Bevier Engineering Library
Library Research Guide for Engineers
Are Conference Papers?
are articles or reports on current research that are presented at academic
and professional meetings. Papers presented at conferences tend to focus
on the latest developments and advances in research and are presented to
an audience of peers, or people who are experts in that field. As with
journal articles, the authors assume you already have the background
to understand much of their research.
Unlike scholarly journal
articles, conference papers do not go through a peer review process. Instead,
they are monitored by a conference committee that chooses the papers
to be included in the conference. This process ensures that the research
being presented is viable and scientifically sound. Conference papers,
therefore, are considered scholarly sources and generally contain the type
of in-depth, research-oriented information that scholarly journals contain.
Conference papers are like trade magazines,
however, in the fact that they are published close to the time that the
Conference Papers in the Engineering Library:
You will look for conference papers in the same index
databases you search to find scholarly journal articles. An index database
will provide a listing of papers published from many different conferences
in the engineering field. Conference papers are usually published in volumes
called "conference proceedings." Their citations in an index database usually
include information such as the author, title of the paper, title of the
conference proceedings, the page numbers of the paper and a brief abstract.
This screen is an example of a citation to a conference paper found in the index database EI Compendex.
To find out if the Engineering Library owns the above conference proceeding, look in PITTCat, the University of Pittsburgh's online catalog, for the title of the conference (Proceedings of the 1996 Regional Technical Conference on Durability, Weatherability and Aging of Plastics and Rubber). The most efficient way to find conference papers is to type the unique words of the conference title (Durability; Weatherability; Plastics; Rubber; Conference) into the "Keyword" search screen of PITTCat.
Conference proceedings are indexed, along with articles, in many of the index databases that the ULS subscribes to. A list of ALL databases that the ULS subscribes to can be found on the Databases A to Z section of the ULS Web Page. Databases most frequently used by engineers are the following:
- EI Compendex - all fields of engineering.
- IEEE Xplore - electrical engineering, electronics and information technology
- INSPEC - electrical engineering, computer engineering, electronics, physics and information technology.
- Science Citation Index - all fields of science, including technology.
- Business Source Elite - business information, useful for industrial engineering.
- Proceedings First - tables of contents from worldwide conferences, meetings, and symposiums. Includes engineering, as well as other, disciplines.