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As a newcomer to research I'd like to ask a question about submitting papers to conferences. My supervisor has been telling me before that my project can be submitted to the top conference and she's always been super confident, but in a recent meeting she suddenly told me that the top conference paper requires a specific setup for study and it would be too late to finish everything before the deadline. My supervisor is very nice and helped me a lot with my writing and project but idk why she never told me about this before. Before she said if the review of the top conference isn't great I can still submit to conference B.

Now she said I can submit for conference B, which is also great but of course it's not the top, plus the submission will be in early next year (and my work is kind of time-sensitive). She said that I can use the upcoming months to polish the paper and make a better prototype etc. She also proposed another idea to submit to another conference, which might be easier to get accepted.

My idea is that it's true that I don’t have a lot of time left to submit the top conference, but if I work harder and finish everything early I still got chances. It's my first submission and I really hope to get some advice on what I should do and how I should deal with this with my supervisor. Thanks in advance!

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    The advice seems sound. As a co-author, she doesn't have a great incentive to discourage you from submitting to a top conference, unless the chances for the paper to be accepted are zero-ish. The main issue is that she didn't formulate her expectations for a top conference paper early enough in advance for you to respond to them in time, which can be seen as an example of poor leadership on her part. Jul 20, 2023 at 10:36
  • What is your question? What about discussing the issue with her? Jul 20, 2023 at 21:00
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    It seems that they thought the work would be up to some standard/format for the deadline and now that the deadline is closer, they realize there is not enough time, and thus they are suggesting an alternative that would certainly work, rather than risking not making it at all. This is a normal thing to happen in academia an otherwise, for projects that are long. Jul 21, 2023 at 10:18

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Assuming that her advice about conference requirements is correct, I think you are getting good advice and should follow it. You don't need to start at the top to get there. Submitting to a more appropriate conference will likely provide a better result all around, including the fact that you may not be quite ready for prime time.

It is also, generally speaking, a mistake to fight with your advisor.

This isn't your last chance for success, only the start of the process. Your supervisor seems both supporting and giving good advice. It is probably your best option to follow it.

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Adding to what @Buffy wrote (which I fully endorse): don't chase the idea of submissions at top conferences too much. Depending on the size of such conferences, your work will not gain a lot of exposure. Smaller, more thematically focused venues can be great to start building your research portfolio and meet like-minded people.

In particular for your first submission, it can be very dissuading to receive negative reviews; your adviser seems to know the field and appears to be looking out for you. If they are suggesting a better suitable venue, I'd heed their advice.

Good luck with this and any future submissions!

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