Doctorates have long attracted attention of those aspiring to scholarship and research, but also those seeking verbal distinctions and a documented knowledge. Doctoral degrees are considered as signs of a high level expertise and authority in a given field. The growing number of dissertation defenses does not necessarily translate into a higher quality of dissertations or qualifications of newly produced doctorates. Such a trend may in part be a result of the growing corruption in higher education, including doctoral education. This paper addresses the issue of «dissertations for sale» in Russia and focuses on possible solutions for this problem.