Journal hijacking

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Journal hijacking refers to the brandjacking of a legitimate academic journal by malicious third party. Typically the imposter journal sets up a fraud website for the purpose of offering scholars the opportunity to rapidly publish their research online for a fee.[1][2][3] The term hijacked journal may refer to either the fraud[4] or the legitimate journal.[5] Similar hijacking can occur with academic conferences as well.[2][6]


In 2012, cyber criminals began hijacking print-only journals by registering a domain name and creating a fake website under the title of the legitimate journals.[2]

The first journal to be hijacked was the Swiss journal Archives des Sciences. In 2012 and 2013, more than 20 academic journals were hijacked.[1] In some cases, scammers find their victim in conference proceedings, extracting authors' emails from papers and sending them fake calls for papers.[7]

There have also been instances of journal hijacking by taking over their existing domain names after the journal publisher neglected to pay the domain name registration fees on time.[3][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Butler, Declan (27 March 2013). "Sham journals scam authors". Nature. 495 (7442): 421–422. doi:10.1038/495421a. PMID 23538804.
  2. ^ a b c Jalalian, Mehrdad; Mahboobi, Hamidreza (2014). "Hijacked Journals and Predatory Publishers: Is There a Need to Re-Think How to Assess the Quality of Academic Research?". Walailak Journal of Science and Technology. 11 (5): 389–394.
  3. ^ a b McCook, Alison (November 19, 2015). "Can journals get hijacked? Apparently, yes". Retraction Watch.
  4. ^ Danevska, Lenche; Spiroski, Mirko; Donev, Doncho; Pop-Jordanova, Nada; Polenakovic, Momir (1 November 2016). "How to Recognize and Avoid Potential, Possible, or Probable Predatory Open-Access Publishers, Standalone, and Hijacked Journals". PRILOZI. 37 (2–3): 5–13. doi:10.1515/prilozi-2016-0011.
  5. ^ Menon, Varun G. (18 July 2018). "How are Predatory Publishers Preying on Uninformed Scholars? Don't Be a Victim". Online Educational Symposium Series. IGI Global.
  6. ^ Kolata, Gina (7 April 2013). "For Scientists, an Exploding World of Pseudo-Academia". The New York Times.
  7. ^ Dadkhah, Mehdi; Quliyeva, Aida (2015). "Social Engineering in Academic World". Journal of Contemporary Applied Mathematics. 4 (2): 3–5.
  8. ^ Bohannon, John (November 19, 2015). "Feature: How to hijack a journal". Science. doi:10.1126/science.aad7463.

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