Essay

By Jim Testa, Vice President of Editorial & Publisher Relations, Revised July 2012

Thomson Reuters Conference Proceedings Selection Process

Each year the worldwide community of scholars and the professional societies to which they belong organize tens of thousands of meetings at which the members present papers on their latest research. The conference proceedings issued at these gatherings are published as items in journals or as books.

From this vast body of literature Thomson Reuters selects for coverage in its Conference Proceedings Citation Index only those publications which will be of greatest importance to the largest number of researchers and scientists worldwide.

In fast-moving areas of the biomedical sciences, conference proceedings are often published in journals. In the life sciences, for example, a rapid dissemination of critical information is essential, and journals provide the best medium for this.

In the physical sciences, particularly engineering, conference proceedings are typically published in books. Selection of conference proceedings published in books is extremely competitive. Each year many thousands of proceedings volumes are submitted to Thomson Reuters for evaluation. From these, the most important and influential are selected for coverage.


Conference Proceedings Published in Journals

The proceedings papers published in journals are selectively covered from any of the over 12,000 journals covered in Web of Science. Papers selectively covered for Conference Proceedings Citation Index meet the following criteria:

  1. The paper must be identified explicitly as having been presented at a specific conference. 
    1. Complete conference information must be present (Name, Date and Location of conference).
  2. Meeting abstracts are selectively covered but only from a limited number of high-impact, high-frequency science journals. The great majority of these journals are from biomedical subject areas.

The journals from which conference proceedings are selectively covered are all covered in Web of Science and meet the selection criteria detailed in this essay: The Thomson Reuters Journal Selection Process.


Conference Proceedings Published in Books

Conference proceedings published as books are acquired and selected according to a set of specialized guidelines.

The Thomson Reuters Publisher Relations staff is in regular communication with every major scholarly publisher, and many professional societies and associations. These organizations publish and/or sponsor professional conferences and submit their publications for evaluation and possible coverage in Conference Proceedings Citation Index.

The Thomson Reuters Editorial Development team evaluates each conference proceedings volume according to a set of well-established criteria. They include the following:

  1. Basic Publishing Standards
    Editors examine each proceedings volume to insure that basic publishing standards are in place including sequential page numbering, timeliness, international editorial conventions such as fully descriptive article titles, and full cited references, author abstracts, and keywords.
  2. Content
    The overall quality of the research presented is assessed, as is the completeness of the cited references. In addition, the editors review the content to ensure that it enriches Thomson Reuters coverage of a field or subfield, or of a geographic region, or that it completes the coverage of the output of a prestigious scholarly society or organization. Thomson Reuters gives priority to important serialized conferences sponsored by prestigious scholarly societies. The objective is to cover every instance of such conference series.
  3. Copyright and Conference Date
    To insure that the content of Conference Proceedings Citation Index is timely, published conference proceedings must fall into a specific date range.
    • For scientific and technical proceedings, the meeting must have been held in the current or previous four years.
    • In the social sciences and humanities, the time parameters are broader. All conference dates are accepted for social sciences and humanities proceedings so long as the volume is a first edition and not ever previously indexed.

      These policies take into consideration the greater time sensitivity of information in natural sciences and technology subject areas and the somewhat less urgent time sensitivity of information in the social sciences and humanities.
  4. Conference Name and Location
    Proceedings literature must include the full name and location of the meeting. 

Full Papers vs. Meeting Abstracts

Conference Proceedings Citation Index lists bibliographic information for full papers and meeting abstracts. Thomson Reuters does, however, consider the source of the full paper or meeting abstract.

  • Books
    Volumes containing full papers are accepted. Books containing only meeting abstracts, summaries, or reports are not acceptable.
  • Journals
    Meeting abstracts, however, are frequently selectively covered from Web of Science journals. As stated above, there are a number of high-impact, high-frequency journals that are sources for these items.

How to Submit Conference Proceedings for Coverage in the Conference Proceedings Citation Index

If the conference proceedings are publishing in print only, please send the volume(s) to the following address:

Publication Processing
Thomson Reuters
1500 Spring Garden Street
Fourth Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19130
USA

If the conference proceedings are publishing online (XML, PDF or a combination of formats) please send information on free electronic access to ts.proceedings@thomsonreuters.com. This email address may also be used if you wish to recommend coverage of a particular conference.

Find more information on the content of the Conference Proceedings Citation Index including the current coverage.