I have a paper that was recently accepted for a conference. I have already submitted the camera ready version and accepted the copyright terms etc. However, I now believe my design and results are not brilliant the more I look into it. This might invalidate the main claim and conclusion. Am I still allowed to prevent it from being included in the conference program and proceedings? I realize this is not a good situation given the time and effort spent by everyone involved in the review and administration process. But surely it is preferable to withdraw it before publication if you find issues with your paper? I would prefer to go back to the drawing board and resubmit at a later date with a stronger and reliable solution. If I want to withdraw it who should I contact?


  • Results are not required to be "brilliant", but valid. Maybe this is some form of the imposter syndrome - your expectations towards yourself and your achievements might be higher than warranted. Nov 15, 2021 at 8:31

2 Answers 2


Whether it is possible to completely withdraw the paper is up to the committee, its policies, and how far things have progressed. It may not be possible to "stop the presses" on the production process. Of course, you could just not show up, but it might affect future attempts to participate.

But it may also just be a case of "buyer's remorse" where you know more than you did then about the things you say in the submission. Having second thoughts isn't uncommon, especially if you are actively pursuing an elusive subject.

There is no reason that you can't, in a presentation, give a more up to date picture than what appears in the proceedings. Some conferences will let you file an updated version of the paper after the conference for a more permanent (journal) article. I don't know how common that is, however.

But, the fact that you have learned some things, assuming you aren't self deluding now, since the paper was first submitted, is a good thing.

FWIW, a lot of writers look back on their early work and cringe a bit. That is a sign of growth.

  • There is no time for corrections at this stage unfortunately. I prefer to improve the paper and resubmit that go ahead now. Maybe I should contact the chair? I guess the last resource would be to not attend forcing the paper to be rejected from the proceedings but that's not the intention. I would very much prefer to do it using the correct channels.
    – Edra
    Nov 14, 2021 at 13:35
  • Even not attending may not avoid the paper appearing in proceedings. It is a matter of production scheduling. Conferences have firm schedules, unlike journals which have more (but not complete) freedom. I suggest you let it lie and just say in any talk that you have fresh ideas...
    – Buffy
    Nov 14, 2021 at 13:38
  • First, I want to say thank you for replying, your comments are appreciated. Yes, I think proceedings can be issued before the conference so I would need to act quickly. I am almost certain the conclusion in my paper cannot be validated. Gosh, I am a bag of nerves right now.
    – Edra
    Nov 14, 2021 at 13:56

How did it pass all the reviewers? it maybe good enough for the conference (unless you are really sure it is not) let it be published and work on an extended version for a journal publication.

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