Tagged / open access

Fake conferences are not fake news: beware predatory conferences

Introduction

Academic have been warned for a decade about predatory Open Access publishers (van Teijlingen 2014). These are commercial organisations charging academics a publication fee on submission of their manuscripts with a promise to publish their work quickly online. The problem is twofold: first, these commercial organisations don’t offer proper peer-review and editorial quality assurance; and secondly, academic are being tricked into believing the journal is a legitimate scientific publication.  The second author receives on average six to eight invitations a week to publish in this kind of predatory journals – see below for examples. The first author, who despite having not worked in an academic institution for over three years, still receives such invitations to publish in ‘Journal X’.

Predatory conferences

A similar phenomenon to predatory journals is the predatory conference (Moital 2014; Nobes 2017; Grove 2017). These are pretend academic conferences of questionable value, established first and foremost to make money, not for the greater good of the academic discipline.

Both authors have received bogus and legitimate invitations to attend conferences. A predicament with such an invitation, which 99% of time arrives by email, is that it is not easy to distinguish between fake and real offers. For example, the first author recently received an offer (at short notice), to attend a conference in Miami in November 2017 (see below). This was on the back of an editorial he had published couple of months earlier. For a career researcher going from contract to contract, the appeal of being invited to present a keynote at a conference can be flattering, far less an honour and a boost for one’s career. Therefore, while the idea that if it seems too good to be true, is a prudent one to hold; there is also a temptation to follow through.

The author replied to the request quizzing the reason for the invite out of the blue. The answer was less than convincing, and a swift email by the author saying “Don’t tell me… You are offering me a keynote with travel and accommodation… Lol!!” called their bluff and ended correspondence.

But digging a little deeper he found there was a webpage dedicated to taking payments to attend the conference. In the digital world, a fool can be easily and quickly separated from his or her money.

Of course, it may have been a real conference at a real venue, and they really wanted him to speak. But discerning this is not easy at first…

Some of the warning signs/What to look out for

  • The conference email invitation looks very convincing (if not don’t even read it!).
  • The venue is good location as Nobes (2017) highlighted, “the organizers are more interested in marketing the tourist destination rather than the academic value of the conference”.
  • The conference covers too many different aspects or topics, as if the advert is designed to catch the eye of many people as possible who are vaguely connected to the discipline.
  • Mentions on associated predatory journals and ‘important’ organisations in the discipline.
  • Email and bank accounts that don’t look professional/ official.
  • Little mention of attendance fees, but after acceptance emails demanding a high conference fee and other charges.
  • Conference organisers are not academics, or unknown names.
  • Conference does not peer-review submission/ not provide proper editorial control over presentations
  • Signs of copying of names of existing academic conferences or scientific organisation and even copying of their webpages
  • Even more advertising than normal at a scientific conference.

Furthermore, Andy Nobes (2017) offered some helpful advice on quality of the conference websites in the list below. Andy is based at AuthorAID, a global network providing support, mentoring, resources and training for researchers in developing countries.

Who is at risk of falling for predatory conferences?

Academics need to be aware of money-making conferences and meetings without a true commitment to science. But some academics might be more at risk than others. Young researchers, PhD students and fledgling academics, living from contract to contract may feel any conference attendance is a potential career boost. Thus, such an invitation might seem flattering and an opportunity to good to miss. A way to show that he or she is a capable and independent academic.

Final thoughts

Most academics go to conferences for a combination of presenting their work to get critical feedback, making new contacts, sharing ideas and to be inspired. With such broad combination of motivating factors, the exact purpose of conferences is difficult to ascertain because there is no a priori agreed role and value of conferences (Nicolson, 2017a). However, there is evidence that academic conferences function to facilitate commodity transactions, be that knowledge, tools, skills, reputations, or connections, which reflects the neoliberal ethos in the modern academy (Nicolson 2017b). The predatory conference can be viewed in this light, where academia is more and more focused on generating revenue. It is at best scurrilous, and worst, criminal, for organisations to make money using such a confidence trick.  Always check which conferences are organised and advertised by recognised scholarly organisations in your own discipline. If uncertain ask a more experienced academic, a senior colleague or mentor.

 

 

Donald J. Nicolson

(Health Services Researcher, NHS Fife, and Independent Scholar; twitter @_mopster )

Edwin R. van Teijlingen

(Centre Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health)

 

References:

Moital, M. (2014) Ten Signs of a Bogus/Fake Conference.

Grove, J. (2017) Predatory conferences ‘now outnumber official scholarly events’  (26th Oct.)

Nicolson, D.J. (2017a) Do conference presentations impact beyond the conference venue? Journal of Research in Nursing. 22(5), pp.422-425.

Nicolson, D.J. (2017b) Academic Conferences as Neoliberal Commodities, Palgrave Macmillan

Nobes, A. (2017) What are ‘predatory’ conferences and how can I avoid them?

van Teijlingen, E. (2014) Beware of rogue journals.

 

BU Sociology article in The Conversation

Congratulations to Dr. Hyun-Joo Lim Senior Lecturer in Sociology at BU who has just written an interesting piece on human rights issues faced by North Korean female defectors in China in The Conversation. You can access this article by clicking here!

 

Well done!

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

 

Emerald removes embargo period on all journal articles in open access repositories

Emerald has today, 26th September 2017, removed the embargo period on all Green open access. Author accepted manuscripts (AAMs or postprints) of journal articles held in open access repositories such as BURO will now be available on publication. This applies not only from today, but also to any Emerald publications currently under embargo in repositories.

Emerald Group Publishing

This is a huge advance for open access as Emerald had previously extended their embargo periods in response to the RCUK/ Finch statements on embargo periods and green open access.

Congratulations to Dr. Jane Fry & colleagues

Congratulations to Jane Fry, Janet Scammell and Sue Barker  in the Faculty of Health & Social Science on the publication of their latest paper ‘ Drowning in Muddied Waters or Swimming Downstream?: A Critical Analysis of Literature Reviewing in a Phenomenological Study through an Exploration of the Lifeworld, Reflexivity and Role of the Researcher’.

This innivative paper proceeds from examining the debate regarding the question of whether a systematic literature review should be undertaken within a qualitative research study to focusing specifically on the role of a literature review in a phenomenological study. Along with pointing to the pertinence of orienting to, articulating and delineating the phenomenon within a review of the literature, the paper presents an appropriate approach for this purpose. How a review of the existing literature should locate the focal phenomenon within a given context is illustrated by excerpts from the literature review within a descriptive phenomenological study. This article was recently published in the Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology.  Click here for freely available copy online.

 

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

Congratulations to Dr. Keen on new Nepal publication

Congratulations to Dr. Steve Keen in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences and BU PhD graduate Dr. Pratik Adhikary on the acceptance today of their paper ‘Risky work: Accidents among Nepalese migrant workers in Malaysia, Qatar and Saudi ‘ by the journal Health Prospect [1].  This is a peer-reviewed public health journal, part of Nepal Journals Online, and the journal is Open Access.  Nepal Journals OnLine (NepJOL) provides access to Nepalese published research, and increase worldwide knowledge of indigenous scholarship.

The Faculty of Health & Social Sciences has a growing number of publications on health and migration research, especially on the health and well-being of migrants from Nepal [2-5].

 

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

 

References:

  1. Adhikary, P., Sheppard, Z., Keen, S., van Teijlingen, E. (2017) Risky work: Accidents among Nepalese migrant workers in Malaysia, Qatar and Saudi, Health Prospect (forthcoming)
  2. Adhikary, P., Simkhada, P.P., van Teijlingen E., Raja, AE. (2008) Health & Lifestyle of Nepalese Migrants in the UK BMC International Health & Human Rights 8(6). Web address: www.biomedcentral.com/1472-698X/8/6.
  3. van Teijlingen E, Simkhada, P., Adhikary, P. (2009) Alcohol use among the Nepalese in the UK BMJ Rapid Response: www.bmj.com/cgi/eletters/339/oct20_1/b4028#223451
  4. Adhikary P., Keen S., van Teijlingen, E. (2011) Health Issues among Nepalese migrant workers in Middle East. Health Science Journal 5: 169-175. www.hsj.gr/volume5/issue3/532.pdf
  5. Aryal, N., Regmi, P.R., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Adhikary, P., Bhatta, Y.K.D., Mann, S. (2016) Injury and Mortality in Young Nepalese Migrant Workers: A Call for Public Health Action. Asian-Pacific Journal of Public Health 28(8): 703-705.

Good month for BU reproductive health publications

This month has been exceptionally good for BU publications in the field of midwifery and maternity care.  Two PhD students has their articles published in international academic journals, one member of staff had a textbook chapter published, an interdisciplinary team has been accepted for publication in the British Journal of Midwifery, and a member of the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH) co-authored this month’s editorial in the Journal of Asian Midwives  as well as an epidemiology paper on the HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) in Nepal.  

The first of this success story was CMMP PhD student Preeti Mahato whose  her latest paper ‘Factors related to choice of place of birth in a district in Nepal’ appeared in the Elsevier journal Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare  [1].  The second PhD paper was also based on research in Nepal this time by Sheetal Sharma whose paper ‘Evaluation a Community Maternal Health Programme: Lessons Learnt’ appeared in Journal of Asian Midwives [2].  The textbook chapter was by Dr. Jenny Hall who contributed a chapter to the latest edition of Mayes Midwifery , which is the classic midwifery textbook and now in its 15th edition [3].  The interdisciplinary paper is by Angela Warren, service user and carer coordinator PIER partnership, Dr Mel Hughes, principal academic in social work, academic lead for PIER partnership, and  Dr Jane Fry and Dr Luisa Cescutti-Butler who are both senior lecturers in midwifery in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH) [4]. The latest issue of the Nepal Journal of Epidemiology carried a CMMPH co-authored paper on the HPV in young women in Nepal [5].   The final piece, an editorial, appeared yesterday in the latest issue of the Journal of Asian Midwives [6].


Congratulations to all authors!

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

 

References:

  1. Mahato, P., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Sheppard, Z., Silwal, R.C. (2017)  Factors related to choice of place of birth in a district in Nepal, Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare 13 : 91-96.
  2. Sharma, S., Simkhada, P., Hundley, V., van Teijlingen, E., Stephens, J., Silwal, R.C., Angell, C. (2017) Evaluation a Community Maternal Health Programme: Lessons Learnt. Journal of Asian Midwives. 4 (1): 3–20.
  3. Hall, J. (2017) ‘Fertility and it’s control’ In: Macdonald, S. & Johnson, G.  Mayes’ Midwifery, 15th Edition,  London: Elsevier.
  4. Warren, A., Hughes, M., Fry, J., Cescutti-Butler, L. (2017) ‘Involvement in midwifery education: experiences from a university service user and carer partnership’ British Journal of Midwifery (forthcoming).
  5. Sathian, B., Babu, MGR., van Teijlingen, E.R., Banerjee, I., Subramanya, H.S., Roy, B., Subramanya, H., Rajesh, E., Devkota, S. (2017) Ethnic variation in perception of Human Papillomavirus and its Vaccination among young women in Nepal, Nepal Journal of Epidemiology 7 (1): 647-658.  http://www.nepjol.info/index.php/NJE/article/view/17757
  6. Jan, R., van Teijlingen, E. (2017) Exciting Times in South-Asian Midwifery, Journal of Asian Midwives 4 (1):1

New publication Sheetal Sharma (PhD graduate 2017)

Congratulations to Sheetal Sharma whose latest article appeared in today’s new issue of Journal of Asian Midwives [1]. Sheetal wrote the paper ‘Evaluation a Community Maternal Health Programme: Lessons Learnt’ with her PhD supervisors Dr. Catherine Angell, Prof. Vanora Hundley, Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen and Prof. Padam Simkhada (Liverpool John Moores University & FHSS Visiting Professor) and the director of Green Tara Nepal Mr. Ram Chandra Silwal and the founder of Green Tara Trust, London, Dr. Jane Stephens. The Journal of Asian Midwives is an Open-Access journal hence this article is freely available across the globe.

(c) Sheetal Sharma

Focus groups in open air in rural Nepal, (c) Sheetal Sharma

 

Reference:

Sharma, S., Simkhada, P., Hundley, V., van Teijlingen, E., Stephens, J., Silwal, R.C., Angell, C. (2017) Evaluation a Community Maternal Health Programme: Lessons Learnt. Journal of Asian Midwives. 4(1): 3–20.

Tenth anniversary PLOS ONE

On the tenth anniversary of the international Open Access journal PLOS ONE we received an email to inform us that one of our articles was among the top ten per cent of most cited articles in this journal.  The email referred to our paper ‘Factors influencing adherence to antiretroviral treatment in Nepal: A mixed-methods study’ [1].  Not bad considering that PLOS ONE has published over 4,300 articles since its inception.


Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

“New” FHSS paper on obesity published July 2017


The American Journal of Men’s Health published our latest paper on obesity prevention in men.  The paper ‘Clinical Effectiveness of Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Interventions for Men: A Systematic Review of Men-Only Randomized Controlled Trials (The ROMEO Project)’ originates from a collaboration between BU and various universities in Scotland, led by the University of Aberdeen [1].

This systematic review paper found that reducing diets produced better weight loss than physical activity alone. The most effective interventions combined reducing diets, exercise, and behaviour change techniques . Group interventions produced favourable weight loss results. The paper reports that once engaged, men remained committed to a weight loss intervention.

The paper concludes that weight loss for men is best achieved and maintained with the combination of a reducing diet, increased physical activity, and behaviour change techniques. Strategies to increase engagement of men with weight loss services to improve the reach of interventions are needed.  This paper is the thirteenth paper from a large NIHR grant [2-13].

The American Journal of Men’s Health is an open access, peer-reviewed resource for cutting-edge information regarding men’s health and illness. It is, however worth noting that although our paper is formally published in July 2017 it has been online for two years!  The journal’s website states clearly that the article was first published online on June 30, 2015 BUT the issue in which it appears is published is July 1, 2017!

 

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

 

Reference:

  1. Robertson, C., Avenell, A., Stewart, F., Archibald, D., Douglas, F., Hoddinott, P., van Teijlingen, E., Boyers, D. (2017) Clinical effectiveness of weight loss & weight maintenance interventions for men: a systematic review of men-only randomised controlled trials (ROMEO Project), American Journal of Men’s Health 11(4): 1096-1123.  http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1557988315587550
  2. Robertson, C, Archibald, D, Avenell, A, Douglas, F., Hoddinott, P., van Teijlingen E, Boyers, D., Stewart, F, Boachie, C, Fioratou E., Wilkins, D, Street, T., Carroll, P., Fowler, C. (2014) Systematic reviews of & integrated report on quantitative, qualitative & economic evidence base for the management of obesity in men. Health Technology Assessment 18(35): 1-424. http://www.journalslibrary.nihr.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/118180/FullReport-hta18350.pdf
  3. Stewart, F., Fraser, C., Robertson, C., Avenell, A., Archibald, D., Douglas, F., Hoddinott, P., van Teijlingen, E., Boyers, D. (2014) Are men difficult to find? Identifying male-specific studies in MEDLINE and Embase, Systematics Reviews 3,78.
  4. Archibald, D, Douglas, F, Hoddinott, P, van Teijlingen, E, Stewart, F., Robertson, C., Boyers, D., Avenell, A. (2015) A qualitative evidence synthesis on management of male obesity. BMJ Open 5: e008372. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-008372 http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/10/e008372.full.pdf+html
  5. Boyers, D, Stewart, F, Fraser, C, Robertson, C, Avenell, A, Archibald, D, Douglas, F, Hoddinott P, van Teijlingen E. (2015). A systematic review of the cost-effectiveness of non-surgical obesity interventions in men, Obesity Research & Clinical Practice 9(4), 310-327.
  6. Robertson, C, Avenell, A, Boachie, C., Stewart, F., Archibald D., Hoddinott, P, Douglas, F, van Teijlingen E, Boyers D. (2016) Should weight loss and maintenance programmes be designed differently for men? Systematic review of long-term RCTs presenting data for men & women: The ROMEO Project, Obesity Research & Clinical Practice 10: 70-84.
  7. Robertson, C., Avenell, A., Boachie, C., Stewart, F., Archibald, D., Douglas, F., Hoddinott, P., van Teijlingen, E., Boyers, D. (2015) Should weight loss programmes be designed differently for men and women? The ROMEO Project, Appetite 87: 374.
  8. Robertson, C., Avenell, A., Stewart, F., Archibald, D., Douglas, F., Hoddinott, P., van Teijlingen, E., Boyers, D. (2015) A systematic review of long-term weight management randomized controlled trials for obese men. The ROMEO Project, Appetite 87: 374.
  9. Robertson, C., Avenell, A., Stewart, F., Archibald, D., Douglas, F., Hoddinott, P., van Teijlingen, E., Boyers, D. (2015) A systematic review of weight loss interventions in the UK. The ROMEO Project, Appetite 87: 375.
  10. Boyers, D., Avenell, A., Stewart, F., Robertson, C., Archibald, D., Douglas, F., Hoddinott, P., van Teijlingen, E., (2015) A systematic review of the cost-effectiveness of non-surgical obesity interventions in men, Appetite 87: 375.
  11. Archibald, D., Douglas, F., Hoddinott, P., van Teijlingen, E., Boyers, D., Avenell, A., Stewart, F., Robertson, C., (2015) A qualitative evidence synthesis on the management of male obesity. The ROMEO Project, Appetite 87: 381.
  12. Avenell, A., Robertson, C., Boachie, C., Stewart, F Archibald, D., Douglas, F., Hoddinott, P., van Teijlingen, E. (2016) Sex based subgroup differences in randomized controlled trials: empirical evidence from Cochrane meta-analyses BMJ 355:i5826 http://www.bmj.com/content/355/bmj.i5826/rapid-responses
  13. Avenell, A., Robertson, C., Stewart, F., Boyers, D., Douglas, F., Archibald, D., van Teijlingen, E., Hoddinott, P., Boachie, C. (2016) Sex can affect participation, engagement, and adherence in trials, BMJ 355:i6754 http://www.bmj.com/content/bmj/355/bmj.i6754.full.pdf

New BU publication in Public Health

This week the Oxford Encyclopaedia published our contribution on religious organisations and health promotion [1].  The paper in question ‘Faith Communities and the Potential for Health Promotion’ is co-authored by scholars based in England, Scotland and Canada. This new publication is part of a growing number of publications at Bournemouth University on the contribution of faith communities to public health.

Faith communities often have multiple resources, existing networks and an infrastructure that can be applied to health promotion programmes for their own membership or as an outreach to the wider community. Health programmes in a faith community in high-income countries may include targeted initiatives, ranging from walking groups or weight checks, health events, or health assessments, to diabetes self-management. These activities can be organised by charities and NHS organisation and held at local churches, synagogues or mosques which is referred to as faith-placed health promotion.  If the health promotion is part of the ministry of the religious organisation it is referred to as faith-based health promotion.

On top of this encyclopaedia entry, the Open Access journal African Health Sciences [Impact Factor 0.66] accepted our paper in the same field a few weeks ago.  This  paper ‘Influence of faith-based organisations on HIV prevention strategies in Africa: a systematic review’ formed part of the first author’s M.Sc. in Public Health [2]. Our previous papers reported on a study of faith-based and faith-placed health promotion in and around Dundee [3-4].

 

Professor Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Prenatal Health

 

References

  1. Kiger, A., Fagan, D., van Teijlingen, E. (2017) Faith Communities and the Potential for Health Promotion. In: Encyclopedia of Health and Risk Message Design & Processing, Parrott, R. (ed.) New York, Oxford University Press. (http://communication.oxfordre.com/).
  2. Ochillo, M., van Teijlingen, E., Hind, M. (2017) Influence of faith-based organisations on HIV prevention strategies in Africa: a systematic review. African Health Sciences (accepted June).
  3. Fagan, D., Kiger, A., van Teijlingen E. (2010) A survey of faith leaders concerning health promotion and the level of healthy living activities occurring in faith communities in Scotland. Global Health Promotion 17(4): 15-23.
  4. Fagan, D., Kiger, A., van Teijlingen, E. (2012) Faith communities and their assets for health promotion: The views from health professionals and faith leaders in Dundee, Scotland, Global Health Promotion 19(2): 27-36.

First 2017 publication by CMMPH academics

Yesterday saw the publication of the paper  ‘Antenatal care trial interventions: a systematic scoping review and taxonomy development of care models’, which is the first paper this year for the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH)  [1].    The paper is based on a cross-UK collaboration led by Dr. Andrew Symon from the University of Dundee which is published in the Open Access journal BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth.  This is the second paper from this collaboration, the first one ‘Midwifery-led antenatal care models: Mapping a systematic review to an evidence-based quality framework to identify key components & characteristics of care ‘ was published last year [2].

symon-taxonomy-2017The latest BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth paper is a first step in establishing a taxonomy of antenatal care models.  The article concludes that interventions can be defined and described in many ways. The intended antenatal care population group proved the simplest and most clinically relevant way of distinguishing trials which might otherwise be categorised together. Since our review excluded non-trial interventions, the taxonomy does not represent antenatal care provision worldwide. It offers a stable and reproducible approach to describing the purpose and content of models of antenatal care which have been tested in a trial. perhaps key is that the paper highlights a lack of reported detail of trial interventions and usual care processes.

Our paper provides a baseline for future work to examine and test the salient characteristics of the most effective models, and could also help decision-makers and service planners in planning implementation.

Moreover we look forward to conducting more research as part of this exciting collaboration in midwifery and maternity care.

 

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen & Prof. Vanora Hundley

CMMPH

 

References:

  1. Symon, A., Pringle, J., Downe, S., Hundley, V., Lee, E., Lynn, F., McFadden, A., McNeill, J., Renfrew, M., Ross-Davie, M., van Teijlingen, E., Whitford, H., Alderdice, F. (2017) Antenatal care trial interventions: a systematic scoping review and taxonomy development of care models BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 17:8 http://bmcpregnancychildbirth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12884-016-1186-3
  2. Symon, A., Pringle, J., Cheyne, H., Downe, S., Hundley, V., Lee, E., Lynn, F., McFadden, A., McNeill, J., Renfrew, M., Ross-Davie, M., van Teijlingen, E., Whitford, H, Alderdice, F. (2016) Midwifery-led antenatal care models: Mapping a systematic review to an evidence-based quality framework to identify key components & characteristics of care, BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 16: 168 http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2393/16/168

Open Access Week interview with Les Back, Goldsmiths, University of London

In conjunction with the International Open Access Week, an interview was conducted with Professor Les Back from the department of Sociology in Goldsmiths, University of London.

See the interview below –

Join us for an Open Access celebration at Bournemouth University. See the website below for more detail:

BU International Open Access Week : 24 – 30 October 2016