I'm a college student attending a very prestigious university. I did an independent research during this summer, and I recently submitted my conference paper to an international conference. The acceptance letter was very fast (2-3 days), and after doing much research, I realized that the organization is in Beall's list. The DOI number of the conference paper already came out and it seems that my paper is going to be published in a conference proceeding (it's going to be on google scholar as well). I don't want to hurt my career by going to a predatory conference, but at the same time, I think it's going to be a valuable experience for me to attend a non-undergraduate conference, as it is the first time for me. Does anyone have any suggestions about what I should do?

2 Answers 2


Don't go.

You write that it's a valuable experience to attend a non-undergraduate conference, and it would indeed be the case, but you won't be attending anything like a non-undergraduate conference. Example story, and that actually reads like one of the "better" predatory conferences, since I've read about other predatory conferences where keynote speakers don't show up and attendees talk about completely unrelated stuff (e.g. a number theory talk at a food science conference).

This kind of event won't help your CV either, because if someone checks the conference out they'll discover that there's no quality control, meaning the quality of whatever you presented is now suspect.

Since you gain nothing by going, is there still worth going? Possibly, but any reason for going would be much less tied to the conference than to other things, e.g. perhaps you know someone who lives near the conference venue and have been looking for a reason to visit. If you don't have these reasons, you might as well save on the cost of travel.

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    In addition, do you think it is worthwhile for to take steps to withdraw the paper from the conference as well?
    – user97709
    Oct 3, 2019 at 13:51
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    I’m curious about that as well. Should I just email them saying that I’m going to withdraw the paper from the conference?
    – golden
    Oct 3, 2019 at 14:12
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    @golden I'd suggest doing it, and/or asking a faculty member from your institution for advice.He/she should be able to offer some suggestions for what to do with the paper.
    – Allure
    Oct 3, 2019 at 22:12

The first step is to get a professor in the area of your research at your university to help you. This does sound like a scam conference. It sounds as if you found the conference yourself, without guidance.

The tougher issue is the paper withdrawal. It probably is worth some effort to do this. If what you sent in is weak, having it out there might embarrass you later. If what you sent is was strong, publishing in this venue might block you from publishing in a better outlet or presenting at a good conference.

At most legitimate conferences, writing to say you cannot attend (didn't your cousin just moved her wedding day) will stop the publication. If you have not send them any money yet, perhaps withholding money will stop them publishing.

This is not something older professors dealt with during undergrad years. Browse this site and you will see that you are not the only one caught in this sort of scam. I like to think graduate admissions committees are getting used to seeing situations like this.

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