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Keeping Your Research Current: Conferences

A guide to tools and services that help you stay up to date with research in your area.

Stay current with conferences

Attending conferences is a popular way of staying current and networking with colleagues. Follow conference hashtags to network and keep up to date with conference presentations, speakers and events.

Conference proceedings are the collected papers which are published following a conference.

Confererence papers contain research that may not have made it into a book or journal yet, so may include the latest developments in a particular field.

Many subject-specific databases index conference proceedings. See 'Finding Conference Proceedings' on this page and check your own specialist subject databases.

Conference directories

Locating papers delivered at conferences can sometimes be difficult, but they can often be the only record of vital new research results. Some useful conference listings include:

  • All A directory focusing on conferences, conventions, trade shows, exhibits, workshops, events and business meetings.
  • Web of Conferences is an open access platform devoted to scientific, technical and medical conferences.It offers services for the publication and dissemination of conference proceedings.

Finding unpublished conference papers

Many papers and posters presented at conferences are never published.  However, they may be cited by people who attended the conference. Sometimes you may find that the author has published the substance of the paper in a later work, so you no longer need the conference paper. However if this doesn't apply, you can:

  • Search to see if a version of the paper is in an institutional repository
  • Contact the author direct to request a copy of the paper

Call for papers

call for papers (CFP) is used in academic context for collecting book or journal articles and conference presentations. A CFP usually describes a theme, the occasion for the CFP, and formalities such as the submission process.

The following resources are a good starting point to finding calls for papers and conference announcements across multiple disciplines:


Conal Conference Alerts


Finding conference proceedings

Many subject-specific databases index conference proceedings

  • OCLC PapersFirst: Provides access to individual papers presented at conferences worldwide
  • Scopus: Limit by Document Type: conference
  • Web of Sciencescholarly literature in the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities, and includes the proceedings of international conferences, symposia, seminars, colloquia, workshops
  • ZETOC provides access to the British Library's Electronic Table of Contents of journals and conference proceedings 
  • OneSearch: Refine your results to Conference Proceedings under 'Resource Type'
  • British Library has a large repository of international conference proceedings
  • Google Scholar can help you locate individual conference papers or entire proceedings
  • Search the internet: Some proceedings are freely available online. Try searching for the title as a phrase using quotation marks (" "). Many organisations have papers from past conferences on their websites. 


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