How to Submit a Conference Paper | Academic Conference Edition

You should participate in as many academic conferences as possible, especially if you’re an “up-and-coming” researcher. Conferences combine the best things in the academic community for your career and your work:

Furthermore, there are multiple benefits to presenting your work at conferences, which you’ll learn about. This article focuses on how to plan your paper submission so you can present at a conference. Learn about calls for papers, how to write a conference proposal, and where to submit a conference paper. Additionally, see how Orvium simplifies submission in the end.

Call For Papers - What Are They and Why Are They Important?

A call for papers (CFP) is a document that invites authors and researchers to further research and delve deeper into current issues. You may see a CFP whenever a conference looks for academic paper submissions (most common), an edited volume, or a special issue for a journal. It may also allow authors and researchers to present their work (paper) at a conference.

CFPs will usually include the following:

  • The conference theme and scope
  • Guidelines for presentations
  • Requirements for conference proposals (make sure you pay close attention to these)
  • Deadlines.

CFPs are important for several reasons. By submitting your paper to an academic conference, you have an opportunity to network with like-minded people, build your resume, enhance your interview potential, and get feedback on your work. You also get a chance to develop collaborative relationships with other researchers in your field. Additionally, by presenting your paper, you can work on your presentation and communication skills.

If you want to work on all of these skills, you must first write a conference proposal that appeals to your audience(s). In this way, you’ll create a “research space” for yourself. You can focus on getting your proposal accepted to present your paper and later publish your work in the appropriate conference proceedings or journal. See how to do that below.

How to Write a Conference Paper Proposal

A conference proposal is a short, stand-alone document that introduces your paper and/or presentation for a conference. The primary audience for a proposal is the conference organizer or the review committee. The secondary audience for a proposal is the conference attendees, so make sure you don’t neglect them in your proposal.

You may check the Think.Check.Attend guide to ensure the conference you choose isn’t predatory. Once you select a conference, read the requirements and guidelines carefully. Proposals must be concise (think about a paper abstract) and follow the conference theme and requirements, while your presentation must follow the conference guidelines.

Keep in mind that your proposal will be peer-reviewed, and only the best proposals will be chosen to present at a conference. You’ll typically find open CFPs online (conference landing pages), where you’ll see specific instructions on what you should include for each conference proposal (additional documents, word count, etc.).

Follow the tips below for a successfully written proposal:

  • Clearly define a problem or concern you’re addressing in the title, and make it descriptive and intriguing (consider using keywords from the CFP to capture attendee attention and always think about your audience and who might be getting the most out of your presentation)
  • Keep your title short (eight to fifteen words)
  • Write clear outcomes; explain how your presentation will address the problem or concern and how it fits the conference theme and scope
  • Demonstrate your knowledge and expertise
  • Keep the entire proposal relatively short (300-500 words total)
  • Revise and edit accordingly, getting rid of any unnecessary words
  • Ensure you meet the deadline.


What to Expect When Submitting a Conference Paper

Whether or not you presented your paper at a conference, conference proceedings follow soon after the event ends. This is where you’ll find all accepted conference proposals and any related reports. Some conferences will have associated journals if you want to expand your proposal or paper to focus on the conference theme.

A conference paper (a developed version of your paper) must follow academic writing guidelines, and they’re usually more concise than a journal paper. Your conference paper is typically limited to publication within the conference documentation and proceedings. However, if your work is exceptional, you may be asked to publish your paper in a more well-known journal.

Ensure that you apply any feedback you previously received during or after the conference to your paper to reduce the chances of being rejected by a journal later on (should you choose to submit to a journal). Remember, you can always perfect your conference paper to bring it up to journal standards for submission.

Once you decide on where you want to publish, pay close attention to the following things:

  • Paper format
  • Word count
  • Citation styles
  • Publication costs.

Submitting a paper to a conference or journal isn’t the hard part; the rejection you may face leading up to finally being accepted may be hard. You just have to remember that rejection is common and inevitable in the academic community, and it doesn’t mean you have a poorly written paper.

Orvium Simplifies Submissions

Thankfully, with Orvium, the whole submission process is simplified. We have a platform for all your publication needs, whether you’re a researcher, publisher, or peer reviewer. We help you get your paper (conference or otherwise) ready for publication faster. You can even publish your CFP directly to a whole network of researchers.

With Orvium communities, you also get to be a part of a global community of researchers. With our modern web platform and useful tools, there are unlimited possibilities for what you can achieve with your work. Check out our platform for our most recent publications.

Are you a first-time conference organizer or interested in becoming one? Don’t forget to read our Full Guide to Planning an Academic Conference.


Roberto Rabasco

+10 years’ experience working for Deutsche Telekom, Just Eat or Asos. Leading, designing and developing high-availability software solutions, he built his own software house in '16