Do you get emails inviting you to present at a conference, to be on the editorial board of a journal, or to author a book chapter? Do these emails refer to one of your recent papers by title? Do they come from publishers or organizations of which you have never heard?
It's a spamference!
- if your university librarian has never heard of it, it's not okay.
- if they guarantee your paper will get in (for a fee), it's not okay.
- if you have never heard of the editors or organizers (or there aren't any), it's not okay.
- if they want to republish something that has already been published somewhere else, it's not okay.
These will not help your career. Stay away!
When in doubt, do a quick whois lookup of the domain name associated with the invitation. Or do a search for the name of the conference/journal/publisher (using your favorite search engine).
Here is a page about SCIgen, a program that wrote papers accepted at spamferences.
Here is a list of conferences ranked by the Computing Research and Education Association of Australia. The ones on this list should be pretty safe. So should most conferences sponsored by the big organization(s) in your field.
If you were trapped by a spamference, don't worry -- just learn from your mistake and move on.
If you find someone has republished your work without your permission at a spamference, or used your name without your permission on the page of a spamference, let someone know!