When writing the references at the end of my internship report, I needed to cite all the information that needs to be said about the scientific articles that I used while writing the report. But these articles, most of the time, do not mention the conference or journals in which they were presented nor their publication date. Is there a website in which one can have access to this kind of information about any scientific aticle? BTW, I am talking about the field of computer science.

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    You mean like Google Scholar?
    – aeismail
    Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 19:52
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    If your university subscribes to it, MathSciNet is a very good tool for this as well. Both this and Google Scholar let you export BibTeX directly (and probably other formats, but I've never used them).
    – Mangara
    Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 20:39
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    I'm a bit confused. Scientific articles generally include all required citation information on the first page. Commented Sep 1, 2014 at 8:03
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    Rereading this question, I note a second point of confusion. Many academic papers (depending on the discipline) were never presented at conferences... so part of your conundrum could be that you are looking for data that does not exist.
    – virmaior
    Commented Sep 1, 2014 at 10:05
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    @JeromyAnglim Citation data in many CS conference papers, even from major publishers, is incomplete (only the conference abbreviation and date) or missing entirely. And unofficial preprints, either on arXiv or on authors' web pages, generally have no citation data at all.
    – JeffE
    Commented Sep 1, 2014 at 15:03

3 Answers 3


Background: Many researchers put their articles for download on their personal web pages. As most publishers insist on not allowing the researcher to put the "official" version there, but rather only the self-made PDF, this leads to articles often not having the journal/conference information on the first page (as this would require changing the article a bit, which is a bit of work to be done). Also, self-archived versions often appear before the conference, so that page numbers can only be missing, and might not be updated later.

Actual Answer: For CS, a good strategy is to just type "DBLP " into your favorite search engine. Many papers nowadays are listed on the DBLP page, which also allows you to just download the bibliographic information.

If a paper is not listed on DBLP, just searching for the paper title often yields the publisher's page of the article, which should have the information available.

If searching for the title does not yield any results, then the paper could be a limited circulation pre-print, which is stricly speaking not citeble. However, in such (hopefully few) cases, it makes sense to ask the person who gave you the article for bibliographic information.


Elsevier's Scopus has pretty decent coverage and can also be used to create custom alerts that will email you when new manuscripts(s) matching a set of keywords (or authors) are found. With regards to proceedings it gets trickier as some times they do not get published by a source that gets captured by an aggregator (be it Google Scholar or Scopus or something else).

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    SCOPUS's depth greatly depends on your field of study. It's nearly useless in mine. Are you answering specifically for CS?
    – virmaior
    Commented Sep 1, 2014 at 1:55
  • I was under the impression that Scopus's coverage is universal? Out of curiosity, what is your field? p.s. yes, I have used Scopus for CS amongst other things.
    – Spiros
    Commented Sep 1, 2014 at 7:01
  • Most of my publications are in philosophy. Many don't show up in SCOPUS. I first learned about SCOPUS when applying for a highly-skilled worker VISA in Japan -- they only check SCOPUS to count publications
    – virmaior
    Commented Sep 1, 2014 at 7:20
  • @Spiros That's exactly what SCOPUS would like you to think, but it's just not true, even within CS.
    – JeffE
    Commented Sep 1, 2014 at 15:00

It's rather unusual that the final version of a published research paper does not display the publication venue prominently on the first page of the paper. If you can't find anything there, try to remember where you got the manuscript from.

  • Did you download it from a website? The website should have contained all publication information.
  • Did someone give it to you directly? Ask that person for details on the publication information.
  • Is it copied out of a book? Try to find that book again.
  • If you don't remember where it came from, you simply may want to try an internet search for the article's exact title and all authors - if there's anything to be found, that should come up among the top results.

In some cases, you may have obtained a manuscript which is not formally published yet. After following the above steps to ensure that no published version is available in the meantime, these manuscripts can be cited as "Unpublished", "Technical report", or "Preprint", together with the information how to find them (URL, University where they were prepared, or other) and the year they were written in.

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