Check-list for preparation of papers for scientific research conferences

Before you start

•         Read the call and check if your topic is relevant to the conference themes.

•         Make sure you specifically take note of things like the word length and the format requirements. It is best to work with these form the start and not try to tailor another paper into the reformat requested. Further to this, remember that your paper will be checked for plagiarism, including self-plagiarism. This means that you cannot submit the same paper that you have submitted to this conference before or that is already published as a book chapter, journal paper or official working paper (rule of thumb: if you can see it on google scholar, it is likely to be found by plagiarism software and your submission rejected at the first desk review stage).

•         Don’t forget to write down the deadline date in your diary. Preferably, develop a writing plan to ensure you are ready to submit several days before the deadline so you not have a last minute rush or have to worry about the conference submission system being overloaded and not able to accept your submission.

The paper itself

•         Consider making a plan of the paper first; write an outline using the recommended format outlined in the call for papers (if there is one).

•         Make sure that you clearly outline up front the purpose, objectives and structure of your paper up front.

•         Briefly present the methodology of the paper and the work you have done on which the paper is based. It is also good to say a few words about any short-comings or limitations of the methods or data collected, if relevant.

•         Make sure you use relevant and recent literature in your field.

•         Consider what is the originality of your contribution and try to make this clear as well.

•         Check if your paper meets normal scientific standards (references included, no plagiarism etc.)

•         Consider writing your abstract at the end i.e. once you have finished the paper and not at the start. It’s important this captures the objectives of your paper, the main findings and recommendations.

Before you submit

•         Ensure that you proof-read and language check your paper before submitting – you can do it yourself or ask somebody to help out.

•         Make sure you have anonymized your paper if this is required i.e. removed authors names and affiliations from the paper. You will usually be asked to put this in an accompanying separate document.

For more resources on how to write a paper, there are plenty to be found on the Internet. Here are just a few of the resources you can refer to:



And once you are successful:



            AfricaLics is working with various stakeholders to improve access to journals to African students

Information about access to online literature from INASP

INASP is an international development charity working with a global network of partners to improve access, production and the use of research information and knowledge. The aim is to ensure that countries are equipped to solve their development challenges.

INASP is an international network that particularly focuses on spreading knowledge and research related to sustainable development. It therefore works with local partners to enable researchers, academics, students and policy makers from countries across the world  to access  online research literature free at the point of use.

For example, in Kenya, INASP works with the Kenya Library and Information Services Consortium (KLISC). There are 46,840 journals and 1,200 e-booksavailable in Kenya and 114 research institutions or government agencies currently have access via KLISC.

INASP provides several how-to guides that help different groups gain access and make use of  online literature, that is free at the point of use. These guides provide information and links to access these resources, while informing you of what your librarian should do to assist with this:

•        Help with accessing INASP resources – links to help guides

•        Identifying and using online research literature – a guide for academics, researchers and students

•        Identifying and using online research literature – a guide for policy makers

•        Providing access to online research literature – a guide for librarians

•        Routes to online research literature – a guide for partners and funders

For more information, please visit the INASP Website.