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Predatory Publishing

A guide on predatory publishing, legitimate journal recommendations, and open access.

What are Predatory Conferences?

Predatory conferences are fake conferences that are used to extort money from scholars. Look out for invitations to a conference in an exotic location.  Theses are generally fake conferences.

Warning Signs

​​First Contact

  • Email flattery is used to boost your ego.
  • They oversell the importance of the conference.
  • The invitation to the conference is not in your field.
  • They ask you to bring colleagues to the conference.


  • The associated website is unprofessional and contains distorted images.
  • The conference proceedings are unavailable online or to libraries.
  • It is difficult to determine how many past conferences have been held.

Conference logistics

  • The conference is unknown by peers.
  • The conference is held in a popular vacation destination.
  • The theme is overly broad.
  • There is a higher registration fee to speak, moderator or chair a panel.
  • The conference is organized by an unknown organizer or publisher.

Check List from Think.Check.Attend

Organizers & Sponsors

  •  Are you aware of the society or the association organizing this conference?
  • Are any sponsors involved in the conference?
  • Can you find all the information presented in a proper way such as the (attendance fees, submission date, conference date, editorial committee, program details, venue)?  
  • Have you read any papers from this conference proceedings before?

Agenda & Editorial Committee

  • Is there clear information about the timeline and the agenda for the conference?
  • Have you heard of the Keynote speakers?
  •  Is the Editorial Committee listed on the website?
  • Is the Committee clear about the editorial control over presentations and the type of peer-review it uses?

Conference Proceedings 

  •  Is the Organizing Committee clear about where the proceedings will be published?
  •  Is the publisher of the proceedings a member of a recognized industry initiative such as COPE, DOAJ, OASPA?
  • Does the conference make it clear which indexing services it can guarantee published proceedings and to which indexers it will submit the proceedings for evaluation?

Checklist from Think.Check.Attend

Evaluating Conferences

Library Support

Contact your Liaison Librarian for help identifying predatory conferences.