Friday, December 18, 2015

Fake academic conference: Cyprus edition

I got yet another email from a fake academic conference--- the 5th Cyrpurs International Conference on Educational Research, signed by its organizer, Dr. Huseyin Uzunboylu, letting me know that only a few weeks remain for me to submit my abstract. Here are some points flagged as important on the conference website:
  • At least one author has to register within 2 weeks after notification to be included into the programme.
  • If a paper has multiple authors and these authors’ names are written in more than two papers, these authors have made normal registration payment
  • The second and more papers 130 Euro each.
  • A Group discount of 15% is available for 6 or more participants (except student) from the same institution, registering at the same time.
  • If your paper is not accepted by the reviewers, your payment will be refunded.
  • When you make your payment please scan your payment receipt to and also do not forget to write paper ID number
  • If your full paper is more than 8 pages, you have to pay 21€ per page
  • Your papers are edited according to APA Style of Elsevier Publishing, so the number of your pages may increase
  • You can make your extra pages payment using the same payment methods used for registration
  • Refund is only possible till 20 days before from the conference starting date, and you will get your refund after one week later from the conference finishing date.
  • Participants and students who work or study in universities and institutions being colloboration with the conference, get benefit from the 20% discount of participant registration fee
Or at least I think these are associated with this fake conference. When you click the link in the solicitation email you end up at the Academic World Education and Research Center site, which features three conferences on its home page, none of them the Cyprus International Conference on Education Research. The points above were taken from the site of the World Conference on Educational Sciences, a fake conference scheduled more than a month before the Cyprus fake conference.

Who is being scammed? Sincere researchers who submit papers to these conferences in the naive belief they are real. Universities which shell out real money to support the travel and hotel of people, most of whom are in on the game, to travel to interesting points on the globe (after all, how many of us have had a chance to see North Cyprus?) to pretend to give a presentation to an audience which pretends to give a shit. Evaluators of faculty, their departments and universities who use some mindless formula counting up numbers of papers and presentations and citations to generate a ranking of quality.Interestingly, the costs for these fake conferences are reasonably affordable for each participant---comparable to what you would pay for a real conference. The business plan for such things---accepting every submission, scheduling indistinguishably titled  and sponsored fake throughout the calendar year, and picking a price point that doesn't cause pain--- maximizes accessibility, so at least we can think of these organizers as equal opportunity scammers.

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