Werner Purgathofer, Eduard Groeller, Martin Feda
TU Wien / Austria
This paper illustrates that there are conferences which will destroy confidence in scientific life if the community does not forbid them. The Wessex Institute of Technology (UK)  organizes a whole series of regular conferences on various topics . Our experiences are only with one of these, "VIDEA", but one should probably also be careful with the others. It is an offense against honorable scientists to offer false publication possibilities under a scientifically serious disguise for high fees. Our conclusion is: VIDEA accepts EVERYTHING! And we conclude from that that a publication in the VIDEA proceedings is worth NOTHING AT ALL! And to organize such a conference is simply a fraud. Conferences like VIDEA are a morally dispisable scheme to allow people to buy themselves publications without having to undergo any type of reviewing. It simply increases the flow of worthless data and makes it more difficult for scientists to extract really useful information
Serious conferences usually introduce themselves by distributing a "Call for Papers" including a submission deadline. After having received contributions a technical program committee reviews and evaluates these to come to a decision which of the submitted paper proposals shall be accepted for the conference. Some conferences ask for abstracts first to be able to decide whether a topic is appropriate for their event, and ask for full papers (to be reviewed again) only thereafter.
This holds also for a conference called "Visualization and Intelligent Design in Engineering and Architecture" (VIDEA'93). Having accepted to become a member of the program committee for VIDEA'93, one of the authors made two suspicious observations. Firstly, he received exactly zero abstracts and zero papers to review, and was never informed about any program committee meetings nor of any reviewing results. The program for the conference was finished apparently without involvement of the scientific advisory committee. We recognized this by receiving the printed advance program. Secondly, we submitted three papers to this conference, and they were all accepted without any comments, grades, or whatsoever. Meaningless to say that the visit to this conference was very disappointing both in the sense of contents and in the sense of organization.
When two of the authors were asked to become members of the program committee for VIDEA'95 (to take place in La Coruna, Spain), we planned to test if any reviews take place at all. We would send them four abstracts that are obviously plain nonsense, that no excuse for accepting them could be taken seriously. This paper reports about this activity.
Thanks to Dr. Sharifi