In scholarly community, all members are well acquainted with the increasing menace of predatory journals and publishers. The predatory conferences are the most recent entries in the league of predators in academic publishing. Now a days, many academicians have been receiving an increasing number of invitations to attend conferences or present conference papers. Many of these conferences are appear to be scholarly, but are in reality an exploitative means used by predatory conference organisers or publishers to make money in the form of registration fees. So early career researchers are an easy target of these fake conferences. Sometimes, the attendees or speakers are subsequently informed about the cancellation of the conference due to some unavoidable reasons, and the registration fees are also not returned. Therefore, in addition to predatory publishers and journals, now researchers also wary of predatory conferences. But whether a conference is fake or legitimate is the question in every researcher’s mind.
To check the reliability of a conference, you can prepare a checklist before registration:
- Who are the Organizers and Sponsors?
- Are you aware of the association or the society organizing the conference?
- Can you identify the conference venue? It is a valid place? Check the Pincode.
- Are the organizers conducting the conference for the first time?
- Have you or your colleagues attended this conference previously?
- Are there any Sponsors involved in the conference?
- Are you aware of any of them, especially with industry- related fields like Biomedical research and Engineering?
- What fees will be charged like conference fee, registration fee, etc. Check if you are participating as a Speaker, are they willing to waive off the registration or other fees?
- Did you check the conference website?
- Have you read any papers before from this conference proceedings, if published before hand?
- Can you find all the information like conference date, attendance fees, submission date, program details, editorial committee, and venue at the website?
- Is there any pre-formed Agenda and Editorial Committee?
- Do the objective and scope of the conference fit your field and core interest or not?
- Is the committee clear about the type of peer review and the editorial control over the conference presentations?
- Are you clear where these papers will be published? Does the conference make it clear to which indexers it will submit to for evaluation and to which indexing services it can guarantee published proceedings?
- Is the publisher of the proceedings a member of the recognised industry initiative like DOAJ.COPE, OASPA, etc.?
The above questions should be answered by researchers and attend the conference or submit their abstract only if they are satisfied. A check list can be used by researchers and avoid falling prey to bogus conference organizers. The peer review process is not used by the conference organizers in their abstract selection process. This means the acceptance takes place in little as twenty four hour and has a very short turnaround time. Sometimes, the speakers from irrelevant backgrounds may also be invited by the predatory conference organizer. For example, at a plant virology conference a cardiologist keynote speaker might be invited. A clear conclusion can be drawn that the conference organizer does not have interest in the content quality but rather in collecting fees for the conference attendance.
All researchers need to be vigilant while registering for any conference. Just by following some basic guidelines, one can easily spot out the predatory conference.