During my career as a researcher, I have attended many high-quality conferences in my research field and presented papers. In general there are some rules about the number of papers accepted which belong to a researcher as an author. I can take it normally one person can be an author for a paper, or two. What about five papers?

My question is;

Can I use the term abuse if someone (first author or not) submits five papers to a conference?

  • "In general there are some rules about the number of papers accepted which belong to a researcher as an author." - even if that is the case, the maximum number of accepted papers per author does limit the maximum number of submitted papers per author. Commented Aug 12, 2018 at 22:31
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    Can you explain why you would consider it abuse?
    – Dan Romik
    Commented Aug 12, 2018 at 23:01
  • Of note, there are some large conference that allocate the number of sessions to sub-groups/divisions in the conference based upon the number of submissions to those sub-groups/divisions in the proceeding year. This creates an incentive to pad the submission papers to your division you wish to have more exposure in the following year.
    – JWH2006
    Commented Aug 13, 2018 at 0:10
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    Conferences my field (theoretical computer science) do not rate-limit authors. It is quite common for the most prolific author at any given conferences to be a coauthor on five or more papers. I think the largest number of papers I've seen from one author at one conference was 11 (out of roughly 45 papers total). And no, not every submission from these authors is accepted.
    – JeffE
    Commented Aug 13, 2018 at 2:09

3 Answers 3


Why would you think of it as abuse? If the conference has rules that prohibit it then the author is breaking the rules, otherwise not. The more important question is whether the papers have merit. If they do, all is good. If not, they will be rejected in due course. In the latter case, the committee can admonish the author about a flood of junk.

The conference program committee doesn't need to accept a lot of papers from an individual and I think in most cases they would like a variety of authors to be represented, but that is their concern. It also seems a valid "policy."

The committee also needs to be prepared to review, according to their normal methods, all papers submitted. The selection, however, probably involves actually accepting fewer papers than the reviewers approve, just for time and space.

The "problem" if there is one, will resolve itself.

If the committee doesn't want this to happen in future, they can write rules into future submission criteria.

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    And, sometimes, works mature over long time and if multiple results relevant to a conference get ready about the same period, they might be all sent there (without anything sinister going on). Commented Aug 12, 2018 at 22:02
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    @CaptainEmacs and for someone who does a lot (lot) of collaborative work, such as Paul Erdős in mathematics until his death, having lots of things simultaneously "growing" is a natural phenomenon. Ditto the sciences where papers produced in a lab often have many authors.
    – Buffy
    Commented Aug 12, 2018 at 22:06
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    @CaptainEmacs: Or at least the most "sinister" part in there being that the author tries to save money and time by attempting to present their work at just one conference rather than several. Commented Aug 12, 2018 at 22:30
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    @O.R.Mapper There are conferences for which registration gives you the right to present 2 papers, but for every additional paper, you have to pay. Commented Aug 13, 2018 at 7:12
  • @CaptainEmacs: That's true, but saving on flight or train tickets and hotels can also be relevant in terms of total cost. Commented Aug 13, 2018 at 7:14

The appropriateness of submitting 5 papers to a conference depends on what the nature of the conference is and on how coauthorship is done. Is the conference competitive, or just a way for people to meet up and share ideas? If each paper has 5 authors, is it strange for one author to be on 5 submissions?

In my area of computer science, I've seen someone with 5 papers accepted to one conference. The only thing this made anyone think is that the individual is impressively productive.

In any case, I don't see how it rises to the level of "abuse", unless this person is genuinely spamming the conference (e.g. with computer-generated papers). Each paper should be judged on its merits.


I agree with you. I sometimes do think that people don't really care about conferences or what they are presenting. They just need that line on their CV, at least, this is what I sensed in my department. I don't even think it's appropriate to present the same research at different conferences, but that's what people do all the time. Frankly, I do it too. Why? because I need publications to get a job and scholarships. So it's largely determined by the market, or the reality.

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    I noticed you got a down vote from someone because someone apparently does not like your opinion. I balance this downvote with an upvote. I appreciate honest opinions that do not harm others, irrespectively of my own. Although I do not like it, there is definitely some truth in your opinion. I respect your courage in sharing this. Indeed, we all, without exceptions need publications for our career objectives, in science or elsewhere. As long as it is done in a fair level playing field, there is nothing wrong with that.
    – user93911
    Commented Aug 13, 2018 at 6:28

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