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Paper hijacking: hijackers are attacking journals for hijacking unpublished papers.

In recent years, academic and research community is facing a major issue, 'the integrity in publishing'. Due to the pressure on publish or perish, many resort to unscrupulous practices while publishing. We can find one such phenomenan as 'hijacked journals' [1-3], 'predatory publisher' [4], 'affiliation-oriented journals' [5], 'social engineering' [6] and 'fake conferences' [7]. In this letter, we introduce a new challenge in the in the research community about "paper hijacking." Today some researchers write papers and sell them to people who seek for paper. The concept of "Ghostwriter" is obtained from the early practice, but the new type of academic fraud is growing in the research community. Some journals hire editorial board members without evaluating their CV or by assessing the CVs in a low level. Also in some cases, journals hire editorial board members easily to receive papers from researchers [8]. Recently, hijackers create fake CV or abuse the name of popular researchers and make fake CV and submit it to journals. When a journal accepts them as editorial or review member board, they hijack unpublished papers and sell them to people who seek papers. Low level CV evaluation is done in predatory journals or journal without good indexing highly, but some reputable journals have the low level CV inspection too. After hijacking and selling of papers, we can find same papers in journals with different authors. Who is authoring the real papers? Answer to this question is very hard. To show trustiness of our theme, we create fake CV and submitted it to 10 journals. Table 1 shows the result of CV evaluation in these journals.

Table 1 shows that a fake one can create a fake CV and submit it to journals and hijacked unpublished papers. This challenge is very serious in the research community, and it is the scientific norm to inform the journal editors about it. It is necessary to authenticate anyone who applies for reviewer or editorial membership by official email or by searching his or her name and email in academic scientific bases. In our pilot experiment, we use the name of puppet characters in Iranian TV, where by searching this name in Google, anyone can find it as a fake CV. In our fake CV, all information provided are false. Figure 1 shows the example of a fake CV.
Figure 1. Our created fake CV

CV, Prof. Jenab Khan

Current position: Senior researcher

First affiliation: Institute of Phishing Security

[1995-2000] PhD Student, Information Technology, University of
Technologica, Oklahoma

[2000-2003] Studies of Information and Communication Technology,
University of Something, Virginia

[2003-2005] Postdoc, City Jail, Virginia City

Research interests: Information Security, Data Mining, Business
intelligence, Artificial Intelligence, Fiber Optic, Satellite

Communication, Algorithm and etc.

In our faked CV, "Jenab Khan" is puppet character in Iranian standup comedy TV show. First, the affiliation in fake CV is "Institute of Phishing Security," as there is no institute exists in this name, and also the location of this institute is not specified. There is no university exists as claimed above. According to our observation, it seems that some journals accept anyone with any kind of academic ranking as editorial or reviewer member without good CV inspection or without reviewing his CV, thus it is very easy for hijackers to create fake CV and hijack unpublished papers. We don't know about hijackers who are reviewer or editorial member in journals, but we recommend to editors in chief to evaluate the review and editorial board completely in order to detect this kind of fraud.


[1] Jalalian, M., Dadkhah, M. (2015). In Press 2015. The full story of 90 hijacked journals from August 2011 to June 2015. Geographies Pannonica, 19 (2).

[2] Jalalian, M., Mahboobi, H. (2014). Hijacked Journals and Predatory Publishers: Is There a Need to Re-Think How to Assess the Quality of Academic Research? Walailak J Sei Teehnol. (WJST), 11 (5), 389-94. Available from:

[3] Dadkhah, M., Obeidat, M. M., Jazi, M. D., Sutikno, T., Riyadi, M. A. (2015). How Can We Identify Hijacked Journals?, Bulletin of Electrical Engineering and Informatics, 4 (2) 83-87.

[4] Lukiae, T., Blesic, I., Basarin, B., Ivanovic, BL., Milosevic, D., Sakulski, D. (2014). Predatory and Fake Scientific Journals/Publishers- A Global Outbreak with Rising Trend: A Review. Geographica Pannonica, 18 (3) 69-81.

[5] Dadkhah, M., Alharbi, A M., Al-khresheh, M. H, Sutikno, T., Maliszewski, T., Jazi, M D., Shamshirband, S. (2015). In press 2015. Affiliation Oriented Journals: Don't Worry About Peer Review If You Have Good Affiliation. International Journal of Electrical and Computer Engineering, 5 (4).

[6] Dadkhah, M., Quliyeva, A. (2014). Social engineering in academic world. Journal of Contemporary Applied Mathematics, 4 (2) 3-5.

[7] Dadkhah, M., Jazi, MD., Pacukaj, S. (2015). Fake Conferences for Earning Real Money. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences. 6 (2) 11-12.

[8] Dadkhah, M., Tarhini, A V., Lyashenko, V., Jazi, M D. (2015). Hiring Editorial Member for Receiving Papers from Authors, Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 6 (4) 11-12.

Mehdi Dadkhah

Department of Computer and Information Technology

Foulad Institute of Technology

Foulad shahr, Isfahan 8491663763

Table 1. Result of submitting fake CV in journals

Journal   Journal index             Result of CV
name *                              Evaluation

Case 1    Scopus                    Accepted
Case 2    Google Scholar            Accepted
Case 3    Google Scholar            Accepted
Case 4    Google Scholar            Accepted
Case 5    Scopus                    Rejected
Case 6    Thomson Reuters           Rejected
Case 7    Thomson Reuters           Rejected
Case 8    Scopus                    Rejected
Case 9    Scopus                    Rejected
Case 10   Thomson Reuters, Scopus   Accepted

* The full documentation of the experiment is in possession of the
authors. This writing does not provide the names of the journals,
as it was only to introduce the problem and the dangers it may
bring, and not to analyze the publication policies of individual
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Author:Dadkhah, Mehdi
Publication:Journal of Digital Information Management
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Aug 1, 2015
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