Background: Predatory conferences are low quality events, in which speaker slots are purchased without peer review and phony research is provided an equal forum. The events are money making business devoid of any educational value but are portrayed as genuine scholarly gatherings of experts and specialists.
Aim: The purpose of this study was to explore experiences of faculty members in nursing and medicine colleges who had unknowingly fallen prey to the predatory conferences.
Methods: Exploratory and qualitative study design using in-depth face to face interviews was employed to describe the experiences. Sample comprised of seven faculty members from the school of nursing (x) and medicine (y) in city (z) in Saudi Arabia. Graneheimian approach was used for content analysis.
Findings: Consequences of participation in predatory conference extended beyond financial loss. It affected the internal motivation for professional development in participants who now live with a fear of being wrongly associated with predatory conference organizers, as attempts were made to misuse their information during and after the event without consent.
Conclusion: Institutes should initiate awareness and education programs to familiarize researchers with the true face and exploiting nature of predatory conference organizers. Funding for fake conferences should be stopped.
Predatory Conference; Faculty Members; Experiences; Exploitation
‘Predators’ are characterized with behavioral aspects of hunting, stealing and scavenging . The term ‘predatory’ is borrowed to showcase the tracking, stalking, exploiting, and fraudulent behavior of fake publishers and conference organizers. The term ‘predatory publishing’ was initially coined by Jeffrey Beall in 2010 who described them as ‘new publishers that lacked transparency and used deceptive websites to attract manuscript submissions and the accompanying author fees’ . Ever since then, awareness has escalated against them and several authors and researchers across the globe attempted to expose ‘predatory publishers’, ‘predatory academics’ and ‘predatory conference/congress organizers’ [3-6].
Predatory conferences are extended operations run by predatory publishers. They have surfaced in a time period of less than 20 years . They are low quality dubious events with a ‘blink of an eye’ abstract acceptance without peer review. Several conferences are usually staged in the same hotel to save money, where attendees in small numbers read their papers to one another. Sponsors generate revenue by heavy registration fees, meals and sightseeing tours bundled in the event . Emergence of predatory conferences is recognized as a problem that requires awareness and investigations into their validity .