I can read the semantic meaning of conference and journal papers, even the details regarding their general structures: journal papers are longer than the conference ones, conference papers are easier to get accepted but the study is less deep, a journal paper is a gathering of several small discovers (brought by several conferences?).

But this is not always the case, right? Sometimes conference papers extend quite a bit to 14–16 pages, and I have read journal papers of 10 to 12 pages normally. Is there a way to systematically recognize by simple quick reading whether a paper is a journal or a conference one?

I'm new on research, I have been recommended IEEE Xplore, ScienceDirect, and ResearchGate, I know they have the option to search for journal or conference papers, but when a labmate delivers to you a bulk of papers to be analyzed I'd like to be able to differentiate between them.

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    If it says "Journal of Important Topics" it's a journal paper. If it says "Conference on Important Topics" it's a conference paper. If it says nothing, you'll have to look it up. – Thomas Jun 5 '19 at 4:47
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    must of the papers don't have the "conference" or "journal" words stated --- Are these actual published papers (random example) or preprints (random example) or something else? I ask because, at least to me (and maybe this is field-dependent), I don't understand how you wouldn't know which categorization to use. Also, if anything, paper length seems a very unreliable way to make the distinction --- depending on the journal, papers can be 3 to 6 pages or average over 20 pages. – Dave L Renfro Jun 5 '19 at 10:47
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    conferences are easier to get accepted — Not in my experience. – JeffE Jun 5 '19 at 14:39
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    Why do you care whether a given paper was published in a conference proceedings or in a journal? (As opposed to caring about the specific publication venue?) – JeffE Jun 5 '19 at 14:47
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    To make matters more complicated, there is not always such a meaningful distinction! For instance, papers sent to ACM EICS are technically sent and optionally presented at a conference, yet the paper itself gets published in PACM (Proceedings of the ACM) which is a journal. Some conferences have reorganized themselves to be journal style, but it changes little to nothing about the content. Honestly, I suggest if you work in this field you generally not worry about it - they are generally distinctions without a difference in technology/comp sci/information. Venue matters more than organization. – BrianH Jun 5 '19 at 15:18

If the paper is in computer science or some closely related area, you can search for the title and authors, or the name of the venue if you have it, at DBLP. For example:

But remember that many papers appear in preliminary/abbreviated form at a conference, and in final/complete form in a journal, and as a preprint on arXiv (which is neither a conference nor a journal), and as a technical report, and as a master's/PhD thesis, and so on. If you want to cite the specific paper you're reading, make sure you cite the precise version you're actually reading.

  • Thanks, it clarifies the question. – sujeto1 Jun 13 '19 at 3:51

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