Purpose Bibliometrics is one of the research fields in library and information science that deals with the analysis of academic entities. In this regard, to gauge the productivity and popularity of authors, publication counts and citation counts are common bibliometric measures. Similarly, the significance of a journal is measured using another bibliometric measure, impact factor. However, scarce attention has been paid to find the impact and productivity of conferences using these bibliometric measures. Moreover, the application of the existing techniques rarely finds the impact of conferences in a distinctive manner. The purpose of this paper is to propose and compare the DS-index with existing bibliometric indices, such as h-index, g-index and R-index, to study and rank conferences distinctively based on their significance. Design/methodology/approach The DS-index is applied to the self-developed large DBLP data set having publication data over 50 years covering more than 10,000 conferences. Findings The empirical results of the proposed index are compared with the existing indices using the standard performance evaluation measures. The results confirm that the DS-index performs better than other indices in ranking the conferences in a distinctive manner. Originality/value Scarce attention is paid to rank conferences in distinctive manner using bibliometric measures. In addition, exploiting the DS-index to assign unique ranks to the different conferences makes this research work novel.