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Ahmedabad University is going to organize an annual economic conference. I have completed my graduation this year. A few conferences which were held at my university published the accepted papers in a booklet (made specially for the conference held). So I was under the impression that if I get my paper accepted at this conference, I might get published which would help me in getting admission to good graduate schools. But when I contacted the Ahmedabad University regarding the publication of papers, this was their reply:

We do not publish papers in any conference proceedings. However, there is a best paper award.

Suppose that my paper doesn't win the best paper award, my question is: if they won't publish my paper in any of their proceedings or booklets, how would I be able mention it in my CV and how would the recruiting team of my target graduate schools be able to access it to evaluate the level of my work?

How would a recruiter of a Graduate School regard the student who had submitted a paper in such a conference, but didn't win the best paper award?

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  • I edited you post a bit to only have one questions, otherwise it might get closed for being too broad.
    – Sursula
    Commented Aug 30, 2023 at 8:06

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Literally, it doesn't hurt and may help. Listing it might lead to productive conversations during the application process. Be prepared.

For such things that leave little public record you can point to in a CV, I suggest you talk with those professors who are writing letters of recommendation for you and, supposing they know about the work and the conference, mention it in their letters.

It is one thing for you to say something unverifiable about yourself in an application or a CV, and quite another if a respected academic says those same things.

And, in any case, you should use letter writers with whom you have a good enough relationship that such a conversation is possible.

However, you should list it as you would if there were a proceedings published. Name, date, location, etc. And name the sponsor if it is a professional organization.

Let me add, also, if you are really asking whether you should bother doing this in the first place, that yes, it is worth it. Conferences give the opportunity to network with people in your field and to give yourself and your work visibility. Don't be a "wall flower" at conferences. Use "coffee time" and such to meet people and talk about ideas - give and take. Over time you want to build a circle of collaboration. Conferences are a good place to do that.

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  • "Let me add, also, if you are really asking whether you should bother doing this in the first place, that yes, it is worth it" Thank you for adding that explicitly. My main aim is to get into a good graduate school and then get into research field, because this conference accepts paper from graduates, PhD scholars and professionals only, undergrads can only be co-authors. I might be co-authoring on a topic with my HOD of Economics. Will it help me?
    – ConGovDeIn
    Commented Aug 30, 2023 at 14:11
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    Collaboration with established scholars is helpful. They are excellent letter writers in many cases. Copacetic.
    – Buffy
    Commented Aug 30, 2023 at 14:13
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Even if conferences do not publish proceedings, the conference program is normally published on their website and can be accessed even after the conference is finished. So you have proof that you actually gave a talk at the conference.

If you want recruiters to be able to access your presentation, you can always upload it to an online repository afterwards (check copyright policies of the conference) and add the link to that in your CV.

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  • > Even if conferences do not publish proceedings, the conference program is normally published on their website and can be accessed...<br/> I asked them to provide me access to previous year conference's papers, and they replied thus,<br/> > I am sorry, but access to previous years' papers cannot be provided. You can check the website again for previous years' conferences however.<br/> This is all that I can find on their [site][1] regarding the previous conference. [1]:ahduni.edu.in/site/assets/files/11789/…
    – ConGovDeIn
    Commented Aug 30, 2023 at 12:06
  • @ConGovDeIn That is exactly what I wrote, it is the program with the speakers and their topics. It is not much but will proove that you have attended the conference as a speaker.
    – Sursula
    Commented Aug 30, 2023 at 12:15
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I have never been to a conference in my field (Biology) that publishes conference proceedings. All you get is a booklet with the conference program, which lists the presentations, sometimes with an abstract. This is what you use as evidence that you presented, for your CV, reimbursement (if any) from your own institution, etc.

As @Sursula says in their answer, most conferences will post their programs online. That the particular conference you want to attend does not have its act together is concerning. But still, you should get a conference program which can then photocopy and use as evidence.

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