I am invited as a speaker to a international conference to present a published paper. I want to ask if is it usual to not pay the conference fee and the hotel? Should I ask them via email?

  • 6
    Are you a invited keynote speaker or an author of an accepted paper in this conference? Because this "invited as a speaker ...to present a published paper" is pretty confusing.
    – Alexandros
    Apr 12, 2016 at 18:04
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    If you are quoting from the "invitation letter", then it is certainly a scam; the English usage is characteristic of the predatory conference organizers. Do not let yourself become another victim; ignore the letter and the "conference".
    – iayork
    Apr 12, 2016 at 19:11
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    @iayork Seconded -- this sounds hugely scammy. Claiming that they're "overwhelmded by the impact of your article" without saying which article is a classic con along the lines of fortune telling: say something vague and let the listener interpret it according to their own situation. If this was a decent conference that was really interested to hear about your work, they'd've told you what work was so fascinating to them. Apr 12, 2016 at 20:24
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    Just i putted ...... Instead of the titre on m'y new published paper, so you advise me to do not accept this invitation
    – sihou
    Apr 12, 2016 at 21:02
  • 5
    @sihou The text that you posted is covered with screaming red flags for being a scam.
    – jakebeal
    Apr 12, 2016 at 21:13

2 Answers 2


The larger and more prestigious the venue, the higher the probability that your conference fee and travel costs will be paid by the venue. Certain invited speakers (particularly keynote speakers) will also be given a speaking fee, but "invited speaker" means different things in different venues.

You should, therefore, explicitly ask. First, if it's a small and not well-funded venue, they may be asking for you to volunteer rather than offering to pay. Second, many predatory / scam conferences send out official "invited speaker" invitations that attempt to stroke your ego and get you to give them money.

If you don't already know the people and the venue, be careful because it is quite likely to be a predatory / scam invitation. The "invited to present a published paper" is a particular red flag, as these venues seem to have a semi-automated method of scraping publication databases and inviting authors to give them money to talk to a half-empty room of others who have been similarly scammed. Once you've published a few papers, you'll get a lot of these---I get several per day.

  • 2
    Given the snippet just posted of the invitation, I'd put good odds on it being a scam.
    – Fomite
    Apr 12, 2016 at 20:30
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    I have to disagree with the first paragraph. In my experience with mathematics' conferences, the biggest conferences fund (proportionally, at least) less speakers than some much smaller ones. Apr 12, 2016 at 21:59
  • @MartinArgerami Are those speakers "invited speakers"? In most big conferences I'm familiar with, most speakers got there by application, not invitation.
    – jakebeal
    Apr 12, 2016 at 22:28
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    @jakebeal: most of the big conferences I deal with have three levels of invited speakers: plenary speakers (fully funded, usually between 5 and 10), main speakers (names vary, these are important/longer talks on more specific topics), and invited speakers (who are invited to speak in one of the many parallel sessions, together with those who give contributed talks). The third category commonly comprises way more people than the other two combined, and are usually not funded at all (and are required to pay the registration fee). Apr 12, 2016 at 22:36
  • @MartinArgerami Interesting... different communities, different distributions.
    – jakebeal
    Apr 13, 2016 at 0:40

"Invited speaker" is sometimes overused, misused or misunderstood. While key note speakers (also called plenary speakers) usually get funding (no fee, travel and housing support...) the same is not true for people who are invited to take part in a minisymposium at a conference.

Also there are conferences who send some "invitation letter" to anybody who submitted a contribution and got accepted (this true for some real but also for fake conferences). And then there are fake/bogus conferences who send spam emails and invite anybody as a speaker.

  • 2
    Indeed, invitation letters can be fairly common even in legit conferences, and that's not the same thing as being invited as a speaker. Not least because many countries require invitation letters to such events for foreigners, sometimes even for non-presenting attendees. Apr 12, 2016 at 18:38
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    This is dependent on field. In my area (theoretical computer science), the terms "invited speaker", "keynote speaker" and "plenary speaker" are synonymous and all mean somebody who the conference organizers asked to come to the conference and give a talk, as distinct from the regular talks which are from people who asked the conference organizers to let them speak. Apr 12, 2016 at 20:20
  • "Keynote" and "Plenary" speakers can also be a subset of invited speakers, where the other invited speakers may be presenting a longer-than-typical talk in one of several parallel sessions. "Plenary" of course means the whole conference in one room, "keynote" only implies it. They may or may not be treated differently by the hosts.(@DavidRicherby, an example of near-synonyms)
    – Chris H
    Apr 13, 2016 at 10:30

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