Robotics conference “ICRA2021”, to be held in Vienna, Austria on July 19-21, has recently opened for paper submission and registration at the cost of US$530. However, as Reddit users pointed out, the conference title is an acronym for International Conference on Robotics and Applications, which is one-word slip from the well-known top IEEE ICRA – International Conference on Robotics and Automation. Jagadeesh Kumar, the organizer of the scam conference, is a self-proclaimed PhD graduate from Harvard, Stanford, and Cambridge, who also fabricated his Google Scholar page via listing fake 2600+ paper cites and published books in different fields.
Kumar’s Google Scholar page is as real as it can be: most of the papers are attributed to real journals, but are only published on ResearchGate. Some of Kumar’s co-authors are real researchers with stolen profiles, or Indian researchers who had their similar name initials falsified. Many are worried about the loopholes in Google Scholar, which so far has not responded to relevant complaints.
ICRA is not the first fake AI conference: a few years ago, counterfeit ICANN conferences also appeared on the internet. Forum discussions showed a series of strange websites in the name of ICANN, which were very different from those given by Springer. Earlier reports revealed that fake AI conferences mostly belong to an organization called “WASET”, a notorious publisher of “predatory conferences”. These conferences publish academic papers for high publication fees,but do not have the proper credentials like proper peer review, accurate impact factors, or even an editor-in-chief.
Researchers who submit papers to fake academic conferences are often backed by profit-driven companies or heedless students. The first type can be classified as academic misconduct, and cause harm to the entire research community. For instance, a company called Fist Immune once forged dozens of “scientific” papers in predatory journals, to provide evidence for an unproven anticancer drug (GcMAF). In 2016, a German TV host named Miriam Pielhau who died of breast cancer disclosed her mishap of using the GcMAF drug. As a result, the founder of the company was sentenced to 15 months in prison for illegally manufacturing and selling the drug. (Source)