Hijacked! A new form of predatory publishing

The rise of predatory open-access publishing is well documented. These charlatans will take your money and publish literally anything you submit (most famous example here).

Today I learned of a relatively new form of predatory publishing, the wholesale hijacking of a journal’s identity. See below for the text of an email soliciting articles for the Journal of Clinical Microbiology (JCM)—except the sender has no affiliation with JCM, the website is not the JCM website, etc. It’s basically a journal equivalent of identity theft, soliciting articles under false pretenses and publishing anything as long as the author coughs up cash. According to Beall’s list, there are only 30 instances of this practice as of January 2015 (compared with almost 700 predatory publishers and over 500 standalone predatory journals). In this case, the hijacker may have been unwitting--just combining the word journal with "clinical microbiology" without realizing that JCM even exists.

One bit of advice to hijackers: when moving the scam forward, probably best not to include members of the actual journal’s editorial board in your email solicitations.


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