MIT Journal Hijacked

MIT Technology Review hijacked

How’s that open source thing working out for you?

The MIT Technology Review has been hijacked. In the last few months, I’ve seen an increase in the rate of hijacked journals reported to me.

This blog post also reports the recent hijacking of a Brazilian scholarly society journal.

The hijacked version of the journal uses at least two variant titles on its website:

  • TECH REV: Technology Review journal
  • REV TECH Journal
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They copy the real address and ISSN, but the email address is that of the hijackers.

The authentic journal is a subscription journal. The hijacked one copies the ISSN of the original but follows the open-access model, a model fervently promoted by many in the Cambridge, Massachusetts area. Now this promotion has come home to roost and fostered the hijacking of legitimate journals, including this one based in Cambridge.

Like predatory journals, hijacked journals use the gold open-access model and seek to accept as many papers as possible, pocketing the author fees paid by the corresponding authors. They spam and accept pretty everything submitted. The hapless authors are left thinking they’ve published in an indexed journal.

Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte

Notice the upper-case S.

Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte

The hijacked Brazilian journal is the Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte. The home page of the hijacked journal features a (pirated) image of a competitive swimmer:

The competitive sport of scholarly open-access publishing.

Elaborate hijacking.

The hijackers stole the journal’s logo, but in editing it they botched the capitalization in the word Brasileira, an error that, along with other things, betrays the version’s hijacked status.

The authentic version of the journal is (or perhaps was) published by the Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina do Exercício e do Esporte. The journal is also mirrored on SciELO, an interesting … um, neighborhood.

I may have mentioned this previously, but I think it bears repeating: The system of payments from authors is corrupting scholarly publishing and therefore scholarly communication.

Scholarly research needs a dissemination system that does not rely on author-financed publishing. Let’s fix this problem before it’s too late.


Please see my list of hijacked journals here.

8 Responses to MIT Journal Hijacked

  1. Tom Spears, Ottawa Citizen says:

    With any luck people will notice that the hijacked version can’t spell “Journal.” See “About Jornal” at top left of home page, and the mistake is repeated right up top under “TECH REV.”) Should be a hint. Twice, as Oscar Wilde said, begins to look like carelessness.

    • Hugo van den Berg says:

      I wonder if observation bias explains why all these reported hijackings are so poorly done; are there lots of competent hijackings about, flying merrily under the radar?

  2. Tefera says:

    Dear Sir,

    I am PhD fellow and submitted an article in a journal called ” Middle East Journal of Scientific Research”. However, I learned that the publisher called “IDOSI” is under your list. In one hand I want an article published as soon as possible to earn a degree on the other side, the publisher is predatory. I could not decide to go ahead or withdraw the journal.
    May you be so cheer to suggest a solution?

  3. wkdawson says:

    “The system of payments from authors is corrupting scholarly publishing and therefore scholarly communication.”

    I think a bigger problem is these metrics and the bureaucrats who use them in the place of the hard effort of reading the papers associated with their so-called ‘evaluations’. If there were no incentive to cheat, the journals and societies would at least reflect the goals and aims of the scholars who launch them, and likely the members as well. These half-baked journals pop up because some ‘official’ says that promotions are decided on some quantity factor. Such things also encourage scholars in the sciences to avoid risks as well, favoring incremental progress on short intervals over publishing something truly useful over a longer intervals.

    So I might agree that the system is being corrupted, but it is corrupt through and through. The reader-pay journals because they encourage authors to indulge in hype, paper over the downside, and create brutal competition where some reviewers even use the process for dishonest gain. The predatory journals because they offer a quick fix to that CV for a nominal fee to appease some bureaucrats who know nothing about how to evaluate a scientist (and other professions) or his or her real abilities and foresight.

  4. Nihal says:

    What about “Psyche: A Journal of Entomology”?

    • This journal is published by Hindawi, a Cairo-based publisher that is not on my list. However, this is not a guarantee that it’s a strong journal.

      • Hello Nihal,

        I have published two papers in “Psyche: A Journal of Entomology”. I regret having done it, thus I recommend you publish elsewhere.

        I went for them as old Psyche used to be a very good journal, and I saw reputed colleagues publishing on it. Moreover I was invited to publish on special issues, with no charge.
        However I feel my papers were not valued there by anyone, and response from readers very limited as a reflex. They had no impact factor after having promised me to get one; they had no editor-in-chief to consult with. Even downloading (old)Psyche past issues is not easy from their website since searching is complicated.

        There are other open-access options in entomology, in my opinion.

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