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Predatory conferences represent yet another dark side of the open access (OA) model of scholarly publishing. In part, predatory conferences “tag” alongside predatory publishers which themselves have corrupted the open access movement. Predatory conferences, like predatory publishing, threaten the integrity of scholarly research and communication. It is an exploitative business model where it is not uncommon for registration fee to be ‘bundled’ with hotel costs, meals, sightseeing tours and conference materials. Added to this are links to predatory publishers from which additional profits are derived. And let not the attendee forget the high costs of travel in his conference budget.

In like manner that predatory open access publishers charge fees for publications without the professional editorial support or control, predatory conferences involve revenue-seekers who organize conferences aimed at luring academics seeking scholarly recognition. Once baited, conference organizers capture registration fees and other payments as well as valuable academic research, publish them in conference proceedings and predatory journals which in turn, are produced by predatory publishing outlets run by them or associates. Or, conference papers may not be published at all.  Some websites suggests that these conferences may not even be held. Either way, knowledge and funding are lost and a researcher’s academic credibility and career advancement can be impeded or ruined by participating in predatory conferences. 

This Libguide draws on online resources aimed at helping scholars to engage in pre-conference fact-checking before committing to an event of a predatory nature. The author also pens a narrative that derives a Caribbean-librarian perspective.


Who is targeted to attend a predatory conference?

Everyone across disciplines is a potential target. It has been put forward that early career academics and scholars from developing countries within the scientific and allied health professions are specifically targeted.New academics seeking scholarly recognition and upward professional mobility (tenure, promotion) should especially be wary of emails from rogue organizers.

  • Do not be swayed by flattery contained in emails
  • Do not pay to present at a conference

Predatory conferences now outnumber real ones and the deception is so real and so legitimate-sounding that even the more advanced researchers are cannot discern one from the other.

Postgraduate students should also be wary and guard against presenting papers based on their theses at suspicious-sounding conferences.

The trap of predatory conferences


Alleged Predatory Conferences and Organizers

Predatory conferences vastly outnumber legitimate meetings and there are few, if any, authority resources available for fact-checking conferences. It is widely reported on the Internet that the following outlets are organizers of predatory meetings:

  • World Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Technology
  • OMICS International

Also of note:

If the publisher you are researching does not appear on any of these lists, it's a good thing.


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Niala Dwarika-Bhagat
The Medical Sciences Library
The University of the West Indies
St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago
Phone 1-868-645-2640 Ext 5244


This libguide is intended as a resource to help identify possible predatory conferences.You are encouraged to consult the medical sciences faculty liaison librarian if you need further assistance. Do note however, that the responsibility for selecting a legitimate conference lies with the individual.