Pretend publications and counterfeit conferences

Further to the recent blog post by Anthony Finkelstein on pretend publications, this afternoon I received the following unsolicited email:

Dear Dr.,

I am chairing the IADIS International Conference Applied Computing 2012 and would like to invite you for the scientific committee of this conference that will be held in Madrid, Spain (please see

As a member of the committee, you will get some papers to review in the topics you select (topics list available You are entitled to be part of the proceedings book and CD-ROM and also have free entrance to the conference except if you are author or co-author of a paper and wish to present it yourself or get it published in the proceedings in case none of the co-authors registers for the conference.

Can I just ask you for a couple of names that could also be part of this committee? The idea is to increase the number of members in the committee in order to reduce the committee members’ workload.

Also, can you please send me your address so that we can send you a CD-ROM with the proceedings of this year’s edition?

Could you please let me know whether you accept this invitation the soon
as possible?

Hope to see you being part of this IADIS conference.

Best regards,
Applied Computing 2012 Conference Chair

I frequently receive emails inviting me to submit a paper to sham conferences or journals (or, better yet, to say that my “paper” has already been accepted for publication), but this is my first programme committee invitation. Needless to say, I am honoured.

More seriously, this is a worrying (and steadily increasing) phenomenon, particularly in computer science. An example that frequently tops lists of fake conferences is WORLDCOMP (see scathing critique here); agents purportedly representing this conference recently threatened the owner of the comp.compilers list that I follow.

Let’s be clear: these are not credible outlets for disseminating academic research, so how can we rid ourselves of these deceptive venues? Echoing the sentiments of Anthony, it will not be by exposing and condemning the organisers (potentially problematic from a libel perspective), but by systematically discouraging people from submitting. Spread the word.


  1. HI Tom,

    Sorry to botehr you with this question…
    so, is IADIS a really fake conference? I always have a doubt with IADIS – they have like 4 conference in a year and each conference have lots of papers accepted. Furtehrmore, the gap between the submission deadline and acceptance notification is about a month…so I’m wondering if it is more like a ‘tourist’ conference instead of a scholar conference.

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