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Call for papers: Competition and corruption in education: A lethal combination for academic integrity

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Edited by: Tracey Bretag, University of South Australia Business School, Adelaide

In 2013 Transparency International published the Global Corruption Report: Education which detailed a vast array of corrupt practices including “illicit payments in recruitment and admissions, nepotism in tenured positions, bribery in on-campus accommodation and grading, political and corporate undue influence in research, plagiarism, ‘ghost authorship’ and editorial misconduct in academic journals” (Executive Summary, p. xx). In 2015 the Independent Commission Against Corruption in Australia published their report ‘Learning the hard way: Managing Corruption Risks associated with International Students at Universities in NSW’ which provided a window into corrupt practices in the highly lucrative international education ‘industry’ including: falsification of entry documents, cheating in English language proficiency tests, online contract cheat sites selling assignments, plagiarism, and cheating and fraud in examinations. The report made it clear that “corruption has seeped into every aspect of the higher education sector, from admissions all the way through to graduation” (Bretag 2015).

Unfortunately, despite global and local reports about the impact of corruption on integrity in education, little progress appears to have been made in what is an increasingly competitive environment at all levels of education. Scandals erupt on a regular basis all around the world, with reports about the ‘mafia’ in India profiting from “the desperation of students and parents to get ahead in a country where university places and jobs are limited”, or commercial cheat sites using YouTube stars to promote their illicit services to 700 million students.

It is evident that the combination of competition and corruption in education is potentially lethal to academic integrity. This thematic collection invites empirical, theoretical or case study contributions which address this complex interplay of factors and provide fresh insights and recommendations for action.

Submitted papers will be reviewed in a timely manner and published directly after acceptance (i.e. without waiting for the accomplishment of all other contributions). Thanks to the International Journal for Educational Integrity (IJEI) open access policy, the articles published in this thematic series will have a wide, global audience.


Some author processing charges (APCs) may be waived at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief to outstanding and innovative contributions.


Submission instructions

Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you have carefully read the submission guidelines for International Journal for Educational Integrity. The complete manuscript should be submitted through the journal submission system. To ensure that you submit to the correct thematic series please select the appropriate section in the drop-down menu upon submission. In addition, indicate within your cover letter that you wish your manuscript to be considered as part of the thematic series on series title. All submissions will undergo rigorous peer review, and accepted articles will be published within the journal as a collection.

Submissions will also benefit from the usual advantages of open access publication:

Rapid publication: Online submission, electronic peer review and production make the process of publishing your article simple and efficient

High visibility and international readership in your field: Open access publication ensures high visibility and maximum exposure for your work - anyone with online access can read your article

No space constraints: Publishing online means unlimited space for figures, extensive data and video footage

Authors retain copyright, licensing the article under a Creative Commons license: articles can be freely redistributed and reused as long as the article is correctly attributed.

Annual Journal Metrics

  • 2022 Citation Impact
    4.6 - 2-year Impact Factor
    4.1 - 5-year Impact Factor
    1.823 - SNIP (Source Normalized Impact per Paper)
    0.905 - SJR (SCImago Journal Rank)

    2023 Speed
    12 days submission to first editorial decision for all manuscripts (Median)
    128 days submission to accept (Median)

    2023 Usage 
    499 Altmetric mentions 

This journal is indexed by

    • Emerging Sources Citation Index 
    • SCOPUS
    • CNKI
    • DOAJ
    • EBSCO Discovery Service
    • EBSCO Education Research Complete
    • EBSCO Education Source
    • Google Scholar
    • OCLC WorldCat Discovery Service
    • ProQuest-ExLibris Summon
    • ProQuest-ExLibris Primo
    • PhilPapers
    • Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals and Series
    • Navar
    • Gale
    • Emerging Sources Citation Index
    • ERIC
    • Dimensions

Need help with APC funding?

We offer a free open access support service to make it easier for you to discover and apply for article-processing charge (APC) funding. 


Authors without funds to cover the Article Processing Charge (APC) are eligible for a discretionary waiver of the APC, and should request a waiver during submission

International Journal for Educational Integrity also has waivers available at the Editor's discretion. Authors can contact the Editor in Chief for more information.