Can we publish a paper without a conference?

Yes, we can publish a paper without peer review from a conference.

I can think of at least two alternatives: (i) non-commercial preprint servers on arXiv, bioarXiv, and (ii) journals or ACM/IEEE Transactions.

You can read about the submission guidelines of arXiv here. arXiv is the most popular preprint server used in the machine learning and natural language processing community.

Journals have no deadline; therefore, you can submit to them throughout the year. However, the journals sometimes organize “Special Issues,” which have fixed dates for submission. You can visit the journal’s homepage and search whether there are any upcoming special issues that you can then plan to submit.

Common paper types published in a conference.

There can be different types of research articles that you can submit to a conference:

Long paper

Complete research article with clear novelty and rigorous experimentation. It is usually 10 pages long, including references in ACM double-column format. The page limit is mentioned in the “Call for Papers” section of the conference website. It can vary based on the article template like ACM, IEEE, or ACL.

Short paper

An initial set of results accompanies one novel or interesting idea. While in the case of long papers, we expect a detailed “Methodology” section and an “Ablation Analysis or Extended Experiments” section, in the case of short papers, it is not generally expected.

However, the “Motivation” and “Problem Statement” sections should be well-defined with a novel proposed Methodology.

For general information regarding other article types that can be submitted to a conference, please visit this sample conference “Call for Papers” webpage.

Selecting the conference venue for publishing your paper

The choice of publication venue also depends on your research domain and what is accepted practice in the specific research community.

For example, in my field of machine learning or NLP, conferences are considered to be a better venue for research impact. However, if you are looking for a job in academia in India, journals and transactions are given more weight.

In another blog article, I cover how one can follow a top-tier conference and extract topics of interest from the research community of that particular conference.

It also covers how to read the conference website, particularly the “Call For Papers (CFP)” page.

Related articles to publishing paper at a conference

You can get a comprehensive list of academic conferences in the field of AI and Machine Learning in another article written by me

If you are new to writing papers using Latex for academic conferences, you can visit the following articles:

  1. I cover how to setup up a Tex environment in your local machine (article link)
  2. Conference or journal paper template – individual files and how to use them (article link)
  3. How to correctly write references or perform cross-referencing while writing your paper (article link)

What is your take on this topic?