SCIgen for scientific research - a case study [Update]

Dezember 29, 2005 on 11:00 pm | In Allgemein, Geek, Wissenschaft |

When coming across the famous SCIgen I really thought there are some things which cannot be possible in the scientific community. Anyway, I knew many of the “strange” conferences which were sending out Spam to the scientific community in order to draw attention. One day, I again received a rather personalized mail with some more specific input on my work.

Conference Manager
21.04.2005 11:36

Invitation to Venice, November 10-13, 2005

Dear Dr. Mathias Uslar,

We are happy to invite You to be a speaker at the VIP Scientific Forum of the International IPSI-2005 VENICE, Italy. One of the main topics of this conference is Emerging Technologies ,
and we learned about your research from your paper published at HICSS-2005.
We hope that you will come, since we plan to invite all VIPs in the field.

This year IPSI-2005 VENICE, ITALY takes place from Thursday November 10 (arrival day) till Sunday November 13 (departure day). Detailed program and all relevant information are given at the web site of conference (

This conference is organized by IPSI Bgd - a company formed with the help of Fraunhofer IPSI Germany. The company is specialized in R&D, VIP conference organization, journal publication, and graduate education. IPSI stands for Internet, Processes and Systems for e-education/e-business/e-medicine, and Interdisciplinary research.

Professor V. Milutinovic, the CEO of IPSI BgD, is a Fellow of the IEEE (awarded for his research in microprocessor systems: architecture of the world’s first 200MHz microprocessor, for
DARPA, a decade before commercial efforts), and in the past he was on various faculty positions at Purdue University, for about a decade back in 1980s.

Here is the major information about the conference that you might find useful:

The deadline for submitting an abstract is June 1, 2005. and your abstract should be about 100 words long. The deadline for your paper is August 1. 2005; full papers are limited to maximum 1MB and minimum 4 pages and they must be in PDF or DOC formats. The paper then undergoes
the process of internal reviewing (three IPSI reviewers examine the paper and after their decision your paper is unconditionally accepted/rejected for the conference) and, if your paper is accepted, external reviewing follows (you will get at least 5 reviews done by prominent experts from your field of research). You will most probably receive them by the end of August. You are also welcome to prepare a presentation for the conference which must in PowerPoint or PDF formats.

The scope of the conference is relatively wide: Informatics, Internet, Computer Science and Engineering, Interdisciplinary Research, MBA, Internet aspects of Medicine, Education,
Management, Law, etc. Of course, traditional Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Engineering Physics, or BioEngineering and Environment Protection, too. In other words, almost any scientific field is welcome, but we won’t accept papers based on politics and religion, because they are quite sensitive issues that can trigger unpleasant reactions. I hope you understand our

The conference fee is e450 (e450 per person presenting a paper; e400 for those who participated in IPSI-organized conferences in the past; also e400 for graduate students). It covers a professional reviewing process, the conference program, a book of abstracts, a CD with full papers, and access to all lectures of the IPSI-2005 VENICE.

You may also be interested in our Minitrack rules - it is an opportunity for you to attend our conferences FREE OF CHARGE:

Mini-Track Rules:

1. Each potential attendee is welcome to apply for a Mini-Track in her/his area of research. If the proposal is accepted, he/she becomes a Mini-Track chair.

2. Mini-Track chair invites the VIPs in the selected mini-track area, organizes a good quality review (with at least 5 reviews), and forwards the list (in the order of presentations) to the IPSI
conference manager.

3. All papers and abstracts and names/affiliations and the presentation order of the Mini-Track should be sent to the conference manager no later than one month before the conference
starting date.

4. The Mini-Track chair’s conference fee is waived, if in addition to his presentation, at least 5 more presentations are scheduled, for which the authors have paid the conference fee. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us at any time.

5. The deadline for Mini Track Proposals is July 1, 2005.

We are looking forward to meeting you at the conference!

As far as the social program of the conference, you will love it!

At this conference we expect about 60 attendees - among them a large number of VIPs of science and engineering from USA, Japan, and Far East. Nobel Laureate de Gennes from France promissed that he will come if he recovers successfully from his recent accident. A number of close friends, famous researchers from universities like Stanford, MIT, Berkeley, Urbana, Harvard, or Purdue, and industries like IBM, CISCO, HP, Microsoft, Boeing, or StorageTek, have already expressed in interest to come.

Finally, we plan to organize (as before) a very interesting sightseeing and cultural program (medieval concerts of Venice are superb).

Best regards,

Dr. Veljko Milutinovic,
Conference Chairman

Miss Mirjana Mitrovic,
Conference Manager

P.S. For further details, you can check out our website:

Well, I do have to say that I indeed had a paper at the HICSS 2005 conference within the “Emerging technologies ” track but it was on e-government - and I still haven’t received a phd. So the mail is quite obscure. Furthermore, I really dislike conferences which have a very broad audience and no paper templates. This always seems a bit more obscure. So, I decided to start up the SCIgen website and created a great paper for two of my virtual colleagues (only existing in case of a HotMail adress) and some fake identities for my colleagues. Both of them just received their MSc. from either the University of Hyderabad and the University of Zhongguo. Both universities exist, though. After several runs, my colleagues had “produced” a very good paper called “A Case for Lamport Clocks”. Whatever a Lamport clock may be, please look it up at Wikipedia. It’s a real good thing, really. Anway, I do not get the stuff from the paper. But my good friends Hiob Hiob Sazzara’seman and Xi Luanpau did get the message and wanted to submit the paper to the IPSI-BG Venice 2005 conference. They though it really was not as good as the paper by David Mazieres but still worth a try. So, Hiob tried to pull out all of his language skills and wrote this really great email to the conference chairs:

Submision to Conference

Dear reviewers, enclosed you can find a submission to your venise
conference by my collegaue Launpau and me for your conference from the University of Hyderabad. hope to hear from you soon and see you in Italy.

sincerely yours

MSc. Hiob Hiob Saz’zareseman

Anyway, he did not manage to write Xi’s name properly or even use some kind of spell check. Damn you Hiob! Since it was the time SCIgen became popular on Slashdot
I was not really expecting a review or even an acceptance although there might not be any review at all - it was far to obvious a fake paper. But as days went by and my two friends nearly forgot about their paper, suddenly something appeared withn the good old HotMail box:

From: Conference Manager
To: Hiob Hiob Sazzaraseman
Subject: Your paper is accepted for the Venice Conference!
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2005 20:02:49 +0200

Dear Dr. Sazzaraseman and Dr. Launpau,

It is our pleasure to inform you that your paper successfully passed the internal review of the IPSI-2005 VENICE conference and is unconditionally accepted for presentation. Congratulations!!

Internal review is done by professional reviewers of IPSI Review Committee, and external review that follows will bring in more opinions about your paper so that you can maximize the quality of it. These improvements do not necessarily have to be based only on the internal and external reviews, you are also welcome to introduce the improvements that you personally see as important. You are not obliged to refine your paper, it is just your personal choice, but it is recommended. The results of external review will be sent to you as soon as they are completed,
and we are sure that you will be satisfied with them and that you will be able to make the best of them in order to present the best possible paper at the conference.

Conference fee info:You will find the registration form on the web site of the conference so please print it, sign it, and send it to us by fax or mail as it is indicated on the form.

Accommodation info: you choose the hotel, so you will receive all the instructions by contacting it.
Best wishes and we are looking forward to meeting you in Venice!
Feel free to contact us if you need any further details, questions or information.

Congratulations again!

Best regards,
Mirjana Mitrovic
Don’t just search. Find. Check out the new MSN Search!

This couldn’t be true. So, my colleagues were ready out of their minds since both of those really famous and intelligent scientists got their first merits! They shortly thereafter prepared a very good presentation of the paper which can be found here (Thanks again for your great effort in your “Presenting in English” course, Jan). And if you already have the presentation, thanks again to an professional internal IPSI review, we could have our nonsense slides getting checked. I know, at this point even if you simply open the whole stuff, you must recognize the fake and reject the paper. So, there was some kind of risk for Hiob not being allowed to travel to Venice. Anyway.

From : Hiob Hiob Sazzaraseman
Sent : Thursday, May 26, 2005 4:02 PM
To :
Subject : RE: Your paper is accepted for the Venice Conference!

Attachment : EgeanRite.pdf (0.19 MB)
Dear Mirjana,

I have ecnlosed my slides for presentation already, i am going to pay the conference fee via western Union by tomorrow. if you have again some review or feedback for me to fill in with comments be so nice to priiovide it to me and my collegue XI Luanpau, University of Zhongguo. Hope to see you in Venise soon.

sincerley yours

MSc. Hiob Hiob Sazzara’seman

Hopefully, they won’t get the pun with Western Union :) Still, it would be a good idea to use a spell checker… Soon afterwards, a reply arrived….

From : Conference Manager
Sent : Saturday, May 28, 2005 4:08 PM
To : Hiob Hiob Sazzaraseman
Subject : Re: Your paper is accepted for the Venice Conference!

Dear Dr. Hiob Hiob Sazzaraseman,

I will send you all comments as soon as they arrive. Conference is in november, and people who work on review know that. They have a lot of time, and becayse of that they will read yur paper considerately. Some of thm are busy now, but we wont to get their opinion. Dont worry, your paper is really interesting, and everything will be OK!

Best regards

Okay, so they did not look at both paper and presentation - perhaps the “professional internal review” was a bit busy. But the real reviewers would for sure catch the whole joke and push Hiob and Xi out of the final conference program. Let time pass until August….

From : Conference Manager
Sent : Wednesday, August 24, 2005 1:01 PM
To : Hiob Hiob Sazzaraseman
Subject : IPSI VENICE 2005

Dear Dr. Hiob Hiob,

The web site of the IPSI-2005 VENICE conference is now updated and we suggest that you check the details, esspecially the parts on the conference hall (a super modern hall in a 15th century monastery),and on the suggested hotels to stay atn (about 10 different hotels).

Some of the hotels provide good discounts, if you indicate that you belong to the IPSI group.
Some of them need your input before September 1, and most others have the October 1 deadline.

We plan to send the accept/reject letters the latest by August 31, and if you do not hear from me by that time, please let me know!

Miss Mirjana Mitrovic, Conference Manager

Okay, perhaps the final reviews have not been posted yet- Hiob became really really furious about losing his first ever academic publication. But he had to wait for the final notification to arrive but tried to pull IPSI’s thumb by asking for the final acceptance….but nothing arrived within the expected time…. Hiob became depressed and listened to music from Jeanette Biedermann all the time until he nearly became muttering sissy - but then, one day!!!:

>From : Conference Manager
Sent : Thursday, September 15, 2005 8:34 AM
To : Hiob Hiob Sazzaraseman
Subject : Re: IPSI VENICE 2005

Dear Hiob Hiob,

I think that I already sent you notification:

It is our pleasure to inform you that your paper successfully passed the internal review of the IPSI-2005VENICE, and is unconditionally accepted for presentation. Congratulations!!

Best regards

Hiob Hiob Sazzaraseman wrote:

Dear Mirjana, unforunetely we’re still lacking opur notification. could you send it again please?

sincerly yours
Hiob Hiob

OKay, there has been no internal AND no external review. Looking at the first mail it would have been impossible to find 5 professional reviewers in the filed of Lamport Clocks so Hiob succeeded. So Hiob was just some Western Union deal away from his success….. but suddenly he lost his confidence in Lamport clocks- was his paper really good enough to be published in really professional proceedings? Was he really willing to contribute to the society with a professional talk on EgeanRite and Underwater gameboy arrays? No, he wasn’t since he did not exist and therefore could never go to Venice… damn… the last mails form the IPSI-BG managers became unimportant to Hiob..

From : Conference Manager
Sent : Wednesday, October 19, 2005 1:30 PM
To :
Subject : IPSI VENICE 2005

Dear Dr. Hiob,
Please let us know if you will participate in the Welcome Dinner of the IPSI-2005 VENICE, on Thursday November 10 at 21h (9pm) ? ( Please answer just if you pay more than e400)

It is essential that you confirm before October 30 at noon. Those who do not confirm by this deadline will (unfortunately) not be able to participate (no on-the-spot decisions to join the dinner).

The reason for the above is that the restaurant (one of the best in Venice) requires us to confirm before October 31 at noon, and they do not allow any changes after that!!! They have their strict rules that we have to respect, so we are thankful to you for your understanding!

We also ask you that you do NOT confirm unless you are 100% sure that you will come. Empty seats look ugly, and we like to avoid that!

If you are not 100% sure that you will come, but you like to confirm in order not to miss the place for the case that you decide to join in the last moment on the spot, tell us about that, so we can make our plans accordingly (if you confirm 99% or lower, your seat will be waiting for you - do not worry).

We are looking forward to hearing from you soon!

Conference Manager


From : Conference Manager
Sent : Wednesday, October 19, 2005 1:58 PM
To :
Subject : IPSI VENICE 2005

Please, note that the deadline for low fee payment has been moved to October 20, 2005, so if you have not completed your conferenc efee payment by now, please do so at your earliest convenience; at the site it will be 20% higher.

We are looking forward to seeing you soon in Venice!

Mirjana Mitrovic, Manager of the Conference

Hiob did not go to the conference in November but the conference was still very interesting as you can see when looking at the conference’s homepage. The program had some great selections from all kinds of areas like tether technology, e-learning, wireless communities in Northern England, the Romanian Pension System, Hybrids and Bridges in Two Archipelagos and (darn you, I though religion was forbidden ) Art and Religious Symbolism: the Case of Andrei Rublyov’s Trinity Icon.

After all, I think Hiob did not miss too much. Anyway, it is sometimes difficult to say if conferences are legitimate, Anthony Lieken has compiled a good list of fake conferences and journals you should read before submitting to a conference you do not know in particular. Somehow, I think LNCS proceedings, IEEE, ACM and GI are on a safe side…

[Update] Based on the comments on this blog, I have to confirm and state that Erich Neuhold who is former Director of the IPSI Germany has retired from the institute and therefore the IPSI is not related to the IPSI-BG staff where Neuhold is listed as senior consultant.

[Update 2] Ich would like to post the following explanation for the incident provided by the organizers:

Dear Dr. Uslar:

My assistants recently noticed that IPSI conferences are listed with
you, and I understand why. With IPSI conferences, when a new paper
arrives, a conference assistant sends it to review. All our papers go to
12 reviewers (with avarage of 5 who respond with quality reviews), and
reviewers of course catch all tests like yours. In the case of our
Venice 2005 conference, the same was the case, but the new assistant did
not notice your test, untill after the reviewers responded.

FYI, all IPSI conferences are liked by their participants, and
participants keep coming back. We even had Nobel Laureates at IPSI
conferneces (7 times, 7 different laureates). Very few conferences
support the the M+I+T++ (multi-, inter-, and trans-disciplinary)
approach (see IEEE COMPUTER, June 2006). So, I ask you to remove the
negative opinions from your web, or to append this explanation
(whichever you prefer). If I can help in some way, please let me know!

Prof. V. Milutinovic.

Fellow of the IEEE

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  3. as acting director of Fraunhofer IPSI I’d like to state that Prof. Erich Neuhold retired as director of Fraunhofer IPSI in March 2005. Also, Fraunhofer IPSI does not support any upcoming IPSI Belgrade conferences or journals.

    Dr. Heinz-Dieter Böcker

    Kommentar von Heinz-Dieter Böcker — Februar 27, 2006 #

  4. Hi, I just love this idea, I discussed this case in my graduate e-business class. Indeed, fake conferences is a shame… It’s just an unethical business model to make money.
    On a personal note, I published and presented twice at PISTA 2004 and 2005 (but never again because of this scandal). Each time, they read the papers, and once even nominated us for an award. Both papers were republished later in the real refereed journals (not the conference’s journals). So as much as I appreciate and love the idea, I would not generalize this. At the same time, third tier conferences are needed for junior PhD and Master students.

    Kommentar von Dr. S — März 2, 2006 #

  5. It feels incredible that there could be enough money in the academic circles worth such spamming and scamming - but apparently, there is some strange and even crimial traffic going on in the margins of the sciences.

    Having organized many conferences I have lately met this kind of fake invitations and sometimes also fake papers sent to conferences, not to talk about very susceptible papers that are mostly aiming to getting a visa to EU. (This is very sad because I could guess that because of this, many good scholars outside EU are now facing more problems in trying to get accepted.)

    One of the conferences that I was organizing also got a proposal (by a West-European scholar, I might add, to balance my former EU-visa comment) which we preliminarily accepted as we thought it was a creative piece of art (it was something between science and performance, not totally unacceptable).

    The participant, then, started to send us letters of the type “my approach is ground-breaking and is needed to save the world peace, and that is why I hope you could pay my participation fees”.

    At this point, the paper started to look like a presentation of somebody who was trying to ridicule us or had mental problems. So we decided to cancel the paper. It was a very difficult decision to do (in a hurry in which most scholars find themselves in), but somehow we were not convinced that the world peace could be guaranteed through our conference.

    In the end, what is scientific work is based on an agreement and not on universal criteria, and sometimes the borders get blurred. So it may be a hard work for organizers also to check the papers correctly.

    Anyway, and sadly enough, it seems always like a good idea to be careful with all “scientific” organizations and persons who are asking for a lot of money from you - and talking more about loving the conference athmosphere than about the scientific aims of the call for papers / proposal.

    Looking at the participation fees of some widely appreciated international conferences, I sometimes get the feeling that some of them may be overvalued as well…

    Best Wishes from the North of the North,

    Kommentar von A.L. — April 14, 2006 #

  6. Dr. Milutinovic,

    Shame on you.

    Kommentar von Dr Jimmy Paige — Oktober 14, 2006 #

  7. […] Einige der generierten Papers wurden auch bei verschiedenen Konferenzen akzeptiert. […]

    Pingback von Alpha Release » Blog Archive » Wissenschaftliche Papers leicht gemacht — Dezember 22, 2006 #

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