Texas Tech University


STEM Training in Ethics of Publication Practices (STEPP) is a research and training program designed to prepare STEM scholars, and other stakeholders, to navigate the academic publishing terrain—a terrain that presents more options than ever before, but also greater ethical pitfalls. STEPP will extend the work that previous individuals and organizations have undertaken to offer guidance on predatory publishing. But in addition to practical advice, STEPP will also address the historical, political, and economic aspects of scholarly publishing that are most crucial for maintaining research integrity in STEM disciplines, now and in the future. Our ultimate goal is that STEPP will constitute the most comprehensive, systematic, and sustainable resource on predatory publishing to date.

The research component of the STEPP program will deepen our understanding of the ethical challenges that arise from predatory publishing, through empirical research that solicits input from key stakeholders in the situation.

The training component of STEPP will cultivate ethical STEM cultures by facilitating ethically informed decision-making and practices for authors, gatekeepers, and professionals in the context of the increasingly complex landscape that constitutes STEM scholarly publishing.

Our research team includes:

Dr. Amy Koerber (PI)
Dr. Karin Ardon-Dryer
Dr. Glenn Cummins
Dr. Leo Eko
Dr. Kerk F. Kee
Dr. Jesse C. Starkey

To learn how you can participate in this research by sharing your experiences with scholarly publishing, please view our STEPP Recruitment Flyer..


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This project website is part of a National Science Foundation Grant (Grant # 1926348), entitled "Standard: STEM Training in Ethics of Publication Practices (STEPP)," and is subject to the provisions of NSF 18-532 [Cultivating Cultures for Ethical STEM].