Malpractice and Ethics Statement

  • The Position of IRL on Publishing Ethics

    IRL is committed to maintaining the highest ethical standards for all parties involved in the process of publishing in a peer reviewed journal, namely: the author, the editor of the journal, the peer reviewer and the publisher.

    The publishing ethics of IRL, both internal and external, are based on and adhere to the below mentioned codes and guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

    By submitting an article to IRL, author(s) are aware of and agree to comply with the above-mentioned Publication Ethics stated by (COPE).

  • Editor Responsibilities

    Accountability: The editors of IRL are accountable and responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the journal should be published. The editor shall be guided by the journal’s editorial board policies and constrained by such legal requirements and shall then take appropriate action regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. The editor may confer with other editors or reviewers in making this decision.

    Impartiality: The reviewing process and publication decision will be taken without regard to race, gender, religious beliefs, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors.

    Confidentiality: The editor(s) and any editorial staff will not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher, as appropriate.

    Fair play: Editors should ensure the integrity of the publication review process. As such, editors should not reveal either the identity of authors of manuscripts to the reviewers, or the identity of reviewers to authors.

    Disclosure and conflicts of interest: Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript will not be used in an editor’s own research without the express written consent of the author.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 will be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. Editors make fair and unbiased decisions, independent of commercial considerations, and ensure a fair and appropriate peer review process. Editors shall 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 will require all contributors to disclose relevant competing interests and publish corrections if competing interests are revealed after publication. If needed, other appropriate action will be taken, such as the publication of a retraction or expression of concern.

    Involvement and cooperation in investigations: Editors of IRL will guard the integrity of the published record by issuing corrections and retractions when needed and pursuing suspected or alleged research and publication misconduct. Editors should pursue reviewer and editorial misconduct. An 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 to the respective complaint or claims made, but may also include further 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. Every reported act of unethical publishing behavior must be looked into, even if it is discovered years after publication.

  • Plagiarism Detection

    Prevention of plagiarism is essential as it provides scientific and academic integrity. Hence, IRL uses the iThenticate Plagiarism Detection Software for checking plagiarism.

    In case of plagiarism, misuse of published articles, and/or illegal distribution of research papers is proven, the journal immediately takes the necessary actions as to control and prevent any unethical action.

  • Reviewers Responsibilities

    Contribution of Editorial Decisions: The peer review process assists the editor in making editorial decisions; it may also assist the author in improving the paper through the editorial communications and feedback given to the author.

    Promptness: 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.

    Confidentiality: 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: 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.

  • Editorial Board’s Responsibilities

    IRL’s Editorial Board members oversee the peer-review process for the journal, including evaluating submissions, selecting reviewers and assessing their comments, and making editorial decisions. Together with Advisory Editorial Board Members, they are involved in the development of journal policies and ethics standards and work to promote the IRL mission to provide resources, support and advice for early stage researchers in their journey from writing to publishing their scientific papers while at the same time making free public access to scientific research.

  • Author Responsibilities

    Reporting standards: Authors should present their results clearly, honestly, and without fabrication, and inappropriate data manipulation. Authors should describe their methods clearly and unambiguously so that others can confirm their findings.

    Originality and plagiarism: Authors should sign an “Author Declaration Form” and adhere to publication requirements that the submitted work is original, is not plagiarized, and has not been published elsewhere. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable. If the authors have used the work and/or words of others, that this has been appropriately cited or quoted and accurately reflects individuals’ contributions to the work and its reporting. IRL reserves the right to reject papers the editors believe have been plagiarized from other sources, including the author’s own previous publications. In case of plagiarism, misuse of published articles, and/or illegal distribution of research papers, IRL is very proactive in the legal actions it takes so as to prevent such unethical action.

    Data Access and Retention: Authors may be asked to provide the raw data in connection with a paper for editorial review, and should in any event be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable time after publication.

    Ethics: Authors should only submit papers of work that has been conducted in an ethical and responsible manner and that complies with all relevant legislation. Authors should get necessary ethical approvals from involved institutions and individuals in the research.

    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.

    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 disqualifying 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.

    Multiple, Redundant or Concurrent Publications: An author should not generally 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.

    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.

  • Publisher’s Responsibilities

    The College of Law, Qatar University, as the managing entity of IRL and Qatar University Press (QU Press) as the Publisher, require the editors to follow the COPE Code of Conduct for the Editors. QU Press provides reasonable practical support to editors so that they can follow the COPE Code of Conduct for Journals. QU Press defines the relationship between the publisher, editor and other parties in a contract, respects privacy (for example, for research participants, for authors, for peer-reviewers), protects intellectual property and copyright, and fosters editorial independence.

    The publisher works with journal editors to set journal policies appropriately and aims to meet such objectives, particularly with respect to:

    • Editorial independence.
    • Research ethics, including confidentiality, consent, and the special requirements for human and animal research.
    • Authorship.
    • Transparency and integrity (for example, conflicts of interest, research funding, reporting standards.
    • Peer-review and the role of editorial team beyond that of the journal editor.
    • Appeals and complaints.

    Publisher works with journal editors to:

    • Communicate journal policies (for example, to authors, readers, peer reviewers).
    • Review journal policies periodically, particularly with respect to new recommendations from the COPE Code of Conduct for Editors and the COPE Best Practice Guidelines.
    • Maintain the integrity of the academic record.
    • Assist the parties (for example, institutions, grant funders, governing bodies) responsible for the investigation of suspected research and publication misconduct and, where possible, facilitate in the resolution of these cases.
    • Publish corrections, clarifications, and retractions.
    • Publish content on a timely basis.