Answered By: Judith Jablonski
Last Updated: Apr 19, 2017     Views: 97

Conference proceedings are the research and technical papers presented at a professional association meeting. Conferences are also called symposia, workshops, expositions, exhibitions, etc. You can search for proceedings in the APUS Library or on the open web.


There are 2 ways to search for conference proceedings in our library: using the Summon search tool or by searching individual databases.


  1. Go the APUS Library Home page. In the Articles & Databases tab, click on the “Advanced Search” option.

  2. See the steps in the image below.

    (1)   Enter Your search terms.
    (2)   Choose the Conference Proceedings option in the "Show content type" box.
    (3)   For full text, scholarly, and peer-reviewed publications, click these options.
    (4)   To exclude newspaper articles, book reviews, and dissertations from the search, click these options.

    Conference Proceedings search steps in Summon
  3. Click the Search button.


Depending on which database you are using, the search interface will be slightly different.

  1. In EbscoHOST, look for the Search Options box. Then under Document Type select "Proceeding."

    Conference Proceedings Search Option in EbscoHOST

  2. For ProQuest, if you are doing a BASIC search, look for the box labeled Narrow results by and click on the More Options link.

    Conference Proceedings Proquest link

    Then click to include Conference Papers & Proceedings.

    If you are using the ProQuest ADVANCED SEARCH, see the More search options info below the main search box. Click on Conference Papers & Proceedings.

    Conference Proceedings in ProQuest Advanced Search

In addition to the general subject databases, the APUS Library includes the COS Conference Papers Index. You may be prompted to use your APUS credentials to access this resource.

[From ProQuest] "This database provides citations to papers and poster sessions presented at major scientific meetings around the world. Subject emphasis since 1995 has been in the life sciences, environmental sciences and the aquatic sciences, while older material also covers physics, engineering and materials science." Coverage: 1982 - current.

This is not a complete list of examples. If you are in a non-EbscoHOST or non-ProQuest database, look for similar options in the search interface. If you need help, contact the librarians.


To find conference proceedings on the open web, you'll want to look at the websites of professional associations, societies or organizations. (You can find lists of associations for your field on our APUS Library Program guides.)

Once on the website, look for information about their publications. These links may be labeled as Publications, Research, Resources, Proceedings, or the like.

Searching advice:

  • Typically, organization websites will include information from recent meetings only.  Older conference proceedings may not be available.
  • Proceedings can often take 1-3 years to be published.
  • Sometimes conference proceedings are published as a "special issue" of a journal published by the association. The title of the special issue may or may not match the title of the conference itself.
  • Proceedings are often only available to meeting attendees or to members of the organization.
  • There may be a charge for conference proceedings if you are not a member of that organization.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL): Requesting conference proceedings via ILL can take longer than regular journal article requests. Proceedings often take longer to locate and may only be available in abstract format. Proceedings cannot always be obtained from other libraries. This is because they are typically only provided to the conference attendees or, in some cases, not published in print format.