Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Suspicious Academic Conferences and Journals

Updated January 2016
Over the past ten years or so I've noticed an ever-increasing number of "Calls for Papers" from organizations I've never heard of, holding conferences in high-demand tourist destinations like Las Vegas, Hawai'i, Barcelona, and Athens. While some of these conferences may be kosher, many are clearly being organized for nothing more than profit. The goal is to entice scholars to travel to these conferences on their university's budget. The conference organizers make money from accommodation and conference registration fees.

A similar phenomenon is occurring with journals. Several are popping up that ask scholars to submit papers, but then charge the scholars "revision fees" for unnecessary changes to the papers. The scholars then pass these fees on to their institutions. These journals make their profit from such revision fees and from library subscriptions to their journals. Again, several journals may be genuine, but many have clearly been founded simply to bilk academic institutions out of money.

The modus operandi seems to be eerily similar, suggesting that many of these "conferences" are being organized by the same people. A blanket email,  opening with a CFP ("Call for Papers"), goes out to thousands of academic email addresses. This call is followed by a description of the city in which the conference is to be held, extolling its attractions and climate. The next paragraph suggests that you can give your paper "virtually" (i.e. not deliver it in person) or/and submit your paper to the conference organizer's journal, which is "fully refereed" (or some similar formula). The next paragraph lists several scholars, usually with well-known academic affiliations, who will be delivering papers at the conference. A "professor of [something]" signs the letter, giving his address as "The University of X".

Some cursory digging often finds that the sender of the email is, in fact, not at "The University of X" at all, or is merely a student there. Sometimes he is dead or retired. The scholars from the prominent institutions turn out to be graduate students, or non-existent.

The invitation usually originates in a commercial email address, and the conference websites are also usually commercial (.com). Several .org sites are now involved.
The worst CFPs often contain grammatical or spelling errors.
Many of these "conferences" are held outside the United States, probably to avoid legal problems.
Although a small number of these conferences are actually held at universities, it often transpires that the universities have simply rented out the conference space and have no other connection with these events.

Suspicious Conferences
  • The World Universities Forum - Rhodes, Greece:
  • NEW DIRECTIONS IN THE HUMANITIES - Montréal, Canada: (this is a sophisticated operation, run by the publisher Common Ground out of Champaign-Urbana, IL. The conference appears to be entirely for profit. Common Ground publishes several score journals, all apparently for profit. Authors pay to publish, and users pay for access).
  • International Global combine Conference on Global Economy and Human Welfare
  • International Cardiology Congress -
  •  ANNA WORLD '11 - The 2011 World Congress & Expo
  • CITE 2008
  • Institute of Advanced Scientific Researches
  • World Congress on Electronics and Electrical Engineering (WCEEENG)
  • EEEIC Conference (
  • Anything organized by BIT Life Sciences (
  • [Xth] Global Studies Conference (2012 in Moscow)
  • The Conference on Books and Publishing (
  • Annual International Conference on Sociology, Athens, Greece.
  • All conferences organized by ATINER (The Athens Institute for Education and Research).
  • IOSSBR (International Organization of Social Sciences and Behavioral Research). Supposedly operating out of a P.O. Box in Gulfport, MS, but probably a virtual operation. A slick website at, but notice that there are no names attached to the organization. The one name attached to the journal is "Dr. Zack Jourdan." This is presumably the same Zack Jourdan who has previously claimed to be an associate professor at Auburn University (but there appears to be no record of him in such a position). Also presumably the same person as "Stephen Zachariah Jourdan" who graduated Ph.D. from Auburn in 2010.
I deem the above conferences "suspicious" because they appear not to be organized by any acknowledged academic or learned society, and because they appear to have exorbitant registration fees.

Conferences of Marginal or No Value
  • Anything organized by Hawaii University International Conferences ( [note: there is no Hawaii University; these conferences are organized by a minor entrepreneur named Dhevan Keith, who is also involved in web development and property speculation]
  • Education And STEM Conference, Hawaii
  • Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities (
  • Hawaii International Conference on Social Sciences (
  • Hawaii International Conference on Education (
  • Hawaii International Conference on Business (
  • [note that the foregoing conferences are organized by persons styling themselves variously "Joelle Lee", "Joelle Vega" or "Sara Jane Arellano"; all three conferences are associated with the company "Hawaii International Conferences", which may be owned by a "Eugene Villaluz" or/and by a "Darren Garvey". In 2015 the "Call for Papers" is coming from a "Jessica Nam" and the conference address is a P.O. Box.
  • Annual International Conference on Literature, Languages & Linguistics, Athens, Greece
  • ICEME2014 (ICME) International Conference on Economics and Management Engineering, Hangzhou, China (WWW.ICEME2014.ORG; ICEME2014@163.COM)
 [I deem these conferences to be of little value because they are neither organised nor hosted by any recognized scholarly body; nor do their organizers have any physical address.)

Suspicious Journals
  • The Proceedings of any of the above-mentioned "Hawaii Conferences on . . ." (which are simply unedited online cut-and-pastes converted to pdf)
  • Anything involving the "Center for Promoting Ideas USA" (CPI), now including the American International Journal of Social Science (AIJSS), the International Journal of Business and Social Science (IJBSS),  the International Journal of Humanities and Social Science (IJHSS),  the International Journal of Applied Science and Technology (IJAST), the American International Journal of Contemporary Research (AIJCR), and  the International Journal of Business, Humanities and Technology (IJBHT).
  • Anything involving "Scientific Research Publishing" (SCIRP; Unfortunately, this outfit now publishes over a hundred journals. Most or all of these journals first began publication in 2011. The latest from them is a Call for Papers for the "journal" Advances in Literary Study. Their email address has shifted to, which is registered to either "kong ruoshan" or "wuhongzheng" (one word) in China. As of June 2013 they are now emailing from The domain is registered to a Xiaolun Yang in Beijing, China ( As of January 2014 they are emailing from, under the name "Jessy Zhang".
  • Global Studies Journal
  • History Research ("David Publishing Company") -;
  • Institute of Advanced Scientific Researches
  • International Journal of Arts and Commerce (IJAC) and anything from the "Center for Enhancing Knowledge UK" (, which operates out of a discount fashion shop in Birmingham called Saajan. They also use the site
  • The International Journal of Economics and any publications associated with the Maryland Institute of Research (MIR or Miredu). 2014 This journal has of 2015 jumped ship to the “Library of Academic Resources”, supposedly based in Toronto, Canada. They are NOT listed as a tenant at the address they give (
  • International Journal of Finance & Banking (IJFB):
  • International Journal of the Humanities
  • International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences
  • International Journal of Business and Social Research (IJBSR). -
  • International Journal of Business and Social Science (IJBSS) -
  • International Journal of Business, Humanities and Technology
  • International Journal of Liberal Arts and Social Science (
  • Journal of Arts and Humanities (JAH)
  • Journal of Computer Science and Engineering
  • Anything involving the Maryland Institute of Research (MIR; MIREDU)
  • Proceedings of the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities
  • Publications from ATINER (Athens Institute for Education and Research)
  • Advances in Literary Study (SCIRP )
  • Anything published by or associated with
  • Anything published by Common Ground, Champaign, IL.
  • Open Journal of Modern Linguistics (OJML) [SCIRP]
  • Anything from Sciedu Press (
  • Journal of Social Sciences Research (associated with the IOSSBR above).

Grant Writing Workshops
One of the latest approaches is the "Grant Writing Workshop". An individual or organization rents a room at a big-name local university and offers a "Grant Writing Workshop at XXX University," which they advertise to the faculty at all the local universities, particularly the mid-level ones. The workshop looks prestigious and the local universities will pay the exorbitant registration fees, which the individual or organization then pockets. The workshop may or may not be worthless. Certainly the facilitators can know nothing more about grant writing than the attendees unless they have worked for grant-bestowing organizations. The latest outfit to canvass me is AKA

This is only a list of publications that have crossed my radar. A very comprehensive (and up to date) list can be found here:
Kudos to Jeffrey Beall for his work in uncovering questionable academic publications.

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