Ethics Statement

1 General Principles

The fundamental ethical principles to protect human participants from harm, and which originate in clinical research, apply to all research studies in which people participate by providing researchers with time, effort, knowledge, and personal data. These overarching ethical principles include:

  • Ensuring honesty and transparency towards the subjects of the study.
  • Respecting the autonomy of the individual and obtaining free and informed consent (as well as assent, where relevant).
  • Protection of vulnerable subjects.
  • Ensuring privacy and confidentiality.
  • Promoting justice and inclusion of all people.
  • Minimizing harm and maximizing benefit.
  • Sharing benefits with disadvantaged populations, especially when research is conducted in developing countries.
  • Respecting and protecting the environment and future generations.

As a researcher, your primary obligation is to protect the human dignity, integrity, welfare and safety of participants and to ensure that they are treated with respect and fairly.

2 Ethics Approval / Ethics Opinion and Ethics Evidance

Before submitting your article, check your institutional, local/regional and national requirements concerning ethics approval and availability of research ethics committees or an institutional review board. An ethics opinion may be given, for example, by:

  • your institutional research ethics committee,
  • a relevant authority in the country (if applicable), which may give its approval.

Ethics approval / ethics opinion: Please indicate in your article from which research ethics committee or institutional review board you received your ethical approval/ethical opinion and when. 

Ethics evidance: If it is not possible to obtain an ethics approval/an ethics opinion, explain why not and show how you have ensured that your research meets ethical and legal requirements. 

Please note that publication in IJRVET requires an ethics statement based on ethics approval, ethics opinion or ethics evidance.

3 Informed Consent

Human participation is required when you interact with research participants to collect their data for your analysis through online questionnaires, paper questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, observations or workshops. Anyone considering participating in your research must have a fair chance to evaluate whether it is worth taking the time and effort to share information with you. You are required to obtain informed consent and/or provide appropriate safeguards. Please refer to the following checklist when preparing informed consent:

  • Give participants a clear explanation of the aims, overall purpose, methods and implications of the research.
  • Explain that participation is voluntary.
  • Remind participants that they have a right to withdraw their consent at any time without any consequences.
  • Explain the degree of benefit, risks, burden or discomfort involved in participation. Give an estimate of the time and effort expected of participants.
  • Explain precautions to ensure participants’ safety and provide information on insurance, if there is any.
  • Explain who is funding the research and for what purpose.
  • Disclose who will benefit from the research.
  • Give a firm commitment to protecting respondents’ anonymity and privacy (provided that this can genuinely be guaranteed).
  • Make a clear commitment to treating personal and sensitive information confidentially.
  • Reassure participants that there are secure procedures for analysing any data gathered.
  • Explain clearly who will have access to any data that participants provide.
  • Consider any unintended/unexpected/incidental findings and explain how you intend to deal with such findings.
  • Explain briefly where research findings will be published.
  • Offer to provide respondents with further information about research if they ask for it.
  • Give the name and contact details of the contact person who can answer any queries participants may have.
  • Clarify possible uses to which data may be put in future (if this is envisaged) and clarify whether participants will be asked for consent again if this is the case. Cover any issues relating to copyright of data and other materials used in the research.

4 Research Involving Vulnerable Participants

First, you should check whether the research results can also be obtained with another, less vulnerable group. If you include vulnerable participants, you need to justify it. You must ensure and explain how individuals you include will not be stigmatized, retraumatized, or otherwise harmed by their participation in your research.

Be aware that some groups are always at risk. These groups of people include children, people with cognitive impairments, and people who are unable to give informed consent. Other vulnerabilities are likely to be contextual. This means that you and your research colleagues will need to think about whether a particular group is at risk and for what reasons. Groups that are considered vulnerable because of their circumstances generally include: children, refugees, irregular migrants, sex workers, people with cognitive impairments, dissidents, traumatised people at risk of re-traumatisation (e.g. people from conflict areas, victims of crime and/or violence), and people in dependent relationships with the researcher or the research team (e.g. students doing course work with researchers).

5 Privacy, Anonymity and Data Protection

The integrity of the persons interviewed or observed must be preserved. Procedures must be used to ensure the privacy and anonymity of the participans and to exclude their identification.

Researchers must be aware of and comply with the legal requirements regarding the storage and use of personal data such as the European General Data Protection Regulation. Our data protection requirements are based on Ethics and Data Protection from the European Commission. In essence people have a right to know

  • how, why and how long their personal data is stored,
  • what they are used for,
  • how they can access any personal data held about them, and
  • to whom they may be disclosed.

Researchers must furthermore

  • collect only the data they need to meet the research objectives (data minimisation), 
  • ensure that data is kept securely,
  • obtain permission from participants before sharing personal information with third parties, and
  • ensure that publication on the Internet, does not directly or indirectly lead to a breach of agreed confidentiality and anonymity.

In case studies, confidentiality may be difficult to achieve. One solution is to obtain written consent from the report recipient to publish the study. Another solution is to disguise identifying material, e.g. by altering specific characteristcs, adding extraneous material or limiting the description of specific characteristics. (American Psychological Association, 2020, p. 22)

6 Bias-Free Language

Non-discriminatory and non-stigmatizing language must be used when describing different groups by ethnicity, disease, age, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Human studies that use rules to categorize people must include an explanation of the definitions and categories used. Not only must references follow APA 7th style, but furthermore the APA requirements for bias-free language. This concerns in particular to provide operational definitions and labels, avoid false hierarchies and reduce bias by age, disability, gender, racial and ethnic identity, sexual orientation, scioeconomic status and intersectionality.

Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement

Our publication ethics and malpractice statement is based on the Core Practices from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

Please note that we reserve the right to make editorial amendments to the content of the submitted articles.

1 Editors' Responsibilities

  • Publication decisions: The editor decides which of all submitted papers will be forwarded to the reviewing process and published thereafter. The author’s gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, religious belief, citizenship, and political philosophy will not influence the editor’s evaluation. Decisions are based on transparent criteria published on Current legal requirements regarding libel, copyright infringement, and plagiarism will also be taken into account.
  • Obligation to secrecy: The editor and the editorial team must not disclose any information about submitted materials to anyone other than the corresponding author, potential reviewers, and reviewers.
  • Disclosure and conflicts of interest: Editors do require reviewers to disclose any potential competing interests before agreeing to review a submission. Unpublished materials in a submitted article will not be misused by the editor or the members of the editorial board or used without explicit agreement by the author(s).

2 Reviewers' Responsibilities

  • Contribution to editorial decisions: The double-blind peer-review process assists the editor in making editorial decisions. Authors have occasion to improve their submissions with the help of the comments from the reviewers.
  • Confidentiality: Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential data. Only after the editor’s permission may contents be discussed with others. Disclosure of any material is prohibited.
  • Objectivity: Reviewers are supposed to review objectively. Personal matters regarding the author should not influence the review decision. If the reviewing results are contradictory, a third opinion will be sought.
  • Acknowledgement of sources: Reviewers are requested to identify relevant previous publications which have not been cited in the reference section. They should point out any observations or arguments from previous publications that are not properly cited.
  • Conflict of interest: Reviewers are required to reveal any conflicts of interest regarding any given manuscript and will not be considered for review of those articles. This includes any connection to authors, companies, and institutions associated with the submission. Any information received during the peer review must not be used for personal advantage.

3 Authors' Duties

  • Reporting standards: Authors of research reports should give an accurate account of their work. The manuscript should include an objective discussion of the work’s significance. Underlying data must be represented comprehensibly in the manuscript. An article should cite sufficient sources to enable others to replicate the work described in the paper. Knowingly inaccurate statements or fraud signify unethical behavior and will not be accepted.
  • Data access and retention: Authors might be asked by the editor to provide the raw data of their manuscript before publication. The data may be made available to the public. Authors should ensure the accessibility of data to other professionals for at least ten years following publication. The confidentiality of any participants as well as legal rights and proprietary data must be protected.
  • Originality, plagiarism and acknowledgement of sources: The entire works of authors should be original work with appropriate citations and quotation of the work and/or words of others. Also, sources that influenced the nature of the reported work should be cited as well.
  • Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication: Articles containing the same research should not be published in more than one journal. Submission of the same manuscript to more than one journal is unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable. Articles which have been previously published elsewhere as copyrighted material must not be submitted. In addition, papers under review should not be resubmitted to any other copyrighted publications. By submitting a manuscript, the author(s) maintain the rights to the material. In case of publication, the author(s) agree to the use of a CC-BY license, which allows others to copy and redistribute (disseminate) the work.
  • Authorship of the paper: Authorship is limited to those who have made significant contributions to the concept, design, execution or interpretation of the reported material. Co-authors are all those who have made other contributions. The corresponding author must affirm the correctness of the author list. Also, the corresponding author must verify that all co-authors agree to the submission and publication of the final version of the article.
  • Conflicts of interest: All authors must include a complete statement describing any financial or other material conflicts of interest that may be construed to influence the research or interpretation of their work.
  • Fundamental errors in published works: An author who discovers significant errors in his/her published article is obligated to notify the editor of the journal immediately.