This blog post aims to explain the difference between a journal paper, a conference paper, and a book chapter.
In the academic world, there are different ways of publishing research findings and results: journal papers, book chapters, and conference proceedings. Generally, both conference papers and journal papers undergo a peer-review process before being accepted for publication. Book chapters are written by new researchers. It does not include many research findings and results.
Before understanding the difference between a journal paper, a conference paper, and a book chapter, let’s understand all individually.
Research articles can be published on any subject, in any discipline, covering a wide range of topics. Usually, journals are published quarterly, bi-annually, or annually. The authors have to follow a specific format for submitting to the journal. Different journals, such as Elsevier, Springer, and Wiley, have different formats for presenting their articles. The review process for a journal may take a few weeks to a few months. The journals are ranked based on research metrics like impact factor, h-index, and the number of citations received by the journal in a particular year. Generally, journal papers are long pieces of writing ranging between 20-25 pages. It should include an abstract, an introduction, methodology, results and discussion, and conclusions. The researchers/authors can write either a review paper or an original research article for the journal.
The research articles published through conference proceedings are short, precise, and contain a smaller number of pages. It is usually between 4-10 pages. Generally, conference proceedings are a collection of research papers presented at various conferences at the national and international levels. Conferences provide a great platform for interaction and exchange of ideas between fellow students, faculty members, scholars, and speakers. The researchers present only a part of their research study.
They usually cover the details of the research study in brief. Book chapters can be written in 3000–4000 words. It is a summary of published research results on any particular topic. Each book chapter is given a title and a number that is easily citable by the readers. Generally, it improves the writing skills of new researchers.
The next section will be explaining the difference between journal papers, conference papers, and book chapters.
The difference between journal papers, conference papers, and book chapters
The major difference between a journal paper, a conference paper, and a book chapter lies in the length of writing articles. The journal paper is usually 20–25 pages, while the conference paper is usually less than 12 pages. On the other hand, book chapters should be written in a range of 3000-4000 words.
Research articles that are accepted for journal publication undergo a peer-review process. On the other hand, articles for publication in book chapters and conference proceedings undergo a general review process. Generally, the acceptance rate for conference papers and book chapters is comparatively higher than for journal papers. The conference papers have acceptance rates of between 40 and 60%.
Conference proceedings cover a wide range of subjects. They are generally multi-disciplinary in nature. On the other hand, book chapters should be written according to the title of a book given by the editor. It focuses on a particular topic.
The journal papers should be written in a systematic manner following strict guidelines as per the format. Secondly, journal papers are published in either open-access or closed-access categories. The open-access category involves article processing charges for each article. Journal papers are not collected in any conference proceedings books. whereas all the conference papers have online repositories and are collected in conference books. The authors need to pay registration fees for the conference. Only the registered authors will be allowed to submit the full conference paper upon acceptance.
Furthermore, the difference also lies in review speed and the number of revisions needed before acceptance. Generally, book chapters and conference papers ask for one or two changes before publication. The conference papers get fast review responses. But journal papers are asked to be revised multiple times, depending on the scope of the research. Sometimes, it may take anywhere from 6 months to a year to get published in a journal. The authors are asked to submit their research articles within a given deadline for both conference papers and book chapters. Book chapters and conference papers can be easily published. On the other hand, journal papers can be submitted throughout the year.
The journal paper requires more headings, subheadings, and sub-sections. The authors need to mention the abstract, keywords, introduction, literature review, methodology, results, and discussions in detail. The book chapters and conference papers require only an introduction, the purpose of the research, the body of the paper, and conclusions. Apart from that, these book chapters are written without citations in the text, unlike journal papers. The review journal papers require 70-80 citations. On the other hand, conference papers are written with 20–30 citations.
The conference papers, upon selection, are allowed for oral presentations. Any one of the authors gets an opportunity to present his/her research paper at conferences. It is open to group discussions. It provides a platform for correcting or improving the researchers’ papers. The journal papers, upon acceptance, are directly published in high-quality journals.
Once the author has published a research article in a book chapter or conference proceedings, the same cannot be published in a journal. Sometimes the author may be asked for submitting extended versions of conference proceedings after getting selected. It increases the acceptance rate for publication in the journal.
Lastly, book chapters and conference proceedings get less recognition from academicians. Faculty and research scholars prefer to read published research articles rather than book chapters. It has been observed that journal articles get more citations than conference papers. Many universities do not accept conference proceedings for publication. Whereas journals are widely accepted and recognized worldwide. The journal papers have a high impact factor compared to the conference proceedings. However, writing book chapters increases the profile of the authors. Having a good ratio between book chapters and journal papers publications provides good job opportunities.
Thanks for visiting PhDTalks. We hope that the blog post helped you to understand the difference between journal papers, conference papers, and book chapters.
More blog posts to read:
- Steps to identify fake journals | Recognize predatory journals
- Tips for publishing in high-impact factor journals
- Best tools, and websites for Ph.D. students/ researchers/ graduates
- Difference between Scopus and Web of Science (WoS)
Frequently Asked Questions
Most of the conference papers are published in conference proceedings. However, many conferences publish their good research papers in specific journals.
Research articles that are accepted for journal publication undergo a peer-review process. On the other hand, articles for publication in book chapters and conference proceedings undergo a general review process. Generally, the acceptance rate for conference papers and book chapters is comparatively higher than the journal papers. The conference papers have acceptance rates between 40-60%.
Dr. Sunny is an Assistant Professor in higher education. He has completed his Ph.D. He has a depth of knowledge in the research field and in higher education.