General approach to ethics
All research activities must respect fundamental ethics principles, including those reflected in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union1. These principles include the need to ensure the freedom of research and the need to protect the physical and moral integrity of individuals and the welfare of animals.
Ethics is an integral part of research from beginning to end, and ethical compliance is seen as pivotal to achieve real research excellence. There is a clear need to make a thorough ethical evaluation from the conceptual stage of the publication not only to respect the legal framework but also to enhance the quality of the research. Ethical research conduct implies the application of fundamental ethical principles and legislation to scientific research in all possible domains of research.
Publisher the journal follows the recommendations and core practices of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE, https://publicationethics.org/core-practices) regarding ethical policies and dealing with misconduct. Misconduct includes falsifying data, plagiarizing others' works, and breach of confidentiality. Each case will be considered by the publisher and Editors-in-Chief, and in all cases the author (or reviewer) will be contacted directly. However, the publisher reserves the right to speak directly to the author's or reviewer's institution or other appropriate organization if severe misconduct is suspected.
Note that if misconduct is suspected during the review process the manuscript will be held until any concerns have been resolved. If misconduct is confirmed during the review process the manuscript will be immediately rejected. If misconduct is proved after publication then the article will be retracted.
INSIGHTS INTO REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT (IRD) is committed to upholding the highest standards of publication ethics and takes all possible measures against publication malpractice. Authors who submit papers to IRD attest that their work is original and unpublished, and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. In addition, authors confirm that their paper is their own; that it has not been copied or plagiarized, in whole or in part, from other works; and that they have disclosed actual or potential conflicts of interest with their work or partial benefits associated with it.
Human Subjects Protection Statement
This statement is intended to provide information and guidance regarding survey methods and the human participant protections review process. The goal is to provide guidelines, acknowledging the importance of protecting survey participants while maintaining the integrity of the survey research process. This information is provided with the aim to help investigators better understand how these processes apply to survey research. It deals with such issues as survey participation and risk, anonymity and confidentiality, benefits of surveys, and issues of informed consent. This statement is prepared as an aid to the authors you in their deliberations about whether appropriate consideration has been given to the protection of human research participants when a study involving survey interviews or questionnaires is proposed. It is intended to address a wide range of situations. Key summary points are presented below.
Participation in surveys rarely puts respondents at more than the minimal risks of everyday of life. Most surveys offer benefits to advancing knowledge and to society broadly. The survey is the only method capable of providing generalizable information on a variety of aspects of the human condition. Survey data are essential to advancing our understanding of social, psychological, and political processes, and evaluation and improvement of public policy. Documentation of consent is often not feasible in a survey and may be potentially damaging to participation. However, in virtually all survey-based studies, the key elements of consent can be provided to respondents in a concise way at the beginning of a survey in the brief introductory statements of a telephone interview, in a cover letter for a self-administered survey or in the introductory screen in a web survey. This is true regardless of level of risk, and is consistent with the contemporary view of consent as an ongoing process rather than a document.
DUTIES OF EDITORS
Decision on the Publication of Articles
The Editors-in-Chief of IRD are responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the journal should be published. The Editors-in-Chief may be guided by the policies of the journal's editorial board and subjected to such legal requirements regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. Decision making Editor-in-Chief may confer with other editors or reviewers in making this decision.
Review of Manuscripts
Peer review methodology
IRD journal uses external experts to help evaluate articles and assist the editors to make a decision.
When articles are submitted they will be checked and any that appear out of scope of the journal, or otherwise unsuitable for consideration, will be rejected immediately.
All other original research articles will be sent out for review. Reviewers are selected based on their experience of the subject matter of the article. They may be selected from the Editorial Board of the journal as well as from elsewhere. The journal editorial offices and editors will identify suitable experts and invite them to review. IRD welcome suggestions from authors, but reserve the right to select their own reviewers. Equally, if authors have a good reason to request that a particular person should be excluded from review (e.g. because they are working in a competing laboratory), then they may say this when they submit the article. However, the editors' judgement of reviewer is final.
The journals operate a single-blind method of peer review. This means that the authors' names are disclosed to the reviewer, but the reviewer names are not disclosed to the authors. If the authors have a specific reason why their name should be blinded from the reviewers they may request this on submission.
Invitations are sent to reviewers and the articles are only sent to them when they agree to review. The reviewing operation is managed through the submission button. Reviewers are given between 2-3 weeks to return their review (some journals set their own time limit), and reminders are sent. However the journal cannot guarantee a time to decision since reviewers may be late, or there may be problems in finding the right reviewer. In all cases the journal editorial office will endeavor to manage the process as speedily as possible.
When the editors have received at least 2 reviews they will make a decision.
Ethical peer review – guideline for reviewers
Publisher complies with the Committee on Publication Ethics Guidelines for Peer Reviewers (https://publicationethics.org/files/Ethical_Guidelines_For_Peer_Reviewers_2.pdf) which provides a comprehensive guide to the ethics of peer review.
Each submission is checked for suitability when received by the editorial office, and may be rejected without review if it is outside the scope of the journal, is obviously of insufficient quality, or is missing important sections.
The journal invites external experts (not only Editorial Board members) to review each article that is considered suitable for consideration. The publication decision is made by the Editor-in-Chief after receiving at least two external reviewer reports with recommendations.
Authors are encouraged to suggest suitable reviewers, but the Editor-in-Chief and the editorial office reserves the right to select different reviewers. The reason for asking authors to suggest reviewers is that they are best placed to know who is an expert in the field. In addition, the suggested reviewers may be suitable for other articles on the same topic. Therefore, obtaining these names can help the editorial office to ensure that it is approaching suitable people to review all articles.
The journal uses single-blind peer review, which means that, by default, author names are revealed to reviewers but reviewer names are withheld from the authors. Authors can request to "blind" their names.
On receipt of at least two reviews, the Editor-in-Chief will make a decision of (1) accept, (2) minor revision, (3) major revision, or (4) reject. The reasons for the decision will be communicated to the authors.
When the decision of minor/major revision is made, and the authors do not revise their articles satisfactorily after receiving reviewer reports, then the Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to reject the article. When revised articles are received they will either be sent out for further review or the Editor-in-Chief will make a decision depending on the level of revision requested.
The time to review and make a decision is extremely variable since it is sometimes difficult to find suitable reviewers, and there may be delays in receiving reviewer reports. The Editor-in-Chief and editorial office make all efforts to minimize the time from submission to first decision. The journal aims to make a first decision (after review) within 40–60 days, but cannot guarantee this.
Note that articles that do not report original research (e.g. letters to the editor, editorials) are not externally reviewed and the Editor-in-Chief makes the decision to publish
Disclosure and conflicts of interest
A Conflict of Interest is defined as a situation where personal relationships (e.g. friend, colleague or family), business relationships (e.g. working in a competing company), or financial influences (e.g. funding) will affect the judgement of any person during the publication of the journal.
Authors are required to declare (within the article and to the Editor-in-Chief) any Conflict of Interest (COI) that may have affected their research (e.g. funding) or decision to submit to the journal.
Reviewers are required to declare if they have any Conflict of Interest (COI) that may affect their judgement of any article they review. The COI may not prevent them reviewing the article, but must be declared to the Editor-in-Chief as soon as it is known.
Editors are excluded from any publishing decision in which they may have a Conflict of Interest (COI). For example, if an article by a colleague of the Editor-in-Chief is submitted to the journal, the peer review and all editorial decisions will managed by another editor.
Manuscripts shall be evaluated solely on their intellectual merit without regard to authors’ race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy.
The Editors in Chief/editors 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.
DUTIES OF REVIEWERS
In case, any reviewer feels that it is not possible for him/her to complete review of manuscript within stipulated time then the same must be communicated to the editor, so that the same could be sent to any other reviewer.
Information regarding manuscripts submitted by authors should be kept confidential and be treated as privileged information.
Standards of Objectivity
Reviews should be conducted objectively. There shall be no personal criticism of the author. Reviewers 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 had been previously reported elsewhere should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also call to the Editor in Chief's attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.
What reviewers are asked to do
Reviewers are asked to provide their ORCHID ID and register with Publons (see the review form provided below).
Reviewers are asked to evaluate the articles for the following:
Reviewers are asked to always be polite and constructive in their report, and never to be abusive or to make unjustified criticisms of the work.
DUTIES OF AUTHORS
Authors of reports of original research 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.
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, if practicable, and should in any event be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable time after publication.
Originality and Plagiarism
Authors should ensure that they have written entirely original works, and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others this must be appropriately cited or quoted.
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 and is unacceptable.
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.
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.
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.
This procedure applies to complaints of any stakeholders of the journal, to be it authors or readers. We believe that complaints provide an opportunity for improvement.
If the journal receives a complaint, this complaint is investigated. International editorial board will make every endeavor to put matters right as soon as possible in the most appropriate way, offering right of reply where necessary. As far as possible, we will investigate complaints in a blame-free manner, looking to see how systems can be improved to prevent mistakes occurring.
E-mail for complaints: firstname.lastname@example.org