I have some continuing misunderstandings with my advisor. For some time I am actually doing my research as a one man show, but due to my faults and a lot of work I still did not finish my PhD. I am paid by him, so I still need to have good relations with him.

However, he often gets some real and spam "invitations" to journals and conferences and he always tends to send my work there (he doesn't have more or less anything else). The problems is these journals are often fake journals like from the SCIRP publishing. I managed once persuade him not to send the payment a year ago, but now they wrote him again and he sent them the money and came to me to say that they accepted our article. I do not particularly like to have my name in these "journals".

A similar problems is with conferences. Maybe this one is not that bad– I am even not able to google this random conference about everything in Gdansk now, but they promise publications indexed by ISI or SCOPUS – but I already submitted the paper to two conferences (two disjunct parts of it) I chose and I want to publish it in a good journal from one of them or some other one. I don't know if the extended paper from that conference my boss wants to visit might spoil the better publication.

I also forgot to say he puts himself as a first author. But actually, he writes the complete article himself, but he doesn't have full access to my data, just a couple of graphs and images, so the quality of the articles is not that good, and I prefer not to waste my time to edit articles to these strange places, so it is probably better I am not the first author.

How can I persuade my advisor NOT to publish my work in these 'fake' conferences?

  • 37
    Change your advisor. Quickly.
    – Bitwise
    Apr 18, 2014 at 14:48
  • 14
    I miss @JeffE's don't walk, run! comments. Apr 18, 2014 at 15:49
  • 2
    One strategy might be to show him examples of publication venues of researchers whose work he might respect, especially if those are the venues you want to target. The point is that your advisor is not respecting your opinion, so you have to give him an opinion that he would respect.
    – Suresh
    Apr 18, 2014 at 15:53
  • 33
    Sorry, been busy. Don't walk. Run. Your advisor is using you to drag his career into the toilet, and he's taking you with him. Get out.
    – JeffE
    Apr 19, 2014 at 15:40
  • 6
    If you contributed to a paper, it is a violation of ethics (and probably copyright infringement) for your advisor to submit it for publication without your approval.
    – Max
    Apr 20, 2014 at 8:17

2 Answers 2


I've heard similar tales. The realistic side: you can fret, tell your advisor he should try for a better journal, change advisors, or bring it up as an ethics violation. Yet none of those will get your thesis finished.

You need to concentrate on finishing your thesis. & if that means you need to stop all other projects, then that's what you do. Apparently, you're sidetracking...writing other papers, in addition to your thesis? Or, is it that your advisor has a lot of paper ideas (or you get enthusiastic about new ideas and present the ideas to your advisor?) and you've been very willing to work on more projects? (This can be a double-edged sword...tempting to get involved in several papers/studies, but it keeps you away from your thesis)

You should have a list of journals that are acceptable to you (starting from the best, elite journals to good solid B journals), why are you waiting for your advisor to send YOUR work to a conference or a publication ? Based on your description of the issue, these papers are actually coauthored (with your advisor)- your advisor did the writing, with some of your data.

Now that creates a slightly different problem, -- and it is one you will have to resolve (maybe repeatedly) for your entire career. Some coauthors will send a paper anywhere..because some schools don't care where the paper is presented or published (oh, those schools will prefer elite journals, but at many schools, quantity is more important than quality).

My suggestion: finish the thesis. Don't show any other work to your advisor.


You can easily argument that you opt to publish in A1 journal papers and P1 indexed proceedings and thus only the connected conferences. If your work is good enough though, or if you are willing to invest the time to make the effort.

Take a look at the impact factor of the journal and see if they (as well as proceedings btw) are in the ISI web of knowledge/science list.

You can also use this tool: publish or perish to check the impact of journals/proceedings (it works in win, osx and with wine in linux).

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