Defamation or fraud? – fake academic conferences?

It seems not one conference is safe from being called “fake” these days. What is a “fake” conference? Might it be one of these?

  • A conference that accepts papers that are computer generated and are not of academic rigour;
  • A conference that accepts papers without peer-review;
  • A conference that does not exist at all and just involves collecting money for something that will never happen.

I have actually been caught out by a fake conference – the MASAUM conference series. After seeing that someone who was at an earlier conference I went to – Professor Vic Grout – was on the panel, and the fact that the conference was listed on I thought nothing of applying. The MASAUM conference did not happen – there were no proceedings, no sessions, I had paid over £250 by bank transfer and had nothing to show for it and even the police could not do anything.

Worrying this fear around fake conferences is being used to discredit some of the most respected academics. A colleague has had a troll – who did not pass the rigorous peer review of his conference – spread malicious allegations that his conference is fake all over the Internet. When I challenged this on academic lists, or fell foul of the same troll, I was the one then turned on by the following people:

What I have learned in the last year in relation to fake conference and false allegations is that academic are not as clever as they make out. They are as gullibility as they think those without their qualifications are. Nicolai SteinøFilippo Salustri and Jack Ox are as bad as the people spreading defamation and actually running fake conferences, like MASAUM, as those corrupt people perpetuating myths or taking advantage of the trust normally found in academia.

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