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Presentations at scientific events such as conferences, workshops and congresses are often published either as an abstract or as a full article in publication series dedicated to these events. Conference series are usually published either by the organising scientific society or association, or by other publisher of scientific journals. Conference proceedings are peer-reviewed, and in some fields, such as computer sciences and some technical fields, conference proceedings have been the main publication channel type or even the exclusive publication channel type. 

The peer review practices of conferences vary, potentially from one event to another, and the way in which the evaluation is carried out is not necessarily explicitly indicated in the introductions of the conference proceedings. It may therefore be necessary to ask the editors of the conference proceedings how the evaluation was carried out and, for example, what the acceptance rate was. Conferences can be evaluated in various ways.

Inclusion of conference proceedings in citation databases

International citation databases Web of Science and Scopus index conference proceedings.  Indexing into these databases has been seen as a sign of reliability, as the publication channel being indexed must meet certain criteria.  WoS comprises more than 226,000 conference proceedings, while Scopus comprises 9.8 million conference papers. Learn more about the criteria for selecting databases in the chapters Web of Science and Scopus.

Number of citations received by conference proceedings and indicators based on them

The citation counts of conference proceedings are available in databases such as Web of Science, Scopus, Dimensions and Google Scholar.

When using citation counts and indicators derived from them, the characteristics of the indicators and the Recommendations on the responsible use of publication metrics should be taken into account in the evaluation.

JUFO level of the publishers, series or journals publishing conference proceedings

The Publication Forum contains over 600 classified conferences. The conference’s level primarily determines the level of conference articles (The Ministry of Education and Culture’s publication type category A4). The level is checked using the established name of the conference. An established name typically refers to an established name for a conference that is repeated in the title of the parent publication and does not change, unlike the year, serial number, venue and date often mentioned with the name. 

From 2016 onwards, conferences have only been evaluated individually if, in the panel’s view, their level differs from the level assigned to the series or publisher serving as the publication channel. This means that if the established name of the conference is not found in the publication channel database, the level is determined by the ISSN identifier of the publication series. If the ISSN identifier is not found, the level is determined by the ISBN identifier and the name of the publisher. NB! Conferences that have their own publication series with ISSN are entered in the Publication Forum database under the name of the series.

Identifying publication channels in the VIRTA Publication Information Service (page in Finnish)

Responsible analysis of conference proceedings

The recommendations for responsible metrics emphasise the priority of qualitative publication evaluation and that quantitative indicators should not be given too much weighting in the evaluation.

The recommendations also stress that individual publications should not be evaluated by the indicators used in the evaluation of publication channels.

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