Not long ago, a graduate student was lured in by a conference in his precise field of study and wrote to me to let me know of his acceptance. I had never heard of the conference. I had never even come across the name of it in passing. I have worked in higher education for almost a quarter of a century and I’ve heard of many legitimate and credible conferences in my field, so I became skeptical.
I asked numerous colleagues, as well as our resident librarian. No one else had heard of the conference either. Kudos to our education librarian at the University of Calgary, since he went to significant effort to determine if the conference was legitimate. In the end, we decided that it was not a wise use of the student’s money or time.
As a result of that experience, I started investigating the topic of predatory conferences and journals in more depth. I started this guide thinking of other graduate students and junior academics who might be at risk of being seduced into spending valuable resources on taking part, while doing nothing to advance their own learning, professional development, scholarly experience or reputation. The stakes are high for academics and the pressure to produce can be overwhelming at times. This guide is intended to help scholars make wise decisions about how to spend their time, money and resources, while simultaneously protecting and preserving their professional reputation.
The goal of this guide is to provide a clear overview of the topics of predatory journals and questionable conferences and advice on how to avoid them. This guide intentionally adopts a plain language approach to ensure it is accessible to readers with a variety English language proficiency levels.
Download a copy of the full report for free from the University of Calgary: https://prism.ucalgary.ca/handle/1880/106227
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Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.