World Physiotherapy has once again urged physiotherapists to be vigilant against predatory events.
Jonathon Kruger, World Physiotherapy chief executive officer, said: “As the world begins to move towards in-person events, legitimate event organisers, such as World Physiotherapy and our member organisations, are finding themselves being copied and mimicked by rogue operators.
“Presenting at conferences are essential parts of high-quality scholarly exchange and education, but an increasing number of events are targeting health professionals.
“This can include organising events at a similar time or location, or using a name that has some similarities with a reputable event.
“Researchers and academics need to be on the lookout for their names being added to lists of editorial boards, conference programme committees and speakers without their consent.
“Low-quality events pose a threat to the credibility, long-term professional standing, and overall quality of care.”
Physiotherapists are becoming more aware of predatory events but it is important to scrutinise and reject approaches from event organising promising unrealistic opportunities.
International events associated with predatory publishers are often held at the same time, or close to, legitimate events in attractive locations across the Gulf States, North America, Western Europe, Japan, and China. Conferences have been promoted with detailed programmes, but have been proven to use speaker biographies and photographs without permission, confirmation or prior contact.
Websites and publicity for predatory events often omit or conceal official contact information, and are quickly taken offline following key dates. Particular criticism has been directed at the OMICS Group, which has expanded to buy medical journals in Canada and Australia.
Predatory journals often use spam emails to ask for contributions from a range of researchers and academics, including physiotherapists. They promise quick and prestigious publication, but do not offer the traditional services provided by reputable publishers, such as peer-review, editing, archiving and marketing.
What to look out for
- Is the event organised by a reputable organisation?
- Do you and/or your colleagues know the event organisers?
- Is it difficult to find out the contact details for the event organisers?
- Does another event with a very similar name already exist?
- Is another event already due to take place at a similar location?
- Is the programme content very broad, maybe too broad?
- Are the event organisers charging higher-than-usual fees?