Volume 51 Issue 3, April 2020, pp. 165-181

Predatory journals are a concern in academia because they lack meaningful peer review and engage in questionable business practices. Nevertheless, predatory journals continue to flourish, in part because of increasing expectations that academic researchers demonstrate publishing productivity in quantifiable forms. We examined tenure and promotion policies at twenty Canadian universities and did not find any language that explicitly discourages publications in predatory journals. Instead, subjective criteria such as ‘quality’ are commonly used to assess the appropriateness of publication outlets. Additionally, information on avoiding predatory journals was located only on the library’s website at nearly every institution, and the information was primarily directed at students rather than at faculty members. We argue that if predatory journals are truly a threat to the integrity of academic research and knowledge dissemination, universities must take more substantive action against them. We recommend four institutional initiatives to discourage faculty members from publishing in predatory journals.