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I presented a paper at a conference last week. The organizer website has mentioned that selected papers will be published in IEEE Xplore. Following my initial paper submission, there was a selection process after which I got a mail intimating me that my paper was selected and the list of selected papers was also put up on the website and my paper was there. After this, I was asked to edit my paper according to the IEEE format. A deadline was set for the final camera-ready submission and I made it in time for that. After this, there was no intimation of anything related to publishing and I attended the conference and presented the paper. Since I read online that it takes a while for the papers to be put up online, I assumed there must be another review by the IEEE committee but I probably have been wrong. That last deadline asking for the papers in IEEE format was the final mention of publishing. I have a couple of question regarding my situation.

  1. Can I include my paper in my CV under publications? Does this count as an electronic publication since it's going to be on IEEE Xplore? Or should I write it under conferences? This is my one and only paper. And when the proceedings are on IEEE Xplore, will they also be available in the book format or are they just digital publications?
  2. Since the paper isn't out yet, I heard that forthcoming/in review/in press,etc must be used on the CV. Which term should I use here since my paper will probably not count as "in press" material? Also, what format must I use in my CV to mention this paper?

  3. I read that depending on the area, a conference paper has much value or no value at all and in some fields like Computer Science, a conference paper has good value. Is this a fact?

  4. What are "refereed" conference proceedings? Do IEEE proceedings fall into this category?

I am sure these questions have been answered before but I couldn't find the right answers and being new to the world of publishing in academia, things are quite confusing. If this question is a duplicate, please notify me so that I can delete it.

Edit: Added a few details to make my case clearer.

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    "will be published in IEEE Xplore after the papers have been reviewed" Can you specify the actual wording (full sentence)? I suspect that there might be a misunderstanding here. – lighthouse keeper Apr 6 at 15:21
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    In computer science and engineering, some conferences are the equivalent of journal publications. See this best practices memo, which we include whenever someone from my department goes up for tenure. cra.org/resources/best-practice-memos/… – Ellen Spertus Apr 6 at 19:36
  • "there was a selection process" — what sort of selection process? Is it (described as) "peer review"? That's the crucial question to know if this is a peer-reviewed or refereed article. – Blaisorblade Apr 6 at 21:23
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    @EllenSpertus Thank you, that was an interesting read, goes to show how little I know about the research world. The comments and answers here definitely helped me learn much. – Matte Apr 7 at 6:39
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Can I include it in my CV under publications? Does this count as an electronic publication since it's going to be on IEEE Xplore? Or should I write it under conferences? This is my one and only paper.

It sounds like your paper has been accepted for publication, so yes, you can list it in your CV as a publication (assuming your research community accepts refereed conference papers as publications).

Even though you've already submitted the final camera-ready version, the proceedings has to work its way through IEEE's publication pipeline: assembling the table of contents, adding page numbers, possibly checking for compliance with formatting instructions, extracting and indexing metadata, creating cross-reference links for the bibliography, printing and shipping paper copies (if they still do that), and so on. The conference organizers should be able to tell you when they expect the proceedings to appear.

Since the paper isn't out yet, I heard that forthcoming/in review/in press,etc must be used on the CV. Which term should I use here since my paper will probably not count as "in press" material? Also, what format must I use in my CV to mention this paper?

I would list it as either "to appear" or "in press", but the precise format doesn't really matter. Just be clear.

I read that depending on the area, a conference paper has much value or no value at all and in some fields like Computer Science, a conference paper has good value. Is this a fact?

Yes, this is a fact. In most (but not all!) fields of computer science, conference proceedings are the primary venue for publishing research, not journals.

What are "refereed" conference proceedings? Do IEEE proceedings fall into this category?

Refereed conferences (which are fairly typical in CS) typically have a "program" or "papers" committee, which is charged with reviewing submitted manuscripts and deciding which to accept for publication in the proceedings and presentation at the conference (either as a talk or a poster or both). Typically, every presented paper appears in the proceedings, every paper in the proceedings is presented, and the proceedings is published (slightly) before the conference begins. The submission itself is either a full paper or an extended abstract, typically between 6 and 12 pages long (depending on the conference), not just a single-page abstract. The initial submission deadline is several months before the conference, to give the committee enough time to gather/write multiple reviews for each paper, choose which papers to accept, have authors revise their papers and prepare the camera-ready versions, and actually publish the proceedings. (The publisher is only involved in the very last step.) Conference reviews are exactly analogous to referee reports for journals, and for many conferences just as thorough and detailed.

Of course, details vary significantly from one conference to the next. The details for your conference should have been spelled out in complete detail in the call for submissions.

Whether a given conference proceedings is refereed (and if so, how stringently) is up to the conference organizers. You can't tell from the publisher. Most proceedings published by IEEE are refereed, but not all.

  • Thanks you. I think I have been confusing with some details, I will edit my question to explain it better. Please do make any necessary changes to your answer so that I can accept it. – Matte Apr 6 at 18:09
  • "..and the proceedings is published (slightly) before the conference begins". Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case with my paper, is this a matter of concern? – Matte Apr 6 at 18:22
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    No, it's not a concern; it just means your conference is slightly different. (I've published a few papers at conferences with late proceedings.) – JeffE Apr 6 at 19:13
  • Thanks a lot for the detailed answer, truly appreciate it. There's one thing I had added to my first question when I made the edit, "And when the proceedings are on IEEE Xplore, will they also be available in the book format or are they just digital publications?" I saw in your answer that you've said "..printing and shipping paper copies (if they still do that)", so IEEE proceedings used to be printed before but that's not the case now? – Matte Apr 7 at 6:22
  • I honestly don’t know. I haven’t picked up a paper proceedings in close to a decade, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still exist. – JeffE Apr 7 at 7:21
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I would be a bit hesitant to include it as a "publication" rather than as "under review". I don't know what field or conference you are referring to, but in CS, my experience is that review happens before the conference (and before acceptance) rather than after. And since in CS, conferences are a main publication venue, it would seem appropriate to include under those circumstances. You seem to be describing something different, however.

But your words "will be published...after the papers have been reviewed" makes this seem a bit tentative.

I suggest you wait before you include it as a publication unless you qualify it in some way. You don't need to omit it entirely, just be honest and clear about the actual state of the world when you send it out.

  • A review did take place before acceptance but I assumed that since the paper is going to take a while to be put up on IEEE Xplore, there must be another review from the IEEE side. Am I wrong? Also, if a conference paper can be written under publications, is it not mandatory to have page numbers, which is not possible with my paper since it is yet to be published? – Matte Apr 6 at 12:16
  • Presumably you can update the CV as things change. Note that the conference may also publish separate proceedings. Some do, of course. – Buffy Apr 6 at 12:28
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    @Matte, IEEE or any other organization which in charge of publishing the proceedings does not perform another round of review but checking for plagiarism. So, when your conference paper has been accepted by the conference board, you can include it into your CV as an accepted (and/or presented) conference paper. – Eilia Apr 6 at 13:14
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    Given that the paper apparently has not been accepted for publication yet, this is the correct answer. An alternative wording for the current status would be "submitted". – lighthouse keeper Apr 6 at 13:41
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    @Matte You will receive a notification e-mail by the organizers, stating that your paper has been accepted for publication. From this point, you can specify the status as "accepted", "to appear", or "in press" and list it as an actual publication. – lighthouse keeper Apr 6 at 15:14
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IEEE Xplore

I looked up IEEE Xplore and saw that it is a digital library, not a journal [1]:

The IEEE Xplore® digital library provides access to IEEE journals, transactions, letters, magazines and conference proceedings, IET journals and conference proceedings, IEEE Standards and IEEE educational courses.

Therefore, it does not count as a publication beyond your original conference publication. It currently contains over 4 million items [2].

Conferences and Journals in CS/CE

That said, an IEEE conference publication should not be considered unimportant due to not being in a journal. In some fields of computer science and engineering, conference publication is the gold standard. The Computing Research Association published a best practices memo, Evaluating Computer Scientists and Engineers For Promotion and Tenure written by 3 senior computer scientists at top departments: David Patterson (who went on to win the Turing Award), Larry Snyder, and Jeffrey Ullman. The first paragraph reads:

The evaluation of computer science and engineering faculty for promotion and tenure has generally followed the dictate “publish or perish,” where “publish” has had its standard academic meaning of “publish in archival journals” [Academic Careers, 94]. Relying on journal publications as the sole demonstration of scholarly achievement, especially counting such publications to determine whether they exceed a prescribed threshold, ignores significant evidence of accomplishment in computer science and engineering. For example, conference publication is preferred in the field, and computational artifacts —software, chips, etc. —are a tangible means of conveying ideas and insight. Obligating faculty to be evaluated by this traditional standard handicaps their careers, and indirectly harms the field. This document describes appropriate evidence of academic achievement in computer science and engineering.

My colleagues and I used to include that memo in our promotion and tenure dossiers, to positive effect.

That said, not all conferences are created equal. You should research and document the ranking of the conference that published your paper. The CORE Rankings Portal is a good place to start if your area is computing.

  • That's very informative, thanks! Are the papers over at IEEE Xplore also available in paper format? Also you said, "In some fields of computer science and engineering, conference publication is the gold standard." Which CS fields are those usually? Are there any good websites out there that help in knowing these things? – Matte Apr 7 at 16:04
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    @Matte Whether they've available in paper depends where they were published (a journal, a magazine, a conference proceedings, etc.) For the second question, the CORE Rankings is a good place to start. – Ellen Spertus Apr 7 at 17:26
  • With regard to conference proceedings, will they be available in paper or are they only published online? – Matte Apr 7 at 18:48
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    @Matte It depends on the conference. – Ellen Spertus Apr 7 at 18:59
  • Ah! I assumed all IEEE Xplore proceedings were dealt with the same way, thanks for the information! – Matte Apr 8 at 14:46

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