I'm writing up a paper for an upcoming CS conference. The problem is my paper is 1 page shorter than the conference's page limit. This conference doesn't have any workshop to accept a short paper.

Someone told me that submitting the paper shorter than the page limit was a very bad idea as it guaranteed rejection. Is it true?

  • 6
    One page short out of two pages or one page short out of 25? If the standard paper is pretty short, then it might matter more than if the standard paper is very long.
    – Bill Barth
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 18:26
  • 6
    This has been addressed in this question
    – ff524
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 18:31
  • @ff524 There is some overlap, but I am not convinced that this is indeed the same question. The one you linked specifically talks about Short Papers (a type of paper on its own), this one talks about "a little shorter" Full Papers. I'd leave it open.
    – xLeitix
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 10:38
  • When I'm a reviewer for a conference (usually in theoretical computer science), I'm delighted to see a paper that doesn't use up every square millimeter of the allowed space. Of course, I might still recommend rejection of a short paper, but not because it's short. Commented Jan 2, 2015 at 17:21
  • I would not care much because I don't think it gets rejected for being short length. Second it is good because you can add few more relevant details during camera ready submission if required.
    – Coder
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 21:31

3 Answers 3


I have seen papers rejected because it was shorter than the maximum allowed pages. But this was not the only reason for rejection; rather it was supporting that the paper didn't have enough contribution/content. If you don't want to give the reviewers any excuses to reject, then you might want to fill up the pages, but I think that's silly.

The answer would depend on the field and the page limit. If the page limit is 4, you probably want to fill all 4 pages, because 4 pages is usually not enough. But if the page limit is 12 pages, I see no problem for accepting a high-quality 11-page paper.

  • 1
    Do you mean the minimum pages allowed? I really hope they would never reject a paper for not being the maximum length. Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 7:46
  • 4
    Reviewers may add what they would have liked to see in the paper. Sometimes reviewers see the "missing" parts to be so important to recommend rejection. However, this is much harder to argue if there is no space left, the paper is written concisely already, and nothing can be cut out without disturbing the completeness of the paper. So having the paper at maximum length helps to reduce the risk of rejections with this being one of the arguments. Being one page short however makes the paper easy to attack with such arguments in case the reviewer feels that the paper is insufficient.
    – DCTLib
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 9:06
  • @TobiasKildetoft I've never seen a conference with minimum page limit, but they always have a maximum page limit.
    – Memming
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 12:14
  • 1
    This is a very good answer. Some conferences in my field have moved to very large max. paper lengths, and I often see papers that are 1 or 2 pages short for those. They get accepted no problem, if they are still good.
    – xLeitix
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 12:26

First I should mention that good conferences and journals logically do not pay much attention the the amount of pages of the papers. The quality of the paper and subject of it besides to the discussions and how much the topic is new seems to be more important than the quantity of the papers.

Check the conference's website to see if they policies on this issue or not. You may also ask your question from their office by email or phone.

The problem is my paper is 1 page shorter than the conference's page limit.

It is unclear that their page limit is a maximum number of pages or is a minimum number of pages. In the first case, I have seen some conferences which had a maximum limit of eight pages but some papers were accepted which were organized in nine pages. If there is a maximum limitation, then you have no problem as you are not passing the limit on maximum number of pages, your paper is in the safe side.

But if they "accept papers with no less than a number of pages", you should check this with the conference management. But still I think that there is no problem with shorter papers, specially your case which is inly one page.

By the way, you should also talk to the co-authors of your paper as they may have suggestion on your paper and may help you to extend your academic paper.

  • 2
    The sentence in bold cannot be emphasized enough: The quality of your results matters far more than the number of pages. That said, going over the page limit is usually impossible, no matter how good your results are.
    – JeffE
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 7:31
  • @JeffE I wanted to say that, if the paper do not reach the page limit (maximum number of pages), it is not important; the quality is more important than the quantity.
    – enthu
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 7:48

If you can anticipate what the readers expectations, then you should be OK. If your audience is busy and looking for a concise communication, then you may be better off with a shorter paper. On the hand if it is an student academic exercise, then the instructor probably has an expectation to conform to the pre-defined standard length. The OP is in the best position to understand and decide, with the possible exception he/she publishes the paper here for everyone and defines the context. Best of luck with the good paper.

  • Would you please explain what you mean by "student academic exercise"? Do you mean homework assignments? Please note that the OP is asking about conference's page limit, not the homework essay page limit.
    – Nobody
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 8:47
  • If the OP is a student and submitting to a conference, then I would think that they are expecting the students to observe requirements. Every situation is different and really is driven by the expectations of evaluators
    – gatorback
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 18:49

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