Guidelines for Editors

NOTE: These guidelines are retrieved from the Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan manual for “Ethical Guidelines for Journals”, prepared by Dr. Rukhsana Kausar, Director of the Institute of Applied and Clinical Psychology, University of the Punjab, Lahore.

Journal of Religious and Social Studies-JRSS follows the HEC Guidelines in true letter and spirit, and the following ethical guidelines are obligatory for our team, as per HEC requirements. The Editorial Team of JRSS is responsible for:

  • Establishing and maintaining the quality of the journal by publishing quality papers in his/her
  • Promotion of freedom of expression within the cultural, constitutional/legal framework,
  • Providing integrity and credibility of the research contributions,
  • Meeting the needs of authors and readers,
  • Maintaining ethical standards of their journal,
  • Providing corrigendum for any correction, clarification, and apologies where

Good practices for their job would include

  • Encourage new ideas and suggestions from authors, peer reviewers, members of the editorial board, and readers for improving the quality of/her journal,
  • Apply the process of blind peer review in true letter and spirit,
  • Promote innovative findings in the respective fields and publish them on priority,
  • Promote anti-plagiarism policy,
  • Educate contributors (authors) about ethical practices in research, and
  • Implement the journal’s policy without institutional pressure and revise the policy from time to

Fair play and Impartiality

  • The criteria for the selection of research papers must be impartial and the Editor should select academically and scientifically sound articles:


  • Promptly responds to the author (s) of the papers submitted for publication, and
  • Assign a specific number to an article submitted for processing, and pay impartial consideration to all research papers submitted for
  • To ensure the evaluation of the content of research papers impartially, 
  • Disregard the discriminating factors, g. gender, race, ethnicity, religious belief, cultural sentiments, political affiliation, seniority, and/or institutional association of the author(s) while selecting articles for publication,
  • To ensure the impartiality of the review process by informing the reviewer (s) that s/he needs to disclose any conflicts of interest regarding the submitted research paper.


  • JRSS Team ensures the confidentiality of the author(s) and reviewers during the process of double-blind peer review,
  • Information about a research paper should not be disclosed by the Editor to anyone except the author(s), reviewer(s), and editorial board members,
  • Upon deciding on a research paper, only the Editor may disclose or announce the title of the study and the name of the author(s) that have been accepted for publication. Any other information may only be disclosed with the prior approval of the Author(s), and
  • The confidentiality of the participants of the research should also be ensured by protecting personal information (e.g. identifiable personal details, images,   and/or individual results). The editor should   declare   clear   guidelines   to   the   contributors    (authors)    regarding the confidentiality of the individual
  • Before publication, the content of the manuscript should be kept confidential, both the Editor and reviewer(s) will not share or use any part of the work.

Editing and Formatting Guidelines

  • JRSS Team has prepared clear policies about preparing and formatting a paper and prints these guidelines in each issue of the journal,
  • The guidelines covered information related to 'the content' and 'format'  of  a research paper,
  • Any preferred manual of style (e.g. APA, Chicago Manual, MLA Style, ) should be declared as a policy decision.

Review Process

  • Details about the review process should be declared,
  • The editor of JRSS ensures that all published papers have gone through a double-blind peer review and that at least one of the reviewers is from outside the country.
  • The editor of JRSS ensures that peer review is masked in both directions and as such the identity of the author is removed from the manuscript before its review to protect confidentiality and privacy.
  • The editor of JRSS provides sufficient guidelines to reviewers, including necessary information about the review process, and provides them with a reviewer comment form for recording his/her
  • The editor of JRSS ensures that the peer-review process is prompt, non-discriminatory, and highly
  • The editor of JRSS developed a system of confidentiality for research papers undergoing the review
  • The editor of JRSS sends reviewers' comments to the author(s) promptly and should ensure that the corrections suggested by the reviewers are incorporated by the author(s) in true letter and spirit.
  • The editor of JRSS critically evaluates peer review practices regularly and makes improvements, if
  • The editor of JRSS maintains a database of competent and qualified reviewers. For this purpose, s/he may use various sources other than personal contacts to identify new reviewers (e.g. referring by author (s), citations and references section in a book/journal), and
  • The editor of JRSS refers troublesome cases (e.g. in case of one acceptance and one rejection or any conflict arising after review) to Advisory Committee to resolve   the   matter

Dealing with Misconduct

  • The editor of JRSS encourages reviewers to comment on ethical issues and possible research and publication misconduct (e.g. inappropriate research design, in-complete detail on participant's consent, data manipulation, and presentation).
  • The editor of JRSS encourages reviewers to comment on the validity of the submitted research paper and identify 'subtle (simply copy-paste)' and/or 'blatant (paraphrasing)' types of plagiarism, if, practiced by the author(s).
  • The editor of JRSS confirms plagiarism (carries out an objective check through Turnitin) and/or searches for similar titles to the submitted research paper, and
  • The editor of JRSS has prepared to publish a corrigendum, and remove and retract a plagiarized article if it comes to his/her knowledge after its publication.


  • The editor of JRSS ensures that multiple papers as principal investigators submitted by an author should not be published in the same issue.
  • Only  ONE  co-authorship is allowed for those authors who also contribute a research paper as a principal investigator in the same issue.
  • The members of the Editorial Board (including the Editor), completely banned publishing their papers.
  • The Editor should adopt an authorship or co-authorship policy that will set an example in the scientific community and strictly discourage any misconduct   (e.g. forcible inclusion of a name in the author list). Authorship should only be given to those individuals who have substantially contributed to the said article.

Conflict of Interest 

  • JRSS Team does not edit a submitted paper for those author(s) and/or institution against which s/he has any conflicts of interest  (e.g. resulting from competitive,   collaborative, and/or professional standing).
  • JRSS Team also applies this guideline to their reviewers and Editorial Board
  • To ensure unbiased review, the Editor should declare a clear-cut policy for his/her submission and a research paper submitted by an Editorial Board member, and
  • JRSS Team publishes a list of common interests (e.g. financial, academic, and/or any other type) for all Editorial Board members and editorial This list should be updated from time to time.
  • To ensure an unbiased review, the Editor should declare a clear-cut policy for his/her submission and a research paper submitted by an Editorial Board member.
  • In the case of the article (s) submitted by the Editor, the decision about the editor's submitted article/s, one of the Associate Editors must take responsibility for the evaluation of the article, and information about reviewers should be kept


  • JRSS Team does not use any unpublished information/data from the submitted research paper without the permission of the author(s), and
  • Any information received after the peer review process must be kept confidential and not used for personal

Publication Decisions

  • JRSS Team only shortlists research papers that have relevance to the scope of the journal clearly stated in the Journal, using his /her judgment, but without any personal
  • After completion of the reviewing process, the submission of the revised  manuscript,  and assessing the quality and validity, the Editor has a   right   to   accept   or   reject a   research
  • JRSS Team's decisions to accept or reject a paper for publication should be based purely on merit, academic standards, and the professional demands of the journal.
  • JRSS Team justifies the reason (s) for rejecting a research paper to the author(s). This may include:
  • Failure to fit in the scope of the journal (maybe communicated after preliminary review)
  • Insufficient depth of content
  • Major errors related to design, analysis, writing up, and format
  • Any misconduct or conflicting factors (e.g. plagiarism, copyright infringement, legal issues, fake data, authorship issues)
  • The Editor is required to timely communicate the editorial decision to the author(s),
  • The Editors should not reverse decisions in favor or against the author(s) on their

Establishing a Procedure for Appeal

  • JRSS Team is responsible for establishing a proper mechanism for appeals launched against:
    • The rejection of a research
    • Objections to publications causing harm to any
    • Infringement of Ethical boundaries in any