I could not find any previous questions on the effect of vanity awards compared to vanity publishers. I recently noticed a CV on a university website with a few awards of International Scientist of the Year, or something as such. I found the giver of this award as IBC https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Biographical_Centre . It seems from the page to be criticism on the organization.

I am curious, how do these types of awards being listed effect the image of the Professor?

If it is bad for the image, is it worse than vanity press, since it requires no work at all (compared to having to write a manuscript, even if it is bad). Or is it not as bad because it doesn't look like passing off published work?

I am looking to know these answers to conclude if putting this type of award on a CV is beneficial, detrimental, or neutral in the general/international community.

For context, I know the Professor is in Asia, in which there is probably a good amount of pressure to come up with activities or awards for their career. For diplomatic reasons, we can assume someone nominated them for the award and they are unaware of the feedback on Wikipedia.

  • 1
    Utterly worthless and a negative impact, plain and simple.
    – user330994
    Apr 16, 2016 at 16:38

1 Answer 1


If I saw a vanity award of this type on somebody's CV, I would have a hard time ever taking that person seriously.

At least with predatory publishers, there is often a reasonable excuse: it's easy for people early in their career or at smaller institutions to get tricked by the slicker operations. Indeed, sometimes the line between low-tier venue and vanity publisher is quite unclear. As a result, real, sincere scientific work can end up getting sent to a horrible venue. It's unlikely to be very good work (just by correlation, since poorly connected researchers are less likely to be producing good work), but any shame associated with such a publication can be readily diluted by publishing good publications in good venues.

A vanity award of the sort you describe, however, I can see no such mitigating circumstances. When random people you've never heard of before ask you for money to call you "Scientist of the Year," you can only accept if you are very gullible or very vain. Moreover, unlike a publication in a bad venue, there is no reason to keep such a terrible award on one's CV unless you still believe it is somehow valid.

In short: I would consider a vanity award on a CV to be quite ridiculous, and a good reason to have a high degree of suspicion of a person's work unless given strong evidence to the contrary.

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