Conference papers

The conference paper has been described as 'the essential launching pad for nearly all scholarly careers' (Gould, 1995, p. 37). According to Drott (1995), nearly half of the conference papers published in the sciences and the social sciences in the 1960s went on to become published papers - usually within two years or so. Similar results were reported in the field of medicine (see Weller, 2002). However, others have reported smaller proportions than this. Drott (1995), for example, found that only thirteen per cent of conference papers in information science were developed into publications, and Stolk et al. (2002) report that only thirty per cent of conference papers in medical contexts found themselves in print. More recently, conference papers can be found as preprints in some databases, and Schwartz and Kennicutt (2004) report that such papers were cited twice as frequently as those not posted.

There is also some evidence, but not a lot, that presenting papers in seminars and conferences can lead to shorter refereeing times and greater success in the refereeing process. Hartley (2005), for instance, found shorter refereeing times for papers previously given as conference papers in the American Journal of Psychology and in the Journal of Educational Psychology, but not in the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. Brown (2005) found that two-thirds of the papers published in three major accountancy journals had been previously delivered in conferences or workshops. He concluded that:

1 delivering workshop presentations and conference papers increased the probability of getting an initial favourable review ('revise and resubmit' rather than 'reject'); and

2 once such papers were published, they were more influential than were papers that had not been previously presented at conferences.

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