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Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement

Manuscripts submitted to the Quest-The Journal of UGC-HRDC Nainital (QUEST) are evaluated entirely on the basis of their scientific content. There are no publication charges. All possible measures are taken to uphold the highest standards of publication ethics and to prevent malpractices. Authors who submit papers to our Journals attest that their work is original and unpublished and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere.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 original work, that has not been copied or plagiarized, in whole or in part, from other works and if the authors have used the works of others the same has been appropriately cited or quoted. Our publication ethics and malpractice statement is based on the guidelines for journal editors developed by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).


Duties / Responsibilities of Editors

The Editorial Team of the QUEST, comprising the Editorial Board and the Editorial Staff with the Publisher is responsible for taking a decision as to which of the articles submitted to the journal are to be published. The Editors have complete discretion to reject/accept an article. The Editorial Team may confer/deliberate with other reviewers/editors in arriving at its decisions. The evaluation of manuscripts is made on the basis of their scholarly and intellectual content without having regard to the nature of the authors or the institution including gender, race, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors. The journal follows a policy of fair play in its editorial evaluation. The editors are expected to exercise caution and ensure that they have no conflict of interest with respect to the articles they accept/reject. The editors and the editorial staff follow strict confidentiality and are required not to disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to any one other than the corresponding author, reviewers and the publisher. Authors are encouraged to correct the errors which are found during the process of review while preserving the anonymity of the reviewers.


Duties / Responsibilities of Reviewers

Editorial decisions are based on peer review. The reviewers are expected to maintain absolute confidentiality with regard to the contents of manuscripts. The reviews are to be conducted objectively and the referees are expected to express their views clearly with supporting reasons. The reviewers should have no conflict of interest with the authors and the subject matter of the research. The reviewers are required to identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any observation or argument which has been previously reported should also be accompanied along with the relevant citation. Similarities or overlaps between the manuscript under review and any other published paper of which the reviewer may have personal knowledge, may also be brought to be attention of the editors. The information or ideas obtained through peer review are of a privileged nature and 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 relationship with any of authors or institutions connected to the papers.


Duties/Responsibilities of the Authors

Authors are required to present an accurate account of the original research work and also an objective discussion of its significance. The paper should contain sufficient details of the literature and references. It is expected that all the authors have significantly contributed to the research. Fraudulent and knowingly made inaccurate statement constitutes unethical behavior and would be unacceptable. Authors are required to ensure that the submitted work is original and has not been published elsewhere, and if the authors have used the work of others the same has been appropriately cited or quoted. Applicable copyright laws and conventions are required to be followed. Copyright materials should be reproduced only with permission and due acknowledgement. Authors are not expected to submit manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently would constitute unethical practice and would be unacceptable. Proper acknowledgement of the work of others must always be made. Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the paper which is submitted for publication. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. Others who have participated in certain substantive aspects in the development of the paper should also be acknowledged. The corresponding author is required to ensure that all co-authors are included in the paper, and that the co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication. All sources of financial support should also be disclosed. Upon discovery of any significant error in the published work, it is the responsibility of the authors to promptly notify the editors and cooperate in the retraction or correction of the paper.


Peer Review Policy for the Quest-The Journal of UGC-HRDC Nainital

The practice of peer review is to ensure that only good science is published. It is an objective process at the heart of good scholarly publishing and is carried out by all reputable scientific journals. Our reviewers therefore play a vital role in maintaining the high standards of the Quest-The Journal of UGC-HRDC Nainital and all manuscripts are peer reviewed following the procedure outlined below.

Initial manuscript evaluation

The Editors first evaluate all manuscripts. In some circumstances it is entirely feasible for an exceptional manuscript to be accepted at this stage. Those rejected at this stage are insufficiently original, have serious scientific flaws, have poor grammar or English language, or are outside the aims and scope of the journal. Those that meet the minimum criteria are passed on to experts for review.

Authors of manuscripts rejected at this stage will be informed within 2 weeks of receipt.

Type of Peer Review

The Quest-The Journal of UGC-HRDC Nainital employs single blind review, where the reviewer remains anonymous to the authors throughout the process.

How the reviewer is selected

Reviewers are matched to the paper according to their expertise. Our reviewer database contains reviewer contact details together with their subject areas of interest, and this is constantly being updated.

Reviewer reports

Reviewers are asked to evaluate whether the manuscript:

  • Is original

  • Is methodologically sound

  • Follows appropriate ethical guidelines

  • Has results which are clearly presented and support the conclusions

  • Correctly references previous relevant work

Reviewers are not expected to correct or copyedit manuscripts. Language correction is not part of the peer review process. Reviewers are requested to refrain from giving their personal opinion in the "Reviewer blind comments to Author" section of their review on whether or not the paper should be published. Personal opinions can be expressed in the "Reviewer confidential comments to Editor" section.

How long does the peer review process take?

Typically the manuscript will be reviewed within 2-8 weeks. Should the reviewers' reports contradict one another or a report is unnecessarily delayed a further expert opinion will be sought. Revised manuscripts are usually returned to the Editors within 3 weeks and the Editors may request further advice from the reviewers at this time. The Editors may request more than one revision of a manuscript.

Final report

A final decision to accept or reject the manuscript will be sent to the author along with any recommendations made by the reviewers, and may include verbatim comments by the reviewers.

Editor's Decision is final

Reviewers advise the Editors, who are responsible for the final decision to accept or reject the article.

Special Issues / Conference Proceedings

Special issues and/or conference proceedings may have different peer review procedures involving, for example, Guest Editors, conference organisers or scientific committees. Authors contributing to these projects may receive full details of the peer review process on request from the editorial office.

Becoming a Reviewer for the Quest-The Journal of UGC-HRDC Nainital

If you are not currently a reviewer for the Quest-The Journal of UGC-HRDC Nainital but would like to be considered as a reviewer for this Journal, please contact the editorial office by e-mail at quest.nainital@gmail.com, and provide your contact details. If your request is approved and you are added to the online reviewer database you will receive a confirmatory email, asking you to add details on your field of expertise, in the format of subject classifications.


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