Berkeley, California-Based Journal is Hijacked

Hijacked Veliger masthead

A screenshot of part of the hijacked journal’s website.

The Veliger, a print journal published by the California Malacozoological Society, has been hijacked. The hijacked journal is here: http://theveliger.net/

Many of the authentic journal’s earlier issues have been made available by the Biodiversity Heritage Library here, but the journal doesn’t really have a website; it’s a print journal.

Malacozoology, perhaps better known as malacology, is the study of mollusks. Veliger is their larva. (I had to look this up).

The Veliger was an obvious target for journal hijackers for the following reasons:

  1. The authentic journal is a print journal.
  2. The authentic journal does not have a clear or strong web presence.
  3. The authentic journal has an authentic impact factor (0.462).
Veliger masthead

A view of the masthead of the authentic journal from a copy held by the Smithsonian Libraries.

The hijacked journal purports to be published by “The Veliger Society,” an organization that does not really exist. Its website is emblazoned with the logos of Scopus and Thomson Reuters. The fake journal lists an author fee of $500. Some will publish here thinking they have published in a legitimate journal with an impact factor, when in fact it’s a completely counterfeit operation.

Hijacked Veliger cover

The fake journal’s cover has the made-up subtitle “An International Journal in Science.”

I have no idea who has perpetuated this hijacking or where they are based. The fake journal gives a Santa Barbara address, the same address that appears in Journal Citation Reports, where the journal’s impact factor is published. Recent issues viewed on the Internet indicate a Berkeley location.

Hat tip: SiƓn Romaine

Please see my list of hijacked journals here.

11 Responses to Berkeley, California-Based Journal is Hijacked

  1. Shocking. Note that the hijacker’s journal isn’t even open access – authors have to pay to publish, but readers need to sign in as a subscriber to download articles… and subscriptions cost $1500 per year!

    • Fake website has its address as the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History: See http://www.yelp.co.uk/biz/santa-barbara-museum-of-natural-history-santa-barbara
      These hijacked journals are becoming a bit of a pain. I nearly got caught by a fake Bothalia (I have published many articles in the genuine Bothalia) but thanks to your excellent work I now double-check everything. I get at least 1-3 emails every week asking me to publish in some new online journal. I support Open Access wherever I can and have now published a few articles successfully in the Open Access journal called Phytokeys which I can recommend as a very professional outfit with high refereeing standards.

      Surely there must be something we can do apart from transparency and exposure to to put these criminals out of business?

      • wimcrusio says:

        Looks like this fake publishes about anything. Makes sense, I guess, it enlarges their pool of possible authors. Poor people who published there, not knowing its a fake: they paid 500 bucks and as soon as this gets taken down (which will happen sooner or later), their articles are gone forever, without anybody ever having seen them.
        Something can be done, but I think only if either the owners of the real journal or some defrauded authors sue them. Of course, there remains the problem of localizing the culprits…

    • herr doktor bimler says:

      authors have to pay to publish, but readers need to sign in as a subscriber to download articles
      That seems to be the case for a lot of the ‘jacked journals.
      It’s part of the business model. I disagree with Wimcrusio about “people who published there, not knowing its a fake”; the contributors must be aware that no-one is going to *read* the publications that their universities have paid for, and are only concerned with pumping up their CVs.

    • herr doktor bimler says:

      Looking at the Abstracts, it seems that the scammers are still at the stage of generating nonsensical software-scripted fake content to create the impression of a lively journal. E.g.
      http://theveliger.net/papers/index.php/ABOUT/article/view/35

  2. wimcrusio says:

    The real journal seems to have a website (http://www.theveliger.org/), however, that seems to have been hacked too, as the content is now on healthy diets and such. But on Google the website is still described as “Quarterly issues are published by the California Malacozoological Society and include data pertaining to mollusks”, so the hacking seems to be a recent event.

  3. Nasser says:

    Hi Jeffrey,
    There is journal called JMSH, website: http://www.jmsh.eu/
    given address in Sweden and has global Impact Factor: 0.301and
    SJIF Scientific Journal High Impact Factor: 4.121 both of these scoring are questionable.
    Please can you confirm whether this journal is predatory or not, since I cant find it in your list.

    Thanks,
    Nasser

    • Hi, Nasser, I know about this journal, but I cannot analyze it because most of it is in Persian, and I do not know the language well enough to complete a fair analysis. Thank you.

  4. Ned Rubin says:

    The tip-off is the odd grammatical structure and syntax of the web page blurb for the “journal”, which suggests a not very clever non-English speaker composing the fraudulent text..

  5. Chris Mebane says:

    Frightening. The Veliger is one of many small, specialty, natural history journals that have challenges enough as stand alone journals as it is, without this sort of malice. The Editorial Board lists names of real people from the California Academy of Science, which fits the scope of the genuine journal. But for the bizarre mix of titles in the “Current Issue” and awkward syntax, I might have thought the journal had simply broadened its scope. Easy to see how people could get pulled in; not so clear how the genuine journal clears their name from this smear. Thanks for the blog and for fighting this good fight.

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