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Ethical Policies and Standard Procedure Guideline

Ethics Policies and Standard Procedure

Research and Publishing Ethics

The Editorial Policy adheres to the standards and guidelines defined by

Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) https://publicationethics.org/

International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) http://www.icmje.org/

World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) http://www.wame.org/

And government regulations passed, stated, advised and defined from time to time.

University Trust and our editors are fully committed to ethical publication practice. We act in accordance with the principles outlined by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and support the development, and practical application, of consistent ethical standards throughout the scholarly publishing community.

You should only submit your research to us if the following conditions apply:

# The research has been conducted with the highest standards of rigour and integrity.

# The article/chapter/book/case study is original.

# The work has not been submitted elsewhere and is not under consideration with any other publication. Please our relevant policies.

# The work does not include libellous, defamatory or unlawful statements.

# Permission has been cleared for any third-party material included.

# Proof of consent has been obtained for any named individuals or organisations.

# Authorship has been agreed prior to submission and no one has been ‘gifted’ authorship or denied credit as an author (ghost authorship).

If your research is published and we find that any of these conditions have not been met, we may take action in line with the COPE guidelines, which may result in one of the following correction notices, or we may remove or retract the article or book chapter from our database. For legal reasons, or when an article or chapter forms evidence in an independent hearing, we may not be able to take action until all matters have been fully resolved. Please read our “Article Withdrawal and Correction” section for details.

Ethics and Anti-Plagiarism Policy

The paper must adhere to strict academic ethics and be free of plagiarism. The authors are expected to follow the ethical values for writing and submission of a research articles to the journal. Plagiarism is defined as the wrongful appropriation, close imitation and publication, of another author’s language, ideas, or expressions, and the representation of these as one’s own original work or contribution. The available and appropriate anti-plagiarism software like “Turnitin” is used by the journal to verify any submission. So, the authors are requested to be aware of this process.

Not only the author but editor and reviewers are too expected to be ethical.

For meeting these needs the Journal have an in-house Ethical Committee of the jurist. Any complaint regarding ethics can be addressed to them, however, the jurisdiction will be only related to the Journal.

Plagiarism

The content you submit to a publisher should be based on your own research and expressed in your own words. If it isn’t, that could be considered plagiarism. The Journal editors have access to the plagiarism detection service Crossref Similarity Check, which compares submissions against a database of 49 million works from 800 scholarly publishers. This, combined with our knowledgeable reviewers and editors, means it’s increasingly hard for plagiarised work to go unnoticed. There are various forms plagiarism can take.

Verbatim copying

An exact copy of, or a significant passage or section of text taken from, another person’s work without acknowledgement, references or use of quotation marks.

Paraphrasing

More than one sentence within a paragraph or section of text has been changed, or sentences have been rearranged, without appropriate attribution. Significant improper paraphrasing without appropriate attribution is treated seriously as verbatim copying.

Re-using parts of a Work without Attribution

You should cite any previous publication or presentation of the ideas featured in your current submission. This includes conference papers, workshop presentations and listserv communications. This ensures that a complete history of the work is documented.

References to other publications should be in Harvard style for the Journal – you will find further details in your chosen journal’s author guidelines. All references should be carefully checked for completeness, accuracy and consistency

For example, using a figure, table or paragraph without acknowledgement, references or the use of quotation marks. It is your responsibility as the author to obtain the necessary permissions from the copyright holder.

Self-plagiarism or Text Recycling

You are expected to submit original content to the Journal publications. Research should only be repeated if it leads to different or new conclusions, or you want to compare it with new data. If any element of your latest submission has been published previously, you must ensure that the original work is fully referenced and make this clear to the editor or publisher at the point of submission.

Redundant Publication

Redundant is also known as a dual publication. Any work you submit to us must be original and previously unpublished. It is the unacceptable academic practice to submit to more than one journal at the same time – you are expected to wait until receiving a decision from one journal before submitting to the next.

We follow ethical publishing guidelines defined by time to time by law, UGC and other organizations, such as PublicationEthics.org which can be found here –

https://publicationethics.org/misconduct

Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement

Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement of Journal is based, in large part, on the guidelines and standards developed by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). The relevant duties and expectations of authors, reviewers, and editors of the journal are set out below which is taken from here – https://publicationethics.org/core-practices

Please read here in brief and at the given link in detail –

Core Practices

The Core Practices were developed in 2017, replacing the Code of Conduct. They are applicable to all involved in publishing scholarly literature: editors and their journals, publishers, and institutions. The Core Practices should be considered alongside specific national and international codes of conduct for research and are not intended to replace these.

Journals and publishers should have robust and well described, publicly documented practices in all of the following areas for their journals:

1. Allegations of misconduct

Journals should have a clearly described process for handling allegations; however, they are brought to the journal’s or publisher’s attention. Journals must take seriously allegations of misconduct pre-publication and post-publication. Policies should include how to handle allegations from whistleblowers.

Latest resources:

Letter from the COPE Chair: October 2020 (News)

Case discussion: self-plagiarism and suspected salami publishing (News)

Sharing by a reviewer on social media (Case)

View all Allegations of misconduct resources

2. Authorship and Contributorship

Clear policies (that allow for transparency around who contributed to the work and in what capacity) should be in place for requirements for authorship and contributorship as well as processes for managing potential disputes.

When it comes to listing the authors of your paper, we understand that it can be tempting to include everyone who has assisted you in your work. It’s also easy to forget someone who may have been involved at the very start of the process.

Authorship issues vary, but include:

# Ghost authorship – exclusion of a contributor from the list of authors.

# Gift/guest authorship – Inclusion of someone who hasn’t contributed to the paper, or who has chosen not to be associated with the research.

# Disputes over the order of the authors and the level of contribution that each has made to the paper.

These issues can overshadow your work, and potentially lead to retractions, so it’s important to agree with authorship prior to submitting your paper.

At the Journal, we subscribe to the authorship principles outlined by the International Council of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). These state that for someone to be considered an author, they must have:

# Made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND

# Drafted the work or revised it critically for important intellectual content; AND

# Given final approval of the version to be published; AND

# Agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

If an individual is solely responsible for obtaining the research grant that funded the research, this does not constitute authorship. If a contributor does not meet all four of the ICMJE criteria, they should be included in the acknowledgements instead.

Any authors listed should be able to identify which co-author wrote which section of the paper and have full confidence in the integrity of their co-author’s work.

If you have any doubts about meeting the above criteria, please discuss these with your co-authors or with your institution’s Research Integrity Officer, prior to submission.

When authorship disputes arise, we always try to help the parties involved reach an agreement. However, as it relates to the research stage, it’s not possible for us or our editors to comment on the level of contribution by each author. Please refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) website for the processes we follow.

If the matter can’t be resolved, we may refer it to the authors’ institutions, or issue an expression of concern.

Latest resources:

Authors requesting withdrawal of articles from similarity check database in order to re-publish (Case)

COPE Forum 4 September 2020: paper mills (Resource)

Author displays bullying behaviour towards handling editor (Case)

View all Authorship and contributorship resources

3. Complaints and Appeals

Journals should have a clearly described process for handling complaints against the journal, its staff, editorial board or publisher

Latest resources:

How to respond to a reader’s repeated concerns (Case)

Case discussion: Possible breach of reviewer confidentiality (News)

Author displays bullying behaviour towards handling editor (Case)

View all Complaints and appeals resources

4. Conflicts of Interest / Competing Interests

There must be clear definitions of conflicts of interest and processes for handling conflicts of interest of authors, reviewers, editors, journals and publishers, whether identified before or after publication

Latest resources:

In the news: March Digest (News)

Deceased author (Case)

Exploring publication ethics in the arts, humanities, and social sciences: A COPE study 2019 (Resource)

View all Conflicts of interest / Competing interests resources

5. Data and reproducibility

Journals should include policies on data availability and encourage the use of reporting guidelines and registration of clinical trials and other study designs according to standard practice in their discipline

Latest resources

Data sharing policies in scholarly publications: interdisciplinary comparisons (Resource)

In the news: May 2020 (News)

In the news: March Digest (News)

View all Data and reproducibility resources

6. Ethical oversight

Ethical oversight should include but is not limited to, policies on consent to publication, publication on vulnerable populations, ethical conduct of research using animals, ethical conduct of research using human subjects, handling confidential data and ethical business/marketing practices

Latest resources:

Case Discussion: Lack of trial registration leads to new concerns about study conduct and ethical review/approval (News)

Case discussion: Low-risk study with no ethics committee approval (News)

Letter from COPE: June 2020 (News)

View all Ethical oversight resources

7. Intellectual property

All policies on intellectual property, including copyright and publishing licenses, should be clearly described. In addition, any costs associated with publishing should be obvious to authors and readers. Policies should be clear on what counts as prepublication that will preclude consideration. What constitutes plagiarism and redundant/overlapping publication should be specified. Please also see our Copyright and Licensing Policy.

Latest resources:

COPE Forum 4 September 2020: paper mills (Resource)

Guest article: Self-plagiarism in philosophy (News)

European Seminar 2019: Text Recycling Research Project (Resource)

View all Intellectual property resources

8. Journal management

A well-described and implemented infrastructure is essential, including the business model, policies, processes and software for the efficient running of an editorially independent journal, as well as the efficient management and training of editorial boards and editorial and publishing staff

Latest resources:

How to respond to a reader’s repeated concerns (Case)

COPE Forum 4 September 2020: paper mills (Resource)

Case Discussion: Lack of trial registration leads to new concerns about study conduct and ethical review/approval (News)

View all Journal management resources

9. Peer Review Processes

All peer review processes must be transparently described and well managed. Journals should provide training for editors and reviewers and have policies on diverse aspects of peer review, especially with respect to the adoption of appropriate models of review and processes for handling conflicts of interest, appeals and disputes that may arise in peer review

Latest resources:

COPE Forum 4 September 2020: paper mills (Resource)

Letter from the COPE Chair: September 2020 (News)

Case discussion: Possible breach of reviewer confidentiality (News)

View all Peer review processes resources

10. Post-publication Discussions and Corrections

Journals must allow debate post-publication either on their site, through letters to the editor, or on an external moderated site, such as PubPeer. They must have mechanisms for correcting, revising or retracting articles after publication

Latest resources:

How to respond to a reader’s repeated concerns (Case)

COPE Forum 4 September 2020: paper mills (Resource)

Case Discussion: Lack of trial registration leads to new concerns about study conduct and ethical review/approval (News)

View all Post-publication discussions and corrections resources

Please Read Carefully our Different Policies on Standard Research Practice. Most of these policies are adopted from the different international organisation such as Publication Ethics .org and other which have already stated in above sections of the document including other places. However, this is important, essential and useful to state here in different sub-headings.

Please read these research practice policies and follow them

Citation Manipulation

Citations and referencing are important when writing any research; however, researchers should be mindful of the following behaviours:

Self-citation

Authors should not indulge in excessive self-citations of their own previously published works. Included citations must be relevant, add value to the article, and should not be included just to increase the citation score of that author.

If discussing methodologies or literature reviews, authors should keep their self-citations to a minimum.

Coercive Citation

During the peer-review process, you may be referred to papers the reviewer believes can further develop and improve your ideas. While there may be legitimate reasons to reference other publications, ‘coercive citation’ is unethical (this is where a reference is included as a condition of acceptance or without academic justification).

We are an advocate of both author freedom and editorial independence. If you feel you have been pressured to include a particular reference in your article, or that an editor is unclear on best ethical practice, please contact editor on email.

‘Citation Pushing’

‘Citation pushing’ is where an author includes superfluous or irrelevant references with the intention of boosting another specific individual’s citation score; this often occurs amongst groups of individuals who aim to boost each other’s citation scores. This kind of behaviour is monitored across all of our publications.

The Journal takes this behaviour very seriously and will act in accordance with the guidelines set out by the Committee on Publication Ethics , including escalation to the author’s institution as appropriate.

Fabricated Data

To fabricate or manipulate data is fundamentally wrong and a breach of research integrity. We may review data or request the original data files. If there is reason to suspect that the data is not plausible, we reserve the right to reject that paper and to notify your institution, as appropriate.

Figure or image manipulation

Image manipulation falls into two categories:

# Inappropriate manipulation: the adjustment of an image or figure, which violates established research guidelines, but does not impact the interpretation of the data shown.

#Fraudulent manipulation: the deliberate adjustment or manipulation of an image or figure to affect the interpretation of the data.

Manipulation may include the addition or removal of elements from a figure or adjustments to image formatting designed to obscure or highlight a particular result.

Images or figures submitted to the Journal journals should be minimally processed. We may screen images and if there is evidence of potential manipulation, editors will request the original data. If intentional manipulation is found, we reserve the right to reject the paper and contact your institution, as per the COPE guidelines.

As all research is conducted prior to the work being submitted to the Journal, it is not possible for us or the editors to adjudicate in all cases. We will try to help the parties involved reach a resolution and will refer the matter to the authors’ institutions, if appropriate. Please refer to the relevant COPE flowcharts for further details on the processes we follow.

Ethics of Human and Animal Experimentation

Established standards and procedures should be followed in the protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research whereby research participants are fully aware of the research and the impact and risk of such research on the research participant and others. Articles conducting any animal or clinical studies should contain a statement following the animal and human ethics committee. Research should be carried out in a manner that animals do not get affected unnecessarily. Registration is required for all clinical trials.

Animals in Research

If your research involves animals, we expect you to follow the 3R principles:

# Replacement of animals in research, wherever possible

# Reduction of animal use, i.e. minimising the number involved

# Refinement: Improving the welfare of any animals you work with.

You will be asked to provide a statement confirming that your study received institutional and national ethical approval and followed all relevant guidelines and regulations. For example, the study should comply with the ARRIVE guidelines and the following, depending on the location of the research:

# UK Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (SI 2012/3039)

# EU Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes

#US Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and, as applicable, the Animal Welfare Act.

Statement of Informed Consent

All individuals have individual rights that are not to be infringed. Individual participants in studies have, for example, the right to decide what happens to the (identifiable) personal data gathered, to what they have said during a study or an interview, as well as to any photograph that was taken.

The manuscripts that include details, images, or videos relating to individual participants, written informed consent for the publication of these must be obtained from the participants (or their parent or legal guardian in the case of children under 16) and a statement to this effect should appear in the manuscript. If the participant has died, then consent for publication must be sought from the next of kin of the participant. Documentation showing consent for publication must be made available to the Editor on request. In cases where images are entirely unidentifiable and there are no details on individuals reported within the manuscript, consent for publication of images may not be required. The final decision on whether consent to publish is required lies with the Editor.

Informed Consent

If your article has a medical focus and there is a human subject involved, you must obtain clearance from your institutional ethics board and confirm recognised standards (for example the Declaration of Helsinki) have been followed to minimise harm to the individuals taking part.

If your article includes an image of someone’s face or anything else that might identify them, you must provide proof of informed consent via a completed consent to publish form.

Conflicts of Interest

Authors, reviewers and editors all have a duty to report possible conflicts of interest. In the case of authors, you should declare anything that may have influenced your research or could influence the review process or the publication of your article. If you are unsure whether it’s a conflict of interest, always check with the editor or publisher ahead of submission.

Possible conflicts of interest include

# A prior relationship between author and editor

# A financial or personal interest in the outcomes of the research

# Undisclosed financial support for the research by an interested third party

# A financial or personal interest in the suppression of the research

# A pending patent

When submitting your work, you should include a note providing the background to any financial support for the research from third parties and highlight any other possible conflict of interest.

If you are concerned the editor or reviewer handling your submission might have a conflict of interest, please let the journal publisher or book commissioning editor at the Journal knows. In all cases, we will follow the COPE guidelines. If we find there is a conflict of interest, the editor or reviewer will no longer be involved with your manuscript.

We have a separate policy for the study about an organisation, called defamation or libel policy.

Defamation/Libel

You are required to obtain written proof of consent for studies about named organisations or people before you submit your work.

If inaccurate, unsubstantiated or emotive statements are made about organisations or people in a submission, we may ask you to change the text or reject the work prior to publication.

Critiques and reviews of products and services are acceptable, but comments must be constructive and not malicious. If statements made in work published by the Journal are found to be defamatory, a retraction notice will be published. In some cases, and when legally required, the paper will be withdrawn from the online version of the journal or book.

We advise all authors of case studies to inform the subject (person or organisation) and to seek their consent. If we think the study is potentially libellous or contains sensitive information, we will require written proof of consent before placing the paper in the production process.

Ethics for Editor/Editorial Members

Please find this in detail in our editorial policy section on the website.

Handling Allegations of Plagiarism

A plagiarism allegation can have a serious negative effect on a researcher’s career. If we are approached by a third party with an allegation of plagiarism, we always seek a response from the original author(s) or copyright holder(s) before we decide on a course of action. We remain unbiased and will not be influenced by other parties. All allegations will be handled in accordance with the COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) guidelines.

We are not obliged to discuss individual cases of alleged plagiarism with third parties. And, we reserve the right not to proceed with a case if the complainant presents a false name or affiliation or acts in an inappropriate or threatening manner towards the Journal editors and staff.

If you are concerned about plagiarism or want to know more about our approach to handling allegations of misconduct, please get in touch with the editor.

Grievance Procedure

If your article is rejected and you have a grievance, or you have concerns about the way your paper has been handled, follow our complaints procedure.

You must submit your grievance in writing to the editor of the journal.

The journal editorial team will consider your grievance.

We will acknowledge your grievance within 10 days of receipt and aim to resolve it within 30 days.

The decision will be in writing and will be final.

Our promise on Ethics

Whenever a research or publishing ethics issue arises, we promise to:

Act professionally and efficiently.

Be fair and objective.

Always approach the accused party to establish their position before making a decision or committing to a course of action.

Ensure that we provide sufficient time for all parties to respond.

Keep all parties informed of decisions, including the copyright owners, editors and authors.

As members of the Committee on Publication Ethics, follow the processes highlighted in the flowcharts presented by COPE.

Protect authors’ moral rights (to be acknowledged as the author and not to be misrepresented) and to ensure the correct record of the literature.

We reserve the right to withdraw and rescind any acceptance should a case of ethical misconduct be discovered prior to publication.

It will not be possible to please all parties in every case. Following a fair and considered process, the final decision in any disputed case will rest with the editor and the Journal.

Complain Policy Regarding Ethical Violation

If anyone fined that the ethics were violated in the process of publication either from the contributor or publisher side then they are free to complain about the ethical violations. We are serious about the ethical violations. The complaints will be seen by the Internal Ethical Committee.

The complainant issue is investigated and acted upon. Final decisions are conveyed to the complainant.

Our Journal Holds Awareness of the Following Complaints:

Authorship complaints

Plagiarism

Duplicate, multiple, concurrent publication

Misappropriation of Research results

Allegations of research errors and fraud

Violations of Research standards

Undisclosed conflicts of interest

Reviewer bias or acts of harm out of the competition by reviewers

Guiding principles

Making a Complaint

Please address your query in a detailed manner to the editor.

Document ID: UJS/2108/EthicsPolicesAndStandardProcedure

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