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Predatory Publishing

How to Assess Conferences

Fraudulent conferences take advantage of scholars in order to profit the hosting organization. These conferences are not overseen by an authoritative body and lack quality controls. Most hosting organizations do not peer-review or reject sub-standard scholarship. Other fraudulent conferences never actually take place, despite registrants having paid for them. The following are some distinguishing characteristics of fraudulent conferences:

  • Unsolicited emails for topics matching your research interests, as well as unrelated topics and fields.
  • Emails asking that registration fees be sent to the conference organizers via Western Union transfer.
  • Contact information is unavailable on the conference website or the organization sponsoring the conference can not be verified.
  • Organizers use the names of scientists or recognized scholars, often without their permission, to invite participants to the meetings.
  • Multiple conferences occurring at the same hotel at the same time.
  • Meetings names sound similar to well-established meetings held previously by other professional associations or groups.
  • Registration refunds are refused, even when the meeting is cancelled.
  • Fees are accepted to issue certifications or publish an abstract of a paper in conference proceedings. The publication may have an ISBN (to lend credibility) encouraging scholars the publication on their CVs. This discredits the scholar if colleagues or institutions recognize the non-legitimacy of the event, publication or organization.
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