Guidelines

For authors
1. Submission guidelines
2. Authorship Disputes Guidelines
For Editors/Reviewers
3. Guidelines for Editors
4. Guidelines for Peer Reviewers
For Publishers
5. Guidelines for Board of Directors
6. Guidelines for Good Publishing Practices
7. Guidelines for Retracting
8. Guidelines for Publishing
9. Guidelines for supsected Plagarism

Guidelines for Editors

At the SRPI, when reviewing manuscripts, editors will follow the below guidelines, based on the COPE guidelines to editors.

  • The study must be scientifically valid, and presented with clarity. For instance, measures such as the sample size and results must be sufficiently explained, and biases avoided
  • The study must contribute to existing literature to make acceptance and publication a possibility
  • The study must show evidence of ethical harms being avoided. This means avoiding practices such as coercion, exploitation, and protecting the confidentiality of participants
  • The study must follow all local laws and regulations. In case of doubts, the editors may request formal letters by respective ethical associations

Guidelines for Authorship Disputes

The SRPI aims to create a set of rules to avoid disputes relating to matters of authorship. This is planned in order to reduce unethical behaviour within the sphere of research, and offer appropriate solutions for when situations that raise disputes arise.

In order to define the term authorship, the following JBPP definition has been chosen to provide an appropriate definition.


The JBPP recommends that an author should meet all four of the following criteria:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work;
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content;
  • Final approval of the version to be published;
  • Agreement 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.”

The criteria for authorship must be met, which involves three pointers:

  • Substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data
  • Drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content and final approval of the version to be published

Guidelines to prevent co-authorship disputes:

  • Clear communication: The editing team of the SRPI will ensure authors are aware of the acceptable actions for authorship, based on the previously outlined Publication Ethics policy.
  • Acknowledgement:  During the manuscript preparation process, all persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed.
  • Compliance: The author, or group of authors must comply with the aforementioned criteria for authors listing. Any personnel detached from the study design and manuscript preparation process must not be included in the authors.

Any unusual pattern of behaviors will be intercepted with appropriate protocol

Guidelines for Board of Directors

The SRPI aims to become an indispensable part of the literature in the research and innovation community within Pakistan and intends to build a board of directors that is ethically solid and of the highest quality. The SRPI aims to follow all COPE guidelines on Board of Directors, as listed below. To begin with, the relationship of the Journal of Business Policy & Practice (JBPP) with the Editor will be governed by this document. Among the directors and the editors, it must be understood that the economic and political realities of respective journals would dictate the decisions relating to the choice of articles to be published, based on quality and suitability for readers. Short-term financial, political or otherwise material gain must not be prioritized.

Moreover, any employees should not be able to overrule any of these publication decisions. All journal-related decisions of the editors of the journals must be solely based on the principles of editorial independence. In addition to this, membership of the board of directors must include members who are not part of the society, in order to include a perspective of independence. Finally, all members must, in the beginning, declare conflicts of interest in order to avoid problems later on in the editorial process. The board of directors must resolve any issues raised as per the conflict of interest policy. Conflicts of interest may include any relevant financial (e.g. patent ownership, stock ownership, consultancies), publishing, (e.g. relationships with competing journals e.g. employment), political, personal, intellectual or religious interests. Finally, the board of directors is required to maintain complete confidentiality and not divulge any information of any kind about the journal to third parties.

Guidelines For Peer Reviewers

Policies to be adhered to for peer reviews conducted within the SRPI and BSSTP:

Policies to be adhered to for peer reviews conducted within the SRPI and JBPP: Professional responsibility: Authors who wish to join the SPRI in the capacity of a peer reviewing professional are invited to contact jbpp@thesrpi.org. The formal process and appointment to the panel will be processed within 14 working days. The SPRI Editors will match the reviewers with the required scope of the manuscript, and prospective reviewers must apply within their fields of expertise. Reviewers must provide information that is verifiable and accurate, while noting that impersonating another individual is a serious offence under COPE Case 12-12.

Competing interests: In order to be eligible for the board of reviewers, potential applicants must, without fail, declare all competing interests they may have relevant to the scope of the project. This includes the need to declare any past association with any stakeholder organizations or individuals involved in the creation of the manuscript. This includes associations as employee, mentee, author or collaborators. This is in order to ensure the review process is free from bias motivated by personal, professional, intellectual or financial reasons. Finally, it must be clear that it is impermissible for any potential reviewer to agree to a task in order to gain sight of the manuscript, or agree to review a sample that closely resembles a personal project being developed by the applicant.

Timeliness: It is expected of reviewers to be mindful of the time taken to respond to a request for review. Even if the reviewer is unable to commit, they must inform the requesting party of their intent within a reasonable time-frame. In addition to this, they must inform all involved parties of any changes in circumstances that might delay their planned contribution. If a reviewer is unable to complete the task, they may consider passing forward helpful suggestions of any suitable candidates.

Initial Steps: All material supporting the manuscript and the manuscript itself must be read and analyzed thoroughly before the review process is begun. This is so the scope of the review process can be ascertained at an appropriate time, and misunderstandings avoided. It is not appropriate practice to contact manuscript authors directly; any questions must be directed towards the journal at the following email address [x email address]

Confidentiality: The contents of any manuscript undergoing review must never be disclosed, adapted, or used for the sake of trust and transparency within the community. In addition to this, the contents may not be shared with any junior researchers without the express permission of the authors, obtained via the appropriate channel of the journal. Where permission is granted, the junior researchers must be appropriately credited in order to receive due recognition for their efforts.

Language and style: It is critical to remember that no paper must be re-written to suit the reviewer’s personal style; however, suggestions to improve clarity are extremely important, and must be worded in a considerate manner. Another element to be kept in mind is that a large majority of manuscripts are authored by non-English speaking authors, where English is not their first language.

Suggestions for further work: The aim of the review process is to strengthen the manuscript in question and ensure analysis is of sound quality and covers all essential areas. Any missing elements must be pointed out with clarity and consideration, and

Accountability: It is considered the best practice to never unnecessarily delay the review process through asking for unnecessary information or withholding comments. It must be borne in mind that any comments made must be based on valid academic or technological reasons, rather than unjustified or unnecessarily negative comments. It is also considered unethical to suggest one’s own works as possible citations, merely to increase the visibility of work.

The original reviewer’s identity must always be disclosed, and no review activity must be carried out anonymously.

Guidelines for Good Publishing Practice

Study design and ethical approval:  Research must be well-planned, ethical, and of sound design, to avoid misconduct. The following action items must be borne in mind:

  • All studies must follow protocol and have a written rationale
  • Research must have the objective to answer specific questions rather than merely collect data
  • Agreement on matters of authorship must be reached earlier on in the process, to avoid inconvenience at later stages

Data analysis: Data must always be appropriately analysed, and fabrication and falsification must be refrained from in all circumstances

  • All sources of data must be fully disclosed, and methods of analysis explained in detail
  • Not component of analysis must remain undisclosed, especially in studies involving people or anonymised records
  • Any issues of bias must be acknowledged in the discussion section of the paper. An explanation of how bias has been countered must also be included

Authorship: All sections of the study must be the responsibility of a certain author, and these roles must be extremely clear.

  • If it is proving difficult to ascertain whether any task of the research process can be allocated to an individual, the individual in question should not be credited in the authorship section
  • Authorship must be decided early on in the research study process
  • All authors listed must be prepared to take public responsibility for their work
  • The separate journal policies on authorship must be referred to and understood

Conflict of interest: These involve any association or links of authors with certain stakeholders that may influence the judgement and recommendations within their manuscripts

  • All editors and authors must declare any potential associations that may cause the readership to form a different opinion, if undisclosed. These associations include but are not limited to employment, partnership, collaboration or funding.

Peer review: The external group of individuals tasked with reviewing submitted manuscripts, i.e. peer reviewers, will only be selected at the discretion of the Editors. Peer-reviewers must not

  • Retain a copy of the manuscript
  • Use or adapt the findings of the manuscript
  • Share the manuscript with unauthorized personnel

Plagiarism: Any and all sources used in all stages of preparing the manuscript must always be disclosed in all cases.

Guidelines for Retracting

The practice of retraction is aimed at ensuring the integrity and accuracy of literature is maintained. Retraction is carried out in select circumstances when serious flaws are detected within published material after it has been published, or when instances of redundant publication (publication in multiple channels) is reported.

This document underlines the guidelines that SRPI will follow based on the guidelines by COPE. In case of breaches, SRPI can either

1. retract a publication,

2. issue an expression of concern, or

3. issue a correction

The following section determines the appropriate circumstances for each of the above decisions.

Retraction

  1. Evidence emerges of unreliable findings; either as a result of misconduct or honest error
  2. The findings have been published elsewhere without proper cross-referencing, permission or justification
  3. Plagiarism is detected
  4. Unethical research is reported

Expression of concern:

  1. Evidence of author misconduct is received
  2. If the authors’ institution does not investigate a case, despite there being evidence of findings being unreliable
  3. If the authors’ institutions believe an investigation into misconduct allegations would not be fair, impartial or conclusive
  4. An investigation is being carried out, but the timeframe of the final judgement is unclear

Correction:

  1. A publication is otherwise reliable, but a small proportion has proven to be misleading (due to honest error)
  2. The author/contributor list is inaccurate

However, retractions would not be carried out if a change of authorship is required, but the findings remain reliable and unchanged.

Guidelines for Publishers

The SRPI will follow the below guidelines for publishers, based on guidelines by COPE, through:

  1. 1.Defining the relationship between all involved parties in a contract
  2. 2.Respecting the privacy for research participants, authors and peer-reviewers
  3. 3.Protecting the intellectual property and copyright
  4. 4.Working to ensure editorial independence is fostered within journals
  5. 5.Working with editors to create policies for editorial independence, and deal with appeals and complaints with transparency and integrity
  6. 6.Communicating journal policies appropriately
  7. 7.Publishing content on a timely basis
  8. 8.Maintaining the integrity of the academic record
  9. 9.Assist the parties responsible for the investigation of any instances of alleged misconduct
  10. 10.Exhibit transparency in publishing retractions, corrections and clarifications

Guidelines for Suspected Plagiarism

The SRPI will follow the COPE guidelines on suspected plagiarism as follows:

Upon being informed of suspected plagiarism within a manuscript, SRPI will first and foremost, investigate in its own capacity, the degree of copying involved.

  1. In case of minor instances of plagiarism, the author will be notified of the evidence, and the importance of producing re-iterated in neutral terms. The author will be notified of making the required changes. However, the review will proceed as usual after this.
  2. If any instances of clear plagiarism are uncovered, the authors will be issued a written notice, with the original letter of authorship that states the submitted work must be of original quality, along with the evidence of plagiarism.
  3. If the author responds to this notice, with either an admission of guilt or honest error, the review must be rejected, and expectations for future behaviour made clear. In addition to this, it may be considered that the author’s superiors are notified.
  4. If the author does not respond to this notice, then the author’s respective institution must be notified, and a request to be connected to the author’s superior lodged. This process must be repeated every 3 – 6 months until a response is returned. If not, then relevant authorities as per the author’s geographical location will be contacted.
  5. The result of all scenarios must be communicated to the original reviewer as soon as it is known.