How do you say in your paper that "due to a limited number of pages allowed, I'm not going to discuss the details how and from where this equation is derived..."

It is a conference paper, and they "might" ask us in future to publish our papers in more details in a dedicated special issue of journal X. I need to skip some calculations as I'm limited by pages, and no reference I have to refer, just some derivations.

  • Would you consider to show the audience your proof on blackboard when presenting the paper?
    – Yes
    Feb 3, 2015 at 16:22
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    We often write "due to page restrictions, we defer proofs of results marked with an asterisk to the full version" but this may be field dependent. Also, make sure the reviewer has access to the proofs, e.g. by placing them in an appendix or by linking to full version available online (if the conference allows this).
    – Pål GD
    Feb 3, 2015 at 18:02
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    "I have discovered a truly marvellous proof of this, which this margin is too narrow to contain" Feb 3, 2015 at 18:30
  • @PålGD What's the point of the asterisk? Isn't it obvious that the proof isn't in the conference version from the fact that, well, it's not there? Jun 23, 2015 at 22:59
  • @DavidRicherby I just do what I see others in my fields do. And also because I prefer it myself when reviewing since, you know, gasp sometimes proofs are omitted because the authors are lazy (or their concept of trivial differs from mine), and then I don't have to go look in the appendix for a proof which isn't there. This happens more often than it should.
    – Pål GD
    Jun 24, 2015 at 7:39

6 Answers 6


Details are omitted to conserve space.

Terse. Because you don't want your explanation to cause you to go over the page limit.

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    If the referees object, replace with "Details are given in Appendix X." Feb 3, 2015 at 17:26
  • @IlmariKaronen In my field, the appendices of a page-limited conference paper are only available to the reviewer: they don't appear in the published version. So a referee would never tell you to replace "Details are omitted to conserve space" with "Details are given in the appendix". The readers will never see the appendix until the journal version of the paper comes out, at which point, it won't be an appendix but included in the main body of the paper. Jun 24, 2015 at 8:19
  • @DavidRicherby: What field is that? I'm guessing some subfield of CS, but I'm pretty sure I've seen appendices in CS papers before, so I doubt it's universal. Do you have anything equivalent, like online supplementary material? Jun 24, 2015 at 10:07
  • @IlmariKaronen Theoretical CS (algorithms, complexity, combinatorics). Sure, there are journal papers with appendices (typically used for boring proofs that would interrupt the flow and provide little insight) but conference papers are strictly page limited. Saying "You must write ten pages but we'll also publish an appendix of arbitrary length" is pointless: you'd just put the word "appendix" at the top of page 11 and the page limit disappears. Jun 24, 2015 at 10:08

"See Appendix X for the proof."

"See the full version [1] for the proof."

There is no need to explain why the proof is in the appendix or in the full version; it is self-evident in the case of page-limited conference papers.


For details, see supplementary material.


Usually, the appendix length is unlimited (but it is noted that the conference reviewers might not read it) so what I always do is writing something like "straightforward calculations lead to ..., for details see Appendix [A]".


I think this is a bad approach. Telling the reader that there is something important, but that there is no space to say it, just seems rude. Either the statements for which there is no space need to be said or they do not. If they need to be said, then you need to publish the work some place else that will provide the needed space. If they do not need to be said, then you do not need to tell the reader about them.

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    I disagree, though I can emphasize. Some derivations are important but trivial (and vice versa). The tradeoff between conciseness and completeness is rarely clear-cut - there is always just one more helpful detail. My understanding is that CS conference papers more often have strict page limits than other disciplines' journals, so you need to pick and choose what you explain. And explicitly noting that indeed there are (omitted) details for something is more useful than just writing the result. Feb 3, 2015 at 13:56
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    In CS it's very common to have a limited number of pages. It's difficult to include a thorough proof when there might only be 6 or 8 pages allowed. However, I do think that in this day and age, there's no reason to not have the appendix that can't be published because of space constraints available online somewhere. E.g,. "due to space reasons, we omit proofs here, but see http://... for more details." Feb 3, 2015 at 21:52
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    Telling the reader that there is something important, but that there is no space to say it, just seems rude — On the other hand, not telling the reader that something important has been omitted is dishonest. Far better to be "rude".
    – JeffE
    Feb 4, 2015 at 22:44
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    I agree that it's undesirable that there's a whole system of conference papers where details are omitted because of space but this still counts as a publication. However, the question isn't asking for a critique of that system; it's asking how somebody who cannot change the system should operate within it. Jun 23, 2015 at 23:01

"An in-depth discussion of X is beyond the scope of this paper."

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