I am writing an extended abstract (8 000 characters) for a conference* and I am not sure how should I work with references and citations there.

  • On one hand, abstract is still an abstract, so I guess it should not contain references and in-text citations.
  • On the other hand, 8 000 characters seems as too many to describe the paper without referencing other papers.

The other problem is that my paper is mostly a review and one of its most important points is the critique of another paper. The rest is based on this, so I guess I should cite it and not dance around like "there was some scientific work before like this... which had mistakes, so...".

The question:

Should I cite it in text but skip references? Or are references allowed in case of extended abstract?

*I don't thing the conference has book of abstracts or conference proceedings, so it seems like the purpose of the abstract is just to provide information to the organizing committee

  • 1
    Since your profile mentions economics, I think this answer is relevant.
    – Anyon
    Mar 28, 2023 at 13:11
  • Actually, anything you publish that uses the work of others needs citations. Otherwise...misconduct.
    – Buffy
    Mar 28, 2023 at 14:20
  • @Buffy Yeah, but that is the problem, right... I need to cite other's work, however, abstracts usually must not contain citations... However, in extended abstract of review article, there seems as if there should be a citation. So there are like three opposing reasonings in here of how to approach this problem.
    – Athaeneus
    Mar 28, 2023 at 14:25
  • 1
    Hmmm. Who says "abstracts usually must not contain citations". Smells a lot like plagiarism if you aren't careful.
    – Buffy
    Mar 28, 2023 at 14:42
  • 1
    My understanding of the "no citations in abstracts" rule is that an abstract should not refer to a separate bibliography, because it might be used somewhere without the bibliography. If the bibliography is included in the abstract or if the cited work is completely identified in the abstract's text (as opposed to a separate bibliography), then I see no problem with such citations. Mar 28, 2023 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


You definitely need in-line citations in an extended abstract. If I were reviewing conference proposals, I would like to see a full bibliography, but I would probably not reject if the paper didn’t include one and I liked it otherwise.

However, if the extended abstract was going to appear in a conference proceedings (sometimes the case with ASSA) then you will need to add the bibliography. I don’t know if it will be expected to fit within the 8000 characters. You could ask the program chair for a more definitive answer.

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