Dr. Mehrdad Jalalian. Academic Journalism, Publication Ethics

My comments on an inquiry from a Portuguese professor on hijacked journals "Mitteilungen Klosterneuburg" and "Bothalia"

On June.25.2014, Professor [Redacted] from Purtugal emailed me about his experience with the hijacked journal  "Mitteilungen Klosterneuburg" and "Bothalia". He had published articles in the above mentioned hijacked journals, and shared his experience with me:


Dear Mehrdad

Thanks for this important information. I'm afraid I've been a recent victim of these hijackers although it never crossed my mind that such a thing was possible. Recently I published in Mitteilungen Klosterneuburg and Bothalia.. After hearing this suspicions I wrote to TR but never got a proper answer and it does seem that nobody are presently able to solve this.

Best reagards,



My response:

Dear Professor [Redacted],

Before this, I had a theory that the journal hijackers target the researchers in developing countries, However, your experience (and a second email I received from Spain), shows that the hijackers do not limit their business on a specific geographical region. I am so sorry to see you unintentionally published in their counterfeit websites.

I think we should find a way to re-publish those journals in real journals; however, at this moment I havent seen any specific rule of publication ethics that implies such situations. However, I believe that we should attack/go after the criminals and not the victims.

It is not your fault. Thousands of distinguished researchers, Ph.D. scholars, lecturers and professors in the world have already experienced similar cases.

I think (but not 100% sure) you can publish those articles in the real journals somewhere else, because, actually, they have not been published by a journal (A real journal) before, but some of cyber-criminals stole your articles in that way and published it in their fake websites. However, I am going to contact the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) on your specific case to ask them some standard procedure about this specific case as it is not only your own case. I will announce any update from COPE, regarding this matter, on my website, facebook, and twitter.

If you or your colleagues know any new suspicious journal that is not presented in my list of hijacked journals, please tell me about the suspected journal and its website and i will do a full examination on it to find out whether the journal is real or hijacked.


Regarding the methods on how to avoid the hijacked journals, you can click on the title of each of the three articles below, to enter the Researchgate and download their PDF:

1. Hijacked journal list (first edition) 

2. How to avoid Hijacked Journals

3. Bogus Impact factors and fake metrics

The first file, that you may already have it from my site, listed the fake journals that I found till June.12.2014. I have more fake journals that will be added to this list in second edition in July 2014, So, please like my Facebook page or Follow me in Twitter or in Researchgate so that you will be informed when I publish the second edition.

The second file, presents some practical ideas on how to avoid the hijacked journals. This file is published by Walailak Journal of Science and technology in Thailand, and have been shared thousands of times in the academia as it is currently the only reference for identifying the hijacked journals.

The third file, is my short article on Bogus and fake impact factors, that is another scam in the field of academic publishing.

Please share the three attached files  with other scholars, PhD students, lecturers and also it is a good idea that the library of your university share this file in their online portal, as many other university libraries in the world did the same to announce this new scam and protect their researchers and lecturers. Please also forward a copy of those articles to the deputy dean of research and education in your university and any other universities you know.

Warmest regards,

Mehrdad Jalalian



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