As a first, I recently received an invitation to peer review for a predatory (or at least shady) conference - in contrast to the tons of unsolicited invitations to publish papers with their journals or speak at one of their conferences (which always involve a publication fee payable by yourself). The email had all the hallmarks of a typical predatory request (including being adressed as "Dear Scholar" instead of my name), a quick look at their website confirmed the suspicion.

Normally, I always directly dismiss these kind of emails, but this one is different, as it doesn't ask for money and instead asks for peer review - a process that normally should lead to higher quality publications - a sign that the "shady" conference is trying to improve and become a more reputable outfit in the future?

Therefor my question: Is reviewing for disreputable journals/conferences a waste of time and not worth it, or is it helping towards the improvement of publications?

  • 1
    Does this answer your question? academia.stackexchange.com/questions/8959/…
    – Allure
    Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 10:01
  • 16
    You do not want to be associated with any journal or any conference which is disreputable, so no.
    – Tom
    Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 16:45
  • 2
    "If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas." Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 17:59
  • @Allure yes, it probably does. I tried to see if a similar question had been asked before, but did not find that one.
    – Sursula
    Commented Nov 24, 2021 at 3:46

1 Answer 1


I would not review for a disreputable journal or conference, especially not a predatory one. Not only does it waste your time but I believe you are doing harm because you are providing them credibility to continue to exploit people and damage academia. Such journals and conferences will unlikely be around for long, and then any good content is also lost. Any credibility they gain may result in people trusting work that has not been properly vetted. I recommend against having any association at all with predatory journals and conferences.

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