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Conference Proceedings & Papers: Home

Guide to finding conference proceedings and papers.
Last Updated: Aug 25, 2022 5:30 PM

What are conference proceedings?  

A conference proceeding is the published record of a conference of an association, society, or group. These published records take a multitude of forms.  Some are simply lists of papers and/or posters presented along with the schedule of the conference, some contain abstracts only, and some contain full-text versions of the papers presented. 

Conferences go by many different names. Here are a few synonyms:

  • Symposium
  • Seminar
  • Forum
  • Congress
  • Convention
  • Colloquium
  • Panel
  • Meeting
  • Workshop
  • Roundtable

Why consult conference proceedings? 

Conference proceedings are a great way to engage with leading-edge research prior to official journal publication. They may include: findings, innovations, best practices, or new methodology (especially in science & engineering). Conference proceedings are an important part of any comprehensive literature review.

Finding Conferences Proceedings & Papers

Conference proceedings and papers may be published in various ways: as separate, one-time publications; as serials; or as special issues in journals. Sometimes only the abstract is published; sometimes the paper may be obtained only by contacting the author or society; sometimes the full text is on the web. Occasionally the papers are never published but may be cited by authors who attended the meetings. As a result of these variations, locating conference proceedings can be complicated.

If the University at Buffalo Libraries does not have access to the conference proceeding that you are looking for, either in print or electronic format, you may request a copy of the paper through Delivery+. This free service is available to UB students, faculty, and staff.

See the other tabs for search tips using the UB Libraries Everything Search as well as databases available.

Use the UB Libraries Everything Search to find conference papers and proceedings (in print and online!)

  • Go to the Libraries website here: https://library.buffalo.edu/
  • Enter your search terms in the Everything Search box
    • Examples: nanoparticles blood brain barrier
    • bridge engineering seismic design
    • low-power low-voltage circuit design
    • wind turbine structural design
  • Narrow your search using the left-hand Refine Panel to "Conference Proceedings" under the Content Type section.
    • You may have to click on "Show More" to see this as an option. If you do not see it, you may have to amend your search terms. 
  • To access the conference paper/proceeding:
    • If it states "Available Online" - click the link to access via a database. You may have to enter UBIT credentials if asked.
    • If it states "Available at Libraries Annex" - this is our off-site storage facility. You can request the paper through our free Delivery+ service. 
      • Click the link for the item you need. 
      • Scroll down to the area on the screen labeled "Get It"
        • If you see a yellow bar asking you to login, please login with your UBIT credentials.
      • Click the link to request via Delivery+
        • There may be multiple links available to Request.
        • Click the link to request "Book Chapter" or "Article" if available. Sometimes proceedings are published as a single volume or multi-volume set. If you only want a specific paper, do not use the link to request Book/Media.
    • If it states "Available at ..." [followed by a library at UB, e.g., Lockwood Library], it means we have the paper in print in a library.
      • You can still request this for free via Delivery+ (see directions above for items in the Annex).
        • We can pull the item and scan it for you.
      • Or you can locate the item yourself using the call number.
        • The call number will be the letters and numbers in parentheses after the library location (e.g., Lockwood Library General Collection AS36 .L34 v.5 no.2)
        • For more information on locating call numbers, see this wonderful resource from Queens College Libraries by clicking here.
        • You can then scan the pages you need.
          • For information on scanners in the Libraries, click here

Databases

Use the resources below to search for conference proceedings. Many of these resources will ALSO include journal articles. Web of Science and Google Scholar are best for multi-disciplinary searching. Other databases listed are more subject specific. Please read the descriptions for more information.  

If you need assistance, please contact the Engineering Librarian or your subject librarian

Finding Conference Proceedings & Meetings

  • Conference Alerts
    • Lists upcoming conferences in all academic fields. Searchable by field or country.
  • AllConferences.com
    • A directory of conferences, conventions, and trade shows in a wide range of fields: sciences, business, humanities, and all academic research areas.
  • IEEE Conference Search
    • Current & future conferences in electrical engineering and related fields.
  • SPIE's Conferences & Events
    • A searchable database of all upcoming SPIE conferences.
  • WikiCFP 
    • A wiki for calls for papers in science and technology fields for presentation at conferences.
  • Nature Events
    • A free, fully searchable, multidisciplinary science events database covering conferences, meetings, courses, symposia, forums, and other programs.
  • Gordon Research Conferences 
    • A searchable database of the programs of past and future conferences (no full-text).

Finding Scholarly Societies & Other Sponsoring Organizations

Often the easiest way to verify information about past and future conferences is to check the website of the sponsoring organization. Browsable or searchable listings of conference proceedings are often under the "Publications" or "Meetings" tab/link. Though many papers/proceedings are not available for free, the organization web site will often contain order, availability, and price information. At a minimum, the citation to the desired paper can be verified to facilitate Delivery+ requests.

Tips and Strategies for Searching

Conference papers and proceedings can be difficult to find. Proceedings are not always published for the public, or may not be published completely. 

Some tips to consider when searching for conference papers or proceedings: 

  • Conference websites may give you additional information, such as the date and location of the meeting. 
  • The year the meeting was held may be different from the year its proceedings were published. To capture this possibility, limit your search to a range of years, from the date of the meeting onwards. (e.g., 2014-2016). 
  • Sometimes conferences and/or their proceedings change names, publishers, or sponsors. Finding a previous proceeding can provide a history of these changes. 
  • Formal subject headings like LCSH (Library of Congress Subject Headings) and MESH (Medical Subject Headings) sometimes have subject headings specifically for "congresses" or "conferences." 
  • Some proceedings will give information about previous conferences and where proceedings are published. This can be very helpful, particularly when the names of the conference change, the conference meets irregularly, or the places where proceedings are published vary from meeting to meeting. 

Need more help? Contact the Engineering Librarian or your subject librarian

Engineering Librarian

Profile Photo
Erin Rowley
Contact:
119 Lockwood Library
University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14260
epautler@buffalo.edu
716-645-1369

Delivery+

Need a paper that we don't have access to here at UB? Try our free Delivery+ service. We will try to obtain the standard from another library for you. Any questions, please contact the Engineering Librarian.

Citation Management Software

EndNote 20 logo

UB has a site license to EndNote, software that allows you to collect, store, organize, retrieve, and automatically format references to journal articles, books, patents, and more in your papers. 

For help using EndNote, click here for the EndNote Basics Guide here. The Guide contains descriptions of features, PDF downloads, and videos on how to use EndNote effectively.

For more help, contact Erin Rowley, Engineering Librarian, epautler@buffalo.edu