Features of a conference paper
A conference paper is a research article written with the aim of being accepted at a national or international conference. Its specific scope is to present a researcher’s findings to the community. There are different types of conference papers. It could be an oral presentation, a tabled discussion or a poster presentation. A conference paper is usually submitted within a deadline. The paper is reviewed by a review committee within a stipulated time, and then the committee notifies the author(s) regarding the acceptance or rejection of the paper. Therefore, the review time for a conference paper is shorter and more predictable than a journal submission. If accepted, the paper is published in the conference “proceedings” by a print-publishing house, professional organization, or online publisher.
Features of a journal paper
A journal paper or research article is generally published on an issue or theme within the scope of a journal. The publication frequency varies from journal to journal; it could be monthly, annual, or an irregular publication schedule. The journal review process does not have a fixed deadline. However, certain journals promise a shorter review period. Like a conference paper, the journal’s decision is on the acceptance or rejection of the paper. Conversely, a journal’s review decision could also follow a different route: the reviewers could ask for minor or major revisions in the paper. Thereafter, the paper undergoes several review phases (often limited to three) before the paper is either rejected or accepted.
What distinguishes a conference paper from a journal paper?
A conference paper usually presents an earlier-term research work (preliminary findings) or an innovative idea that has emerged in course of the research. On the other hand, a journal paper tends to have generous page limits, but typically it needs to be a more comprehensive and in-depth research than a conference paper.
In some study areas, a conference paper presents abstracts, while in others—like that of computer science–it can be predominantly informative and the conference submissions can be in large numbers. Conversely, in case of a journal paper, the acceptance rate is much more conservative, although it varies between 40-60% on an average. In most fields, a research paper published in a prestigious journal is widely accepted by the research community, and it arguably has a better academic standing than a paper presented at a conference.