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Chemical & Materials Engineering

Questionable Conferences

A predatory or vanity conference could have the following characteristics:

1. Event is organized by a for-profit entity, rather than a credible scholarly or scientific society or association.

2. Conferences that combine a number of fields topics or disciplines into a single conference. Be particularly wary of alleged conferences that combine multiple, unrelated topics into a single event.

3. The conference uses a free e-mail address, such as a Gmail address.

4. The organizers spam prospective attendees to submit proposals and register. Often, these spam e-mails contain hyperbolic language about how prestigious the conference is.

5. Information about who is organizing the conference is either unclear or nonexistent; or the organizer is not well known or reputable.

6. Acceptances are promised with a very short turnaround time (often less than four weeks).

7. The conference is marketed as a holiday in a desirable location. The event is held at a resort or a popular tourist destination and marketed as a holiday, rather than an academic or scientific event.

8. The conference name bears a striking resemblance to that of a credible or highly prestigious conference, but has subtle minor differences in its name.

9. Organizers guarantee your contribution will be published as an article in the journal associated with the conference. Like the conference, the journal is also predatory and the organizers may later insist on additional article processing charges to publish your article.

10. The conference websites are unstable. They may change URLs or have no record of conferences in previous years.

11. The website text contains poor grammar or numerous spelling errors.

12. Conference fees seem quite high, compared to those run by non-profit 

Adapted from Sarah Elaine Eaton, University of Calgary


  • Is this conference right for your research?
  • Are you submitting your abstract to a trusted conference?
  • How can you be sure the conference you are considering is the right conference to attend and present your research?

Organizers and Sponsors

  • Are you aware of the society or the association organizing this conference?
  • Can you easily identify the venue of the conference?
  • Is it the first time that this conference is being held?
  • Have you or your colleagues attended this conference before?
  • Is it clear what fees will be charged (conference fee, registration fees, etc.)?
  • Are any of the sponsors involved in the conference?
  • Are you aware of any of them, especially with industry-related fields such as Engineering & Bio-medical research?
  • Did you check the conference website? Is all the information (such as the attendance fees, submission date, conference date, editorial committee, program details and venue) presented in a proper way?
  • Have you read any paper from this conference proceedings before?

Agenda & Editorial Committee

  • Is there clear information about the timeline and the agenda for the conference?
  • Do the scope and objectives of the conference fit your field and core interest or not?
  • Have you heard of the keynote speakers?
  • Is the editorial committee listed on the website?
  • Have you heard of the editorial committee members before?
  • Is the committee clear about the editorial control over presentations and the peer-review process?

Conference Proceedings 

  • Is the organizing committee clear about where the proceedings will be published?
  • Does the conference make it clear which indexing services will have the published proceedings? 
  • Is the publisher of the proceedings a member of a recognized industry initiative such as COPE, DOAJ, OASPA?

Adapted from Queen's University Library