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My PhD Supervisor asked me to submit one of my work at an upcoming International Conference. He is amongst the PC members. I was having a look at its PC members, the Advisory committee etc. It boasts of researchers from reputed Universities- with some of them quite well established (I know some of them personally). Further, the conference is happening for the 6th time.

But I found it quite strange that these guys are organizing the conference without any branding of IEEE/ACM etc. behind them. The proceedings of the conference will be compiled on a CD-ROM. This obviously means that if my paper gets accepted there, it is not going to be archived with IEEE-xplore or ACM digital library. Google may index it because they may put the PDFs on the conference's website, but that PDF exists only as long as the website for the conference exists.

The question in my mind: Is such a publication bad for a PhD student? If I put this work on my CV, nobody can find it on the Internet (except on my personal website or archived on arXiv). Then where is the credibility that work was actually peer-reviewed and published at an International Conference?

And what about copyright issues? The website says nothing of it. These are a group of researchers from different parts of the world coming together to organize a conference. There is no organization like ACM or IEEE behind them. So I am assuming that the issue of copyright transfers may never arise. Does that mean I can submit this work to other venues as well (since exclusive copyright are never transferred)?

Truly speaking, the only reasons I am going for it is because (1) my Supervisor wants me to, and (2) selected high-quality papers will get the opportunity to submit extended versions to special issue of a SCI journal (which is great for me!).

p.s.: In case it matters: until the past year, it was being organized as a 'workshop'. This is the first time they are calling it a conference and have a Journal extension.

p.p.s: My field is Computer Science.

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Does that mean I can submit this work to other venues as well? If the work has been published, and the other venue requires original submissions that have not previously been published, then no; copyright is irrelevant. –  ff524 Jul 24 at 18:01
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So, I'll just leave this here. –  JeffE Jul 24 at 20:39
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This question makes me sad. :( –  Raphael Jul 25 at 6:36
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@Raphael Care to elaborate? –  pnp Jul 25 at 7:01
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@pnp The fact that (in some fields) publishers resp. publisher-like entities have created monopolies that make you question if there's even an alternative -- that's sad. Especially so with IEEE who treat libraries badly -- ever tried to access an old IEEE paper? I have no ill feelings towards ACM specifically, as far as I can tell they are on the "good" side. –  Raphael Jul 25 at 7:56

2 Answers 2

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Not being affiliated with an organization such as the IEEE or ACM is not, on its own, a bad sign. For example, what is currently the IEEE Conference on Computational Complexity has decided to end its affiliation with the IEEE and go solo; the Symposium on Computational Geometry likewise just left ACM. STACS is also unaffiliated.

It's not great if the proceedings are only distributed on CD. On the other hand, if you're already going to be preparing a journal version (and you should!), that will completely supersede any conference version, anyway. I would never read a conference version ("extended abstract") of a paper if a full version was available: in my area (theoretical CS), the conference version generally has the proofs missing and the peer review isn't very rigorous.

STACS publishes proceedings through Dagstuhl, which is basically a computer science conference centre in Germany and has close links to DBLP. In this case, copyright is retained by the authors. Note that, regardless of who owns the copyright, most CS conferences won't accept papers which have either appeared at another conference with published proceedings or have been submitted to such a conference. You don't get to double-dip your papers.

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Also the Symposium on Computational Geometry. I'm not aware of any theoretical computer science conference regularly held outside the US that is affiliated with either ACM or IEEE — Consider ICALP, ESA, WADS, SWAT, STACS, FSTTCS, COCOON, ISAAC, ISSAC, Eurocrypt, ... –  JeffE Jul 24 at 20:55
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@JeffE LICS is both IEEE and ACM and alternates between the US and not-US (usually Europe but LICS 2015 is in Kyoto). PODS is ACM and is typically outside the US every 3-4 years. We should probably say "North America", too, since IEEE/ACM conferences are quite often held in Canada and occasionally in Mexico. –  David Richerby Jul 24 at 21:02
    
@JeffE Also, at least some of the conferences you list are affiliated with other organizations. (E.g., ICALP is with EATCS.) ISSAC used to be an ACM conference and was usually outside North America during that time. –  David Richerby Jul 24 at 21:13
    
Wow, that's embarrassing. I really should have known about LICS, PODS, and ISSAC. –  JeffE Jul 25 at 4:38

I think that is very field-dependent. In my field there are two conferences that are not affiliated with IEEE. They are both small, highly-specialized, and very prestigious to get your papers in. One of them does publish the proceedings in a book with a highly-reputable publisher, the other one publishes the papers online only. Still, they are well-known and well-regarded in the field.

The bottom line is that you need to know your field. It certainly might be a red-flag, but not necessarily. The conference is as strong as its PC and its acceptance criteria.

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It is important that the PC members actually know they're on the PC. I have seen dubious conferences that list famous people, but they actually have no connection to the conference. –  Austin Henley Jul 24 at 18:25

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