Scientific Research

Predatory Awards – Don’t Fall Into The Trap Of Fraud!

“Congratulations, your research paper has won in a scientific competition.”

Of course, every scientific researcher aspires to receive a message like this, but does that message necessarily mean it’s true?

Let us tell you that the answer is no. Recently, there has been a phenomenon of predatory awards that puts science and scientific research at risk and leads to a loss of trust in scientific institutions and their awards.

Therefore, in this article, we aim to shed light on this phenomenon, including how fraudulent institutions that give these awards operate, and provide examples of some fake awards that have been exposed in recent years.

What are predatory awards? 

Predatory awards represent a significant problem in the scientific community, as they are a type of fraud that targets researchers and scientific institutions by exploiting their ambitions and hopes of obtaining important and prestigious scientific awards, in order to achieve huge financial profits.

These financial amounts are usually justified by various reasons, such as administrative procedures costs, insurance and guarantee costs for the alleged award, and advertising and promotional campaigns for the fake institution.

This is an effective way to collect money and deceive the victim into believing that these amounts are being paid in order to achieve a large and real award.

Fraudulent institutions use multiple tactics to lure researchers, by announcing predatory awards online and through email, and promoting them in attractive and sensational ways that make researchers feel excited and enthusiastic to participate and obtain these predatory awards.

Although many of these fake awards are of no real scientific importance, some researchers fall into the trap of fraud!

According to the EV Science consultant website, examples of predatory awards that have been exposed in recent years include:

  • International Association of Advanced Materials (IAAM)
  • VDGOOD Foundation
  • Asian Biological Research Foundation (ABRF)
  • International Society of Science Networks – ISSN
  • Venus International Foundation

These awards affect the reputation of scientific institutions and the scientific community in general, and lead to a loss of trust in the real awards granted by reliable institutions. Therefore, researchers and scientific institutions must be cautious and ensure the validity and credibility of the institutions granting these awards.

How do fraudulent institutions that offer fake prizes operate? 

These fraudulent institutions use various methods to achieve their goal, including:

Promoting the prize in an exaggerated manner

The fraudulent institution presents the prize as the highest and most important scientific award, exaggerating its value beyond reality, which makes the researcher excited to participate in the competition in order to win the prize.

Widely inviting applications

After targeting the victim, the fraudulent institution announces the predatory awards, which requires the candidate to pay large amounts of money as nomination or administrative fees to receive the prize, and thus the funds of the candidates are collected and transferred to the scammers’ accounts.

Providing a fake website

These institutions do their best to appear real, so they create a website that imitates real scientific award websites, with the necessary procedures for submitting applications and information.

Not providing sufficient information about the institution

Fraudulent institutions offering predatory awards provide limited information about themselves or the prize to avoid revealing their true identity.

In addition, some fraudulent institutions falsify certificates, details of the prize, and write names of universities and institutions that do not exist, making it difficult to verify them. Some researchers still take steps to participate in such prizes.

The consequences of falling into the trap of predatory awards

These awards can result in many damages and negative consequences for researchers and scientists. For example, but not limited to:

1- Financial Loss

Receiving a scientific award is tempting, but predatory awards conceal a lot of losses. Falling into the trap of fake awards means losing a lot of money, as funds are collected from applicants through subscription fees for the fake award.

2- Wasting Time

Researching and applying for predatory awards can take a lot of time and effort, leading to a delay in advancing the search for real awards and obtaining them.

3- Exposing Personal Data to Risk

Applying for predatory awards may require the submission of personal and financial data, which can be subject to theft or misuse.

In summary, falling into the trap of predatory awards is catastrophic for researchers, leading to wasting time, effort, and money. Therefore, it is necessary for researchers to know how to identify institutions promoting these awards.

Tips for researchers to identify fraudulent institutions that offer fake awards

Avoiding falling into the trap of fraudulent institutions that offer fake awards is important for researchers and scientists. To achieve this, we offer you 7 important tips, which are:

1- Search about the institution

It is important to search for reliable information about the institution that offers the award, to be able to determine whether it is a fraudulent institution or not, and some of the key information that should be researched include:

  • Its official website
  • Its establishment date
  • Its place of registration
  • Its background
  • The dates of previous awards it granted
  • Reviews and ratings of the institution

It is also important to verify the correctness of the website’s address, check for the existence of an SSL certificate, the URL address, and examine the links on the website to ensure a connection between the website and the institution announcing the award.

2- Search about the judging committee members

It is important to search about the members of the judging committee and their scientific expertise, to be aware of the credibility of the institution offering the award.

3- Search about sponsors and partners

The researcher must also verify the credibility of the sponsors and partners advertised on the website and ensure their credibility to avoid falling into the trap of predatory awards.

4- Check the application conditions

One should carefully read the application conditions and ensure the clarity of all details regarding the award and participation requirements. One should refrain from participating if there is any ambiguity in these conditions, as official institutions usually provide detailed conditions.

5- Verify the writing style and language

One should carefully check the texts on the institution’s website, analyze the writing style, and compare it with real awards to ensure their consistency.

6- Beware of institutions with similar names

A similar name to a trusted scientific institution may be used to deceive researchers. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully check the name, website, addresses, and other details.

7- Consult with colleagues

Talk to trusted individuals who have experience in the field and who may have more information about the institution and the award.


Predatory awards pose a significant threat to researchers and to science in general. While some researchers have the experience and sufficient caution to deal with these fake institutions carefully, others fall victim to these types of scams.

Therefore, it is necessary to be cautious when dealing with any institution that offers scientific awards and to strive hard to know all the details related to it to avoid falling into the trap of fake awards.

Finally, if you have any questions about this topic, please do not hesitate to leave your question in the comments.


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One Comment

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