I’ve frequently encountered this argument from attendees who didn’t want to believe they had presented at, or worse helped organize, a predatory conference.Because of these difficulties, it’s better to focus on identifying predatory conference organizers rather than individual predatory conferences.
Researchers who presented (or even simply agreed to present) at a predatory conference run the risk of having their name, affiliation, and photo unexpectedly listed as a some kind of organizing committee or board member.
I know of one teacher who nearly lost their job when their name, affiliation and picture got posted all over a predatory organizer’s website.
Connected to this unpleasant truth is another mistaken assumption; that all the identities of academics whose names and photos appear on predatory conference websites have been stolen.
While this does happen, in my research I’ve found more commonly the predatory organizer inflates a prior connection.
The name might change slightly depending on the country or continent but researchers should be suspicious of organizations holding travelling roadshow conferences. Many predatory organizers maximize profits by allowing “virtual presentations” of some kind.
Including them in the regular conference proceedings without identifying them as such allows desperate and/or devious researchers to publish without dealing with the inconvenience of giving a speech. It’s no surprise predatory organizers often struggle to fill their events so CFPs commonly get extended.A university professor with ties to a predatory conference organizer helps to arrange use of their institution, or the school simply rents out space without investigating the organization.As part of my research, I developed a checklist of criteria for identifying a predatory organizer.1 Currently consisting of forty-eight criteria, I applied it to both legitimate and predatory conference organizers and identified seven criteria that are the most common and easiest to spot.Unfortunately, the rise of total number and size of predatory conference organizers hints at their profitability and makes it obvious the problem needs to be taken more seriously.Predatory conference organizers are for-profit companies that use some kind of deceit to prey on researchers’ need to present and publish their research by holding academic events designed to maximize profits rather than spread knowledge.Plenty of researchers willingly lend their name and affiliation to a predatory organizer as a type of board member, without fully understanding or caring about the ownership structure of the company or the absence of any effective peer review process.