Thursday, June 25, 2009

Abolish conference proceedings!

I almost never take up an offer by conference organisers
to publish a paper in their proceedings. I think such
proceedings have passed their use by date because:

* They usually appear 6 to 18 months after the conference.
By then most of the papers have already been published elsewhere

* Almost all conference papers seem to be cut-and-paste versions
of papers that the authors have already published or about to
publish elsewhere.

* Most proceedings are published by mediocre journals.

* One of the main reasons some people publish in them is to pad their
publication lists and keep bean counters happy.

* The only conference papers I tend to read are review articles based on plenary talks by leading scientists. But, most of these I get off the arXiv.

Given all of the above I think conference proceedings are just a
waste of time for the organisers, referees, and authors.
We should all exercise more self-control and abstain.


  1. I will gladly oblige.

    That being said, until recently, one of my most cited papers was a conference proceeding. I had an H-index of 5 (yes, I'm young), and that paper made it 5. Now that I'm a little (albeit marginally) higher than that, I do realise that no conference paper will ever contribute to my h-index.

  2. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.
    Conference publication