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Sheena Chaudhari 516 August 2, 2019 (Last Updated)

What is the difference between conference papers, journal papers, term papers, seminar papers, proceeding, transactions, seminar, technical report and patents?

Almost all scholars who perform research come across this basic question. And if you are in this field, you should know the basic differences among the various manuscript of research work. Things are readily available at one click today and that is why, it is more important to know the difference between conferences, journal, patents, proceedings, etc. so that you refer the right piece of work.

Here comes the most common question: the difference between conference and journal. So coming back to the response, let us first understand what a conference is.


A conference is a place where eminent researchers are physically present to discuss and present their research specific to their field. Researchers submit their papers to a conference according to specific guidelines and timeline specified by particular conferences. This paper is then sent to reviewers. After their review, the result is communicated to the researcher. Upon their acceptance, the authors are called for the presentation. Conference papers are mostly short since they usually have a limit on the number of pages.

Conference papers are usually published in collections called proceedings, which are printed by big publication houses, organizations, university press or are simply available through online means.

There are a lot of conferences taking place around the world for different fields. You can visit list of conferences.

Now, coming to what a journal is.


A journal is a publication that is printed periodically. It is a collection of peer-reviewed and credible papers. Impact factor of a journal helps in measuring the citations of the paper of the journal. There is no place unlike the conference, where you have to go and present your paper. Once the journal is submitted and in the case where it requires some changes according to the comments provided by the reviewer, completion of which may result in its publication then, there could be a lot of rounds to complete that. There is no specific timeline for the review. This may take a lot of time as compared to conference papers.

The frequency of issue of journal varies from every journal. It can be monthly to yearly. Also, journal paper is generally more elaborative than the conference papers. They have flexible page limit and are expected to be a lot more detailed than the conference paper.

On the same line of a journal but with different intent is a University journal, which is a publication of a particular university. Unlike journals, they might not have been reviewed. And this may give rise to a few weak points in the journal.

There is another research manuscript known as a Term paper.

Term Paper

A term paper is a kind of research paper which is written by students during their academic year. It focuses on an idea or a discussion point. It is mostly, an original piece of work and usually long.

Now, let us try to understand what a conference proceeding is.

Conference Proceeding

It is a published record of a conference, symposium or other meeting but might not include details of the papers presented by the scholars. In such a record, when the complete details or the text is included, it is called a transaction.

Now, we come to the seminar.


A seminar is held within an academic institution and focuses on a particular subject. It is a form of an intellectual lecture. The presenter usually comes prepared with some presentations and often there is some material which the participants can take to their home.

Another manuscript can be a technical report.

Technical Report

It is a document that describes the research in terms of the process, status, or outcomes of the problem statement. These reports rarely undergo any review.

Now, we will understand what a patent is.


A patent is a form of intellectual property. It provides the owner the right to exclude anyone from making, using, selling, and importing the patent idea for a limited period, usually twenty years. In most countries, patent rights fall under civil law and the patent holder can sue someone who infringes the patent.

For example, if a patent has been granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office or USPTO, the patent holder will have legal protection to own, produce, sell, use, and create their product for 20 years.

This idea of creating patents was developed so that people pursue their innovative ideas. It also acts as a source of money by either selling the patent or giving the right to use the patent technology.

There are various types of patents. Few of them are listed below.

  • Software patents
  • Electrical engineering patents
  • Mechanical patents
  • Design patents