Working Paper: what is it? Where to find it?

A working paper or discussion paper is a “work in progress”, a paper you're still working on. It's a preliminary, nearly finished, unpublished version of your research project that's not yet ready to be presented at a conference nor to get published in a journal.

You have a hypothesis and/or a research question, you know your methods and have a few primary results which can give you an idea about what to expect when the work is finished. You write down these findings in the form of a paper while the work is still ongoing. It's used primarily for exchanging ideas about a topic or to get feedback from a selected readership, before submitting to a peer-reviewed conference or academic journal.

It may be submitted to a conference as a poster or a work in progress paper.

Working papers are often the basis for related works, and may in themselves be cited by peer-review papers. They may be considered grey literature.

Examples at UGent

At UGent, Working Papers can be found in the Academic Bibliography.

Some UGent faculties also feature their working papers seperately:


Source reference

"What is the difference between a working paper and a research article?" ResearchGate. 16 Sep. 2015. Accessed 2 Aug. 2022.

Last modified Aug. 8, 2023, 10:54 a.m.