Session: Predatory Conferences: Are the Flight and Hotel Costs Worth the Effort? (Society for Social Work and Research 24th Annual Conference - Reducing Racial and Economic Inequality)

84 Predatory Conferences: Are the Flight and Hotel Costs Worth the Effort?

Friday, January 17, 2020: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM
Supreme Court, ML 4 (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Cluster: Research on Social Work Education (RSWE)
David Okech, PhD, University of Georgia, Christopher Salas-Wright, PhD, Boston University and Bruce Thyer, PhD, Florida State University
Following two previous successful presentations in the last two SSWR meetings, this workshop focuses on the ever increasing threat of predatory conferences on academic integrity. Like predatory journals, predatory conferences is another recent development in the academic landscape. Nearly just every academic has received numerous emails on all sorts of “academic” conferences within and outside the US. Preliminary reviews show that those involved in predatory journals are also the same entities involved in the business of predatory conferences. Predatory conferences are “academic” conferences, which do not advance academic knowledge or scholarship: their only primary function is to profit from the attendees. Predatory conferences are thought to primarily seek profits in a pay-to-play model where researchers give money to speak at the event. Consequently, predatory conference organizers may have little concern for the quality or rigor of the abstracts they accept or the speakers they invite. Navigating the dubious conference invitations can be both time consuming and challenging. The email invitations may promise an option for a virtual conference, which need not be attended by the invitee: scholars are invited to simply submit a paper and told that they will receive credit for attending the conference. Some invitation emails may refer specifically to a recipient's previously published works. Most invitations are to conferences on broad or unspecified topics and many explicitly suggested that the recipient would be a speaker at the event or even keynote speaker at the event. According to a recent study, the average cost to attend a predatory conference in the field of medicine is $799, with the registration fee ranging from $95 to $1,999. Thus, it is important for researchers, institutions, and social work professionals to know about the existence of these conferences and to be prepared to handle them appropriately, particularly for junior faculty. This workshop includes a panel comprised of the Editor-In-Chief of Research on Social Work Practice and three editorial board members who are SSWR Fellows. The following issues will be addressed: 1. What are predatory “academic” conferences? We discuss their origin and how to identify them; panelists will also discuss the issue of predatory conferences which to seem to be very relevant to social work and what to do about them. We will elaborate on why these conferences are a problem in social work research dissemination. 2. Who typically goes to predatory conferences? Panelists will discuss on how predatory conferences are affecting the progress of research in the Global South and propose ways of building the capacity of social work researchers in the US and the Global South to increase their capability of presenting at credible scientific conferences like the SSWR. 3. Justifying conference choice. We will share available lists and resources that can help us know predatory conferences and how researchers and academic administrators can vet the conferences. We will also discuss the benefits of presenting in the social work community as well as other non-social work high impact conferences. We will also highlight how to take due diligence in selecting conferences.
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