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Predatory Conference: Meaning, Signs, and Ways to Avoid Them

Have you ever heard of a Predatory conference?

If your answer is no, here we provide you with the main points you need to know in this regard as a researcher, student, or healthcare professional.

Scientific or academic conferences are there for researchers to introduce and present their

work and connect to share their knowledge. As a researcher, you are looking for being part of

these meetings, to expand your knowledge and build a social network with your colleagues to

find collaborative research opportunities that advance your research career. The last thing

you do not want to do is attend predatory conferences.

What is the predatory conferences?

Predatory conferences are the opposite of educational, and legitimate scientific conferences.

They are fake, poor quality, and exploitative conferences. In simple words, a predatory conference is a scam and bogus meeting done solely for profit. Over the last decade, these practices have escalated, especially after the COVID effect on traditional scientific conferences. Statistics revealed that predatory conferences outnumber legitimate scientific conferences (Grove et al, 2017; McCrostie, 2018).

What are the characteristics of Predatory conferences?

The common characteristics include:

Perhaps the geographical location is one of the noticeable advantages. You find predatory conferences often taking place in tourist places. The titles of these conferences have the advantage of using an interdisciplinary scope with overly general titles such as global or international. In addition, it is noted that the website of these conferences is poorly designed and contains a suspicious URL, so you must check the quality of the website of the conference you want to attend. Be sure to read the emails sent to you, as these invitations are often written in poor language with misspellings and unprofessional style, and you may find these messages are in unwanted mail.

The agenda for these conferences is unclear and divergent, with frequent changes to the conference agenda. The speakers participating in these conferences are not real and are indexed fictitiously, and you may find that they are attributed to reputable and well-established medical institutions in the research community. Conference content presents misinformation.

The submission process for participating abstracts for predatory conferences is unclear and lacks generally accepted guidelines for submitting conference abstracts. The peer review process is very fast and does not keep track of the time followed by academia. In fact, they accept all applications for submission.

Predatory conferences charge an expensive, non-refundable registration fee to attendees. The above-mentioned are red flags that you need to pay attention to it, and the research community seeks to reduce the phenomenon of predatory conferences. Organization (Think. Check. Bring, 2019) mentioned that as part of his efforts to combat this phenomenon and raise awareness among researchers about these signs, so try always adapts the Think. Check. Attend strategy before attending or participating in any conference.

Finally, it is your responsibility to make sure that the conference you want to attend is a legitimate one before you are a part of it, and always remember that a predatory conference has clear signs, so be aware of it.


Grove, J., McCrostie, J., Moran, J., Furnham, A., & Ross, J. (2017, October 26). Predatory conferences

‘now outnumber official scholarly events’. Times Higher Education (THE)

McCrostie, J. (2018). Predatory conferences: A case of academic cannibalism. International Higher

Education, (93), 6–8.

Think. Check. Attend. (2019). Choosing the right conference to attend and present your research.

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