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Author Topic: Am I correct in assuming.... (Re: "Fake" Conferences and Journals)  (Read 6733 times)
carrie_chapman_catt
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« on: April 23, 2012, 12:16:34 PM »

that the invitations I've received in the past week to be a dedicated reviewer or editorial board member for four different conferences and three different "peer reviewed" journals, all in fields unrelated to my work (green energy? international diplomacy? computer programming? mechanical engineering? WHAT?), all coming from gentlemen living/working in Turkey, Indonesia, and Tunisia (acc. to their signatures), are fake?

Do people actually fall for these things?

What's the scam? How do they make money? Conference registrants? Something else?

For example:

Quote
Dear Carrie Chapman Catt,

You have been recommended for your expertise. It is our pleasure to take this opportunity to invite you and render your expertise to ISGTS 2012 by providing technical reviews and participation in this computer, informatics and related applications meeting. Your support will help ensure trend of excellence and reach new milestones in years to come.

We would like to invite you to join forces, and register as a reviewer and serve on the technical program committee for ISGTS 2012 (2012 IEEE Symposium on Green Technology and Systems). The symposium has the following tracks;

* Green Computing
* Green Electronic
* Green Energy
* Green ICT

You may choose one of the listed tracks. If you are unable to serve; do recommend other candidates. We require name, affiliation, email address and relevant track.

Please indicate at the URL below whether you can serve on the TPC:

http://xyz.com

Your EDAS user name is Cx3@madeupemailaddress.com.

Regards,

Muhammad Ary Murti, Chair

Another invitation included a USA editorial board member listed at working at National University, USA (?); I googled the name and the only things that came up where 15-20 other 'journals' and 'conferences' that listed this individual on the masthead or organizing committee. Who knows if s/he even exists.

Do people actually go for these things? Do they even actually hold these 'conferences?' Why would folks volunteer (and/or pay) -- to resume pad at a school where P&T only cares about quantity, not about quality at all?

Anyone have any first-hand experience with these?




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traductio
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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2012, 12:32:01 PM »

I get those, too. Sometimes they send me an article to review (without having asked beforehand whether I'm willing). Ever since I had gmail filter messages from specific domain names, the requests have all but stopped, although I still see them show up in my spam box.
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larryc
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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2012, 12:45:46 PM »

I have seen a few of these in the humanities as well. They look like a scam, but I don't understand just how they work. Anyone?
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untenured
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« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2012, 1:07:26 PM »

I receive solicitations to review as well as invitations to attend conferences with increasing frequency.  I must be 'invited' to attend a conference somewhere around the world at least once a week.

One never really knows, but the motivation may be more benign than fraudulent.  It's possible that far flung journals and organizations want to make themselves known on a global stage.  And what better way to do that than to randomly spam every possible academic regardless of topic, geography, or research focus?

There are some conferences, I've been told, that exist more for a profit motive than a scholarly one.  Every paper is welcome and few attend the sessions.  The conferences are unwaveringly in very nice places where a professor, of course traveling on the university's dime, would want to sun, play, gamble, or frolic at their leisure.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2012, 1:07:55 PM by untenured » Logged

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traductio
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« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2012, 1:12:31 PM »

I have seen a few of these in the humanities as well. They look like a scam, but I don't understand just how they work. Anyone?

From the looks of it (according to Jeffrey Beall, meta-data librarian at U of Colorado-Denver), by charging authors "open access" publishing fees and publishing anyone willing to pay them.
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macaroon
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« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2012, 2:12:44 PM »

I was invited to participate in ANALBIOANAL-2012, the conference that is so much fun they had to name it twice.  I declined, but I wonder if I can inquire about the availability of a tote bag.
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larryc
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WWW
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2012, 2:48:21 PM »

I have seen a few of these in the humanities as well. They look like a scam, but I don't understand just how they work. Anyone?

From the looks of it (according to Jeffrey Beall, meta-data librarian at U of Colorado-Denver), by charging authors "open access" publishing fees and publishing anyone willing to pay them.

Ah--so that is the scam! That is an excellent and important blog, thanks for the link. It will be a great tragedy if "open access" becomes synonymous with "spammy publishing scam."
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macaroon
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« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2012, 3:16:14 PM »

I was invited to participate in ANALBIOANAL-2012, the conference that is so much fun they had to name it twice.  I declined, but I wonder if I can inquire about the availability of a tote bag.

I have seen a few of these in the humanities as well. They look like a scam, but I don't understand just how they work. Anyone?

From the looks of it (according to Jeffrey Beall, meta-data librarian at U of Colorado-Denver), by charging authors "open access" publishing fees and publishing anyone willing to pay them.

Nevermind that totebag - I just clicked the link and found out that the sponsors of ANALBIOANAL-2012 are one of the dirty open-access publishers on Jeffrey Beal's blog.  Looks like a tote bag probably costs $1800. 
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yellowtractor
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« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2012, 4:43:50 PM »

I was invited to participate in ANALBIOANAL-2012, the conference that is so much fun they had to name it twice.  I declined, but I wonder if I can inquire about the availability of a tote bag.

That moniker doesn't belong to an academic conference--it belongs to a painful skin disease.
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qrypt
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« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2012, 5:51:15 PM »

There was a Chronicle article a few weeks ago that discussed Beall's blog/list.  It needs a lot more attention.
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bunker_hill
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« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2012, 11:43:19 AM »

I have received many similar invitations. One sounded vaguely legit so I responded to the email out of curiosity. I learned that the venture was a startup by students in the UK, and they were basically fishing for established academics to join in and do their work for them. I politely declined.

All the other similar invitations seemed like more overt scams.
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usukprof
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« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2012, 11:50:07 AM »

Yes, there is an explosion of pay-to-publish open-access "journals"; I get these all the time.  One even contained a plagiarised paper of mine (word-for-word except for OCR errors and badly scanned figures) that appeared *before* mine officially did; it was lifted from the preprint on my Web site, and turned around in less than a month (journal paper said "Accepted 1 Sep., Revised 15 Sep." for the Oct. issue!

The explosion of people in computer systems and the need to publish or perish are fueling this, with people at obscure foreign institutions paying to publish in them to check off promotion boxes.
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libwitch
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« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2012, 1:31:25 PM »

Yours was particularly interesting in what they stuck in - ISGTS 2012 (2012 IEEE Symposium on Green Technology and Systems).

To claim they are somehow affiliated with IEEE, who, at the rate we struggle to keep up with their conference papers, is fairly daring.   And they apparently do enough themed events that someone would be likely to assume "why not?"
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shamu
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« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2012, 4:45:58 PM »

And they are clever about it, too. The domain always changes so that even if you set your junk filter to screen them, they re-appear from time to time. I am seriously considering blocking all messages that contain "Dear Sir", "prestigious" and "excellence".

That said, some of the solicitations are legitimate, but they rarely have any of the terms cited above.
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snowbound
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« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2012, 9:09:44 PM »


the need to publish or perish are fueling this, with people at obscure foreign institutions paying to publish in them to check off promotion boxes.


This.  I had a grant to teach for a semester at a third-world university, and got a whole new insight into the problems of trying to build a higher education system in a country which has no university tradition to build on, a dearth of native-born highly educated people, a totally inexperienced, undereducated, and therefore crazily dysfunctional administration, and a reliance on imported faculty.  The administration where I worked knew that to be a "real" university, they should have research, but there was no support for it whatsoever and no understanding for what it might mean.  All that mattered was that you could list something published somewhere. The guest-worker faculty (few with PhD), working on 2-year contracts, often came from very poor and/or very repressive countries in the region and were desperate to keep their jobs.  One way to do that was to publish something somewhere.  The admin people in whose hands their fate entirely rested would know a high prestige journal from a junk one--and care anyway, since they only needed to be able to say that their faculty published x number of scholarly articles this year.  So these journals exist to fill a niche.  Now when I receive one of these emails from a ludicrously dodgy-sounding journal--like the supposedly peer-reviewed online journal that covers just about every discipline in the world and asks for submissions for the issue coming out next month--I remember my ex-colleagues who sent stuff to these these journals.

I should mention that, despite the worthlessness of the "scholarship" in these journals (and other major flaws in the the higher ed situation), I came back from my experience abroad with a new realization of just how privileged we in the wealthy countries are with our wealth and centuries old institutionalization of higher ed, and a respect for the strides forward that have been made in some poor or developing countries in the face of enormous odds.
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