Editorial policies

Editorial policies

The Research Villa Publishing Group is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)The Research Villa Publishing Group   also endorses the American Psychological Association  (APA) Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Natural and Social Sciences Journals.

Submission of a manuscript to the Research Villa Publishing Group  journals implies that all authors have read and agreed to its content and that the manuscript conforms to the journal’s policies.

The Research Villa Publishing Group remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. 

Ethics and consent

Ethics approval

Research involving human participants, human material, or human data, must have been performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki or APA and must have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. A statement detailing this, including the name of the ethics committee and the reference number where appropriate, must appear in all manuscripts reporting such research. If a study has been granted an exemption from requiring ethics approval, this should also be detailed in the manuscript (including the name of the ethics committee that granted the exemption). Further information and documentation to support this should be made available to the Editor on request. Manuscripts may be rejected if the Editor considers that the research has not been carried out within an appropriate ethical framework. In rare cases, the Editor may contact the ethics committee for further information.

Retrospective ethics approval

If a study has not been granted ethics committee approval prior to commencing, retrospective ethics approval usually cannot be obtained and it may not be possible to consider the manuscript for peer review. The decision on whether to proceed to peer review in such cases is at the Editor's discretion.

Consent to participate

For all research involving human participants, informed consent to participate in the study should be obtained from participants (or their parent or legal guardian in the case of children under 16) and a statement to this effect should appear in the manuscript. For manuscripts reporting studies involving vulnerable groups (for example, unconscious patients) where there is the potential for coercion (for example prisoners) or where consent may not have been fully informed, manuscripts will be considered at the editor’s discretion and may be referred to an internal editorial oversight group for further scrutiny. Consent must be obtained for all forms of personally identifiable data including biomedical, clinical, and biometric data. In the case of articles describing human transplantation studies, authors must include a statement declaring that no organs/tissues were obtained from prisoners and must also name the institution(s)/clinic(s)/department(s) via which organs/tissues were obtained. Documentary evidence of consent must be supplied if requested.

Sex and gender in research (SAGER)

We encourage our authors to follow the ‘Sex and Gender Equity in Research – SAGER – guidelines’ and to include sex and gender considerations where relevant. Authors should use the terms sex (biological attribute) and gender (shaped by social and cultural circumstances) carefully in order to avoid confusing both terms. Article titles and/or abstracts should indicate clearly what sex(es) the study applies to. Authors should also describe in the background, whether sex and/or gender differences may be expected; report how sex and/or gender were accounted for in the design of the study; provide disaggregated data by sex and/or gender, where appropriate; and discuss respective results. If a sex and/or gender analysis was not conducted, the rationale should be given in the Discussion. We suggest that our authors consult the full guidelines before submission.

  • Definition of Sex and Gender (taken from Office of Research in Women’s Health, NIH).
  • Sex - refers to biological differences between females and males, including chromosomes, sex organs, and endogenous hormonal profiles.
  • Gender-  refers to socially constructed and enacted roles and behaviors which occur in a historical and cultural context and vary across societies and over time.
  • Applications of the guidelines: These guidelines apply to studies involving humans, vertebrate animal and cell lines.

Research involving animals

Experimental research on vertebrates or any regulated invertebrates must comply with institutional, national, or international guidelines, and where available should have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. The APA outlines fundamental principles to adhere to when conducting research in animals and the International Council for Laboratory Animal Science (ICLAS) has also published ethical guidelines.

Field studies and other non-experimental research on animals must comply with institutional, national, or international guidelines, and where available should have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. A statement detailing compliance with relevant guidelines and/or appropriate permissions or licences must be included in the manuscript. We recommend that authors comply with the IUCN Policy Statement on Research Involving Species at Risk of Extinction  and the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Consent for publication

For all manuscripts that include details, images, or videos relating to an individual person, written informed consent for the publication of these details must be obtained from that person (or their parent or legal guardian in the case of children under 18). The consent must be for publication of their details under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (such that they will be freely available on the internet). If the person has died, consent for publication must be obtained from their next of kin. The manuscript must include a statement that written informed consent for publication was obtained.