Recently I have been attending a couple of conferences/workshops, presenting my latest results in oral and poster sessions. I really enjoyed doing that and the following live discussions.

However the proceedings of these conferences are not reviewed and for many people they do not count as "real" publications. I wouldn't like to stop going to conferences, discussing with people and collecting the visibility that arises from this, but on the other hand I also wouldn't like to waste my precious results in publications that are not seen as serious enough.

What is the best practice in this case?

I spoke with people saying that they do not even bother about writing workshop proceedings, but I don't feel quite comfortable with this approach.

My field is accelerator physics, especially machine design and beam dynamics simulations.

  • 2
    What field are you in?
    – MJeffryes
    Jun 16, 2015 at 10:49
  • If only journal publications actually count (for getting a PHD, tenure or promotion) in your discipline, stick with those. Traveling and conferences are fun but you must first do the work you are paid to do and helps your career and then do the fun part. You can always present your already published results in conferences, since from what you said, it sounds that most conferences in your discipline do not have formal proceeding and do allow that.
    – Alexandros
    Jun 16, 2015 at 12:39
  • The main method of dissemination in physics is through arXiv and comparable initiatives, so I am fairly sure most physics journals don't make problems out of unreviewed prior 'publications' these days. Jun 16, 2015 at 21:26

1 Answer 1


While I do not know accelerator physics in particular, for most fields and most journals, a non-reviewed publication does not count as prior publication. If this is the case for accelerator physics as well, then putting an extended abstract in a non-reviewed conference will not block you from publishing an improved full paper in a journal later. The prior version should be explicitly acknowledged in the journal submission.

The other reason that you might end up with less publications is internal rather than external: once you've put it out and gotten your feedback, you might not feel as strong an urge to do a formal peer-reviewed publication. If this is the case, then you need to ask yourself whether this is actually a problem for you or not. I, for example, have a number of publications that have never gone beyond technical reports or white-papers, but am comfortable with that because I think most of them did not need to have a full publication, and I've got enough others. If you are a person who has difficulty motivating yourself to writing up results for peer review, however, you may want to consider the spur to publication as valuable and therefore avoid the non-peer-reviewed pre-publications.

  • Being in my early career I actually need and want to publish as much as the good results I can produce! Knowing that non-reviewed publication does not count as prior publication and do not prevent them is encouraging.
    – DarioP
    Jun 16, 2015 at 11:49
  • @DarioP it's not that simple. Non-reviewed publication can count as prior publication, and can prevent further publication. It depends on a bunch of factors.
    – 410 gone
    Jun 16, 2015 at 11:56
  • @EnergyNumbers How could I understand that before investing a lot of time in preparing the journal paper based on previous non-reviewed publication(s)?
    – DarioP
    Jun 16, 2015 at 12:13
  • 1
    @DarioP Every journal should give guidance on what is allowed, in terms of duplication of a previously presented work. Dependent on the norms in their particular field, they generally allow it, as long as some percentage of the journal paper is new material.
    – MJeffryes
    Jun 16, 2015 at 12:31
  • 3
    @DarioP talk to your editor. They're almost always human.
    – 410 gone
    Jun 16, 2015 at 13:19

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