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Research Impact: Participate in conferences

Get strategies to increase the reach of your work and measure your research impact

Why attend conferences?

  • Build your professional network
  • Identify collaboration opportunities
  • Promote your work to colleagues or potential end-users of your research
  • Get feedback on your project at different stages


Identify appropriate conferences

General conference directories:

Discipline-specific listings. Examples include:

Professional organisations’ websites, newsletters or social media.


Select the most appropriate conference

There are a range of factors to consider when selecting which conference to attend, such as:

  • What are your goals? Do you wish to present your research to practitioners, network with colleagues working in a similar area, or promote your work to interdisciplinary researchers? Ensure that the conference will allow you to achieve these goals.
  • If you work in a field that emphasises conferences, are there any conference rankings available? For example, CORE assesses conferences in computer science disciplines.
  • Is the conference well attended by people working in your field or your target audience? Consult your colleagues or people working in the field about their experience.
  • Is the conference theme highly relevant to your research? Make sure your work will be a good fit.
  • What’s your budget? Funding for conference-related expenses may be available through your faculty or research centre. Remember to consider costs such as travel and accommodation as well as registration fees.
  • Is it being organised and sponsored by well-known organisations or individuals? This should be easily identifiable.
  • Will conference proceedings or papers be published? Ideally they should be published through a reputable outlet that will provide maximum exposure for your paper.
Potential benefits of publishing conference papers Potentially negative considerations around publishing conference papers

Depending on your discipline and goals, advantages of publishing conference papers or posters may include:

  • Reaching a targeted audience
  • Speed of publication
  • Promotion to industry – in some cases potential industry partners may monitor conference proceedings more closely than journals
  • ‘Road test’ developing projects
  • Visibility – some conference proceedings may be accessible on the web or through research databases
  • Conference papers are often developed into journal articles
  • Conference papers that have been peer reviewed and published in full may be eligible for inclusion in the Sydney Research Collection, which is used for ERA reporting and promotions
  • May not be eligible for ERA reporting
  • Publishing in conference proceedings may not be well regarded in your discipline
  • If an article manuscript does not differ sufficiently from a related conference paper, a journal may not accept the article for publication
  • While some conference proceedings are indexed in major databases and made widely available, others may only be made available in a limited way or not at all
  • Publication of findings, even in a preliminary form, may prevent the publication in an article later

Share outputs created for conferences

Maximise the exposure of conference papers and posters by sharing them on sites such as:

  • Slideshare, one of the top 100 most-visited websites in the world which allows you to upload PowerPoint, PDF, Keynote or Open Document presentations either publicly or privately
  • ePosters, an open access collection of scientific and medical posters
  • F1000 Research, which accepts submissions of slide presentations and posters in the life sciences
  • Sydney eScholarship, The University of Sydney’s institutional repository can be used to showcase the outputs from the conference and provide a permanent URL link for the materials that can be used for further dissemination of the materials
  • Figshare, an open access repository


Engage in social media backchannels

Social media is increasingly being used as a “backchannel” of communication surrounding conferences. This allows people who cannot attend events in person to gain insight into presentations and participate in discussions, and serves as an additional avenue for networking and making professional connections.

  • It is common for much of this discussion to take place on Twitter, and conference organisers often promote event-specific hashtags.
  • Social and professional networking sites can be an excellent way of maintaining connections initiated at events like conferences. Compare platforms.

Conferences and copyright

It is important to be aware of your rights and obligations in regard to conference presentations and publications.

For more information, contact the Library’s Copyright Services team.