Growing Concern About Conference Quality

 

Academic research is conducted to create or advance knowledge in particular field for benefits of individual, society, communities and the state. Research is the source of new ideas, new knowledge, new methods, new techniques and new innovations. The religion of a researcher is to create or show or discover something ‘new’ which no body heard of. This is why research is exciting and interesting!

 

Scientific conferences serve as the catalyzer for intellectual interactions among the researchers for creation or advancement of knowledge. There are good conferences  and there are bad conferences. There are not-for-profit organizers such as associations and societies and there are for-profit organizers. Conference world has been infested and polluted by the shoddy, trashy and predatory conference organizers which use the occasion to economically exploit the researchers in the name of conference business.  Both the universities and institutions which provide funds to their academics to attend these conferences have been trashed, it is alleged, by some conference organizers.

 

The mushroom growth of conference organizers since 2008 has become a serious concern.  A number of organizers run, as their websites shows, vanity conferences on nearly every conceivable subject or topic. There are some bizarre conferences which call for papers relating to Business, Engineering and Medical Science together at the same time on the same day at the same venue. Most of these conference organizers stalk and prey on academics and researchers and  contribute little to the field of academic knowledge. The objective of the organizers is to exploit the researchers and generate income in the name of conferences. Virtually, some of them treat the conferences as “money-making” machine, rather than mechanism for  advancing knowledge.

Some of the organizers have never published any paper in any credible journal, some of them are self-employed in their own-conference-enterprise and some of them do not have any research degree from any university. Yet they have become the conference organizer overnight!  

Two Canadian researchers from McGill University reported:

 

“Sadly, predatory conferences have become "a cottage industry in scientific communication." Between predatory journals and predatory conferences, academics are now being spammed on a daily basis, by greedy groups that neither understand science, nor care about advancing science. We fear this alarming rise of predatory journals and conferences will not only undermine science, but also scam academics, particularly junior researchers who can least afford it.” ( see http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/dr-madhukar-pai/preda...).

 

These conferences are organized in exotic locations and they are now targeted by these shoddy, trashy and predatory conference organizers. Dubai, Malaysia, Bangkok, and Las Vegas, for example, have become hub for the hundreds and thousands of conference organizers who want to make as much money as possible by deceitful tactics. Websites for 10 known and suspected predatory conference organizers had 128 conferences in Japan between January 2015 and March 2016.

Most of these conference organizers use very low quality and pay-for-publication journals having no credible editorial board and ethical policies to attract conference attendees and some of them mention the name of journal indexation body such Scopus, Cabell’s  DOAJ and EBSCO without their consent.

Some of the conference organizers invite people having no research record to deliver ‘key-note’ speech on the topic which is beyond the expertise of the speaker.  Virtually, anyone can become a so-called key-note speaker, or session chair and conference chair or contact person. Almost all submissions are accepted without any review at all and hardly, there is any mention of acceptance rate.  There are very few conferences which provide written review report or feedback to the conference attendees. Some conferences charge very high conference fees. Some organizers display the names of the high profile academics without their consent in order to attract the attendees. The conference websites are full of misleading, false and concocted information.