I recently received an invitation to review a mathematics paper for a conference called “International Conference on Physics, Mathematics and Statistics”. It’s not one I’m familiar with, but their proceedings are to be published by what appears to be a reputable publisher (IOP; Journal of Physics: Conference Series).

The invitation said “The review period will be 1 week.” This seemed quite unusual based on my experience with math journals – reviewers are usually given at least 2-3 months and often more, as it is necessary to carefully check the proofs for logical correctness. It made me wonder whether the conference was “real” or predatory.

I declined the invitation with a somewhat snappish comment about the review period being unreasonably short, but I wonder if I was out of line. I don’t have a lot of experience with conferences that publish proceedings. Was their timeline at all normal or reasonable by prevailing standards?