Archive for scam conference

another bogus conference [AISTATS copycat]

Posted in University life with tags , , , , on July 27, 2016 by xi'an

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catz4Aki Vehtari spotted a bogus conference on human computer interaction and artificial intelligence that had copied the entire scientific committee of AISTATS 2016! The copy of the committee has now disappeared, but the list of topics is very similar to AISTATS 2016. (And Arthur Gretton is still the contact on this other site.) The conference was indicated as run by the Manchester International College, but this presumably is yet another usurpation of names… For instance, the conference is supposed to take place at a local hotel rather than in the College. And the reference has now disappeared. Almost simultaneously, we also received a request to edit the proceedings of this “conference” on Computers, which is a (free?) open access journal I know nothing about. (Except that it is listed as predatory by Jeffrey Beall.)

While it is of course very easy to set a webpage and a registration site for bogus conferences, it is sad that no action can be engaged against such fraudsters!

whazzat?! [scam conferences inc.]

Posted in Kids, Mountains, pictures, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2015 by xi'an

Tour Eiffel from Pont de l'Alma, Paris, Dec. 16, 2012Earlier today, I received an invitation to give a plenary talk at a Probability and Statistics Conference in Marrakech, a nice location if any! As it came from a former graduate student from the University of Rouen (where I taught before Paris-Dauphine), and despite an already heavy travelling schedule for 2016!, I considered his offer. And looked for the conference webpage to find the dates as my correspondent had forgotten to include those. Instead of the genuine conference webpage, which had not yet been created, what I found was a fairly unpleasant scheme playing on the same conference name and location, but run by a predator conglomerate called WASET.  WASET stands for World Academy of Science, Engineering, and Technology. Their website lists thousands of conferences, all in nice, touristy, places, and all with an identical webpage. For instance, there is the ICMS 2015: 17th International Conference on Mathematics and Statistics next week. With a huge “conference committee” but no a single name I can identify. And no-one from France. Actually, the website kindly offers entry by city as well as topics, which helps in spotting that a large number of ICMS conferences all take place on the same dates and at the same hotel in Paris… The trick is indeed to attract speakers with the promise of publication in a special issue of a bogus journal and to have them pay 600€ for registration and publication fees, only to have all topics mixed together in a few conference rooms, according to many testimonies I later found on the web. And as clear from the posted conference program! In the “best” of cases since other testimonies mention lost fees and rejected registrations. Testimonies also mention this tendency to reproduce the acronym of a local conference. While it is not unheard of conferences amounting to academic tourism, even from the most established scientific societies!, I am quite amazed at the scale of this enterprise, even though I cannot completely understand how people can fall for it. Looking at the website, the fees, the unrelated scientific committee, and the lack of scientific program should be enough to put those victims off. Unless they truly want to partake to academic tourism, obviously.