Visual Arts: Conferences

Conferences and conference proceedings

Conferences and conference papers

Networking at Re:live, Third International Conference on the Histories of Media Art, Science and Technology, Melbourne, 2009 [jonCates, 'DSCF2855', Image source: flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0]

Conferences are meetings of people of people with a shared interest and are often organised by professional/scholarly bodies and organisations.


Potential benefits of presenting at a conference include:

  • exposure of your ideas to a wider audience

  • opportunity to obtain feedback from peers

  • meeting potential collaborators

  • publishing opportunities e.g. you may be invited to contribute a book chapter

Conference papers are the written version of presentations given at these meetings. These may be published in print and/or online conference proceedings.

Not all conference organisers arrange publication of conference papers or proceedings. If you would like to develop your publishing track record check whether your conference paper will be peer reviewed (an indicator of quality) and will be made available by publication (increasing the exposure of your research) before submission.

For more on publishing with impact see the Publishing guide.

Search tips

When searching for conference papers and proceedings:

Conference papers often form the basis for journal articles, so you might find a similarly themed article by a conference paper author.

Finding conference papers and proceedings

Conference papers can be a great way to find up to date information, research trends and innovations on a specific topic. Researchers often present their research findings first at conferences.

There is no single search tool that comprehensively lists conference papers and proceedings in visual arts. You may be able to discover references to these (and sometimes the full text as well) via:

Web search engines e.g. Google Papers may be available via websites for free or fee, or there may be information about how to obtain them. Unfortunately many conference websites vanish after a few years
Library collection discovery tools such as the Catalogue or Trove  Proceedings may available online or in print via Library collections or institutional repositories
Subscribed databases

Conference proceedings are indexed by some databases. For example:

Papers may also be published in journals, for example in special issues or supplements.

Institutional repositories

Conference papers by academics may be available online from the university repository (e.g. Research Outputs Repository, UQ eSpace)

 Other discovery tools

 OAIster and Google Scholar both search across millions of records from institutional repositories and other sources