The instruction belongs to the following themes

By selecting a degree programme you are able to see the general content as well as the possible degree programme-specific content. You do not have to select a degree programme to see the Open University's instructions.

Invest in networking during your doctoral studies! The opportunity to meet other doctoral researchers and established researchers in your field at local, national and international meetings and conferences promotes your integration into the academic community. The Doctoral School and the programmes can support your international activities by using their appropriations for travel grants.

Preparation for a conference

You should select suitable conferences and plan your participation well in advance. Consider at least the following matters when making your plans:

  • Discuss and agree with your supervisor on the meetings and/or conferences that best support your research work.
  • Agree with your supervisor on the research results you will present at the conference, prepare a presentation, and take into account the application dates and deadlines for the submission of papers.
  • Apply for a travel grant and make the necessary travel arrangements well in advance. Take the application dates for travel grants into account.
  • Present your research results whenever possible by giving a speech or presenting a poster.
  • If you wish to earn credits for participating in a conference, discuss this with the supervisor or coordinator who approves studies, and ensure that the studies can be included in the curriculum of your doctoral programme.

Don't be fooled by predators

A phenomenon known as predatory meetings or predatory conferences has become increasingly common in recent years. Researchers have previously received numerous email messages inviting them to publish their papers in non-existent scientific publication series. These days, predators are also aggressively marketing fictitious meetings and scholarly conferences. The websites of such “fake conferences” may at first glance appear genuine, and the list of speakers usually features the names of real researchers, albeit without their knowledge. Once the participation fee has been paid and the conference looms, the fraudsters take down the website, no longer respond to customer service emails, and disappear with the money, personal and credit card details and research results (scientific abstracts) of those registered.

How can you spot fraud and scams? Ask yourself whether the title of the conference is lacking a scientific focus and whether the presentation text is overly crammed with all central themes of the research field. Are abstracts accepted without a scholarly peer review? If this is the case, it should set off “alarm bells”. If you suspect fraud, consider the following:

  • Has the conference been organised before? If the title suggests that it is, say, the 12th annual conference, but you cannot find any online documentation of previous meetings, you have almost certainly come across a predatory meeting.
  • Who is organising the conference? The organisers of genuine conferences are usually at least fairly well known in the research field.
  • Have your supervisor or other researchers in the field heard of the conference? Has someone participated in the same conference before?

Be especially careful if the announcement states that the conference is being organised for the first time.