Young Assistant Professor Helps Promote Questionable Conferences, Journals

A Taiwan-based conference organizer employs an American assistant professor as the “honorable chair” for many of its conferences. I think the conferences are really vacations disguised as academic meetings, and the submitted papers are funneled for publication to questionable, low-quality, and predatory journals, including many from South Asia and West Africa.

The man is an assistant professor at Japan’s Nagoya University of Commerce and Business, and you’ll see his picture promoting many of the “vaconferences” organized by the so-called Higher Education Forum.

Here’s a list of some upcoming Higher Education Forum conferences featuring  the Honorable Chair / International Liaison”:

3rd Asia-Pacific Social Science Conference

“The … Conference … offers the occasion for wide-ranging, interdisciplinary discussion covering both academia and research.”  Sounds exciting.

Most all of the conferences are “International” or “Global,” and their topics are broad in scope. Declaring the meetings to be “international” gives attendees the ability to claim that their presentations were given at international conferences, despite the fact that these meetings are little more than academic vacations.

The broad scope for each meeting increases attendance (and therefore revenue for the organizer) by making almost all abstracts acceptable for the conferences.

Publication opportunity

Easy conference, easy journals.

The conference websites indicate that the submitted papers “will be considered for inclusion” (that is, easily accepted if you pay the fee) in journals from these publishers:

  • Asian Online Journals
  • Horizon Research Publishing Corporation
  • Academic Journals (Lagos, Nigeria)
  • Research India Publications
  • Transstellar Journal Publications and Research

All these publishers are on my list, with the exception of Research India Publications, which is a subscription publisher. They are all low quality publishers that aim to make easy money off authors by quickly accepting and publishing their work.

How did a Taiwanese tour operator / conference organizer strike a deal with Indian and Nigerian open-access publishers? Is this a sophisticated paper mill operation?

I think the conference attendees are possibly being victimized twice here, once by the conference organizer and once by the publishers.

Higher Education Forum

Higher Profit

I recommend that universities in Asia, where these conferences take place and are marketed, closely scrutinize and critically evaluate Higher Education Forum. It appears this company is more of a travel agency than a scholarly conference organizer. Do universities really want to sponsor their faculty attending these questionable conferences?

Scholars should prefer conferences organized by respected scholarly societies and should resist the temptation to go on scholarly junkets.

Update, 26 February 2015: Higher Education Forum has removed the photograph and name of the assistant professor from its websites. Research India Publications is now included on my list of questionable publishers. Although it is a subscription publisher, it operates like a gold-open access publisher, charging authors to publish in its many low-quality journals.


A whole bunch of Higher Education Forum conferences:


18 Responses to Young Assistant Professor Helps Promote Questionable Conferences, Journals

  1. Manfred Raida says:

    Conferences are a big business now, run by commercial operating companies. Science second, money first. Sponsorship through companies is marketing costs for them and if the marketing department does not look into the conference organiser, they will spend money in the wrong conference.
    Seriously, there are so many conferences every year, even in exotic fields like Proteomics, that there is no chance to go to all of them – or scientific work has to be stopped. And it is more and more difficult to select the good ones and the real ones as these have no marketing budget, home-made fliers, home-made websites, direct invitations, costs only to cover the real expenses of the conference and lab members to do the admin work. How to compete with these predatory organisers, love to get an idea.

    • Humanities Editor says:

      Part of the reason conferences are such big business is that it’s part of the business model of the professional society management firms that run many society business offices to use their clients’ annual conferences to maximise their own profits. I sit on two professional society boards, and in one case we eventually had to break our relationship with our management firm (who had left society management industry magazines in the reception area that cheerfully discussed how to maximise profit via client conferences).because we felt that their annual attempts to significantly increase their charges for managing our conferences was incompatible with both the society’s financial model and the resources of our membership.
      This is admittedly a separate issue from the dodgy conference and predatory publishing collision highlighted here, and many professional societies reasonably expect their conferences to not just cover their costs but help fund the society’s broader scholarly activities. But this is indicative of a broader issue about, as Manfred states, conferences increasingly becoming big business that are designed to make a non-scholarly business profit rather than fund scholarly activity.

  2. laxman says:

    is the Austin Journal of Anatomy is safe for publication??
    with kind regards
    Dr Laxman

    • No.
      I recommend that you avoid all the journals published by Austin Publishing Group. Please find a better publisher.

      • Forrest Taylor says:

        I am wowed at your constant ability to maintain a professional and kind demeanor, sir. You’re doing God’s work here. I certainly wouldn’t be able to respond to as many people as you get, especially the consistent anonymous trolls. Huge respect from me, and thanks for doing what you’re doing.

  3. Chelsea Kao says:

    Press Release
    Jeffrey Beall, Associate Professor Intentionally Harm Higher Education Forum
    By Chelsea Kao
    Feb 24th 2015

    Taipei, Taiwan – Dr. Jeffrey Beall wrote an article on Scholarly Open Access(SOA) and the one-sided post seriously hurt Higher Education Forum’s and the invited speaker’s reputation. HEF is announcing this press release to clarify the misunderstanding Dr. Jeffrey Beall has toward HEF.
    HEF is expecting SOA to take immediate action of removing the post content from the website by Feb 25th 2015.
    Higher Education Forum Clarification Statement
    1. HEF did not employ the mentioned professor to promote anything. HEF has invited the professor to deliver keynote speeches during conferences in Sapporo, Japan in July 2014 and received positive feedback from the attendees. Thus, we encourage him to attend the upcoming conferences in Osaka and Nagoya in 2015 and to serve as Honorable Chair and International Liaison. However, Dr. Jeffery Beall’s misinterpreted indication of this professor may possibly jeopardize our invited speaker’s career and even his university reputation.

    2. HEF is dedicated to establishing international academic conferences rather than pranks the conferences as easy events or vacations. We provide interdisciplinary joint conferences to gather participants from various research fields to view the same topic in different light and could furthermore seek new collaboration and research opportunities across academic themes. Keynote speeches, tutorial courses and panel discussions in HEF previous conferences have also earned a great number of positive responses from the participants.

    3. Higher Education Forum is cooperating with numerous journal publishers. The post mistakenly suggested we only cooperate with Nigeria and India. Following are the nations of the publishers we are currently working with: Canada (Canadian Center of Science and Education), India (Transstellar Journal Publications and Research Consultancy Private Limited, Impact Journals, Blue Eyes Inteligence Engineering & Sciences Publication Pvt. Ltd.), Nigeria (Academic Journals), USA (David Publishing Company, Horizon Research Publishing, ORIC Publications).
    Publisher and Journal:
    Transstellar Journal Publications and Research Consultancy Private Limited
    – The International Journal of Computer Networking, Wireless and Mobile Communications (IJCNWMC) with Impact Factor (JCC) : 5.3963
    – The international Journal of Economics, Commerce and Research (IJECR) with Impact Factor (JCC) : 4.2234
    IMPACT Journals
    – IMPACT : International Journal of Research in Engineering & Technology ( IMPACT : IJRET ) with Impact Factor 1.5548
    – IMPACT : International Journal of Research in Business Management ( IMPACT : IJRBM ) with Impact Factor 1.3423

    4. We sincerely hope that Dr Jeffery Beall does not intentionally garble the statement. However, his misunderstanding in his text has considerably harmed the reputation of HEF, our invited speaker and even the speaker’s university. We urge to remove the post within 24 hours immediately.

    About Higher Education Forum (HEF)
    HEF as a professional international conference organizer has successfully organized joint international academic conferences in Tokyo, Osaka, Singapore, Hong Kong and other major cosmopolitan cities. We are cooperating with People & Global Business Association (P&GBA), and Korea E-trade Research Institute (KETRI) Transstellar Journal Publications and Research Consultancy Private Limited, Canada (Canadian Center of Science and Education), India (Transstellar Journal Publications and Research Consultancy Private Limited, Impact Journals, Blue Eyes Inteligence Engineering & Sciences Publication Pvt. Ltd.), Nigeria (Academic Journals)
    USA (David Publishing Company, Horizon Research Publishing, ORIC Publications) Singapore Tourism Board for Exhibitions & Conferences, Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), Thailand Convention and Exhibition (TCEB), Sapporo MICE, and all the conferences historical information are released on conferences official sites.

    To learn more about this release, please contact
    Chelsea Kao, Public Relations Manager
    Tel: + 886 2 2740 1498
    Fax: + 886 2 2752 2642

    • Note that all the impact factors listed in Chelsea’s comment are fake. For more information on fake metrics, please see here. So, Chelsea, thank you for this confirmation that Higher Education Forum is collaborating with predatory publishers who use fake metrics to trick and harm honest scholars.

      I stand by my advice that researchers in Asia should avoid the many “vacation-conferences” sponsored by Higher Education Forum. Researchers should prefer honest conferences organized by authentic scholarly societies. Researchers should avoid submitting their work to all the predatory journals that are associated with the questionable travel agency called Higher Education Forum.

  4. Slots conferences concern Brazilian scientists

    Registration is open, with fees up to € 450 for 116 simultaneous scientific meetings in February 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. This kind of event is known as “scam conferences” abroad. Organized without academic care, they are identified as fraudulent by research institutions from other countries.

    These 116 scam conferences are organized by Waset (World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology). Despite its name, it is a publisher. Although discloses be located in Riverside (Connecticut, US), its phone contact is from the United Arab Emirates. And besides invalid, the records of their magazines are from Turkey, according to the numerical international registration ISSN journals.

    While abroad Waset is pointed in alerts for researchers not participate in their conferences or publish in their journals (and in the list of predatory publishers of Jeffrey Beall), in Brazil this publisher appears in the selection based on quality criteria made by CAPES, agency of the Ministry of Education. (in Portuguese)

  5. Niloh Attar says:

    Hi Beal,
    What you’re doing is really valuable.
    Have you encountered the ISESS and IPASE conferences?
    ISESS will be held in a prestigious Tokyo university, and I was hoping that means it’s a quality conference. But it seems you can never be too sure these days.
    Based on their affiliated journals, and your usual criteria for assessing quality conferences, what are your thoughts about these 2 conferences?

    Thank you!

    • I actually focus on scholarly journals and do not have a criteria for analyzing conferences. The second of the two conferences you list funnels papers to Science Publications, a predatory publisher included on my list. I haven’t analyzed the two journals associated with the first conference you list, but they appear extremely dubious. I would advise scholars to seek out more professional conferences; these seem designed only to profit from attendees. Someone has been tricked.

  6. vakalutusau says:

    Dear Mr Beall,

    Please clarify on the status of Horizon Research Publishing as I am being told that it is a perfectly legitimate publisher. However, i note that this is part of your predatory list. Is it or isnt it?


  7. Don’t most journals anyway have the requirement that the journal version be substantially different from the conference version (I mean to maintain quality of the journal and to avoid having people “pad” their publication counts, not due to any legal issues involving copyrights)? At least this was the case for some ACM journals I have submitted to in the past.

  8. Audinne says:

    Sir, would you please to inform about The Global Academy of Training & Research (GATR Enterprise)? This is their statement about their conference:‘’ Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Management and Society ‘’
    The conference will cover important issues in Business and the Social Science under various sub-themes. The goal of our conference is also to support, encourage and provide a platform for young researchers to present their research, to network within the international community of other young researchers and to seek the insight and advice of successful senior researchers during the conference.
    Is it a reputation conference organizer? Thank you

    • The conference itself is out of scope for my work, and I haven’t analyzed it.
      Still, having said that, I see lots of warning signs with this conference, and it appears to be organized by some who wish to cash in on the easy money that conferences and academic journals can bring. I would recommend that you find a scholarly society in your field, preferably a non-profit one, and attend its conferences. If you pay for and attend this conference, you may be taking a risk.

  9. Audinne says:

    Thank you Sir. The Global Academy of Training & Research (GATR Enterprise) in collaboration with Elsevier (UK), Inderscience (Switzerland), Macro Think Institute (USA) is organizing the 2nd Global Conference on Business and Social Sciences (GCBSS) in Bali, Indonesia. I find that Macro Think Institute is a one of your list publisher. They offer publication opportunity at journal (scopus index) Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities, International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics,GLOBAL BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS REVIEW: (SCOPUS, INDERSCIENCE PUBLISHER). What do you think about the journal? The link of the web site
    Thank you.

    • It is true that a couple of the journals they list on that webpage are good journals, but the majority of those they list are predatory or very low quality. I recommend that researchers avoid the 2nd Global Conference on Business and Social Science. They should instead prefer authentic scholarly conferences organized by scholarly societies.

  10. I just got this one today: The 4th International Symposium on Education, Psychology, Society
    (ISEPST 2016)

    March 29 to 31 2016 Kyoto, Japan

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