Thanks for your interest in WebSEM!
We haven't really promoted WebSEM yet and therefore it is less known to the research community. However, we don't see any reason preventing anyone using it in publication. Especially, if a reviewer has questions about using it, we'd be happy to help you address them if you want to have our input directly. We will also compile a web page to address the related problems.
WebSEM uses R packages lavaan, rsem, as well as bmem for data analysis. Those packages have been tested and published in peer-reviewed journals, and should work as expected. In citing WebSEM, we'd suggest using the following language:
The data analysis was conducted using WebSEM (Zhang & Yuan, 2012-2015). WebSEM is online SEM software that conducts SEM analysis through R packages lavaan (Rosseel, 2012), rsem (Yuan & Zhang, 2012), and bmem (Zhang & Wang, 2013).
Regarding the data privacy, a user and those whom the user shares the data with will have access to the data. That is also the reason why we request a user to register and manually screen each user. Admittedly, the server admistrator would have the full access to all information on the server. However, we consider this very unethetical and have strict policy avoiding this. Note this is also true for all giant company including Google, Facebook, and others.
We can assure that your data and output will be safe before and after you publish them under normal conditions. If you are really concerned about the privacy of data and analysis, you can always delete your data and output right after you conduct the analysis.
Please follow up with any futher questions.
The WebSEM team