Are citations to unpublished papers a form of peer review?

Sloan, Bernie bernies at UILLINOIS.EDU
Wed Aug 4 17:07:35 EDT 2004

In checking the status of some of my publications in the ISI citation
indices, I've run across something that's piqued my curiosity.

I have a brief essay on the Web where I discuss looking at Web links (in
addition to citations in the ISI indices) as a way of viewing the
impact/influence of publications. I've always considered the essay to be
more or less a rough draft of my thoughts at the time...a record of my
thoughts that I could expand later.

I was poking around in the Web of Science the other day and was surprised to
see that this rough draft Web essay has been cited five times (twice in
Online Information Review, and once each in JASIST, Journal of Information
Science, and College & Research Libraries).

This started me thinking...could citations to unpublished papers
("unpublished" in a more traditional sense) be considered a form of peer
review? I'm thinking "peer review" in the sense that citations from
peer-reviewed documents to unpublished, non-peer-reviewed documents on the
Web might constitute some sort of validation of the unpublished documents?
Has anyone done any research in this area?

Bernie Sloan
Senior Library Information Systems Consultant, ILCSO
University of Illinois Office for Planning and Budgeting
616 E. Green Street, Suite 213
Champaign, IL  61820

Phone: (217) 333-4895
Fax:   (217) 265-0454
E-mail: bernies at

More information about the SIGMETRICS mailing list