when i want to write a conference paper i get confused how to organize introduction and related work chapters! Because both are related to the literature review.

My impression is that the introduction should be broader than the related works, and the latter should be more focused on the comparable approaches. But do we still need to mentioned the related works in the introduction as well? Then it'll become double mentioning of literature.

Could you please distinguish the difference of these two chapters for me a bit more clearly than my understanding?

By the way, i'm working in computer science field as the above might be different in other fields.

  • 2
    This is a common issue, but proper guidance differs by field. In Psychology for instance there generally is no related work section - that's part of what the introduction is for. In HCI (and various ACM-style fields) Introduction is much more direct about your paper and includes only citation of highly relevant papers, while related work is more about other work which is in the same general area but is less directly about the topic. There may be other versions in other fields I am not familiar with.
    – BrianH
    Oct 31, 2016 at 20:56

1 Answer 1


Because these distinctions vary across fields, your best bet is to look at some examples from your field to get an idea of how people approach this.

In general, I would say your introduction is a more general overview which should include some references to existing literature but is also intended to establish the importance of your work (i.e., a knowledge gap of some sort). You can limit the citations to the most recent or most relevant works - you certainly do not need to mention every work you will cite later in the paper.

Depending on the flow of your writing you may re-cite citations from your introduction in your related work chapter or in other sections; if you do re-cite, it is likely because these works are very important to your paper and you may have multiple reasons to cite them (for example, in your introduction you may mention their conclusions/achievements; in your related works you might be talking about their approach). As long as you aren't repeating yourself, there is no reason to be afraid to cite the same work more than once in your paper.

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