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Predatory publishing: Predatory conferences

What are predatory conferences?

Predatory conferences are poorly organized or non-existent conferences that exploit presenters and attendees by collecting registration fees.

They solicit submissions similarly to predatory publishers.

Top red flags of a predatory conference

  • Organized by a for-profit entity, rather than a credible scholarly or scientific society or association
  • The conference name resembles a credible or highly prestigious conference 
  • Combines multiple disciplines or multiple unrelated topics into a single conference
  • Uses a free e-mail address, such as a Gmail or Yahoo address
  • An e-mail solicitation contains hyperbolic language about how prestigious the conference is
  • Information about the conference organizers is unclear or nonexistent; or the organizer is not well known or reputable
  • Promises a short turnaround acceptance time 
  • Marketed as a holiday at a popular tourist destination
  • The conference website is unstable or has no record of conferences in previous years
  • The website text contains poor grammar or spelling errors
  • Conference fees are higher compared to those run by non-profit scholarly societies or associations
  • Promises to publish your presentation as an article in the journal associated with the conference
    (Warning: The journal associated with a predatory conference is also predatory, and the conference organizers may later insist on additional article processing charges to publish your article)
  • Charging combined registration fees and journal publishing charges


(Adapted from Eaton, S. E. (2018). Avoiding Predatory Journals and Questionable Conferences:
A Resource Guide, CC BY NC SA

A list of questionable conferences

On predatory conferences