A certain conference was held on year X, but its proceedings were published in print in year X+2.

When I cite an article submitted to that conference (which I read in the published proceedings) - how do I indicate the correct year?

I'm asking specifically about BibTeX field values, but a less-specific answer would also be ok I guess.

  • 1
    Since someone chasing citations will want the print version, I'd think X+2, perhaps with a note that the conference was in X. Others will have more experience with this.
    – Buffy
    Oct 1, 2018 at 12:41
  • In the cases I've seen, the date (X) of the conference is usually part of the title of the proceedings. So by using X+2 as the date in BibTeX, you'd provide all the relevant information. Oct 1, 2018 at 14:41
  • 1
    Others have recommended using X+2 as the year, and I'm pretty sure this is fairly standard. For what it's worth, when dating older historical material, there are often three different years involved --- the year the paper/book was presented/submitted, the year appearing on the book's title page, and the year that the book actually appeared. I've seen one math history paper (or maybe it was a book) that used all three in the form (x,y,z), and at least in some cases each difference in x < y < z was at least 2 years. And then there's the author's personal date, sometimes at the end . . . Oct 1, 2018 at 14:50
  • 1
    Make sure your reference has a DOI and the question becomes (still relevant but mostly) moot.
    – E.P.
    Oct 1, 2018 at 17:10
  • 1
    @E.P.: How does it become moot?
    – einpoklum
    Oct 1, 2018 at 17:16

1 Answer 1


When I cite an article submitted to [a conference held in year X and published in year X+2] - how do I indicate the correct year?

The citation should include the publication year, not the year the conference was held. But, the conference year is useful, so it is worth including too. Perhaps:

  • Author (X+2) Title. In proceedings of Conf'X...

The Chicago Manual of Style supports this style.

  • 1
    Is this definitive, or your preference?
    – einpoklum
    Oct 1, 2018 at 13:21
  • I believe it is standard, that is, the year corresponds to publication year, not the year of the conference. Sense can be made of it intuitively, since a citation refers to a published document.
    – user2768
    Oct 1, 2018 at 13:26
  • 4
    I checked the Chicago Manual of Style and it agrees
    – user2768
    Oct 1, 2018 at 13:37

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