Research Development Association and Research Development Research Foundation (RDA&RDRF) aims to be a main channel of data communication, sharing of ideas and information to the scientific researching community and also to the society at large. It is mandatory for us to follow certain code of ethics and it is advices to adhere strictly to the following code of ethics which will enhance the quality of the published works. This currently written code of ethics is focusing to provide guidance on the proper behavior of editors, reviewers and authors in the process of scientific publication by us.
The statements are developed according to the Publishing ethics resource kit, IJRCS, COPE’s Best Practice Guidelines and in compliance with Elsevier recommendations.
So, it is important to agree upon specifications of expected ethical behavior for all parties involved in the act of publishing: the author, the journal editors, the peer reviewer, the publisher and the society.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF EDITORS
In addition to many general duties, such as constantly improving the quality and integrity of the journal, striving to needs of authors and readers, encouraging academic research, and others, the editors accept obligation to apply best will and practice to cope with the following responsibilities:
Editorial board will be generated from recognized experts in the field. The editor will provide full names and affiliations of the members as well as updated contact information for the editorial office on the journal webpage. Editors are the sole responsible persons for the acceptance or rejection of a manuscript, it may be subjected to peer review but the final decision is bound to the concerned editor. Any decision taken or matter of concern about a submitted article should not be revealed to anyone by an editor. If one of the editor is willing to publish an article the article should be processed by another editor. Editor should refrain from using the information, data, theories, or interpretations of any submitted manuscript in her/his own work until that manuscript is in press
The editor should be responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the journal should be published. The validation of the work in question and its importance to researchers and readers must always drive such decisions. The editor may be guided by the policies of the journal’s editorial board and constrained by such legal requirements, copyright infringement and plagiarism. The editor may confer with other editors or reviewers in making this decision.
Peer Review Process
All of a journal’s content should be subjected to peer-review. Articles submitted for possible publication are subjected to a double-blind, peer review process. Articles are first reviewed by editors. The editor may reject it out of hand either because it is not dealing with the subject matter for that journal or because it is manifestly of a low quality so that it cannot be considered at all. Articles that are found suitable for review are then sent to two experts in the field of the paper. Referees of a paper are unknown to each other. Referees are asked to classify the paper as publishable immediately, publishable with amendments and improvements, or not publishable. Referees’ evaluations usually include an explicit recommendation of what to do with the manuscript. Referees’ comments are then seen by the author.
Editors should be ready to justify any important deviation from the described process. Editors should not reverse decisions on publication unless serious problems are identified.
Editors should publish guidance to either authors or reviewers on everything that is expected of them. This guidance should be regularly updated and will refer or link this code.
Editor should evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors. Editors´ decision to accept or reject a paper for publication should be based only on the paper´s importance, originality and clarity, and the study´s relevance to the aim of journal.
Editor and any editorial staff must not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher. Editors will ensure that material submitted remains confidential while under review.
Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest
Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in an editor’s own research without the express written consent of the author. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. Editors should recuse themselves (i.e. should ask a co-editor, associate editor or other member of the editorial board instead to review and consider) from considering manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or (possibly) institutions connected to the papers. Editors should require all contributors to disclose relevant competing interests and publish corrections if competing interests are revealed after publication.
Procedures for dealing with Unethical Behavior – Unethical behavior may be identified and brought to the attention of the editor and publisher at any time, by anyone. Whoever informs the editor or publisher of such conduct should provide sufficient information and evidence in order for an investigation to be initiated. All allegations should be taken seriously and treated in the same way, until a successful decision or conclusion is reached. Every reported act of unethical publishing behavior must be looked into, even if it is discovered years after publication.
The editor should take reasonably responsive measures when ethical complaints have been presented concerning a submitted manuscript or published paper, in conjunction with the publisher. Such measures will generally include contacting the author of the manuscript or paper and giving due consideration of the respective complaint or claims made, but may also include further communications to the relevant institutions and research bodies, depending on the misconduct seriousness.
Minor misconduct might be dealt with without the need to consult more widely. In any event, the author should be given the opportunity to respond to any allegations.
Serious misconduct might require application of one or more following measures:
Informing or educating the author or reviewer where there appears to be a misunderstanding or misapplication of acceptable standards.
Publication of a formal notice detailing the misconduct.
A formal letter to the head of the author’s or reviewer’s department or funding agency.
Formal retraction or withdrawal of a publication from the journal, in conjunction with informing the head of the author or reviewer’s department
Imposition of a formal embargo on contributions from an individual for a defined period.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF REVIEWERS
Reviewers are the main members contributing for the benefit of the journal being a peer reviewed journal they are insisted not to disclose their identity in any form. Peer reviewer assists the Executive Managing Editor and the editorial board in making editorial decisions while editorial communications with the author may also assist the author in improving the paper. A reviewer should immediately decline to review an article submitted if he/she feels that the article is technically unqualified or if the timely review cannot be done by him/her or if the article has a conflict of interest. All submissions should be treated as confidential, editorial approval might be given for any outside persons advice received. No reviewer should pass on the article submitted to him/her for review to another reviewer in his own concern, it should be declined immediately.
Reviewers being the base of the whole quality process should ensure that the articles published should be of high quality and original work. He may inform the editor if he finds the article submitted to him for review is under consideration in any other publication to his/her knowledge.
What should be checked while reviewing an article?
There are no hard and fast rules to analyze an article, this can be done on case to case basis considering the worthiness, quality, and originality of the article submitted. In general cases the following may be checked in a review
Structure of the article submitted and its relevance to author guidelines
Purpose and Objective of the article
Method of using transitions in the article
Introduction given and the conclusion/ suggestions provided
References provided to substantiate the content
Grammar, punctuation and spelling
Suitability of the article to the need
Any conflict of interest that may be detected
Knowledge addition to the scientific community
Author(s) involvement in preparing the article and their interest shown towards scientific development.
A reviewer’s comment decides the acceptance or rejection of an article and they are one major element in a peer review process. All our reviewers are requested to go through the articles submitted to them for review in detail and give the review comments without any bias which will increase the quality of our journals.
Contribution to Editorial Decisions
Peer review assists the editor in making editorial decisions and through the editorial communications with the author may also assist the author in improving the paper. Peer review is an essential component of formal scholarly communication. Authors who wish to contribute to publications have an obligation to do a fair share of reviewing.
Any selected referee who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should notify the editor and excuse him from the review process.
Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shown to or discussed with others except as authorized by the editor.
Standards of objectivity
Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.
Acknowledgement of sources
Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also call to the editor’s attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.
Disclosure and conflict of interest
Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in a reviewer´s own research without the written consent of the author. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. Reviewers should not consider manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF AUTHORS
Authors and Co-authors:
Authors are advised to follow the following code of ethics strictly. Submit manuscripts which are their original works or of the work they are associated with during their tenure. Submitted manuscripts should contain original and new results, data, and their ideas, which are not submitted for publishing to other publications or published elsewhere. Fabrication of data and results, intellectual property theft and plagiarism are highly unacceptable, it is beyond the ethics of an author. Information obtained via various media should be provided in the manuscript only with prior permission from the owner of the source of information or data. They should properly cite the work they are referring; authors are advised to cross check the reference before submission of manuscript. They may not promote in any form via any media to get their works published. No article should have an author who is not directly involved in the work for any means or reasons.
Authors and co-authors are requested to review and ensure the accuracy and validity of all the results prior to submission. Any potential conflict of interest should be informed to the editor in advance. Authors are bound by the Creative Commons licensing policy of publication. All authors are requested to submit the copyright transfer form without failure once they receive the acceptance of their article for publication.
Publication and Submission fee
No fees or charges are required from authors for manuscript submission. Authors pay nominal publication fee after acceptance of article to run maintenance cost of website and editorial office. Full information about publication fees clearly stated on the journal´s website, author can easily refer it before submission.
Authors of papers should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the paper. A paper should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable. Review and professional publication articles should also be accurate and objective, and editorial opinion works should be clearly identified as such.
Data Access and Retention
Authors may be asked to provide the raw data in connection with a paper for editorial review, and should be prepared to provide public access to such data (consistent with the ALPSP-STM Statement on Data and Databases), if practicable, and should in any event be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable time after publication.
Originality and Plagiarism
The authors should ensure that they have written entirely original works, and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others, that this has been appropriately cited or quoted.
Plagiarism takes many forms, from „passing off‟ another´s paper as the author´s own paper, to copying or paraphrasing substantial parts of another´s paper (without attribution), to claiming results from research conducted by others. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable.
Multiple, Redundant or Concurrent Publication
An author should not in general publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal or primary publication. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behavior. In general, an author should not submit for consideration in another journal a previously published paper. The copyright remains with the authors (CC-BY-NC-ND), thus they can decide about eventual republication of their text. The primary reference must be cited in the secondary publication.
Acknowledgement of Sources
Proper acknowledgment of the work of others must always be given. Authors should cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work. Information obtained privately, as in conversation, correspondence, or discussion with third parties, must not be used or reported without explicit, written permission from the source. Information obtained in the course of confidential services, such as refereeing manuscripts or grant applications, must not be used without the explicit written permission of the author of the work involved in these services.
Authorship of the Paper
Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. Where there are others who have participated in certain substantive aspects of the research project, they should be acknowledged or listed as contributors. The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included on the paper, and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication.
Acknowledgement of Funding Sources
Sources of funding for the research reported in the article should be duly acknowledged at the end of the article.
Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest
All authors should disclose in their manuscript any financial or other substantive conflict of interest that might be construed to influence the results or interpretation of their manuscript. All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed. Examples of potential conflicts of interest which should be disclosed include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding. Potential conflicts of interest should be disclosed at the earliest stage possible. Readers should be informed about who has funded research and on the role of the funders in the research.
Fundamental Errors in Published Works
When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work, it is the author´s obligation to promptly notify the journal editor or publisher and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper. If the editor or the publisher learns from a third party that a published work contains a significant error, it is the obligation of the author to promptly retract or correct the paper or provide evidence to the editor of the correctness of the original paper.
Breach of Code
Being an association dedicated for the researcher fraternity, we all should ensure that the code of ethics formed is followed in all possible ways. Being a not-for-profit body it is the internal responsibility of a person whom should have to follow the codes, there is no enforcement to follow.
The Executive Managing Editor of journal or committee members are entitled to take action against an individual if they found to be violating the code.
The Chief Editor,
Research Development Association and Research Development Research Foundation(RDA&RDRF)