Tuesday, March 8, 2016

How to Write Conference Papers

Every year, IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) organizes many conferences all over the world. Here are some conferences of my interest:
  1. IEEE PES General Meeting (PESGM)
  2. North American Power Symposium (NAPS)
  3. IEEE PES Transmission & Distribution Conference and Exposition (T&D)
  4. International Conference on Probabilistic Methods Applied to Power Systems (PMAPS)
All of these conferences nowadays accept papers with the size of 5 pages. While PES posts the general guideline for preparing conference papers, I'm putting together some tips for my students and those who are writing forecasting papers.

You may upgrade a PES conference paper to a journal paper with at least 40% new content. In other words, if you want to publish your work in a journal eventually, do not send the complete version to a conference. That said, how to identify the topics for conference papers? Here are some thoughts.
  1. Apply the methodology from a recently published journal paper to a new data set, to support the methodology with another case study. 
  2. A journal paper may have not elaborated everything comprehensively. You can identify the gap and offer a supplemental view in a conference paper. My T&D2016 paper falls in this category. 
  3. There is no perfect forecasting methodology. If you find a way to marginally improve the methodology from a recently published journal paper, you may publish your improved method in a conference paper. Note that if the improvement is significant, you may consider sending the work to a journal. 
  4. If you have some preliminary results from your research, you can put them in a conference paper to get some feedback from the reviewers and conference attendees.
  5. If you have participated in a forecasting competition, you may publish your methodology in a conference paper. My NAPS2015 paper falls in this category. Note that if the competition is as notable as GEFCom2012 or GEFCom2014, and your ranking is high, you may consider sending the paper to a journal. 
  6. You may put together a short review on a very specific topic in a conference paper. My REPC2014 paper falls in this category.

Here are some additional tips for publishing the work as a conference paper:
  1. You only have 5 pages to tell a self-contained story, so do not stretch the topic too broad or too deep. 
  2. The reviewers may not look into the details of your paper beyond the title and abstract, so put a big effort on the title and abstract. 
  3. The reviewers may recommend a rejection right away if your paper has too many typos, grammatical errors and formatting issues. Please proofread your paper carefully before submission.
  4. Pay attention to the track or committee during submission. You'd better send the paper to the committees that value the topic.
  5. You may have up to one round of revision. Make sure that you address the review comments as much as possible in your revision.
Best luck with preparing your conference papers!

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