I have two papers whose citation look like this:

Elhabbash, A., Nundloll, V., Elkhatib, Y., Blair, G. S., and Marco, V. S. (2020). An ontological architecture for principled and automated system of systems composition. In Proceedings of the IEEE/ACM 15th International Symposium on Software Engineering for Adaptive and Self-Managing Systems, pages 85– 95.

Halba, K., Griffor, E., Lbath, A., and Dahbura, A. (2021). A framework for the composition of IoT and CPS capabilities. In 2021 IEEE 45th Annual Computers, Software, and Applications Conference, pages 1265–1272

I want to ask if I consolidate them to same style or not. I can add "in proceedings" to the citations like the second one. Or I can remove "in proceedings to citations like the first one. What is the appropriate way?

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    The “In” is not part of the Journals name.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Apr 8 at 14:58

2 Answers 2


You can't leave the word "Proceedings" out of the first one, or add it to the second if the official name of the publication has it (like the first) or not (like the second).

If the correct name of the first journal is "Proceedings of the IEEE/ACM...", then the word "Proceedings" is there and you shouldn't remove it just because it seems to clash with the style of the second one whose name seems to be "2021 IEEE 45th Annual Computers..." which does not have the word "Proceedings".

And you can't leave out the word "in..." because that signifies that the paper is one of many in a journal, as opposed to being the name of the publication itself.

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    I would say the "in" signifies that what follows is the name of a volume/issue, not a journal. Often there is an overarching journal that publishes the proceedings of several different conferences as special issues. Commented Apr 8 at 12:10

You should, despite numerous counter-examples, use the full title of the publication. In both of your cases, it is Proceedings of the IEEE Annual Computers ... In the more distant past, many people liked to abbreviate conference names, because "everyone" knew what STOC or VLDB in Computer Science stood for. Then it became more common to abbreviate parts of the name like Proc. Int'l Symp. on Theory of Comput. (STOC), but now the style asked for by the people that run conferences is to give the full name. As we go more and more paper-less, it is becoming more common that references do not count for the page limit of a conference submission. (I still remember having to cut two lines from a paper with my advisor and we decided against citing someone where we were already doubting that citing was the right thing to do.) This means that references should be as full as possible (within reason). Nowadays, you sometimes have to include DOI, which are quite long.

The "in" is a bit more debatable, but it is also the established usage.

Other disciplines have and had different customs.

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