Dutch Amoeba Newsletter Hijacked

Dutch Amoeba Newsletter Hijacked


The Dutch journal Amoeba: NJN-mededelingenblad has been hijacked. The hijackers have changed the title to Amoeba Journal, stealing and copying the original journal’s ISSN, publisher, and even its telephone number.

I cannot find any website for the original journal, which was a newsletter and has apparently ceased publication.

It was published by the Nederlandse Jeugdbond voor Natuurstudie (NJN), the Dutch Youth Federation for the Study of Nature. The journal is still included in the Thomson Reuters Master List:

Thomson Reuters Master List

This list does not guarantee that a journal is good.

Many researchers outside of Anglophone countries use the Thomson Reuters Master List as a quick check of journal legitimacy. Journal hijackers use the list as a source of ideas for which journals to hijack.

The hijacked Amoeba Journal makes some ridiculous claims. It says,

Amoeba is the leading open-access journal, providing a platform for publishing innovative and research articles. As an open access journal, articles in Amoeba will always be freely available online and readily accessible. This means that your work will be recognized and can be searched in Google Scholar.

I’ve included this case of journal hijacking on my list of hijacked journals. The list now includes over 80 cases of journal hijackings.

Journal hijackers create counterfeit websites for indexed journals, and then they spam for article submissions. They accept pretty much everything submitted, billing the authors for the open-access publishing fees.

I think most authors victimized by journal hijackers are based in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe.


A scan of the original newsletter’s cover.

Thanks to: Leo Wajiers for his help and advice and for translating the newsletter title and getting the above picture of the victim journal.

20 Responses to Dutch Amoeba Newsletter Hijacked

  1. Sudesh Kumar says:

    from CONTACT US PAGE: Nederlandse Jeugdbond …… Graveland, Netherlands, 1243 ZS


    it should be – Gelderland

  2. Sudesh Kumar says:

    or — correct term is – ‘s-Graveland

  3. Jhansi says:

    Dear Beall,

    Thank you for your great work. I would like you to have a look at these titles. Is these IF true?



    • These journals are published by Symbiosis (Symbiosis Online Publishing). This publisher is included on my list. The impact factors they claim are false. None of the Symbiosis journals has a legitimate impact factor.

    • herr doktor bimler says:

      It is perhaps a coincidence that the domains “symbiosisgroup.net”, “symbiosisgroup.us” and “symbiosisgroup.info” are all registered with the same name and address used to register the MedCrave Online stable of mockademic journals.

  4. Even their ridiculous claims are plagiarized. The text

    “Amoeba is the leading open-access journal, providing a platform for publishing innovative and research articles. As an open access journal, articles in Amoeba will always be freely available online and readily accessible. This means that your work will be recognized and can be searched in Google Scholar.”

    Is taken from Applied Research Journal (also appears in many other places.)

  5. herr doktor bimler says:

    The pirates have put a surprising amount of effort into cooking up non-existent but plausible-sounding names for the Editorial Board, and placing them at genuine institutions.
    The purported “back issues” — creating the impression that the journal has a past — prove to be the usual script-written gibberish.

    I’m intrigued by the links to Upcoming conferences. Can we infer that the grifters are also involved in predatory conferences as an additional scam (or even as their main scam)?
    All three links outsource the grifting to a “Conal Conference Alerts”, which appears to exist primarily to promote bogus meetings and solicit contributions and registration fees. Yep, sounds legit.


    • Matthew P says:

      I’ve checked out the “IJAS multi-disciplinary conferences” advertised on that site, and wow, they have no theme, nothing specific to bait proper researchers in terms of something to learn. Their only selling point is the bus tours, and the “conference” pages actually read like a tourist brochure! These are actually mono-disciplinary meetings: the topic is sightseeing.

      • herr doktor bimler says:

        There’s a “Professor Joseph Bonnici” whose name is linked with what seems to be a different National / International / Regional Academic Disciplines conference every week. I am surprised he has any time or energy left to devote to the neglect of his duties.

      • herr doktor bimler says:

        The IJAS conferences look like pure tourism. I suppose some people manage to bill their universities for attendance.

        They seem to be a subsidiary of the “International Journal of Arts & Sciences”, one of several extrusions from “University Publications” (which is on Jeffrey’s list). So the Uni.Pub. site mentions Joseph Bonnici as an Associate Editor, while Bonnici is also IJAS Conferences Coordinator. And one of the perks of attending the sightseeing conference is an invitation to publish in IJAS afterwards.

        Bonnici receives a high rating from his students on Ratemyprofessors.com for the minimal demands he makes of them.

  6. Reinhard says:

    When you google the editorial board members “Kaspar Hazenoot” “Wichard Arets” “Kaitlin van Eert”, the only hit is the Amoeba journal home page. All names are made up.

  7. I am a former member of NJN (period 1968-1979) and I have a pile of old issues of Amoeba. It is indeed a memberships newsletter. It is not a scientific journal (with peer review). Amoeba exists already for a very long period of time (volume 43 was publised in 1967, volume 74 was published in 2000). Some issues of Amoeba containt (short) reports with records of wild animals and/or plants in The Netherlands and/or with an analysis of a research in the field on wild animals and/or plants (eg an analysis of counts of birds, etc.). The entire contents is written by members of the NJN and the presented data are always collected by the members of NJN.

    I have no idea why Amoeba is (still) indexed by Thomson Reuter.

    ‘s-Graveland is a village nearby Amsterdam. See https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/%27s-Graveland_(Noord-Holland) for some information (in Dutch). ‘Graaf’ can be translated as ‘count’, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Count

    The formal address of NJN is the address of the headquarter of Natuurmonumenten, the Society for Preservation of Nature Monuments in the Netherlands (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vereniging_Natuurmonumenten ). See https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schaep_en_Burgh for pictures of this address. Many (historical) links between NJN and Natuurmonumenten are reason that the formal address of NJN is identical to the address of the headquarter of Natuurmonumenten.

    • Kathleen Michael says:

      Amoeba was included only in Zoological Records, but has since been removed from the Thomson Reuters list due to the cessation of the title. It is no longer on the Thomson Reuters Master Journal List.

  8. It seems that the hijackers were not aware that Amoeba has published papers of a Nobel laureate. The Nobel laureate Niko Tinbergen, born in April 1907, is one of the former members of NJN. Niko Tinbergen published in 1923, at the age of 16, his first papers in Amoeba. Source
    http://resources.huygens.knaw.nl/bwn1880-2000/lemmata/bwn6/tinbergen (‘Als lid van de pas opgerichte Nederlandsche Jeugdbond voor Natuurstudie (NJN) publiceerde hij in 1923 in Amoeba, het bondstijdschrift, zijn eerste artikelen.’).

  9. Sakin O.H says:

    Good morning Sir, I am looking for top Agricultural Engineering Journal, I would like to published my Research Thesis, M.Tech in field of Farm Machinery and Power but I don’t which journal it better and how can selected it please let me know about the classification and standardization of International journal and which one related to FMP

    • I am sorry; I limit my work to identifying questionable publishers and don’t publish any lists of good journals. I recommend that you ask senior colleagues at your university, and also contact your academic librarians. There are also some search engines that specialize in finding good journals, which I described in a blog post. Good luck.

    • Amazed says:

      O.H. Sakin, I do not know what country you are from, but I must be honest, such an incredible question is precisely why predatory journals are flourishing. Is your supervisor not able to give solid and reliable advice? You cannot ask a university representative? You have never thought of checking some major data-bases of established publishers first?

  10. Jop NJN says:

    I am a current member of the NJN and the Amoeba is still being published four times a year. It is not in any way a scientific paper.

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