Publication Ethics

  1. QU Press’s Commitment to Research Excellence:

    In line with its commitment to support Qatar University’s “Research Pillars and Priorities” and the “United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals” through the publishing of impactful research studies that adhere to universal research ethics and standards, in line with Qatar University’s “Research Ethics and Integrity”; QU Press’s mission is to support QU’s vibrant research culture through the promulgation of rigorous ethical guidelines on all stakeholders including editors, authors and reviewers as detailed below.

    In order to do so, QU Press extensively works with IRL editors to draft policies and processes that support the abovementioned mission that are in line with the core principles and practices of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), as enlisted below.  

  2. IRL’s Commitment to Research Ethics:

    IRL is committed to maintaining the highest ethical standards throughout all editorial processes, from initial review to acceptance and publishing, in order to guarantee research integrity, value and impact of its publications.

    Subsequently, IRL and QU Press developed detailed policies and processes in line with international standards, in both English and Arabic languages, for all involved stakeholders in the publishing process starting with authors, reviewers and editors.

    By promoting and producing impactful legal research, IRL aspires to be the national and regional leader of legal research excellence to promote justice, and sustainable social and economic growth.

  3. Commitment to Common Higher Research and Corporate Values:

    Both IRL and QU Press are committed to the attainment of the below-shown research and corporate values that motivate all stakeholders, starting with authors, editors and peer-reviewers to attain a common purpose of research excellence:

    1. Innovation and creativity through filling important topical research gaps that affect the largest number of persons, while avoiding descriptive and redundant research.
    2. Practicality and applicability of research objectives hypotheses and outcomes.
    3. Objectivity and impartiality of the comprehensive research process.
    4. Study of the influencing cultural, historical and socio-economic contexts.
    5. Building on strong and obvious correlations for the proposed hypotheses and new theories.
    6. Accepting and declaring limitations in order to determine gaps and future studies orientations.
    7. Guaranteeing research ethics institutional and individual approvals.
    8. Cautiousness and warning of risks and their impact on research hypotheses and results.
    9. Research validation and improvement through testing and review.
    10. Application of human rights and international law principles.
    11. Encouraging the principle of peace, cooperation and partnerships.
    12. Freedom of expression.
    13. Equity and justice for all.
    14. Sustainable social and economic growth as the highest aim.
    15. Knowledge promotion.
  4. Violation of Research Ethics:

    IRL and QU Press are committed to monitor the occurrence of the below ethical violations from any stakeholder involved in the publishing process including authors, reviewers and editor in order to eliminate their happening – as much as possible - and take the necessary actions to prevent them. This includes:

    1. Plagiarism

      Prevention of plagiarism is essential as it provides scientific and academic integrity. All submissions to IRL journal are screened for plagiarism and similarities through iThenticate software. Plagiarism is not only detected and proven by plagiarism software, however, it is also related to the misuse of published articles, or the re-use of the work and/or words of others, without permission or without appropriately citing or quoting the work. Plagiarism takes several forms such as self-plagiarism where the author re-uses his own publications unethically or translation related plagiarism where the author uses foreign language research in his own study without permission or quotation.

      In order to prevent this matter, IRL authors sign an “Author Declaration Form” at the initial submission stage. In case of plagiarism, misuse of published articles, and/or illegal distribution of research papers, IRL is very proactive in the necessary actions it takes as to prevent such unethical action.

    2. Multiple or segmented publishing:

      Often associated with redundant publication, the segmenting of a large study into two or more publications or the paraphrasing of a somewhat similar study for the same author are unacceptable practices and can have serious negative consequences for the integrity of the scientific publication.

    3. Failure to acknowledge sources:

      Includes all forms of plagiarism intentionally or unintentionally omitting to cite sources. Any statement, observation, or argument that have been previously published by the author or other works should be accompanied by the relevant citation.

    4. Failure to enlist authors appropriately:

      It is about omitting the contribution of specific authors or adding other authors’ names inappropriately for any undisclosed conflict of interests or other personal gains. This includes ghostwriting where the identity of an author is hidden, honorary author through the mentioning of a highly regarded author to gain impact, gift or coercive authorship because of institutional or other form of power.

      Failure to enlist the authors is the proper order is also included as well as the use of pseudonyms which is the use of a false name for the purposes of concealment of Author’s identity.

    5. Failure to ensure research and institutional approvals:

      Failure to ensure appropriate institutional and ethical subject approvals imposed by professional bodies or research funders. This also includes breaches of duty care and confidentiality for human subjects including failure to take prior consent, or provide information and consent to exposure to risks and dangers or safeguard against them whether physical, emotional, intellectual, or reputational of participants.

    6. Falsification of facts or data:

      Alteration of primary or secondary or any other data through addition, omission, or distortion intended to tailor for personal research aims or to deceptively promote or devalue or otherwise mislead others’ work.

    7. Biases in all its forms:

      Explicit or implicit sympathy or antipathy toward a specific school of thought that results in the distortion or unfair representation of scientific or intellectual rigor that respond to ideological, political or other personal tendencies.

    8. Offensive language use:

      Malicious use of logical fallacies or inflammatory language practice such as use of hateful, extremist or intimidating language intended to attract readers or offense for the credibility, or reputation of others work.

    9. Discrimination:

      Preferential treatment toward any individual or group based on their race, gender, age, marital or parental status, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors

    10. Undisclosed errors or acknowledgments:

      Failure to report research errors discovered after or before publication to the publisher and/or editor shall lead to a correction or retraction, according to the nature of the complaint and case.

  5. Compliance to Ethical Standards by all Stakeholders:
    1. IRL’s Editors Compliance:

      - Guarantee the scholarly quality of IRL’s publications. This includes the evaluation and identification of articles that are suitable for review, external peer review, and publishing in the journal.

      - Complete the review process based on the scientific and intellectual content objectively and without any discrimination.

      - Take appropriate action against plagiarism, libel, and copyright and intellectual rights infringement.

      - Allocate specialized peer reviewers that are objective, unbiased and do not hold any competing interests.

      - Make unbiased editorial decisions, to ensure an objective and fair peer review process.

      - Maintain the confidentiality of research ideas and information during the evaluation and peer review process, and not use them for personal benefit.

      - Refrain from evaluating research that presents any conflict of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or (possibly) institutions connected to the papers.

      - Ensure that authors perform the necessary revisions that are recommended by the reviewers.

      - Maintain the scientific integrity of the published articles by making the necessary corrections or rejecting and withdrawing the article when needed, and investigating when suspected of poor research integrity.

      - Take appropriate measures when complaints related to publishing ethics are submitted regarding a published article. Such measures will generally include contacting the author of the research paper and giving due consideration to the respective complaint or claims made, and may also include communications to the relevant institutions and research bodies, and if the complaint is upheld, the publication of a correction, retraction, expression of concern, or other note, as may be relevant.

    2. Reviewers Compliance :

      IRL reviewers should follow IRL’s peer review process mentioned on the journal’s website and comply with the following ethical considerations:

      - 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 himself from the review process.

      - Research information or ideas obtained through peer-review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. They must not be shown to, or discussed with others except as authorized by the editor.

      - Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.

      - Reviewers should advise on relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. 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.

      - Reviewers should not accept the invitation to review a research paper 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.

    3. Authors Compliance:

      IRL authors should carefully read IRL’s authorship policy mentioned on the journal’s website.

      Authors may be asked to provide the raw data in connection with a paper for editorial review, and should in any event retain such data for a reasonable time after publication. Authors should get necessary ethical approvals from involved institutions and individuals in the research.

      Authors automatically commit to the requirement that the work has been conducted in an ethical and responsible manner and that it complies with all mentioned standards once they submit their research for publishing with IRL.

    4. QU Press Compliance:

      QU Press being the umbrella for the promotion of rigorous scholarly work and research dissemination at Qatar University through the publishing of its academic journals, QU Press works closely with IRL editors to:

      - Draft, review and mandate all editorial and publishing policies and processes to be in line with international standards, required by leading indexing and ranking agencies.

      - Oversee the editorial quality of the published material in IRL and advise on any required improvements on this matter.

      - Streamline the editorial and production processes.

      - Handle the production and publication of IRL’s content electronically and in print.

      - Disseminate IRL’s scholarly work to the widest academic audience possible.

      - Help IRL in investigating on any allegation or complaints on published papers to issue corrections or retractions.

      - Collaborating with IRL in formulating objectives and plans for continuous improvement, further indexing and impact.

      - Develop a sustainable not-for-profit continuous improvement plan for spreading knowledge.