The Difference between a Conference Paper and a Journal Paper

The scientific work is mostly published either as a journal or a conference paper. In both of these publications, the research papers are accepted after the peer-reviewed process by the expert and senior researchers of the field. Peer-review ensures only high quality work for publication and it determines the authenticity, validity and novelty of the submitted paper. Moreover, it aims to improve the quality of the manuscripts before accepting them for publications.
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A lot of students get confused about the difference between the journal and the conference papers. If you are one of them – don’t worry. This article will cover all the major differences between the journal paper and the conference paper. As a bonus, you will also know about some amazing online courses to learn and improve your scientific writing skills.


What is the difference between Journal paper and conference paper?

Let’s start with the journal papers, the researchers submit their manuscript for the issue of  journal. The frequency of issues depends on the journal and normally it varies from once-a-month to once-a-year, or it can be a special issue.  The submitted papers goes through the review process and the reviewers can opt to ask the authors for major or minor revisions. It is worth noting that the journal review process does not have a fixed deadline.

There’s a possibility of a multiple round of review phases (often limited to three) before the research work is accepted or rejected. The journal paper is usually more elaborative than the conference papers. Submitting your research work in top-notch journals means that the experts of your research area will review your paper, and it will only publish if it meets the quality standards. Depending on the journal, you will get the quality label (impact factor) for your work that defines your capabilities and excellence. Typically, in authentic journals the publications have high quality with deep analysis.

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On the other hand, in conference venues students, researchers, and professors gather to share and discuss research developments in a certain field. Conferences have a fixed time period for the review process of the submitted papers. The authors submit their work within the specific deadline after that the submitted research work goes through the review phase, then all the authors get the notification of acceptance/rejection. 

On the conference venue, one of the author of the accepted paper attend the conference to present their research work in front of the participants.  One perk of attending conferences is that it gives the opportunity to meet and network with the other researchers of the same field. Typically, conference papers are published in collections of research papers called “proceedings”. During a conference, authors get an opportunity to present, discuss and receive valuable feedback from the experts and the other researchers that suggestions can be used to expand the conference paper into a high quality journal paper. In contrast to typical journal paper, conference papers are usually short and concise.


What is impact factor?

The impact factor (IF) of a scientific journal is a measure of the index that shows the annual average number of citations of the papers published in a specific journal in last two years. In other words, IF is used to measure the importance of a journal that depends of the citations of the published articles.  The higher the impact factor, the more highly ranked the journal.

Online courses for scientific research

We have listed few online courses that will significantly help you to learn the scientific writing and everything that you need to write a good quality paper. 


Your thoughts?


Would you prefer to submit your research work in conference  or a journal?  Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below! Join us on instagram and Facebook. Don’t forget to share this article.