Research Ethics

Research ethics guideline for authors

The Literacy Trek expects the contributors to adhere to ethical standards while working with human participants and standards of academic integrity.

Ethical standards may vary among institutions and countries; therefore, we expect the authors to commit themselves to international standards and guidelines published by organizations such as (1) Ethics Guidelines of American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) (2) Protection of Research Participants Standards by International Committee of Medical Journal Editors ICMJE, and (3) Committee in Publication Ethics (CODE) Code of Conduct. Accordingly, The Literacy Trek editorship commits to Helsinki Declaration of 2013 in terms of ethical principles for research involving human subjects/participants. If you have any doubts about whether your study meets these standards, please contact our editors

All parties (publishers, editors, authors, and blind-reviewers) need to be aware of the copyright and licensing information of every study published in the Literacy Trek. Copyright identifiers are present in all pages of our website as well as the first page of every study. As an open-access, non-profit academic journal, The Literacy Trek does not require any submission fee in any phase of the publication process. 

Before publishing in The Literacy Trek, authors and contributors who have included human participants in their study must prove that they have met the following requirements.
- Inform the participants that the authors aim to write about them in an international academic journal
- Ensure that each participant is fully aware of the purpose of the research.
- Collect properly-written and informed consent forms (please consult to the guidelines specified above) from all participants. If any participant is not legally responsible, the authors still need to obtain a signed consent document from their parents or guardians.
- Tell the participants that their participation is voluntary, and there is no penalty if they refuse to participate.
- Take necessary precautions that the participants' confidentiality is protected, and explain these precautions to the participants.
- Explain to the participants any foreseeable risks that may occur if they participate.
- Apply for Institutional Review Boards (or Ethical Review Boards) affiliated to higher education institutions, and obtain necessary Review Board approvals for each study that include human participants or sample that is composed of animals. This approval should be mentioned in the manuscript and be documented. In the manuscript's methodology section, the documentation should be clarified.
- Provide information on any financial support or conflict of interest in the initial version of their submissions.
- For studies authored by more than one author, all authors must significantly contribute to the submitted manuscript.
- The authors are obliged to provide retractions or corrections of mistakes in case of detection after the publication of their submissions. 

Please keep in mind that your research may still be unethical even though you meet all the criteria listed above. To be sure, please consult the aforementioned international standards.
If the editorial board becomes aware of any ethical misconduct, studies will not be eligible for publication. In case of any misconduct of academic integrity, the submission will be refused.

In the case of plagiarism, unethical research, non-notified earlier publication, or use of fraudulent data, article retractions are published. Article correction is requested by editors if ghost authors and mistakes or errors in the manuscript are detected.

As for plagiarism and academic integrity, every manuscript submitted is checked for plagiarism by computer software. For plagiarism screening, we utilize iThenticate software. If detected, the authors are informed of inappropriate cases and are asked to resubmit the text.


Research ethics guideline for editors

The Literacy Trek editorship believes that the publication process of an article in a peer-reviewed is an essential building block in the development of a coherent and respected network of knowledge. Accordingly, it pledges itself to the ethical guidelines of Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Accordingly, editors' main responsibility includes
- to take necessary precautions to keep the peer-review process confidential and anonymous regardless of the identity of the author(s).
- to ensure the quality of the publications.
- to make effort to process submissions in a timely manner.
- to maintain the integrity of academic research
- to meet the needs of readers and authors.
- to improve the journal.
- To ensure that authors publish corrections, clarifications, retractions, or apologies when any mistake is detected after that publication.


Research ethics guidelines for blind-reviewers

In accordance with COPE guidelines, scholarly-rigorous peer-review is of critical importance in ensuring the integrity of the scholarly record. It depends to a large extent on trust, and this process requires that everyone involved behaves responsibly and ethically. All peer-reviewers are to revise the COPE guidelines to ensure the academic integrity standards followed by the editorship. In this vein, all reviewers must give unbiased consideration to every submission. Reviewers must ensure the confidentiality of the reviewing process and provide their peer-review reports in a timely manner. It is their responsibility to inform the editors in case of any potential conflict of interest and also if they detect any misconduct regarding the academic integrity of the submission. The reviewers should be objective.

Encouraging academic integrity and protecting individual data
Editors, authors, and reviewers must adhere to encouraging academic integrity in accordance with CODE standards.
Crucially, authors must engage in research practices that have been approved by an appropriate body of research ethics/committee/institutional review board, etc. However, all parties should also keep in mind that such approval is not enough to make research practice ethical. Editors should take necessary precautions to protect the confidentiality of individual information and to ensure that all data from human participants have been collected after written and informed consent is obtained. Thus, authors are asked to declare their adherence to academic integrity for every submission that includes human participants. This declaration is asked before finalizing the submission but editors can require additional proof should they suspect misconduct.

Please refer to the following article: COPE Council. (2017). Ethical guidelines for peer reviewers. DOI: https://doi.org/10.24318/cope.2019.1.9

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