Here is the story:

After working on a project for a couple of months, I put the results in a scientific paper format in case I would submit it to a conference or yet this is a good practice for my writing. The paper is about a specific software engineering topic for which you could not find many scientific events to submit. However, I sometimes check www.wikicfp.com to not miss any deadline if there is one. Finally I found one, read the details about the conference and submit the paper.

This week I got the results. It was positive, I think this is great because I am warming up for academia. However, when I received the review (only one), I felt that this conference could be fake or bogus. They sent me a text file that has the following review (with the name and some strange gmail address as the reviewer email):

paper quality is good different models are explained but this is not a result oriented paper no comparison results for different models with graphical point of view

Thank God I had a paper rejected before. I had submitted it to a workshop on a different topic and the reviews were detailed, well explained without reviewer strange email addresses.

Besides the acceptance email has details more about the registration details, bank accounts, fees etc., than preparing final draft or other scientific related issues.

So right now I am a bit confused about what to do next or how to react. But my question is the following: What are the good indicators of fake/bogus conferences?

  • 1
    can you share the name of the conference? usually folks could give you a reasonable estimate of it just by looking at the website, program committee etc. :)
    – Shion
    Commented Apr 26, 2013 at 2:40
  • > What are the good indicators of fake/bogus conferences? Unknown Program Committee members.
    – seteropere
    Commented Apr 26, 2013 at 8:31
  • +1. Or rather "unknown to your advisor", in case you are a grad student with little research experience. Commented Apr 26, 2013 at 9:52
  • seteropere: One-line answers aren't allowed per our FAQ's. You should either expand your answer, or it'll have to be converted to a comment.
    – aeismail
    Commented Apr 27, 2013 at 17:23
  • 2
    Voting to reopen as the duplicate question as well as most of its answers are about evaluating about the quality of conferences under the assumption that they are not fake.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Dec 27, 2014 at 15:49

4 Answers 4


In your description, there are three telltale signs that the conference might not be very good:

  1. The reviewer email is revealed: a conference that doesn't protect reviewer anonymity (blind review at least) is probably not very good.
  2. The review itself is, frankly, not high quality. It may make sense for a standard conference scientific committee to appoint another reviewer if the first one didn't do his job properly.
  3. Financial details appear very important to the organizer…

To make your final decision, see answers to this question: check out the organizers and invited speakers.


Seek the opinion of third parties. Here are some suggestions.

  • See if the conference is indexed by a major digital library, like Scopus.
  • See if the conference is sponsored by a reputable professional organization, like the IEEE Computer Society or the ACM. Although these societies sponsor all types of conferences, from top-rank to less illustrious ones, I haven't heard them sponsoring "fake" ones.
  • Have a look at the Conference Ranking Exercise that has been performed by the Computing Research and Education Association of Australasia (CORE). If the conference is there, you'll get a (subjective) rank of its importance as a publication outlet. Note that the list is somewhat dated.
  • Similarly, look at the conference ranking list compiled by Osmar R. Zaïane at the University of Alberta
  • Consult the automatically-compiled list created by Microsoft's Academic Search engine.

An alternative approach that a group of researchers followed back in 1995 is to submit silly or gibberish papers (e.g. "The Footprint Function for the Realistic Texturing of Public Room Walls", "Visualization and Intelligent Design in Engineering and Architecture ", "Distributed Multiprogramming System for Pen Selectors with Error Probability") and see whether they get accepted.


I have many years of academic experience and I have been a reviewer of submissions for conference presentations and scientific journals. Speaking from experience, often times the reviews given in response to a conference abstract submission can be extremely brief. This is often due to the reviewer having way more submissions to review than they ever dreamed of and a deadline of say "tomorrow" - YIKES! Serious though... Okay so moving past that, to judge the merit of a conference, I would make most of my decision based on the conference hosts or sponsoring group. If they have a large or influential membership within the discipline, who is directing the group of conference and their professional reputation, the size of the conference venue, etc... if that is all positive then I would go for it.

You might call up a colleague or two of yours in academia within your discipline and ask them if they would like to attend the conference with you. Sometimes those that are currently in the academia loop have insight about the "perceived impact" of a conference or sponsoring group.


I think there is no definitive way to understand if a conference is a fake or not, but here I can suggest you a strategy. Surely the most important indicator is the experts' and community's opinion: if you know someone expert in your field (maybe your supervisor?), you can ask him/her information about that conference.

Maybe you can ask also to online community members, too.

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