Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 156, Issue 1, pp 189–208 | Cite as

Publish, Perish, or Salami Slice? Authorship Ethics in an Emerging Field

  • Adam G. PfleegorEmail author
  • Matthew Katz
  • Matthew T. Bowers
Original Paper


Researchers in several academic fields have indicated an increase in academic authorship disputes and the utilization of unethical authorship practices over the past few decades. This trend has been attributed to a variety of factors such as vague authorship guidelines, power disparities between researchers, dissimilar disciplinary and/or journal practices, and a lack of guidance for emerging scholars. As a rapidly emerging academic field, sport management (and its connected sub-fields) maintains the propensity for unclear procedures due to the various departments, schools, and colleges the field calls home (e.g., kinesiology, sport science, education, business), as well as the wide variety of journals that the field’s scholarship resides in. This situation is similar to many emerging or expanding fields as they navigate the university landscape of more established disciplines and fields. Utilizing a three-round Delphi survey method, the current research examined expert opinion on authorship practices in sport management scholarship. Through a combination of open-ended, response, and Likert-type questions, the expert survey attempted to identify areas of consensus and non-consensus in an effort to determine the current status of publication practices in the field, as well as ascertain areas of need for future study and improvement.


Authorship ethics Delphi method Scholarship Sport management 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest pertaining to the current study.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


  1. ABDC. (2015). ABDC journal quality list 2016. Retrieved from:
  2. American Psychological Association. (2015). Publication practices and responsible authorship. Retrieved from:
  3. Authorship guidelines. (2014). Human Kinetics journals: The Journal of Sport Management. Retrieved from:
  4. Bailey, C. D. (2015). Psychopathy, academic accountants’ attitudes toward unethical research practices, and publication success. The Accounting Review, 90, 1307–1332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Blobaum, P. M. (2010). Update: Resources for supporting the APA publication style. Journal of Hospital Librarianship, 10, 197–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bowers, M. T., Green, B. C., & Seifried, C. S. (2014). “Let the marketplace be the judge”: The founders reflect on the origins and trajectory of NASSM. Journal of Sport Management, 28, 565–587.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brooks, K. W. (1979). Delphi technique: Expanding applications. North Central Association Quarterly, 54, 377–385.Google Scholar
  8. Cabral-Cardoso, C. (2004). Ethical misconduct in the business school: A case of plagiarism that turned bitter. Journal of Business Ethics, 49, 75–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chalip, L. (2006). Toward a distinctive sport management discipline. Journal of Sport Management, 20, 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chelladurai, P. (2014). Managing organizations for sport and physical activity. Scottsdale, AZ: Holcomb Hathaway.Google Scholar
  11. Costa, C. A. (2005). The status and future of sport management: A Delphi study. Journal of Sport Management, 19, 117–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Coupe, T. (2004). What do we know about ourselves? On the economics of economics. KYKLOS, 57, 197–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Covell, D. (2004). Attachment, allegiance and a convergent application of stakeholder theory to Ivy League Athletics (pp. 14–26). Winter: International Sports Journal.Google Scholar
  14. Custer, R. L., Scarcella, J. A., & Stewart, B. R. (1999). The modified Delphi technique: A rotational modification. Journal of Vocational and Technical Education, 15, 1–10.Google Scholar
  15. Cyphert, F. R., & Grant, W. L. (1971). The Delphi technique: A case study. Phi Delta Kappan, 52, 272–273.Google Scholar
  16. Dalkey, N. (1969). An experimental study of group opinion: The Delphi method. Futures, 1, 408–426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dietz, T. (1987). Methods for analyzing data from Delphi panels: Some evidence from a forecasting study. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 31, 79–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Elliott, T. L., Marquis, L. M., & Neal, C. S. (2013). Business ethics perspectives: Faculty plagiarism and fraud. Journal of Business Ethics, 112, 91–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Erffmeyer, R. C., Erffmeyer, E. S., & Lane, I. M. (1986). The Delphi technique: An empirical evaluation of the optimal number of rounds. Group and Organization Studies, 11, 120–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Etxeberria, I. A., Garayar, A., & Sanchez, J. A. C. (2015). Development of sustainability reports for farming operations in the Basque country using the Delphi method. Revista de Contabilidad, 18, 44–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ferkins, L., & Shilbury, D. (2015). The stakeholder dilemma in sport governance: Toward the notion of “stakeowner”. Journal of Sport Management, 29, 93–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Flanagin, A., Carey, L. A., Fontanaroas, P. B., Phillips, S. G., Pace, B. P., Lundberg, G. D., et al. (1998). Prevalence of articles with honorary and ghost authors in peer-reviewed medical journals. Journal of the American Medical Association, 360, 1301–1302.Google Scholar
  23. Freeman, R. E. (1984). Strategic management: A stakeholder approach. London: Pitman Press.Google Scholar
  24. Friedman, M. T., Parent, M. M., & Mason, D. S. (2004). Building a framework for issues management in sport through stakeholder theory. European Sport Management Quarterly, 4, 170–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gaeta, T. J. (1999). Authorship: “Law” and order. Academic Emergency Medicine, 6, 297–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Giorgini, V., Mecca, J. T., Gibson, C., Medeiros, K., Mumford, M. D., Connelly, S., et al. (2015). Researcher perceptions of ethical guidelines and codes of conduct. Accountability in Research, 22, 123–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gray, P., & Jordan, S. (2012). Supervisors and academic integrity: Supervisors as exemplars and mentors. Journal of Academic Ethics, 10, 299–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Greenwood, M., & Van Buren, H. J., III. (2010). Trust and stakeholder theory Trustworthiness in the organization-stakeholder relationship. Journal of Business Ethics, 95, 425–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Guide for authors. (2015). Elsevier—Sport management review. Retrieved from:
  30. Gundersen, D. E., Capozzoli, E. A., & Rajamma, R. K. (2008). Learned ethical behavior: An academic perspective. Journal of Education for Business, 83, 315–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Honig, B., & Bedi, A. (2012). The fox in the hen house: A critical examination of plagiarism among members of the Academy of Management. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 11, 101–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hsu, C.-C., & Sandford, B. A. (2007). The Delphi technique: Making sense of consensus. Practical Assessment, Research and Evaluation, 12(10), 1–8.Google Scholar
  33. Jones, A. (2000). Changing traditions of authorship. In A. Jones & F. McLellan (Eds.), Ethical issues in biomedical publication (pp. 3–29). Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Jones, T. M., & Wicks, A. C. (1999). Convergent stakeholder theory. Academy of Management Review, 24, 206–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. LaFollette, M. C. (1992). Stealing into print—Fraud, plagiarism, and misconduct in scientific publishing. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  36. Linstone, H. A., & Turoff, M. (1975). Introduction. In H. A. Linstone & M. Turoff (Eds.), The Delphi method: Techniques and applications (pp. 1–12). Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing.Google Scholar
  37. Linton, J. D., Tierney, R., & Walsh, S. T. (2014). Publish or perish: How are research and reputation related. Serials Review, 37, 244–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Ludwig, B. G. (1994). Internationalizing extension: An exploration of the characteristics evident in a state university extension system that achieved internationalization. Doctoral dissertation, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.Google Scholar
  39. Ludwig, B. (1997). Predicting the future: Have you considered using the Delphi methodology? Journal of Extension, 35, 1–4.Google Scholar
  40. Ma, Z., Liang, D., Yu, K.-H., & Lee, Y. (2012). Most cited business ethics publications: Mapping the intellectual structure of business ethics studies in 2001–2008. Business Ethics: A European Review, 21, 286–297.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Martino, J. (1983). Technological forecasting for decision making (2nd ed.). New York: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  42. Mock, R. P., Savage, A., & Simkin, M. G. (2010). The ethics of indemnity clauses in academic publication contracts. Issues in Accounting Education, 25, 267–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Moffatt, B. (2011a). How authorship guidelines in bioethics can ensure fairness and accountability. American Journal of Bioethics, 11, 26–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Moffatt, B. (2011b). Responsible authorship: Why researchers must forgo honorary authorship. Accountability in Research, 18, 76–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. National Academy of Sciences. (2009). On being a scientist: A guide to responsible conduct in research (3rd ed.). Washington: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  46. Newman, J. I. (2014). Sport without management. Journal of Sport Management, 28, 603–615.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Phillips, R., Freeman, R. E., & Wicks, A. C. (2003). What stakeholder theory is not. Business Ethics Quarterly, 13, 479–502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Rankings. (2014). Maclean’s. Retrieved from:
  49. Resnik, D. B., & Master, Z. (2011). Criteria for authorship in bioethics. American Journal of Bioethics, 11, 17–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Rowe, G., Wright, D., & Bulger, F. (1991). The Delphi technique: A re-evaluation of research and theory. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 39, 235–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Safa, M. (2012). Ethics in publication: To be practices or not to be. International Journal of Business and Management Services, 5, 77–84.Google Scholar
  52. Sagas, M., & Wigley, B. J. (2014). Gray area ethical leadership in the NCAA: The ethics of doing the wrong things right. Journal of Intercollegiate Sport, 7, 40–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Shamoo, A. E., & Resnik, D. B. (2009). Responsible conduct of research (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Turoff, M., & Hiltz, S. R. (1996). Computer based Delphi process. In M. Adler & E. Ziglio (Eds.), Gazing into the oracle: The Delphi method and its application to social policy and public health (pp. 56–88). London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.Google Scholar
  55. WAME. (2015). Recommendations on publication ethics policies for medical journals. Retrieved from:
  56. Weber, R. P. (1990). Basic content analysis (2nd ed.). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adam G. Pfleegor
    • 1
    Email author
  • Matthew Katz
    • 2
  • Matthew T. Bowers
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Sport ScienceBelmont UniversityNashvilleUSA
  2. 2.University of Massachusetts AmherstAmherstUSA
  3. 3.University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

Personalised recommendations