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Library Quicklinks and Information

Selecting a Journal for Publication: Solicitations for Conferences

Questionable Indicators

Did you receive an unsolicited invitation from a conference organizer inviting you to submit an abstract for a conference? Some invitations may be from credible organizations; others may be from unscrupulous organizations seeking to exploit authors. In most instances, an invitation to submit a conference abstract is solicited by one’s peers and known colleagues, and from an established and credible organization. As follows are some indicators noted in emails that may provide clues as to questionable conference organizations.

  • The content in the email contains misspellings and grammatical errors, with the content phrasing stilted and incomplete.
  • The conference topic is not related to your field of research.
  • The conference topic represents multiple research areas.
  • The email contains other invitations such as publishing an article or serving as a reviewer.
  • The email contains flash media and colors.
  • You do not know the sender.
  • There is no recognizable conference name, nor do you recognize the name of the sender as being a colleague in your field of research.
  • The email address has a freely available domain name such as gmail or yahoo.
  • There are multiple social media icons in the email.
  • There is a link to opt out of receiving further emails.
  • Geographic references may be vague such as “the Americas.”
  • The salutation may appear to be archaic.
  • The email solicitation is not from an actual person.
  • The email address does not contain the name of the sender or affiliation.
  • There are promises of swift review timeframes; within hours or days.
  • There is no link to a conference website.
  • The conference title is similar to an established conference.
  • The sender praises your previous work in the field.
  • The sender wants to be your friend, send a gift, or offers immediate payment.
  • The sender offers to pay for travel expenses.
  • There are multiple invitations included in the email such as serving on an editorial board or to present at a conference.

Need Help?

Have you received an email solicitation to submit a conference abstract and are not sure if it is a reputable conference, ask a mentor or colleague or a librarian: Cathy Sarli or Amy Suiter.

Watch out for Phishing

Invitations to publish or present may be phishing.


Do not click on any links in the email itself, rather type in the address of the journal or conference website in your browser.

See the WUSTL Phishing page for more information.