There’s a lot of money to be made in the scholarly-conference organizing business in Asia these days. These are not conferences organized by scholarly societies. Instead, they are conferences organized by revenue-seeking companies that want to exploit researchers’ need to build their vitas with conference presentations and papers in the published proceedings or affiliated journals. Another one of these conference organizers is the generically-named International Academy Institute (IAI).
Here are some of the typical characteristics of the conferences, with examples from IAI:
- They are broad in coverage and typically combine several fields into one conference (for example, “The 2015 International Hokkaido Forum- Organizational Behavior, Psychology, and Education”).
- They use free emails as their chief method of contact, for example, email@example.com.
- They have a fast review process (for example, “Notification of acceptance/rejection Two weeks after submission”).
- On its website, the International Academy Institute claims to be non-profit, but it gives no registration number.
- They offer research awards as bait to get people to register (For example, “5-10% of the accepted papers will be selected as Best Papers. The Best Papers list will be announced in the conference program.” From here.).
- They organize multiple conferences at the same place and time. (For example, on July 22-24, the International Academy Institute will simultaneously be holding four conferences at Waseda University, one of Japan’s top private universities: 1, 2, 3, 4. Professor Hajime Tozaki is listed as the keynote speaker for all four conferences.)
- International Academy Institute limits presentations to 10-15 minutes, perhaps to pack in as many presenters as possible and increase the number of registrants and, therefore, revenue.
Like one other Taiwan-based travel agency / scholarly conference organizers, this one also funnels its conference papers to predatory journals.
For example, on the “Publications” page of the 2015 International Hokkaido Forum—Organizational Behavior, Psychology, and Education, it says this:
All registered manuscripts will be published in the Proceedings of the 2015 International Hokkaido Forum- Organizational Behavior, Psychology, and Education. Competitive papers will be recommended for fast-track reviews to the following Journals.
And the two journals are:
The two journals above are:
Both journals are published by the mysterious publisher named Science Publications, which is included on my list of questionable publishers, and Science Publications is known for publishing pseudo-science.
The International Academy Institute is a subsidiary of the International Business Academics Consortium (國際商學策進會), and it publishes its own journal, the International Journal of Business and Information (IJBI), but I cannot find an ISSN for it.
One additional conference organizer I want to examine is called Social Science.
Legitimate scholarly societies are losing ground to the current profusion of questionable, easy-acceptance conferences that are appearing all over the place.