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I have submitted a paper to a conference in theoretical computer science in China, whose deadline was today 06/Mar/2016, 11:59 EST. It is not one of the mainstream conferences, but I have heard some serious computer scientists advertising it. In some conference ranking sites, this conference is ranked B. On the other hand there are some prestigious specialized conferences that are also ranked B. So I decided to submit to it.

Looking for the historic of the conference in previous years, I have seem that the average acceptance ratio is 30%, and that the number of submissions each year is above 100 (some years way above 100).

Now for my surprise, I submitted my paper something like one hour before the deadline, and my paper received a number below 10. The submission system was easychair, and there were some boxes where we could chose the subjects of research related to the paper.

My questions are:

1) Is it normal to have such few submissions at easychair just one hour before the deadline?

2) Is it possible that this conference is artificially increasing the statistics for the previous years? One weird thing that I noted is that in previous years the proceedings were published at lncs. However this year, there is no information about where the proceedings will be published.

3) I'm seriously thinking about withdrawing, since I can't imagine how the conference will reach a reasonable number of submissions, even if the deadline is extended. Do you think I should do that?

  • Is the conference usually held in China? I recently attended a conference in China and was gravely disappointed. As in your case, the conference was minor, but good labs I know had published there in the past, so I thought it would be okay. Later my prof explained that who submits there depends a lot on where it is being hosted, and China apparently has poor draw (partly for visa reasons, partly for quality). They ended up filling up the conference with low-quality submissions from various Chinese institutes, and many ended up being no-shows. – Steve Heim Mar 8 '16 at 5:11
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Statistics could be artificially increased, but also the advertisements of the serious computer scientist could be faked (if they are on the website of the conference). Almost all of the scamming conferences use real, "famous" scientists that are supposedly chairing sessions and giving lectures, even though they themselves don't know anything about it.

If you really think it's a scam you could withdraw, however I don't think they will actually remove your abstract from the website.

I personally think the best way to avoid scams or second tier conferences is to just talk to colleagues / mentors / professors in your field, as you might also end up at conferences that seem interesting but are actually not completely about your field.

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  1. Is it normal to have such few submissions at easychair just one hour before the deadline?

Well, it may happen.

  1. Is it possible that this conference is artificially increasing the statistics for the previous years? One weird thing that I noted is that in previous years the proceedings were published at lncs. However this year, there is no information about where the proceedings will be published.

Yes, it is absolutely possible. There are some scams also.

  1. I'm seriously thinking about withdrawing, since I can't imagine how the conference will reach a reasonable number of submissions, even if the deadline is extended. Do you think I should do that?

Well, thinking to withdraw is okay, however, the reason you've mentioned is alone not good enough to do so.

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