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TWRT 211: Finding Conference Proceedings: General Tips

General Search Tips

  • Many databases have a "document type" search field or limiter.  Words to look for include proceedings, abstracts, meeting abstract, conference papers, congress, expositions, symposia. There may be more!


  • If the database does not have a "document type" or similar field, or even if it does, it can be useful to use appropriate document type terms in the general search. For example: "American Folklore Society" AND "Conference Proceedings"
  • Conference websites may have direct links to their proceedings. If you know the conference name, search for it on the internet with the name of the conference.


  • The year the meeting was held may be different from the year its proceedings were published. To capture this possibility, limit your search to a range of years, from the date of meeting onwards. (e.g., 2014-2017).
  • Sometimes conferences and/or their proceedings change names, publishers, or sponsors. Finding a previous proceeding can provide a history of these changes.
  • Some proceedings will give information about previous conferences and where proceedings are published. This can be very helpful, particularly when the names of the conference changes, the conference meets irregularly, or the places where proceedings are published varies from meeting to meeting.

This content was adapted from the guide put together by the University of Illinois Library.