Current and potential cyber attacks on medical journals; guidelines for improving security

Published:December 03, 2016DOI:


      • This paper is one of the few to consider the problems of journal editors for security attacks.
      • This research demonstrated how easy it is for cybercriminals to produce authentic-appearing websites.
      • The resulting guidelines will be useful for editors as well as researchers.


      At the moment, scholarly publishing is faced with much academic misconduct and threats such as predatory journals, hijacked journals, phishing, and other scams. In response, we have been discussing this misconduct and trying to increase the awareness of researchers, but it seems that there is a lack of research that presents guidelines for editors to help them protect themselves against these threats. It seems that information security is missing in some parts of scholarly publishing that particularly involves medical journals. In this paper, we explain different types of cyber-attacks that especially threaten editors and academic journals. We then explain the details involved in each type of attack. Finally, we present general guidelines for detection and prevention of the attacks. In some cases, we use small experiments to show that our claim is true. Finally, we conclude the paper with a prioritization of these attacks.


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