Hijacked journals are predatory publications that are fakes or duplicates of legitimate journals. They take the title and information of a legitimate journal to make a fake journal and website to fool researchers into submitting to their predatory journal.
If you are looking at the website of a journal title you know is legitimate, but the website has some of the hallmarks of a predatory publisher (rapid publication or fast peer review) and charges a publication fee, double check that you are on the correct website.
Example of a hijacked journal
The journal Arctic, is a journal produced by the University of Calgary’s Arctic Institute of North America (AINA). A hijacked version of this journal appeared a few years ago. Despite a cease-and-desist from the University, the hijacked version still exists.
Learn more in this article from the CBC: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/arctic-journal-university-calgary-fake-publication-scam-1.5138488
Let’s look at the legitimate and predatory version of Arctic:
Take a look at the websites for these journals to see the difference between a legitimate and predatory journal
See another example of a hijacked journal here: https://publons.com/blog/hijacked-journals-what-they-are-and-how-to-avoid-them/
When you are looking for a place to publish your work, always check before you submit.