Last May, I completed my undergraduate thesis. A year's worth of hard work had finally reached its conclusion. No longer was I going to have to spend sleepless nights trying to fix my code, or have mental breakdowns every time I faced an error. Life for me just became a bit easier.
Sadly, however, the peace didn't last long. Me and my teammates began searching for a proper conference or journal to get our work published. There were plenty of options out there, but not all of them were legitimate. Many of these academic conferences and publications are notorious in the sense that they exist only to exploit students and young researchers.
Predatory publications have been around for quite some time, and even though people are aware of their existence, these publications still manage to attract thousands of submissions every year. But why is that? Why are people so invested in them even though these publications have nothing good to offer? And how else do we enter and stay active in the academic research scene?