I did a master's degree in computer science and wrote a thesis. I'm interested in submitting the work in my thesis to a second-tier conference in my research area -- if it is accepted, it will be a stamp of quality for my work.

Nevertheless, I'm not really interested in presenting the work in case it is accepted, because (i) I've moved on to a PhD somewhere else, and it would be troublesome to ask my former advisor for travel funding or presentation advice, and (ii) I've moved on to a different research area (still within the same broad area.)

Can I submit to a conference and choose not to present? If not, what can I do?

  • 4
    Why not submit to a journal?
    – Jessica B
    Jan 9, 2015 at 22:04
  • @JessicaB I think I'll eventually submit to a journal too. But (as I understand) conferences are more welcome to not-fully-mature work than journals (of course, also depends on the level of conference/journal). In any case, having the paper in both a conference and a journal is better than in a journal alone.
    – Dng
    Jan 9, 2015 at 22:09
  • 14
    Why not ask your current advisor? Isn't the definition of advisor "someone who gives advice"?
    – JeffE
    Jan 10, 2015 at 0:26

4 Answers 4


In many conferences, the work has to be presented in order to be included in the conference proceedings and considered published otherwise a submission, even if accepted, will be removed.

If you really want to have the paper in a conference you can submit it to one that a friend or colleague is attending and he can present your work for you. It is not an optimal situation and might be frowned upon by those attending the presentation, as realistically you cannot expect a decent Q&A session afterwards, but many of the conference organisers tolerate it and it quite a common practice in an environment with budget cuts or less travel money available.

  • Note that often you'd still be expected to pay the registration fee for uploading your paper, even if you don't attend in person.
    – silvado
    Jan 10, 2015 at 11:21

It is somewhat if not outright unethical to submit a paper to a conference with peer review with the intention of not attending and presenting. The program committee and reviewers will have to put in volunteer effort to deal with your paper only to have you withdraw it or simply fail to attend.

You should not do this.


Another route to consider would be journal publication. You can poke around some of their sites to find the submission requirements and to see whether their journal sounds compatible with your work.

Checking with a few other conference FAQs, it seems that if you are accepted, they will ask whether you would like to present. I'm not sure what that will get you, if you say 'no,' other than personal validation that you did good work.


I think you should submit and present if it is chosen. If you don't present it, you take away someone else's chance who needs the break in that conference more than you do. Everything is competitive nowadays. Why to create un necessary competition ?

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