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Arkansas State University

Predatory Publishing: Predatory Conferences

Predatory publishing is a fast growing problem for scholars. Learn how to spot the predatory scam!

Predatory Conference Email

Unfortunately, scholars don't have to worry just about predatory journals - we have predatory conferences to worry about too!

Look at this email I received:

 

Predatory Conference Email

Conference Website

Conference Website

Evaluating the Predatory Conference

Like the predatory journal email, this email is full of warning signs:

  • The conference topic is "Trends & Innovations in Management, Engineering & Science & Humanities." These large catch-all themes are created to apply to the most people possible and are huge red flags. Reputable conferences are focused.
     
  • Back to that conference theme: why is there a comma followed two &? Watch out for weird grammar and spacing issues (there are several).
     
  • Also watch out for odd word choices: "feels delighted to cordially invite"
     
  • This email is incredibly vague:
    • Dear Professor/Author/Researcher -- again, just trying to appeal to the broadest audience possible.
    • The email never really addresses what the conference is about: "will be a premier event...for the exchange of knowledge...will provide an excellent platform for sharing experience." What does any of this mean?
       
  • Even though the conference is ICTIMESH, the email comes from AAST and the URL is AAST. While it's not abnormal for conferences to be hosted by organizations or universities, AAST is the Academy of Art, Science & Technology - another vague catch-all.
     
  • Side note: A lot of predatory websites use .org in the URL. Don't be fooled! Originally, only professional organizations could use .org, but now, anyone can.
     
  • There's no name or contact information listed.

Going to the conference website, there are many of the same warning flags: typos, poor grammar, odd spacing, weird word choices, and way too much vagueness. Some interesting phrases from the website:

  • "The forum will turn out to be a knowledge pool for the interdisciplinary exchange of visionary ideas propelled from the stalwarts of diverse streams focusing on unifying themes."
  • "Dubai is a womb of futuristic innovations..."
  • "The skeletal structure of the conference is designed on the corporate training curriculum."

What does any of this mean???

Another issue with the conference website is the Academic Review Board. First, is the random name in all caps. Second, it's an international conference, but nearly half of the board is from the same country. Third, I checked several board member's websites and CVs and I didn't find a single one that listed being on the ICTIMESH board.

Next, is the submission process. As with predatory journals, be extremely wary of anything that promises quick turn around. This conference promises notification within 10 days of submission. I currently have proposals in for two reputable conferences. One has a three month wait and the other a five month wait before I'll learn if my proposals are accepted. In addition, this conference promises Presenter Certificate of Participation regardless whether the proposal is accepted or not.

The final issue are the images. Several of the images appear either photoshopped or digitally constructed while others feel more like stock art than actual conference photos. To test these images, I performed a reverse image search and I was able to find every image I tested on other sites (including the presentation image on the main conference page to the left).