1) Try searching the web for the conference website, or look for information about conferences on professional body websites
2) Often conference titles do not change year on year; the conference number, year and location may be the only changes. e.g.
- 18th International Congress of Immunology (ICI 2016), 21-26 August 2016, Melbourne, Australia
- 19th International Conference on Immunology (ICI 2017) 14-15 September 2017, Berlin Germany
3) If you are not sure what conferences are held in your area of interest try a web search within your discipline area, e.g. "biomedical engineering" AND conference
4) Use the external catalogues and portals listed on this page to find conference titles in your discipline area
5) When searching for proceedings in a catalogue, you can search by title, author etc. but also look for subject headings to use in your searches, e.g.
Public health -- Australia -- Congresses Medical informatics -- Congresses Telecommunication in medicine -- Congresses
6) Some conference proceedings only contain the paper abstracts; authors will often write a journal article on the topic later so try a journal database search on that author, or contact the author directly
Conference papers can be some of the hardest forms of grey literature to locate.
They can be found in books (proceedings), journals (sometime as a special issue), databases, citation databases, websites, university repositories or not at all.
Conference proceedings may contribute valuable insights into a particular field of research and should be considered when undertaking a comprehensive literature review, particularly in science and health. The publication process for conference proceedings is normally shorter than for journals so they can provide insights into industry and discipline trends, as well as point to the most current research/studies/trials in a particular field. The information disseminated through conference proceedings is often not reported anywhere else, or at least not for some time.
The papers presented at a conference have often been accepted following a review process of either the full paper or just the abstract, however, not all published proceedings are peer reviewed so, as with any type of grey literature, it is important to assess the quality.