How often are you asked to submit an abstract or a manuscript?  Is it daily, weekly, monthly? And, how do you know if the request is coming from a FAKE or authentic source?

It is not unusual for us, as professionals, to be “selected” to present a paper, research, or a keynote address at any one of a number of international congresses, and to be asked to “pay to play.”  What does that mean? Briefly, it means that you will be asked to join an Organizing Committee (OCM), and that you will be asked to:

  •  Submit a list of names that the organizers may pursue, using your name as a reference
  •  Contact each of the professionals yourself, either through email or a telephone call- singing the praises of the congress and how they will add value and glean a professional experience that is unsurpassed
  • Follow-up multiple times with each of your referrals until they finally submit, engage, and agree to present

The same is true of many of the so-called professional journals. “Skip the peer review process and we’ll expedite your manuscript for publication! You have been chosen! Your research is just what our viewers need! You are the content expert!”  How often can we be the content expert for so many obscure journals?

How do you know what is fake, and what is authentic? How do you know what the process will cost you in time, money, and reputation? How do you vet a program and qualify its validity? As professionals working in a time in history when fake news is a daily occurrence, and when we exist in sound bites, how will you respond?

Suggestions include:

  1. If you have never heard of them, or if the invitation did not come through a reputable channel, it may not be worthy of a response
  2. Check the list of possibly predatory open access publishers, some of whom also scam conferences
  3. Reach out to previous meeting speakers and ask about their experience

Be aware; be diligent; be enlightened!  Sharing one’s knowledge and expertise via the written or spoken word is a privilege, and a responsibility. Fake news…beware!