Q: Can I submit to a journal a conference paper that I presented in 2018?

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You can submit the conference paper to a journal. However, you will need to keep the following points in mind.

  • If the full conference paper was previously published in the conference proceedings, it might not be possible to publish it again. If however only the abstract was published, there might be a better chance. So, make a pre-submission inquiry with the prospective journal, explaining that you wish to submit a full paper with a different title and updated contents. (You will need to change the title because otherwise there will be two published papers in the public domain with the same title, which can be both confusing and unethical.)
  • At the time of submission again, in the cover letter, inform the journal editor that this is an updated version of a previously published paper.
  • You will need to make about 30-50% of content changes to the journal manuscript from the conference paper. You can do this by building on the findings in the paper (especially as a conference paper is more for presenting preliminary findings). As about two years have lapsed since you presented the conference paper, you can also include new information in the manuscript.
  • You will need to tailor your conference paper to the style of a journal manuscript. While conference papers and journal articles can be the same structurally (IMRaD-wise), you will need to modify aspects such as flow, style, and formatting because the purpose and audience for the two papers are different. For instance, conference papers are meant for presentation and journal articles for reading. For more information on writing for journal publication, refer to this resource: Manuscript structure: How to convey your most important ideas through your paper

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