Academic journals’ usernames and the threat of fraudulent accounts on social media

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

The internet has brought both benefits and risks for academia. Predatory publishing and conferences are well-known, and less common academic cybercrime has also been identified, such as fraudulent conferences and journal hijacking. This study aimed to explore one further possible method for deceiving academics, namely, fraudulent accounts on social media. The study focused on two easily exploitable gaps in journals’ social media engagement: whether journals have accounts on the most common social media platforms and whether journals use the same username across all their accounts. Evidence of fraudulent social media accounts was also sought. Drawing from a sample of 50 journals, the results indicate that many journals do not use social media, journals often use multiple usernames and fewer than half the accounts were officially verified. Some apparently fraudulent activity was found, but this was notably limited in scope and appeared to be politically rather than economically oriented. Further potential for deception was evident in accounts unaffiliated with a journal but registered with the journal’s usernames and in the opportunity to create new social media accounts with journals’ usernames. Journals are recommended to recognize this threat and some possible countermeasures are suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-148
Number of pages9
JournalLearned Publishing
Volume35
Issue number2
Early online date3 Dec 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • cybercrime
  • social media
  • publishing ethics

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