I have some downloaded papers and I am going to store journals and conferences in separate folders. My problem is that by having a simple look at the PDF file, I cannot detect if that paper is journal or conference. Some papers mention it. However, how to detect the others?

  • 3
    If you cannot tell now, how will you find a paper again once you've filed it? An easy solution to your problem would be to not store the two types separately.
    – Jessica B
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 9:19

1 Answer 1


Just search for the title of the paper as a phrase, online. That will almost always lead you either to the journal, or to the conference.

If that doesn't work, go through the list of authors one at a time, and find their university home pages, if they exist; from there, look for their list of publications: that will often have the full citation, and that will let you know whether they are journal or conference papers.

You could also try searching on one or more of the online reference compilers, such as CiteULike, Sparrho, Zotero, Mendeley, or even serial spammers ResearchGate

There are also existing tools such as Mendeley Desktop that will try to find a pdf's metadata for you, with varying degrees of success.

  • From what I have understood, I should read the citation and format of writing does not say anything. Now my question is that if for example the publisher in citation is Computer Graphics Forum or Blackwell Publishing Ltd, should I have trouble of online search for the publisher to realize if the paper is conference or journal? Sometimes the publisher has both journals and conferences too.
    – barej
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 8:06
  • 1
    @barej: The citation usually tells you more than just the name of the publisher, namely the name of the conference proceedings or journal. Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 11:12
  • @O.R.Mapper: Lets make an example. I have the citation: Da Silva, Marco, Yeuhi Abe, and J. Popović. "Simulation of Human Motion Data using Short‐Horizon Model‐Predictive Control." Computer Graphics Forum. Vol. 27. No. 2. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2008.. How to know if it is conference or journal?
    – barej
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 16:19
  • @barej: "Blackwell Publishing Ltd" is the publisher, as that is what is normally followed by the year and indicated towards the end of the citation (in that citation style, anyway), and also, because (as implied by the Ltd) it looks like a company name. That doesn't tell you anything about the type of the publication. What can give you some information is Computer Graphics Forum. That is the name of a specific work or series, and you can find out what it is. However, the fact that it's followed by a volume and a number strongly implies that it is a journal. Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 16:26

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