What are conference papers? Why do people submit them to attend conferences?

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Currently searching for conferences related to workplace training and learning and saw that on some websites they ask potential participants to submit papers to attend. Do people submit these papers to get published at the conferences? Can I attend such conferences just to listen?

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19 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

A call for papers is for people who want to present, the paper is what their talk will be about. If you just want to listen then you can buy a ticket. If you can’t buy a ticket then that probably means they haven’t gone on sale yet.

Anonymous 0 Comments

My father-in-law was a professor and would submit papers to be considered as a speaker at a conference.

Anonymous 0 Comments

In academia, conference papers are usually a way to get early or unfinished research published. Usually, they are not rigorously peer reviewed like a journal paper, and so, they have questionable value in some fields…though I hear their particularly highly regarded on other fields, like mathematics. The papers are usually much shorter than a journal article, and need to be accompanied by a presentation to get published. In general, if you are willing to pay to attend a conference without a paper or presentation, they will absolutely accept your money to do so.

Anonymous 0 Comments

In my experience, potential presenters are the people who submit papers. Next, a committee selects the papers/presenters for topics that the conference attendees would benefit from the most. The call for papers and abstracts happens a lot earlier than registration for the conference. There may be an option on the organization’s website to receive a notification when the registration opens.

Anonymous 0 Comments

MOST people at conferences are going just to listen. So you can absolutely do that, and it’s not weird at all.

But if you’re going to present something at one of the panels people listen to, the organizers are going to want to know what you’re proposing to present, both so they can select which presenters they want to invite and so they can organize the presenters into panels that fall along coherent themes.

So if you want to participate as someone that’s presenting something, you submit a paper that organizers can use to plan the conference, and that they can put out in advance so that people that are coming to listen can read in advance if they want to, especially if they have specific questions about the topic and want to ask questions during the q&a part of the panel.

Anonymous 0 Comments

You are usually asked to submit a conference paper if you want to *present*, not just if you want to attend and listen.

When registering to attend the conference, there will usually be some sort of box or separate form for “I would like to present at this conference”. If you select that part, that’s where it will usually prompt you to submit a paper for consideration.

Just leave that part out, and you should be able to register for attendance without needing to submit any paper.

Anonymous 0 Comments

As others have mentioned, the papers are submitted by people who want to speak at the conference. If you are looking at a conference asking for papers, they are probably months away from actually running the conference, and won’t be selling tickets yet.

Also, calling them “papers” is a bit of a stretch. I’ve submitted “papers” to multiple conferences, and have never really been asked for more than a few paragraphs describing what I wanted to talk about.

Anonymous 0 Comments

ELI5 version – it’s like being a musician. academics write a paper, a musician writes a song. academics present at conferences to advertise their work, musicians give concerts. in some fields papers at conferences are published, which is a main avenue for career advancement, whereas most musicians make the majority of their money through concerts. in both cases the majority of attendees are not the artists presenting. actually a conference is more like a music festival, except instead of a roster of awesome bands you have a roster of rocking nerds 😉

less ELI5 – Depends on the exact field of research. So for example for workplace training a conference might have different goals than one in say machine learning. in general, unless the conference is by invite, everyone is welcome to attend. in fact if there is a registration fee, it is most certainly welcome to maximize participants, as it helps the local organizers cover their costs. Here I’m assuming an academic institution is organizing the conference. there are a growing number of scam conferences which presumably must be for profit. you can usually spot them by the fact that they cover wayyyy too many areas, eg all of physics (unless it’s run by a government entity), and are run by a strange corporate entity rather than an academic or governmental body. ask an expert in the area if not sure.

As for why paper submission. in my area you submit papers to have them published at conference proceedings, which you then put on your cv to pad your list of accomplishments, important for career advancement. also is huge publicity at the major conferences to speak, even if there are no proceedings.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s academic/industry show and tell.

They ask for show and tell presentations (papers) and if yours is good enough, you get to present. By making sure they have interesting presentations, the conference organizers can attract listeners to pay the admission fee which is one of their main sources of income.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Engineering here.

A lot of private companies will only pay for you to attend if you have a paper to present. Or can present with a client and make the client look great/get them a trip.