Few weeks after I published my first research paper, back in 2011, I was invited to be a keynote speaker at an international conference. My first thought was: “Wow! They must have read my paper”. But then I read the email again and noticed that the conference was about medical cannabis (and my paper had nothing to do with it). Talking to some people I realised that this really was a predatory conference that was just trying to get money out of people.
Few years later, I got used to receive daily emails from predatory conferences and journals that I just delete or ignore. However, I met some students recently who actually went to a predatory conference, they didn’t know it was a scam and bought flight tickets, accommodation, registration to a conference that didn’t exist. Predatory conferences are becoming more common and students and early career researchers who are looking to build their CVs are the most common targets.
So, to raise awareness on this issue (and have some fun) I decided to reply the last predatory conference email I got. I really wanted to waste their time as much as they waste ours (I do encourage others to do the same). So below is my conversation with Emma, the organiser of a predatory conference. Have fun!