Q: Does direct submission in a journal give more impact to an article than publication in the same journal through a conference?

1 Answer to this question

That is an interesting consideration. At the heart of it is probably what is meant by ‘impact.’ It could mean ‘quality’ (quality or novelty of the research or it could mean ‘reach’ (a result of the stature of the target journal, citations your article receives, and any method of research promotion you employ).

Both paths (direct journal submission and submission via a conference) can help you achieve either of those goals (quality and reach), but in slightly different ways.

With a journal, quality vetting comes through the peer review process. With a conference presentation, it comes via the inputs and feedback received from the people who attend or view your presentation, which in turn help you improve your paper.

With a journal, as mentioned earlier, reach comes from how well-established the journal is, its citation metrics (although current thinking urges researchers not to place too much importance on the impact factor), and its readership (which is based on the previous two factors). Apart from that, you can also engage in some form of research promotion to help your research reach a larger audience. With a conference, reach comes via the networking you do at the conference. While that would be limited in the new normal of virtual conferences necessitated by COVID-19, there’s a significant lot of networking you can do virtually.

In the final analysis, the scale would probably tip a bit toward the conference route. Conferences are typically used to test preliminary findings in order to make the study robust. Once you have a quality paper (gained from the conference process), it becomes easier for it to progress through what can sometimes be the long route to publication. In short, the conference route may actually give you ‘double impact’ – first at the conference (to a smaller but focused audience) and then via the journal (to a larger audience).

Hope that helps.

Now, there are several things you need to keep in mind when submitting to conferences and submitting conference-based research to journals. For more information, you may refer to this resource: What are the basic rules for submitting the same research to a conference and a journal?

For pointers on presenting at a conference, you may refer to this resource: 8 Tips for presenting a paper at an academic conference

And for help with editing your conference paper, you may of course turn to our English Editing Services.

All the best for your research and presentation/submission!