Sorry for asking maybe a too-specific question. I've searched the internet and in this site but I still want a specific answer.

Is the Lecture Notes in (enter the name of field here) by Springer a journal?

Some universities require the PhD students to publish in journals in order to graduate, so I want to know. I am in Computer Science field.

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    The real question here seems to be, "Will my university count a paper in a Springer Lecture Notes series towards my graduation requirements?" We have no idea, because we don't even know what university you're at. You should check your university's policy and ask your advisor. Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 15:51
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    Yes only they know the answer..thank you for making me realize my own question and for the advice.
    – kate
    Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 17:14
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    If LNCS is your only publication, I doubt you've done enough for a PhD... Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 21:35
  • The point is probably that they require you to publish with in-depth peer review, which conference (in CS) rarely (never?) provide. Some issues of LNCS may have that, other don't (if they are just publications of conference papers without additional review); check with your advisor.
    – Raphael
    Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 6:28
  • Thanks Jeff for the grim reminder, and thanks Raphael always for your advice. I'll check with my advisor.
    – kate
    Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 7:04

5 Answers 5


I think the technical answer is no. Rather it is a series of research monographs.

Clearly there is a continuum here, and actually the SLN[X] series seems to have become more journal-like since the last time I checked. (The SLNM webpage lists an inmpact factor, for instance.) I think you can do no better than to consult the series homepages:

Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science.

Springer Lecture Notes in Mathematics.

Springer Lecture Notes in Physics.

In CS the series seems to be organized into many subseries, however each volume gets a "global number".

However in all three cases you can check the language used and see that they talk about "monographs", "titles" and "texts", never "journals". If my memory is accurate, librarians view them this way as well: sometimes journals can be checked out for a much shorter time than books, and in my experience the SLNM have always been treated like books.

For the math series, from the linked page you can click to get a four page pdf file detailing the editorial policy for the productions of the LNM monographs. The following passage seems rather enlightening:

Monograph manuscripts should be reasonably self-contained and rounded off. Thus they may, and often will, present not only results of the author but also related work by other people. They may be based on specialised lecture courses. Furthermore, the manuscripts should provide sufficient motivation, examples and applications. This clearly distinguishes Lecture Notes from journal articles or technical reports which normally are very concise. Articles intended for a journal but too long to be accepted by most journals, usually do not have this "lecture notes" character. For similar reasons it is unusual for doctoral theses to be accepted for the Lecture Notes series, though habilitation theses may be appropriate.

I could not find the analogous file for either the SLNCS or SLNP.

In terms of the specific question:

Some universities require the PhD students to publish in journals in order to graduate, so I want to know. I am in Computer Science field.

This is a question about academic culture, both general CS culture and the culture of your specific department and university. You certainly need to ask people in your own local culture. As you can see above, in mathematics graduate students rarely publish in SLNM: PhD theses are generally not appropriate, and it is hard to see what other book-length partially expository high level research document it would be worth the time of a graduate student to write and publish. But it looks like CS does things a bit differently...

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    In my sub-area of CS, the LNCS is primarily Springer's way of publishing conference proceedings. As such, they would count towards the articles a student is expected to produce during a PhD; however, they do not correspond to our top-ranked conferences, and I would generally encourage a student to aim higher. If citing a paper that appeared in LNCS, I would use @InProceedings and the conference name (rather than LNCS).
    – user38309
    Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 6:23
  • I see.. It's better safe than sorry, so better clarify with the university and aim for a proper journal. Thank you Pete and schester.
    – kate
    Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 11:58
  • "In CS there are many subseries and they don't seem to be numbered." - LNCS is numbered, if you are referring to volume numbers there. I have stumbled upon a few subseries, but those subseries seemed to be more like selected subsets of LNCS (and thus had just their global LNCS number) rather than individual series disjoint from LNCS with a separate numbering scheme (LNAI comes to mind). Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 19:36
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    There are (still) some proceedings (especially of seminars) that are published as LN in Mathematics; a famous old example would be part of SGA, IIRC, but it still happens. It seems quite possible that a graduate student has such a paper.
    – quid
    Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 20:25
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    @quid: Yes, that's true. I thought of that when writing my answer but chose not to include it. It seems like a bit of an edge case... Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 20:32

The Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS) series (and its related sub-series) are rather odd publications. The DBLP bibliography server marks them as a journal in one way, but categorizes them as a series in another way, and they are structured and reviewed more like conference proceedings or collections of book chapters.

I personally would not think of them as being the equivalent of a journal publication. Whether they count as a journal publication for a particular organization's set of regulations, however, is something that only that organization can determine.

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    So I'll have to ask the university admin.. Thank you very much for your answer.
    – kate
    Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 4:19
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    They really should not be considered journals. Many papers published there are later polished and journal versions are published elsewhere. Some even describe themselves as extended abstracts. Many of these proceedings impose page restrictions that essentially force this to happen: Many proofs have to be left out, for the "archival" version. Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 1:30
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    Actually, dblp does not exactly classify LNCS as journal. In fact, if you query the venue search API for "lncs" (eg: dblp.dagstuhl.de/search/venue/api?q=lncs) you will find it explicitly tagged as "Series". However, the LNCS dblp pages are placed in the "db/journals/..." URL space, which is due to historical reasons and one of the many inconsistencies found in dblp's URL and key structure (as opposed to, say, the detailed and error-corrected data in the XML files). Such inconsistencies essentially never leave the system since dblp has not revoked any URLs or dblp keys in over 20 years.
    – MRA
    Commented Oct 26, 2015 at 15:50
  • @MRA That's really useful and interesting information; I will update my answer accordingly.
    – jakebeal
    Commented Oct 26, 2015 at 15:53

Status of LNCS is rather strange, but it is surely not a journal. Each book is a proceeding (I'm not aware of any exceptions to this rule), and altogether it's simply a series. I'll try to explain why:

  1. Note that while it has an ISSN, each of its volumes gets an ISBN. This makes it a "serial" publication, but each of the books is ... well, a "book". (Journal issues do not get ISBN.)

  2. Springer itself lists most (if not all) of the books as proceedings, including the dates of the conference etc. The conference dates are usually not listed for special issues for instance, it's most often only mentioned in the preamble. (Jounal issues don't get "names".)

  3. You get invited talks listed there which are not peer-reviewed. (In journals, only announcements are -- in general -- not peer-reviewed.)

  4. It has no periodicity. (Journals have to be periodical; this periodicity can change over time, and supplements can appear that break the periodicity, but if LNCS were a journal, it would be a journal with no regular issues published periodically.)

  5. It does not have, and cannot have by current standards, impact factor assigned. (Journals can have IF, obviously.)

To conclude: Each book is a proceeding, and the papers are "inproceedings" by BibTeX standard. Note that according to many bibliography styles, you should list the name of the proceeding together with its editors, and the volume number in the series. I speak about LNCS, but it's the same for all Springers series, and not only them, the same applies for instance to EPTCS as well.


Specifically for Lecture Notes in Computer Science: No. As can be found from http://www.springer.com/computer/lncs?SGWID=0-164-6-1068921-0

Not being a journal, but a book series publishing primarily proceedings, LNCS is not included in ISI's Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-E) and hence does not have an impact factor. However, references to ISI-listed journals that are cited in LNCS papers do contribute to the respective journal’s impact factor.


As of 2018, it is included in ISI Conference Proceedings Citation Index. I'm not sure whether the conference papers published in LNCS before 2018 will be included as well.


Volumes published as part of the LNCS, LNAI, LNBI, CCIS, IFIP AICT, LNICST or LNBIP series are made available to the following indexing services:

ISI Conference Proceedings Citation Index - Science (CPCI-S), included in ISI Web of Science ...

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