Last week the New York Times published an article on a possible Obama effect on test scores of black test takers. It was unusual for a major newspaper to publish a story on a social science study before that study has been published, let alone reviewed. But when you hear that so-and-so reported their results at some national conference, that isn't really peer reviewed either. The conference organizers have often only seen a 200 word description of what the researchers thought they would present. So although unusual, it's not entirely out of line to try to get the first step on a story like this, and the Times did circulate the study to some academics to get professional opinions.