. Which documents should I send? Your advice would be appreciated.

Dear Dr. Y:

I am currently processing your submission to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. While reviewing your submission I noted the following:

You indicated in the online submission form that your manuscript cites unpublished work, however, you did not upload any documentation to support this information. Please confirm, does your manuscript cite unpublished work? If so, please email me the applicable documentation and I will upload it on your behalf.


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1 Answer to this question

The author guidelines of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry mentions the following rules about citing unpublished sources:

"If pertinent references are “in press” or unpublished for any reason, furnish copies to enable reviewers to evaluate the manuscript. An electronic copy of these materials should be uploaded according to the directions for review-only Supporting Information. 'In press' references should include the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) assigned by the potential publisher."

The guideline clearly states that if you have cited any unpublished work, you will need to provide a copy of the manuscript for reviewers to see if they wish to. The guidelines also state that the journal does not encourage citing unpublished work of others, but allows reference to the author's own unpublished work. Thus, if you have cited one of your own works which is not yet published, you will have to provide a copy of the manuscript for reviewers' perusal.

You should upload this document on the submission page as supporting information. I think you should go back to the submission page and check the instructions for uploading supporting information. 

If however, you have not cited any unpublished work in your paper, you should reply to the email explaining this.