Researchers in Southeast Asia Are Bombarded with Conference Spam

International Academy of Computer Technology

Conferences, journals, spam.

A continuing explosion in the number of low-quality and predatory scholarly conferences in Southeast Asia is confusing and annoying researchers in the region. One example is the so-called International Academy of Computer Technology (IACT) — which is not really an academy at all — whose headquarters address shows up as a dwelling in a U.S. state.

The International Academy of Computer Technology (IACT) claims on its website that it’s a “nonprofit research and development organization,” a claim I doubt. It operates several scholarly conferences each month and publishes several open-access journals.

Here’s the headquarters address the “Academy” gives:

3308 N Mayfield Ave,
San Bernardino, CA 92405

3308 N Mayfield Ave

Paying taxes on earned income in the U.S. and California?

This is the house at that address, a small structure with a steeply-pitched roof and a tree-lined yard. Despite its claimed U.S. base, only a tiny proportion of its journals’ editorial board members are based in the U.S.

The company lures researchers into presenting at its conferences (and paying the registration fees) by tempting them with offers to publish their conference papers in indexed journals, journals they themselves publish.

Selected submission paper

The come-on, in a strange font, as seen on their conference website.

They generally organize two-four conferences each month, with each month’s conferences taking place at the same hotel at the same time. For example, their April, 2016 conferences will be held in Bali, Indonesia. They are:

  • 2016 4th International Conference on Nano and Materials Engineering
  • 2016 2nd International Conference on Sensors and Mechanical Automation
  • 2016 4th International Conference on Electronics Engineering and Technology

Some believe that if a conference is the event’s 2nd or higher that it’s automatically legitimate — not true. I’ve gotten reports from several researchers in Indonesia that many there are being spammed to attend these conferences.

Their publishing arm, also run from a house in San Bernardino.

Their publishing arm, also run from a house in San Bernardino.

The people in the house on Mayfield Avenue in San Bernardino publish a lot of journals. Some — but not all — of the journals they publish are included on website for International Academy Publishing.

I strongly recommend that researchers everywhere avoid this company’s conferences and open-access journals. I think the academic indexes that cover these journals have been fooled.

Appendix: List of International Academy Publishing journals as of 2016-03-12 (list may be incomplete):

  1. International Journal of Applied Physics and Mathematics
  2. International Journal of Bioscience, Biochemistry and Bioinformatics
  3. International Journal of Computer and Communication Engineering
  4. International Journal of Computer and Electrical Engineering
  5. International Journal of e-Education, e-Business, e-Management and e-Learning
  6. International Journal of Knowledge Engineering
  7. International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics
  8. International Journal of Materials Science and Engineering
  9. International Journal of Social Science and Humanity
  10. Journal of Computers
  11. Journal of Software
  12. Lecture Notes on Information Theory
  13. Lecture Notes on Software Engineering

25 Responses to Researchers in Southeast Asia Are Bombarded with Conference Spam

  1. Ariel Karlinsky says:

    Do people even show up to these conferences? do they even truly occur?

    • Yes, they are actually held. They can be very profitable for the organizers, so the strategy is to create many conferences that occur frequently.

      • Humanities Editor says:

        Conferences have become a key profit-generating component for several components of academic publishing and professional societies. There are degrees of legitimacy. I’d roughly and perhaps imperfectly scale the three I’ve personally encountered (from most legitimate to least legitimate) as follows:

        A) Professional societies who use their conference profits to fund the society’s activities.

        B) Association management firms whose business models are in part based on generating profit from their clients’ conferences.

        C) Predatory publishers who spam academic in-boxes with invitations to conferences that only exist to generate money for the organisers, with no real academic intent.

        The first strikes me as wholly legitimate. The second is legitimate if you’re a professional society that’s consciously brought on association management support, though the relationship needs to be considered carefully; one professional society I’m on the Board of Directors for had to cut its association management links when the firm was driving the society to raise its membership fees to unsustainable levels solely to fund its conference support services. The third is a pile of poo.

  2. Frank Lu says:

    I sarcastically tell my students to be careful of journals starting with “International” or “Global.”

    • YC says:

      Well, International Journal of Cancer is actually quite good. This is the “original” International journal – they used this name since 60th. “Global” though… can’t think of any good journal that want to be “global”

      • Rudi Ettrich says:

        Well, for 2014, the journal GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY has an Impact Factor of 8.044. It is published since 1995 by Wiley-Blackwell and in the ISI Journal Citation Reports it ranks 1/44 (Biodiversity Conservation); 3/223 (Environmental Sciences); 5/145 (Ecology) making it a prime journal in global change research.

      • YC says:

        Ah, interesting. Rather out of my field but interesting. Formally it is not “Global” journal it is “Global change” journal, that is to say if you omit word “Global” the name become meaningless. Most of other ‘global’ journals just try sound important

    • Derek says:

      In my discipline, the word “international” often refers to the sub-discipline (e.g., international trade, international economics) which is of course legitimate and understandable. However, I have noticed that when the word does not refer to a sub-discipline, it is very often a Beall listed journal. I don’t recall ever coming across a “Global” journal that was not predatory.

    • Samir Hachani says:

      Or globally international. Beware ALSO of internationally global they are the worst !!!

    • liorsham says:

      “International Journal of Computer Vision” is one of the top journals in computer science. “International Journal of Obesity” is a very good outlet. These are just examples, of course. It is best to judge a journal by its reputation, not by name.

  3. Dana Roth says:

    Thanks … added to Lib Guide

  4. James says:

    The same California address is used for the American Society for Research which is now based in China. http://asr.org/

  5. pradeepparaman says:

    Sir,

    Please provide verification of authenticity for :

    The International Journal of Business Quantitative Economics and Applied Management

    Thanks.

    Pradeep

    Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2016

  6. liorsham says:

    What caught my attention is the use of the titles starting with “Lectures Notes”. That sounds very much like the Springer conference series which has become a standard for many conference proceedings in computer science. If they publish their conference proceedings in titles starting with the words “Lecture Notes” it might seems deceiving.

  7. tooi says:

    I am willing to warn you about the two bogus websites
    1. Academic Research Publishing Group (http://www.arpgweb.com)
    2. Centre of Excellence for Scientific & Research Journalism (http://centreofexcellence.net)
    The Academic Research Publishing Group is running publishing company by using the names of bogus Dr. Name for editorial board and advisory board. If you have published articles previously with this publisher, now you should check this website. You will found the names of contact persons are not present that have used with your article publication negotiation.
    Centre of Excellence for Scientific & Research Journalism is organizing conferences and the issue is that the resource person for workshop: Nasir Ali Shamsi. He is showing affiliation as a Member, Elsevier Advisory Panel. If you confirm from Elsevier publication they are not aware from him. He is not a Doctorate degree but he will give a talk, how to publish paper in Impact Factor publication. Even he is not a single Academic publication.
    URL: http://centreofexcellence.net/

  8. L_C says:

    These are some of the main IA Publishing affiliated sites: IACT (iact.org), IACSIT (iacsit.org), SCIEI (sciei.org), SAISE (saise.org), ASR (asr.org), IAP (iap.org), The Singapore Institute of Electronics (dissolved?), and CBEES (cbees.org).

    I took a closer look at the ICMAE conference hosted by SCIEI. The ICMAE site lists two contacts. They follow the English/Chinese name pattern (e.g., Celine Xi), as do all of the other affiliated conferences. The secretaries/contact names they provide for these conferences are always those of women. They are always listed as Ms. ____. Apparently, there are no men or PhD contacts/secretaries at any of these academic conferences. Members/fellows of SCIEI, IACT, ASR, etc., along with sponsors, can organise and chair/ serve as keynote speakers for new or existing conferences. For instance, ICMAE is organised by Embry Riddle and the site is registered to Ian McAndrew, an SCIEI keynote speaker from Embry Riddle, with an email that could easily belong to Ken Witcher (ken.witcher@yahoo.co.uk), another keynote speaker from Embry Riddle. However, the address and phone # given still belong to SCIEI. It can be difficult to ascertain if there are any specific people at SCIEI who plan the other conferences as generic registrar names are usually given, along with an sciei.org email. 

    http://icmae.org.2compete.org 

    SCIEI is actually a registered business in CA (entity # C3676444). Their registered address is that of ASR and IA Pub, which is 3308 N Mayfield Ave, San Bernardino CA. It was registered on May 15th, 2014 to Jianhong Zhou. IA Pub was also registered on the 15th at that address (entity # C3676443).

    Zhou filed a fictitious name report in LA county and, as per state law, ran an explanatory ad once a week for four consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation. Zhou chose one of the suggested papers, the British Weekly, and ran this ad (very meticulous about following the process):

    “The following person(s) is/are doing business as: IACT, International Academy of Computer Technology, American Society For Research, ASR, 18974 Radby St., Rowland Heights CA 91748. IA Publishing, 18974 Radby St., Rowland Heights CA 91748. This business is conducted by: a corporation. The Registrant(s) commenced to transact business under the fictitious business name or names listed herein on: n/a. Signed: Jianhong Zhou, CEO. Registrant(s) declared that all information in the statement is true and correct. This statement is filed with the County Clerk of Los Angeles County on: June 24, 2014. NOTICE – This fictitious name statement expires five years from the date it was filed on, in the office of the County Clerk. A new Fictitious Business Name Statement must be filed prior to that date. The filing of this statement does not of itself authorize the use in this state of a fictitious business name in violation of the rights of another under federal, state or common law (see Section 14411, et seq., B&P Code.) Published: 07/12/14, 07/19/14, 07/26/14 and 08/02/14.”

    http://www.british-weekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/lrbw072614.pdf  

    As such, I find their nonprofit claim dubious at best given that the LA county website claims: “non-profit corporations, organizations or associations are not required to file a Fictitious Business Name Statement.” Plus, if they registered as a nonprofit in the US, I can not locate them. I searched several databases, including ProPublica’s nonprofit explorer.

    So, yes, the name is officially registered as fictitious, but I will point out that there is a Jianhong Zhou of Sichuan University named as registrar of several conference sites, notably icmv.org, and is listed as a publication chair. The email given is zjh@e.ntu.edu.sg. Apparently, @e.ntu.edu.sg is the office 365 email given to students and alumni of Nanyang Technological University. The other ICMV registry data differs in that it does not explicitly mention SCIEI or a similar organisation. However, the conference contact is the SCIEI secretary (noted above) from the ICMAE conference, which is Ms. Celine XI. Also, Jianhong Zhou has chaired many of the other past conferences (primarily as a publication chair- ICMEE, IACSIT, ICMCE, ICSTE, etc), several of which note her previous affiliation with Nantang tech. 

    http://userexp.net/icmv.org.html

    Another point of note is that a Yi Xie is the registrar of IA Pub and many of the other conference sites that haven’t yet used generic place fillers. Yi Xie is listed as a publication chair for multiple past conferences and is frequently listed as the director of the IACSIT Chengdu Section and the Singapore Sichuan Computer Federation. He previously served on several of the journal editorial committees (as a member and an EIC), but it’s difficult to find a visible trace of him now:

    http://www.zoominfo.com/CachedPage/?archive_id=0&page_id=5082653352&page_url=//www.ijtef.org/editor.htm&page_last_updated=2010-11-30T17:13:03&firstName=Yi&lastName=Xie

    http://www.zoominfo.com/CachedPage/?archive_id=0&page_id=6048485316&page_url=//www.icsgs.org/Com.htm&page_last_updated=2012-08-29T11:51:49&firstName=Yi&lastName=Xie

    The email used to register IA Pub was cbees@sie-edu.sg. The sie-edu.sg address gives the deceptive suggestion of having an academic affiliation. This site actually belonged to the Singapore Institute of Electronics LTD, which was a registered business in the UK from early 2009 until late 2010. The company director was Yi Xie. This site is no longer in use, but is well archived and was hosting the same journals and conferences that IACSIT and others have inherited.

    https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/06818907

    https://web.archive.org/web/20100923103555/http://www.sie-edu.sg/conference.htm

    Further, I’ve been attempting to follow the fees for these conferences. They all have rather identical registration forms. Most of the fees are directed to a Bank of America in CA. However, the IACSIT conference fees are being sent here:

    Bank Name: Maybank, Singapore
    Bank Address: 131 Jurong East Street 13 Singapore 600131
    Name of Account: XIE YI
    Beneficiary’s Address: #07-42, BLK 708, St. 71, Jurong West, Singapore 640708
    Account Number: [redacted]
    BIC/SWIFT Code: MBBESGSG

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:0sQEOKjoO7EJ:www.icrsa.org/listener-reg.doc+&cd=20&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=au

    Since all of the site registries share an IP address, server, and multiple emails, etc, one person is either ambitiously running the sites or there are multiple individuals involved in each branch.
    It is always possible that Xi/ Zhou or another individual is just using the ASR/SCIEI platforms to host conferences while the real owner remains hidden in plain sight, so it’s hard to be sure about anything at this stage.

    Many unexplained items remain. One journal, Joams(.com), is registered to ETPub. However, their contact page directs all inquires to joams@ejournal.net. Ejournal.net is a site that hosts aggregate data on many publishers’ journals (a substantial majority are respectable). I located JOAMS on their site and the noted publisher is EJournal. Was this journal transferred or are the two sites are related? They are hosted on the same IP and server, along with several other ETPub journals, but the ejournal.net registry uses the email gzh@swjtu.edu.cn, which appears to be an institutional email. Curiously, the registrar named for that site is California State University, Long Beach, a school unlikely to be involved in any fashion, especially using a Chinese institutional email address. 

    http://bgp.he.net/dns/ejournal.net#_whois

    Finally, there’s a non-journal site registered to Zhou, which is on the same server and IP as the others. It is youngstudy.com and currently redirects to one of the journals. Glancing through archives, it appears to have been a site that assisted with immigration for jobs and schooling. The business now has a new site: young.ac.cn. The site links back to several of the IAP/ETPub journals and conferences. Their old site listed a purported business # of 510,105,000,062,779, but I’m not especially adept at searching through Chinese business registrations in order to find the owner. 

    http://www.young.ac.cn/index.php?m=content&c=index&a=lists&catid=14

    Here are some other journals (non-exhaustive list in no specific order):

    1. ijcte.org- International Journal of Computer Theory and Engineering
    2. ijtef.org- International Journal of Trade, Economics, and Finance
    3. ijmlc.org- International Journal of Machine Learning and Computing
    4. ijesd.org- International Journal of Environmental Science and Development
    5. ijimt.org- International Journal of Innovation, Management, and Technology
    6. ijetch.org- International Journal of Engineering and Technology
    7. ipcsit.com- International Proceedings of Computer Science and Information Technology
    8. jocet.org- Journal of Clean Energy Technologies
    9. ijfcc.org- International Journal of Future Computer and Communication
    10. ipcbee.com- International Proceedings of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering
    11. ijcea.org- International Journal of Chemical Engineering and Applications
    12. icenc.org- International Journal of Structural and Civil Engineering
    13. ijmeer.com- International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Research
    14. ijch.net- International Journal of Culture and History
    15. ijmo.org- International Journal of Modeling and Optimization
    16. joebm.com- Journal of Economics, Business and Management
    17. ijmmm.org- International Journal of Materials, Mechanics, and Manufacturing
    18. jacn.net- Journal of Advances in Computer Networks
    19. ijiee.org- International Journal of Information and Electronics Engineering
    20. lnpo.net- Lecture Notes on Photonics and Optoelectronics

    • Immensely valuable information and extremely helpful, thank you.

    • J_C says:

      Oh, I did actually end up looking into who owned the youngstudy.com business, since that person is the potential owner of the journal and conference sites (the new site, http://www.young.ac.cn, is now mysteriously down. Based on when I could last access it, I would estimate that it became unresponsive on or around March 22nd, or March 21st in the US).

      After reading through a few guides, I learned that businesses in China are primarily registered through their respective provinces and one must search a specific provincial database. I located an online guide that gave you the main gov. search site that links to each individual province database (http://gsxt.saic.gov.cn) and depicts which Kanji on the landing page corresponds to each province. Since the youngstudy.com company had a Sichuan address (四川), I clicked on their database. They have a basic search bar where you can type in the company # (or Chinese company name). I typed in their 15 digit business number (510105000062779) and pressed enter only be given a popup captcha. These captchas had a mix of #s and Chinese characters, so I was hoping it was some sort of math problem and not just Chinese character typing. After a few odd/failed guesses, I found one that featured characters along with a 6 and a 2. Typing 12 actually worked and the company data loaded on my page. According to this site:

      http://www.chinacheckup.com/explanations/china-company-registration-check

      the captchas on the gov. site change according to which provincial database you access and may involve anything from mathematical equations to completing a Chinese Idiom. You’d probably need a strong grasp of the language to decipher some of them.

      The company is called Chengdu Yaang Education Advisory Co., Ltd. (成都亚昂教育咨询有限公司) and their services include education, IT consulting, visa assistance, cultural exchange and, notably, convention and exhibition services(会议及展览服务).
      The company is registered to a Zhou Jianhong (周建鸿). However, I’m not certain what types of background checks go into these businesses and how common it is for false names to be given or if a person must register under their given name.

      http://www.china-iprhelpdesk.eu/sites/all/docs/publications/How_to_search_for_company_information.pdf

  9. tooi says:

    Please check these conferences: http://academicfora.com/

  10. Grace says:

    I think this conference organizer is also low quality, mainly operate in Asia : http://academicfora.com/

    So many grammatical errors in their websites.

    Their conference is more like tourism than academic events (from their schedule, one day for conference, and the other day for tourism) :

    1. International Conference on “Engineering & Technology, Computer , Basic & Applied Sciences” ( ECBA )
    2. International Conference on “Business, Economics, Social Science & Humanities” ( BESSH )
    3. International Conference on “Medical, Medicine and Health Sciences” ( MMHS )

  11. aziz ur rahman says:

    could any body tell me about ICEES2017(http://icees.org/)—2017 International Conference on Energy and Environmental Science will be held in Thammasat University, Rangsit Campus, Thailand during January 22-24, 2017. Is it fake one or not

    • L_C says:

      I will refrain from commenting on the conference’s legitimacy. All I will note is that the website is affiliated with the International Academy of Computer Technology (IACT), which I mentioned above. They can be found at IACT.net. Also, many of the conference sites that they host can be found on the same network, with each site having very similar registry information. There are 202 listed in total (and that’s just on this server/IP). You can view them here:

      http://bgp.he.net/ip/106.186.18.44#_dns

  12. Orep Lyma says:

    Most of reasons, young less experience people public in these journal because some less mature reviewers of the true journals are too arrogant and show strong racist expression. They like to make young people down. That what I know from my student when they secretly sent their papers to fake journals for good feeling of the word “congratulation” but, not long after they known “they are all fake”.
    Some developing country doesn’t care about fake or true journal at all. Some even hire one with B.Edu. to work as science professor.

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