In Defence of Working Papers


working paper
open access
academic collaboration

How to Cite

Timcke, S., Webb, G., McKinnon, J., & Chen, S. (2013). In Defence of Working Papers. Stream: Interdisciplinary Journal of Communication, 5(1), 1–7.


Working papers are academic articles in various stages of completion, which represents a significant publication venue in various academic disciplines. Nonetheless, there have been considerable amount of critiques on working paper in recent years, especially on its quality and conflict with formal publications. Given the above situation, this article offers a defence of the academic values of working papers. After outlining and addressing common misunderstandings of working papers, the article discusses their four major benefits: the provision of valuable feedback on interim findings, the potential for collaboration, flexible means of dissemination, and the value for intellectual development and capacity building (especially for graduate students). Overall, these benefits underscore a commitment to open-access research that is accessible to the public at large.