I am a master's student in energy engineering and I want to publish my work as I am hoping to get into a Ph.D. after my studies. My supervisor has recommended a conference. On one hand, I trust their judgment and I am at the very start of my academic career. On the other hand, I am afraid my work will be "wasted" on a conference proceeding with low impact (0.5 IF), and then I will be unable to publish the final paper later in a more respected journal in the field. My work is not agenda-setting but I think it could be published.

Does anybody have any advice about this if I had to make a binary decision?

Is it possible to apply for a conference and then back down ( without triggering any simultaneous or duplicate publishing which I do not want intentionally or negligently)? Is a minor and major paper applicable?

1 Answer 1


Actually, my advice is to follow the lead of your advisor, as they know the field and the proper venues for work in your field.

In some fields, such as CS, conferences are the best venue for new work as it gets in the hands of those who need it much quicker. In other, perhaps math, journals may be preferred and preprints are used for quick dissemination.

There is one advantage of conference presentation for a new scholar in that you will have a chance to meet people. In some fields, again, they might be the movers and shakers of the current research trends. Another possible advantage is that you will hear about acceptance to a conference earlier than for a journal in most cases. Journal review can be quite long, but that depends on the field and the journal, which you advisor should know something about.

But, your advisor knows both the field and, hopefully, your work.

And, I hope that this one paper won't be determinative of your acceptance to a doctoral program. That would be unlikely in US, anyway, where a broad view of the candidate's past work and potential is taken.

Yes, you can withdraw a submission up to the point when copyright transfer becomes a factor, but it just puts off the date at which the work formally appears. And, if you do that, make it explicit.

And yes, it is possible to develop a new work that builds on and extends older work.

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