A Conference Paper is an academic article of around 2500 words that presents recent or ongoing research to academics in the field to share information or collect feedback to inform future development of the study. The paper may be an oral presentation delivered at a conference or an article published in the conference proceedings, which is a volume of selected papers that represent the conference. 

A key section of a Conference Paper is the Abstract, which is often submitted following a call for papers. This is reviewed by the programme committee who select the papers to be presented based on their relevance to the conference theme and significance of the research. The Abstract should clearly communicate the purpose, methods and key findings of the research to persuade the reviewers to accept the proposed paper.

Conference Paper submissions should also meet stipulated publication guidelines and authors should consult their intended conference website to understand the conference theme(s) and publication guidelines.  

The table below shows the main differences between a Conference Paper and a Journal Article.

Journal Article Conference Paper
  • Comprehensive account of work conducted with final findings
  • Peer reviewed
  • Means for sharing findings with an international audience to raise the researcher’s profile
  • Conclusions made supported by data from the research
  • Shorter than a Journal Article, with less detail
  • Often written while the research is still in progress
  • Reviewed by programme committee
  • Means for sharing information about ongoing research
  • Means for obtaining feedback from peers that can inform research


The main section of a Conference Paper includes the following items.

Abstract     Concise summary of the research study
Introduction   Background, overview, and may include a general literature review of the study
Literature Review  Evaluation and analysis of relevant literature
Methods   Details of experimental or analytical procedures
Results May be combined with Discussion to present results obtained and highlight key advances
Discussion  Evaluation of results to support comments about their significance and implications 
Conclusion  Summary of findings, emphasising significance of study and suggesting future research directions 


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