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One of my research papers have been accepted to a very prestigious conference (top most in my field of study in Computer Science). Since I am not a full time student, university rules do not allow for funding my travel and conference registration charges. Also, I do not earn enough to support my own travel to a different continent. Moreover, my advisor, who is also a co-author in the paper cannot travel due to personal issues.

The conference website doesn't mention about any kind of support neither have I ever seen(short career) such a support being provided.

So my questions are:

  • Should I rather target journals for publications since most of the reputable ones in my field are free to publish but may take anywhere between 1-2 years to get accepted. Moreover, they may require more comprehensive work and analysis which I may not always be able to commit to, resulting in my work lying unpublished.

  • Is it normal to just aim for journal publications ?

  • I am a Phd Student. I want to go in academia in future. I believe aiming for journal publication would result in less number of publications for me. Would it affect my career in future ?
  • I assume you have exhausted all the usual travel grant options... – ff524 Feb 15 '15 at 17:48
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    First of all, apply to everywhere you can including the conference itself for travel funds. Second,if you co-author perhaps your co-author will have a grant that can fund your travel? Third, if you are a registered PhD student, try applying to your university in any case for travel funds. Someone kind might relent. Basically, be bold :) – felix Feb 15 '15 at 17:53
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    Doesn't the conference allow student volunteers? They usually get the registration fee waived. – TheWanderer Feb 15 '15 at 18:05
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    @krammer I have never heard of such a thing (no one will ever even know you converted). However, being part-time does have an impression. – Austin Henley Feb 16 '15 at 5:55
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    Could you consider going through the normal admission for full time? Having a paper accepted at a top conference is a very strong point. – Davidmh Feb 17 '15 at 9:07
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Very likely having only journal publications will NOT harm your future career prospects. Let me elaborate.

If you plan a career outside the US, this is even truer. As far as I understand most countries are moving towards a more journal evaluation of computer science. I cannot point to a paper to that effect, but most of the papers that discuss conference x journals in CS are from non US researchers, which may indicate that there is some pressure in these countries to move out of the conference publishing business-as-usual model for CS.

For a career within the US, @jakebeal answer to this Academia question seems to suggest that journal publications are also the important metric of evaluation in "lesser institution".

I heard from someone that was applying for faculty positions two years ago that the most prestigious CS departments were only considering candidates that had at least 1000 citations - so the most prestigious institutions do not seem to care for number of publications and where (this is hearsay information).

Now for the caveats, as you realize, a journal-based career will imply in less papers - which I argue is not necessarily a problem, but you have to be sure that you will have some paper/papers published when you apply for a job. Avoid, if you can, journals with too long a review cycle - you may not have any/enough papers published by the end of your PhD.

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