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Library Guide to Academic Publishing: Early publication, in press, ahead of print, or in process articles

Early publication definition

Many journals offer online access to articles that have been accepted for publication, but have not yet officially been published in the journal. Until the official publication these articles do not have a volume or issue number assigned. Not having a volume or issue number can be a hint that the article may be an online early article.

Journals may use a variety of names for these early publication articles:

  • ahead of print
  • early access
  • e-pub ahead of print
  • in press
  • in process
  • online early

If the journal uses a peer review process, the articles have gone through peer review. Some editorial changes or corrections may still be made before the final publication version.

Locate early publication articles

The Library may not always have access to a journal's early publication articles, even if we have access to the rest of the journal.

If you do not find the article by searching for the article title on the Library homepage, you will need search in the journal itself

You can search for the article title within the journal. Some journals may have a section for articles that have been made available online before official publication. You may want to check the Browse Journal tab if one is available or look around the page to see if there is a section for early publication articles.

It can be tricky to locate early publication articles. If you can't find the article, contact Ask a Librarian and we can check for you.