A news story was published this past week that inspired a search for some fitting Russian proverbs. For those of you adept at reading Russian, here’s one that fits the bill: “В чужой монастырь со своим уставом не ходят.” How this Russian phrase translates to English goes something like this: “Don’t go to another monastery with your own rules.” A more familiar and analogous English expression? “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” For a subset of Russian academics, it appears that the “publish-or-perish” mantra has expanded to something that is deeply corrupt, and it begs the questions: how does extreme publication fraud in science become so rampant, and is it so pervasive in countries such as Russia that it necessarily promotes a “must-cheat-to-win” landscape, in a fashion parallel to extreme doping in the cycling world, as was alleged by Lance Armstrong? A recent article highlights some of the gross, nay, outright shocking abuses that have been called out by the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) that has led to Russian scientific journals retracting more than 800 papers, but leaving thousands—possibly well over a hundred thousand—in a category that they also be deemed unfit. These categories include plagiarism, self-plagiarism, and gift authorship. Data presented in the article shows, that of 4.3 million Russian-language studies, more than 70,000 were published at least twice, but a few were published as many as 17 times. What is most disturbing—but sadly, not shocking—is that some Russian journals claimed ignorance to internationally accepted ethical standards concerning publishing and retractions. It can only be surmised—though seemingly obvious—that some profit-driven journals are more than happy to oblige prestige-hungry authors and promote actions that are far less than ethical, to the disgrace of entire scientific fields, and the sanctity of inquiry itself. But no different than any supposed quick fix that can be hawked by a savvy salesman, it really is up to the customer to understand   the importance of a sound product. And as scientists, we should all behave with the utmost of respect toward our fellow colleagues for where and how we publish, because it is through our published works that we are all connected.