For several months, I have been receiving emails and blog comments about a highly questionable conference organizer called Academic Fora. I find Academic Fora a bogus conference organizer selling easy academic credit, and racking up a large profit doing it. I recommend all honest researchers avoid the many conferences sponsored by Academic Fora.
Here’s one of the comments left on my blog:
Now the bogus conferences business running by Academic Fora (http://academicfora.com), which is based in Indonesia and Malaysia. The company organizes conferences like a Saturday and Sunday classes of MBA course for job holders. Every week conference in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, China, UAE and Turkey. They rent out one room in the hotel, and one person is sitting there to say welcome and charge USD 550 for the certificate of the presentation to empty chairs. If you are not able to reach the conference hotel room, no need to worry, there is a facility available to present through Skype. Your presentation will lesson from the company employ and send you the certificate by post. If you English speaking is not good no need to worry certificate available in USD 550 without doing any thing.
I think the Academic Fora conferences are to conferences what mega-journals are to journals. They combine numerous fields into a single conference, making the conferences larger and attracting more registrants and therefore revenue.
The picture above shows the attendees at two, joint Academic Fora conferences, the International Conference on Engineering & Technology, Computer, Basic & Applied Sciences (ECBA) and the International Conference on Business, Economics, Social Science & Humanities (BESSH).
The company appears to be based in Malaysia. Its domain name data is mostly blinded, so it’s unclear who’s behind this.
Their website has a section that says, “Following Journals are associated with this conference,” and it lists a bunch of journals, with essentially all of them from predatory publishers on my list.
The non-refundable registration fees range from $300 to $500.
Their conferences are being held in these places: Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Turkey, Dubai, UAE, China, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Taiwan, Iran, Morocco, Jordan, the Philippines, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, and Japan.
The conferences occur frequently; for example, they have about twenty scheduled so far for Indonesia in 2016.
(Whenever I type “Academic Fora,” Microsoft Word changes it to “Academic For a.”)
Academics in Asia are being bombarded with spam emails from conference organizers such as this one.
State-supported institutions should carefully consider whether they want to fund attendance at conference organizers such as Academic Fora.
In this case, I think no university should fund registration fees or travel and accommodation expenses for Academic Fora conferences or publication in their associated journals.