When asking for clarifications in this question, it occurred to me that, fundamentally, many customs pertaining conference abstracts depend actually on a single yes-no bit: there are some fields where conference abstracts are considered publications (engineering, computer science...), and some fields where they are not (mathematics, and, if I understand correctly, chemistry, biology, most fields within the humanities).

  1. Is this classification correct?
  2. Does this subdivision make sense?
  3. Is there a word or an expression to distinguish these two areas of academia? For instance, something that we can turn into a tag?
  • At least questions 1 (in the sense of: “is this actually binary”?) and the first part of question 3 are something that you can ask on the main site. Question 2 depends on what you want to achieve with this question. If it is a tag and the answer to question 1 is yes, then yes.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Aug 28, 2017 at 12:31
  • @Wrzlprmft Thanks, I have replaced "liberal arts". I have considered asking #1 on main, but I don't think it is a good fit: as it happens every time we try to divide something in two categories, the subdivision makes sense only with a specific purpose in mind: in this case my purpose is identifying a large set of questions whose answers apply indistinctly to all "conferences-are-publications" fields or to all "conferences-are-not-publications" fields, but not to the other, and state this appropriately to avoid repetition and confusion. With this stated purpose, it's a question for meta. Aug 28, 2017 at 12:45
  • every time we try to divide something in two categories, the subdivision makes sense only with a specific purpose in mind – Sure, but we don’t have to ask a yes or no question. Rather, the interesting question is whether there are any grey zones or there is a third way, because that’s something we might need to take into account when creating such tags. Also, even though motivated through a self-servicing purpose, it would be fit for the main site as it is a request for information that is valid and relevant beyond this site. Anyway, if you don’t want to ask the question, I would do it.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Aug 28, 2017 at 14:08
  • @Wrzlprmft Please go ahead. I wouldn't know how to formulate this question properly, myself. Aug 28, 2017 at 14:11
  • When you say publication, do you really mean peer-reviewed abstracts?
    – StrongBad
    Aug 28, 2017 at 18:54
  • 1
    Abstracts or proceedings? Aug 30, 2017 at 15:47
  • 1
    @FedericoPoloni: Relevant existing question: Is the status of conference publications in Computer Science really absolutely unique?
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Aug 31, 2017 at 10:14
  • 1

1 Answer 1


Going by the current outcome of my question-turned-survey on what different treatments of conferences exist, I suggest not to categorise questions by fields or even conferences but by the treatment of the submissions in question.

I therefore suggest to introduce a tag (or similar) for questions concerning submissions to conferences which are treated as (serious) publications. Thus:

  • Questions about general peer-reviewing, paper writing, or authorship that apply to both journals and conferences shall be tagged as before.

  • Questions about giving presentations, posters, chairing, and answering questions that apply to both kinds of conferences shall be tagged as before.

  • Questions that are specific to journals shall be tagged with (as before).

  • Questions that are specific to conference submissions treated as publications shall be tagged .

  • Questions about submissions to conferences that are not treated as publications should just be tagged with (as before). While we could have a specific tag for those, I doubt that it will be of any use (hardly anybody will use it for searching; askers won’t even know that this could be a reason to tag a question; …).

Should this suggestion be accepted, we should organise how we apply this tag to old questions, as there will be many.

  • 2
    "Proceedings" is another good option for the name of your suggested tag, probably. Sep 1, 2017 at 14:03
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    @FedericoPoloni: I disagree. In many fields proceedings are treated quite differently and submission to the proceedings is independent from submissions to the conference. See also the last paragraph of my question as well as this deleted non-answer.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Sep 1, 2017 at 14:19
  • I see, I agree with you. Sep 1, 2017 at 14:44

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