Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 153, Issue 1, pp 121–131 | Cite as

The Ethics of Predatory Journals

  • Alexander McLeod
  • Arline SavageEmail author
  • Mark G. Simkin
Original Paper


Predatory journals operate as vanity presses, typically charging large submission or publication fees and requiring little peer review. The consequences of such journals are wide reaching, affecting the integrity of the legitimate journals they attempt to imitate, the reputations of the departments, colleges, and universities of their contributors, the actions of accreditation bodies, the reputations of their authors, and perhaps even the generosity of academic benefactors. Using a stakeholder analysis, our study of predatory journals suggests that most stakeholders gain little in the short run from such publishing and only the editors or owners of these journals benefit in the long run. We also discuss counter-measures that academic and administrative faculty can employ to thwart predatory publishing.



The study was completed independently without a source of funding.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Alexander McLeod, Arline Savage and Mark Simkin declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Texas State UniversitySan MarcosUSA
  2. 2.University of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA
  3. 3.University of NevadaRenoUSA

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