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Just wanted to ask what exactly IEEE Xplore is. I will be presenting at an IEEE-affiliated conference and the organizers said that the paper will be published in IEEE Xplore. According to online sources, it is a "digital library", but how difficult is it to publish in IEEE Xplore, and will it count as a "publication" equivalent to publishing in a journal?

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Usually, if you are submitting a paper or abstract to a conference, they publish it in their proceedings. Where that goes exactly is field and conference dependant - in your case it is going directly onto IEEE Xplore.

So to answer your first question, IEEE Xplore is a repository/library of IEEE (and other) publications.

As for your next two questions, however prestigious/selective the conference is determines how hard it is to get a paper in (thus how difficult it is to get published). Assuming you are submitting a full paper it can be "equivalent" to a journal - in fact in some fields (computer science comes to mind) it can be more prestigious, and is more common, to publish through conferences vs. journals.

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    I’d add a clarification that one doesn’t really “publish in IEEEXplore — one publishes in an IEEE journal or conference (which as you note have various degrees of prestige/selectivity), and IEEE hosts that publication online via IEEEXplore.
    – RLH
    Oct 4, 2023 at 6:17
  • As an additional comment, it should be stated that in the past, IEEExplore also included the proceedings of some conferences that are clearly "spamferences". I think they cut back on that issue and now IEEExplore inclusion requires some basic steps by the conferences, I think. But that still means IEEExplore inclusion nowadays still really does not mean more than "not obviously garbage" - it is the reputation of the respective conference that counts. Some conferences highlight IEEExplore inclusion because it means that the paper will appear in some index that some universities care about.
    – DCTLib
    Oct 4, 2023 at 8:18

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