Hijacked Journals Are Still a Problem

The masthead of a hijacked journal.

The masthead of a hijacked journal.

Hijacked journals — scholarly journals whose identities are stolen and represented on counterfeit websites — are still victimizing researchers in some countries. Here is an update.

I maintain a list of hijacked journals, and it currently has over one hundred titles on it. Some of the links are dead, but I keep them on the list in case they reappear, and as a historical record.

Most of the victim journals are high-quality, regional journals. Most have legitimate impact factors, and the hijackers exploit this metric to attract prospective authors to the counterfeit websites.

The original and authentic journal.

The original and authentic journal.

One example is the Portuguese journal Ciência e Técnica Vitivinícola, which has been hijacked since 2014:

The authentic journal’s 2014 impact factor is 0.368. (The hijacked journal misrepresents this as 0.278).

The Editor-in-Chief of the authentic journal is José Silvestre, whom I had the honor of meeting last year. He tells me almost weekly receives an email from an author who’s been duped by the hijacked journal.

He says:

The victims’ countries are mainly in the Middle East, namely Egypt, Iran, Turkey. But we have some cases from South America and Russia.

Dr. Silvestre informs me hijacking is harming the reputation of the legitimate journal. The case has been reported to the authorities, but such cases are nearly impossible to investigate, much less prosecute.

In the few cases where attorneys have been successful in shutting down a hijacked journal’s internet domain, they have re-appeared almost immediately under a similar, but distinct URL.

Like predatory journals, hijacked journals attract article submissions using spam email. □






6 Responses to Hijacked Journals Are Still a Problem

  1. Ahmad Hassanat says:

    Dear Jeff
    The hard work done by you all the time should be appreciated more, I think your efforts so far should be build upon to form something like international Journal ranking, or journals watchdog or any similar non-profitable organization.
    keep it up my friend you are doing an excellent service for all mankind, and for free.

  2. Lalitha Pasam says:

    Jeff, you are the hero of open access world,, love you

  3. shirley ainsworth says:

    What is the point of this hijacking? Does the illegitimate journal charge authors to publish there? (Nothing on their web page about it as far as I can see, but that is hardly unusual.) The articles aren’t freely available, or even available as pay per view. Premium memberships instead of subscriptions?
    “You can click on the following button to purchase premium membership and have access to all our issues.
    630 USD”

    I don’t get it…

    • Yes, they charge authors to publish there, and they they charge to access content. They probably also use the credit card numbers for other purposes as well.

      • Matthew Kent. says:

        If they are accepting credit cards, then can’t they be traced in this way? It’s hardly an anonymous payment method. Surely they are committing fraud. I don’t understand why this cannot be prevented? Why not report the fake journal to Visa and Mastercard?

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