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Types of Sources: Conference Proceedings

So many choices! Use this guide to determine when to use a book, journal, video, encyclopedia or other sources.

About Conference Papers

Conference proceedings are a collection of papers on cutting-edge research presented by researchers in a particular field of study.

Use conference proceedings:

  • to discover new research ideas before they are published in the scholarly journal literature
  • to track emerging trends and new research on a global scale
  • to identify leading researchers and institutions in various fields of study
  • to gain historical insight into various scientific and technological approaches to problems back in time


Characteristics of Conference Papers

Authors are:

usually scholars in the field, academics or researchers.

Sources are:

almost always cited with references and/or footnotes.

Articles are:

long and often have sections such as abstract, literature review, methodology, results, and conclusion.

Find Conference Proceedings and Papers

Conference proceedings may be published in a variety of ways. Some may be published as an individual book; some may be published as an annual periodical; some may not be published at all but may only be available as an abstract.  

How to Cite

Example electronic conference paper citation in American Psychological Association (APA) style:

Celik, S., Morgan, S., & Retzlaff, W. (2010, April 15-16). Energy conservation analysis of various green roof systems. In 2010 IEEE Green Technologies Conference (pp. 1–4). IEEE.

For information on additional citation styles, please see the Citing Sources guide.