This question is easiest to ask by showing an example. There are conferences that are cited like 5th International Conference on ABC and some like Interational Conference on XYZ.

Why are some conference papers cited with the $n$th in front of the conference name? I hate the way it looks in the references and feel it is unecessary. When do you need to include, or is it even necessary to include at all?

I usually look for examples in the conference/journal I am submitting a paper to check for if I should include it or not, but I sometimes see a mix of papers that cite using the $n$th in front and paper that do not.

2 Answers 2


You are right that the information can be superfluous, as the year is also given. Nevertheless, the name of the conference include the number and proper citation gives the full name of the conference, possibly with abbreviations for "International" or "Conference". Usually, the venue that you have chosen to publish your results will have style guide lines that specify what to do. Of course, some people get away with incomplete citations or even just giving the abbreviations of the conference.

  • 1
    In CS, for many conferences, the nth is actually part of the name and implies a separate entity and organization from earlier versions.
    – Buffy
    Feb 14 at 14:12

I think most bibliographic guidelines say that you need to cite the proceedings title as it appears on the book cover or on the website where the abstract is published.

In practice, I'm not sure if anyone checks this to the amount of detail you ask about. I have also seen some cases where titles are different on various website pages, and in case there exists a paper book, it may be published by a different publisher and titled slightly differently. I wouldn't worry about these details, just remember to include DOI or a link so that the readers can quickly find the paper.

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