In mid-August, the AuthorAID mailing list came up with an intriguing case. An author asked "Can you help me? Is this journal is true or fake: "WULFENIA" http://www.wulfeniajournal.at/editorial.html".
The response on the list was clear: "I searched an article from their archive entitled 'Decision making-- Eastern and western style: A way to synthesize the best of each' by Felix Kaufmann. This is a real article but it was published in 1970 in Business Horizons, vol. 13, issue 6, pages 81-86. It looks like they pinch stuff from elsewhere to seem legitimate." The journal purported to be run by "Editor in Chief: Prof. Dr. Vienna S. Franz" at Landesmuseum Kärnten, Austria, but - though the institution was genuine - nobody by that name could be found. PLOS ONE Academic Editor Jack Gilbert also gave reason to be certain that this journal was fake: "Wulfenia - a fake journal using myself and others as 'editorial board members' that makes you pay for all 'articles'".
The author who queried the validity of wulfeniajournal.at let wulfeniajournal.com know, and this site posted a warning:
"To all scientists about www.wulfeniajournal.at :
Wulfenia journal has not a website, and it is published as hard copy. Wulfenia journal does not publish online and www.wulfeniajournal.at is a fake site. All http://sciencesarchive.com , www.sciencerecord.com and www.wulfeniajournal.at are for one person that he/she is a hustler. If you check 2009-2011 issues of this journals, You know that all published papers are for another journals which he/she used them for your trust and fraud. Wulfenia just publish as hard copy and just publish Biology science articles NOT ALL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING. www.wulfeniajournal.com is made just for informing you about this fraud and does not accept any papers for reviewing."I emailed the Landesmuseum Kärnten to let them know that "Your museum's name is being used by a fake journal", tweeted about it, and thought that would be the last of it. Yet one commenter on the AuthorAID list noted that: "Even the more legitimate journal is a bit suspicious".
He was right.
Roland K. Eberwein, Editor-in-Chief of Wulfenia Journal emailed me last week to say that "The site www.wulfeniajournal.com is a criminal site too!". Wulfenia, as it turns out, is an annual print journal in botany. As the real Wulfenia notes on its website:
"The websites http://www.wulfeniajournal.at and http://www.wulfeniajournal.com ARE NOT the official websites of the journal "Wulfenia: Mitteilungen des Kärntner Botanikzentrums" published by the Regional Museum of Carinthia. Both websites criminally usurp the identity of the official journal. They fraudulently use false informations, a false editorial board and false publication requirements to encourage authors to submit articles and to transfer page fees to a bank account in Yerevan (Armenia). The Regional Museum of Carinthia is not liable for any offence undergone by potential authors who would have submitted articles via the websites mentioned above. Download of articles from these websites which were published in the official journal Wulfenia is illegal."He let me know that "You can find 'Wulfenia' at http://www.landesmuseum.ktn.gv.at/210226w_DE.htm?seite=15".
I asked about issues with indexing of the journal, and he replied that "I got an e-mail from Thomson Reuters. They told me that they are only indexing the printed journal."
The journal is treating this as a criminal case: "We have a meeting at the police to involve the Austrian Agency against Cyber Criminality. We want to close the website www.wulfeniajournal.at. It seems that this is possible. The site www.wulfeniajournal.com is not hosted in Austria - in this case, we have no chance".
http://www.wulfeniajournal.com is currently down, while the fake http://www.wulfeniajournal.at/index.html is still accessible.
Jeffrey Beall has also written about this and he notes that print journal Archives des Sciences has also been hijacked.
My advice - before sending money to any journal, be sure who you are dealing with. Watch for poor spelling, editors with no academic record, claims to be based in one country but requesting money to be sent to another. And other print journals without an online presence should get one before they get their identity stolen too.