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When I go through the entry types of Bibliography I see three types mean the same thing i.e. article in a conference paper. I am really confused which of the types I should use. Could anyone clarify the differences?

Overleaf defines,

conference:

An article in a conference proceedings

inproceedings:

An article in a conference proceedings

proceedings:

The same as conference

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Since the question is tagged as , I answer with some quotes from the biblatex documentation (which you can get from here).

Regular Types

proceedings A single-volume conference proceedings. This type is very similar to @collection. It supports an optional organization field which holds the sponsoring institution. The editor is omissible in terms of § 2.3.2.
Required fields: title, year/date

inproceedings
An article in a conference proceedings. This type is similar to @incollection. It supports an optional organization field.
Required fields: author, title, booktitle, year/date

Type Aliases

conference
A legacy alias for @inproceedings.

To summarize:

  • proceedings is intended for a collection of articles, typically the written-up contributions of one conference. You use proceedings when you want to refer to the collection at large, and not to a single article. A proceedings reference thus typically has an editor specified rather than an author.
  • inproceedings on the other hand refers to a single article or contribution within a collection, i.e. typically a single written-up conference talk. You use it to refer to this specific contribution, and thus typically specifiy an author.
  • conference is only kept for compatibility reasons, use inproceedings instead.
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The original LaTeX documentations says the following. Required fields are shown in bold:

conference:

The same as inproceedings included for compatibility with older versions

inproceedings:

An article in a conference proceedings. Fields: author, title, booktitle, year, editor, volume or number, series, pages, address, month, organization, publisher, note

proceedings:

The proceedings of a conference. Fields: title, year, editor, volume or number, series, address, month, organization, publisher, note

So conference = inproceedings and the difference between inproceedings and proceedings is in the required fields.

You can also refer to Tame the BeaST

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