(15 Sep 2022) Predatory academic conferences are more common than you may think. Even as of 2017, there were reportedly more such conferences available to scientific researchers than there were genuine events held by scholarly groups that follow standard peer review processes.
In a recent study conducted over a 2-year period by the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP), of more than 1,800 researchers working in 112 countries who were surveyed anonymously, 80% reported that predatory journals and conferences either were a serious problem in their country already or were becoming a serious problem. Of those surveyed, 11% acknowledged having published in a predatory journal, 2% knowingly and 9% who were completely unaware at the time. Meanwhile, 4% acknowledged having participated in a predatory conference, with 1% attending knowingly and 3% unaware. Another 6% of respondents were uncertain whether they had attended a predatory conference.
Predatory conferences are big business, organized with the primary goal of profit generation. In particular, they are set up to scam people out of registration and publishing fees, and as a result, organizers are known to accept every proposed submission regardless of merit, as long as it is accompanied by a registration fee. The conferences thus lack the scientific and editorial integrity required of a legitimate academic meeting.
There are steps researchers can take and telltale signs to look for that will help determine whether an event is worth their time and money. Read more here.