If no author of an accepted paper registers for the conference, the paper is simply dumped from the conference.

If, however, the authors duly register but fail to present it at the conference, what is the fate of the paper? I have an accepted paper at a European conference (IEEE), but due to lack of travel funds, our team has decided that we will not be travelling to present the work (I am not based at Europe).

I wrote to the General Chair of the conference, and he writes to me that if the paper is not presented, it will not be indexed in the IEEE Xplore library.

What I wish to know is, will the paper still be published in the 'Conference Proceedings' booklet or CD? My guess is Yes, since these must be printed before authors arrive for the conference. The General Chair has not responded with an answer on this.

Question two, which happens to be my real inquiry- does such a thing count as a valid 'publication' for me? Will my work get indexed somewhere (wherever it might be) or not, would it be searchable via the Internet or not?

  • 10
    Ask someone else to present the paper on your behalf.
    – JeffE
    Jul 27 '13 at 13:45
  • 10
    I attended a conference a while ago where the speakers could not make it due to visa issues. In coordination with the conference organisers, they presented their paper through a Skype call, and although it wasn't as good as if they were there, it was better than getting the paper presented by someone who does not understand it or, even worse, not presented at all.
    – user102
    Jul 27 '13 at 14:09
  • Just to clarify.... It is a Poster paper. It would not be possible, I guess, to present it via Skype. Although @JeffE's option is viable, Charles' remarks on it are important.
    – pnp
    Jul 28 '13 at 8:37
  • I agree with @JeffE; ask someone else to present. It is very bad form to have a paper and not show up to present: as someone else paying the expense of going to the conference TO SEE THE CONTENT it would be annoying if a bunch of folks just blew it off. I know at least one person who did that, and whenever I see their name I think of them as someone who just got their paper in so it would be "published" but then blew off their responsibility to present. So, it could come back to hurt you in the future. Mar 5 '15 at 1:01
  • 1
    @AJed What the IEEE doesn't know can't hurt them. No IEEE official will attend the conference to make sure every speaker is an author. For most CS conferences, proceedings are produced months before the conference. Just don't tell them that you're not coming. But make absolutely sure that someone actually presents your work on your behalf.
    – JeffE
    May 25 '15 at 15:53

This has actually happened to me a couple of times in the past. This really depends on the policy of the organizing professional group (ACM/IEEE) and even within sub-groups of that body (SIGWEB/SIGCHI within ACM)

Generally, I have found that if your paper is accepted in a conference and you or any of your co-authors register for that conference, then the paper will still be published in the conference proceedings and indexed in the relevant digital library. e.g. IEEE Xplore, ACM Digital Library etc.

If you or a co-author do not register for the conference, then your paper, in general, will not be indexed.

If an accepted paper is not published in the conference proceedings (and by extension not indexed in the appropriate digital library), then it generally does not "count" as a valid publication. You are better off, in that case, by withdrawing your paper and submitting it at a more acceptable conference venue (or a journal where there is not travelling involved)

PS: You can always link to such a paper on your personal website or put it on arxiv for comments. Google Scholar will obviously index it but such indexing has limited practical value.

  • Thanks for the answer. Would you mind sharing your experience with IEEE, since mine happens to be an IEEE conference?
    – pnp
    Jul 27 '13 at 6:00
  • I registered for the conference and did not go because the travel expenses were too much for me as an undergraduate student. The paper is in Xplore. No problem.
    – Shion
    Jul 27 '13 at 14:33

From what I know in CS field, most conferences care only about Registration. That means if one author registered before the deadline then the paper will be included in the conference proceedings. This mostly due to the fact that many conferences send their papers to the publisher before the conference take place. It happens all the time where during the conference sessions some papers have no presenter.

Now some conferences make it explicit that you need to to come and present your paper in order to include it in the final proceedings. Such conditions are usually available in the conference website or after-acceptance emails.

For the second question, it is really a good and rationale question since your paper passed the peer review process but at the same time you do not have hard evidence for that. Personally I can't comment on that since I am new to conference organisation and academia.

  • "Now some conferences make it explicit that you need to to come" - and even then, I wonder how seriously that rule is applied. It would seem rather scandalous if researchers from single countries were systematically given a hard time to get their submissions published just because either the conference country happens to impose difficult-to-master restrictions on granting a visa, or their home country/the consulates therein is/are inapt at establishing an efficient visa retrieval process. ... Jan 7 '15 at 19:58
  • ... I am saying this because one or two talks per conference getting dropped due to speakers (very often, though not always, from China) not making it to the conference for visa problems seems much like the rule rather than the exception to me. Jan 7 '15 at 19:59

It very much depends on the conference regulations. As an example I know that Eucap indexes the paper in IEEExplore if one of the authors registers and the final paper passes the checks in IEEE PDF Express.

Some conference management systems like Edas.info have a special page called "Explain no-show". It's a common issue for authors who are unable to obtain their Visas to enter the country where the conference is held.

Also, it's a good idea to consider submitting to arXiv

  • Just to have your and @Shion's opinion- it was a two page 'Extended abstract'. Such things go to arXiv??
    – pnp
    Jul 27 '13 at 10:10
  • Yes, such things can go on arXiv.
    – JeffE
    Jul 27 '13 at 13:46

Whether or not a paper appears in IEEE Xplore is very dependent upon the sponsoring society and conference's own policies. In general though:

  • If none of the authors have registered for the conference, this should be spotted by the organizers. In this case, it is unlikely your paper would be in the proceedings, as often the deadline for paper submission coincides with the deadline for author registration (for this reason).
  • If one of the authors of the paper has registered, the paper would appear in the proceedings handed out at the conference (the USB stick or similar). This is on account of the fact that, until registration is completed, the organizers are not aware you have not attended.
  • If an author is registered for the conference, but does not present, this depends upon the policies of the conference. I can say with 100% certainty at the conference I am involved with, that failing to present will lead to the paper not being indexed on Xplore - we have a team of volunteer session chairs who submit a report for each session.

The ComSoc policy [1] on no-shows is quite clear, and is one that many conferences are modeled around. While some people may be lucky and get their paper on Xplore, that's incredibly unusual in my experience, given the role of session chairs and room monitors.

[1] http://cms.comsoc.org/eprise/main/SiteGen/Confs_P_P/Content/Home/No_Shows.html

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