Kurj Policies

1.0 Introduction

Kabale University Interdisciplinary Research Journal (KURJ) publishes new research that demonstrates a significant impact on knowledge and society.
Manuscripts are accepted with the understanding that they represent original research, except for review articles, and that they have not been copyrighted, published, or submitted for publication elsewhere.

Authors of each article appearing in this Journal are solely responsible for all contents in their article(s) including accuracy of the facts, statements, and citing resources. Facts and opinions are solely the personal statements of the respective authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Journal.

1.1 Open Access

Open Access is a publication model that enables the dissemination of research articles to the global community without restriction through the internet. KURJ strongly supports the Open Access initiative. Abstracts and full texts of all articles published by KURJ are freely accessible to everyone immediately after publication

1.2 Publication Ethics

Compliance with publication ethics ensures the integrity of scientific publishing and confidence in published articles. Therefore, KURJ expects all authors to adhere to ethical requirements in the preparation of their manuscripts.

1.3 Plagiarism

KURJ considers plagiarism a serious offense. KURJ uses the Plagiarism Checker Plagiarism detection software to check each manuscript for possible plagiarism. Plagiarism check is the first step in the manuscript review process. Manuscripts that are found to contain unacceptable level of similarity with other published and unpublished works are immediately rejected.

Citations Manipulation

A manuscript should contain only relevant citations. Inclusion of citations that are not relevant to the work is strongly discouraged. Similarly, irrelevant self-citation to increase one’s citation is not acceptable.

2.0 Peer Review

The rigour of a peer review system ensures the quality of a research article. KURJ employs a rigorous peer review system. All submitted manuscripts undergo a peer review process before publication.

2.1 Double Blind Peer Review

The review process is an important aspect of the publication process of an article. It enables authors to improve their manuscripts and aids editors in making decision on manuscripts. KURJ employs a double-blind peer review system.

A double-blind peer review system is an anonymous review system whereby the identity of the author(s) of a manuscript is concealed from the selected reviewers. All details that may enable a reviewer to identify the author(s) of a manuscript are removed from the manuscript before the manuscript is sent to the reviewer. Similarly, the reviewers’ identities are also concealed from the author(s) when sending the reviewers’ comments to the author(s).

KURJ considers the double-blind peer system as a more effective review system because it limits possible bias from either the selected reviewers or from authors.

2.2 The Peer Review Process

KURJ employs a three-stage review process – editorial office, external review and editors’ decision.
The first stage of the review process takes place in the editorial office. On submission, amanuscript is reviewed to ensure that it meets the minimum requirements of the journal before it is sent to external reviewers. At this stage, the manuscript is reviewed for the following:

2.2.1 Plagiarism: The manuscript is evaluated to compare the level of similarity with other published works. Manuscripts that have high level of similarity with other works (including the author(s) previous works) are rejected at this stage. Authors are provided with the similarity report together with the decision to reject the manuscript.
2.2.2 Scope: After a manuscript has undergone similarity check and the level of similarity is judged to be appropriate, the content of the manuscript is checked to ensure that it complies with the recommended structure of manuscript. In situations where the structure of manuscript does not comply with the recommended structure, a manuscript shall be returned to authors for revision.
2.2.3 Recent references: KURJ encourages authors to cite more recent articles, books, Journals, etc. Preferably, considerable number of the cited articles, books and Journals should be works that were published within the last ten years.
2.2.4 English Language>: KURJ currently publishes full text of articles only in English. Manuscripts are checked for clarity of the language as indicated in the journal’s guidelines for Authors.

Manuscripts are checked for the structure, organization, correctness and clarity of the language as it adheres to the journal’s guidelines for Authors. The editorial office makes correction to minor grammatical errors in such a manner that it does not alter the manuscript. However, in situations where language is substantially difficult to comprehend, the manuscript is returned to the author to for editing in the English language.
Manuscripts that fail in this first stage of the review process are returned to the author(s) for improvement and resubmission. This first stage of the review is very important as it enables the author(s) improve the manuscript at an early stage. This first stage of the manuscript review is usually completed within three weeks (21 days).
The second stage of the review process is the double-blind review system. A minimum of two external reviewers are selected from the journal’s database, editorial board of the journal or other sources. These reviewers have expert knowledge on the subject area of the manuscript. The reviewers are invited to review the manuscript by sending them the abstract of the manuscript. Upon acceptance to review the manuscript, the full text of the manuscript is sent to the reviewers after the names and institution of author(s) have been removed.

Reviewers are required to evaluate the manuscripts and provide useful comments to enable the author(s) improve the quality of the manuscript. Reviewers also score the manuscript in terms of originality, contribution to the field, technical quality, and clarity of presentation and depth of research. Finally, Reviewers make one of the following suggestions about the manuscript:

  • Requires moderate revision
  • Requires major revision
  • Not suitable for further processing. In this case, the reviewer provides specific reason(s) why the manuscript should not be further processed.

It should be noted that though a reviewer may give a positive report on a particular manuscript, if another reviewer provides a fundamentally negative opinion, a third reviewer is appointed to provide another opinion on the manuscript. All reviewers’ comments (including the third reviewers’ comment where necessary) are thereafter sent to the author(s) for revision.

Upon receipt of the reviewers’ comments, the editorial office reviews the comment. If the two reviewers’ comment have significantly different/or contradictory opinions about the same manuscripts, the manuscript is re-sent to a third reviewer. All reviewers’ comments (including the third reviewers’ comment where necessary) are thereafter sent to the author(s). The reviewers’ identities are concealed from the author(s). The total time taken to complete the second stage of the manuscript review dependent on the availability of the reviewers, but shall not exceed four weeks.

Using the reviewers’ comments, author(s) make corrections to the manuscript and submits a revised manuscript. Upon receipt of the revised submission, the manuscript undergoes the third and final stage of the review process. The original manuscript, the revised manuscript and all the reviewers’ comments are sent to an editor of the journal. The editor reviews the manuscript and makes one the following decisions:

  • Accept as it is
  • Accept with minor correction
  • Requires major corrections
  • Send revised manuscript for review again
  • Reject

Manuscripts that are accepted as it is are scheduled for publication. Manuscripts that require corrections (either minor or major) are sent to the author(s) to affect the corrections suggested by the editor. After effecting the corrections, the editor reviews the manuscripts again before the manuscripts are accepted for publication. In some cases, the editor may require authors to make corrections a second time. In other cases, the editor may request for the revised manuscripts with (or without) the additional corrections to be sent to a specific reviewer who had earlier reviewed the manuscript before the manuscript can be accepted for publication.

Disclosure of data
Authors shall be required to include a data disclosure and data sharing statement when submitting manuscripts to the Journal.

3.0 Editorial Policies

3.1 Authorship

An author is an individual who has significantly contributed to the development of a manuscript. KURJ recommends that authorship be based on the following four criteria:
Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data for the work; AND
Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND Final approval of the version to be published; AND
Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved. Authorship provides credit for a researcher’s contributions to a study and carries accountability.
Each author is expected to have made substantial contributions to the conception OR 10 design of the work; OR the acquisition, analysis, OR interpretation of data; OR the creation of new software used in the work; OR have drafted the work or substantively revised it AND to have approved the submitted version (and any substantially modified version that involves the author’s contribution to the study);
AND to have agreed both to be personally accountable for the author’s own contributionsand to ensure that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work, even ones in which the author was not personally involved, are appropriately investigated, resolved, and the resolution documented in the literature.

3.2 Acknowledgement

Individuals who participated in the development of a manuscript but do not qualify as an author should be acknowledged. Organizations that provided support in terms of funding and/or other resources should also be acknowledged.

3.3 Corresponding authors

Corresponding authors are responsible for ensuring that all listed authors have approved the manuscript before submission, including the names and order of authors, and that all authors receive the submission and all substantive correspondence with editors, as well as the full reviews, verifying that all data, figures, materials (including reagents), and code, even those developed or provided by other authors, comply with the transparency and reproducibility standards of both the field and journal. This responsibility includes but is not limited to: (i) ensuring that original data/original figures/ materials/code upon which the submission is based are preserved following best practices in the field so that they are retrievable for reanalysis; (ii) confirming that data/figures/materials/code presentation accurately reflects the original; and (iii) foreseeing and minimizing obstacles to the sharing of data/materials/code described in the work. The corresponding author should be responsible for managing these requirements across the author group and ensuring that the entire author group is fully aware of and in compliance with best practices in the discipline of publication.
The involvement of scientific (medical) writers or anyone else who assisted with the preparation of the manuscript content should be acknowledged, along with their source of funding. The role of the writers should be acknowledged explicitly in the ‘Acknowledgements’ or ‘Authors’ contributions’ section as appropriate.

3.4 Changes in authorship

Whenever there is a need to make changes in the authorship of a manuscript or a published article, the changes will be implemented according to KURJ specification. Only corresponding authors can make request for a change in authorship. Request should be made to the editor using the Changes in Authorship Form.

3.5 Submission of Manuscript

Authors should read the “Authors Guidelines” on the journal’s page before making a submission. Manuscript should be prepared according to the style and specifications of the journal’s policy.
Authors listed on the manuscript should have met the requirements for Authorship specified above. Where possible, specify the contribution of each of the authors. All authors should approve the final version of the manuscript prior to submission. Once a manuscript is submitted, it is therefore assumed that all authors have read and given their approval for the submission of the manuscript. Contact information of all authors should be stated on the manuscript. Surname/Other names, affiliation and emails.

3.6 Conflict of Interest

Conflict of interest exists when there is a divergence between an individual’s private interests (competing interests) and his or her responsibilities to scientific and publishing activities if the individual’s behavior or judgment was motivated by considerations of his or her competing interests.
Authors should disclose all financial/relevant interest that may have influenced the development of the manuscript.

3.7 Confidentiality

A submitted manuscript is a confidential material. KURJ will not disclose submitted manuscript to anyone except individuals who partake in the processing and preparation of the manuscript for publication (if accepted). These individuals include editorial staff, corresponding authors, actual reviewers, and editors. However, in suspected cases of misconduct, a manuscript may be revealed to members of KURJ ethics committee and institutions/organizations that may require it for the resolution of the misconduct.

3.8 Misconduct

Misconduct constitutes violation of this editorial policy, journal policies, publication ethics, or any applicable guidelines/policies specified by KURJ. Any other activities that threaten/compromise the integrity of the research and publication process are potential misconducts. Suspected cases of misconduct will be investigated according to KURJ guidelines.

3.9 Correction and retraction of articles

Corrections may be made to a published article with the authorization of the editor of the journal. Editors will decide the magnitude of the corrections. Minor corrections are made directly to the original article. However, in cases of major corrections, the original article will remain unchanged, while the corrected version will be published. Both the original and corrected version will be linked to each other. A statement indicating the reason for the major change to the article will also be published. When necessary, retraction of articles will be done according to KURJ retraction guidelines.

4.0 Reviewer's Guidelines

The review process is an important aspect of the publication process of an article. It helps an editor in making decision on an article and also enables the author to improve the manuscript. KURJ operates a blind peer review system and before accepting to review a manuscript reviewers should ensure that:

  • The manuscript is within their area of expertise.
  • They can dedicate the appropriate time to conduct a critical review of the manuscript.

4.1 Conflict of Interest

Conflict of interest exist when there is a divergence between an individual’s private interests (competing interests) and his or her responsibilities to scientific and publishing activities such that a reasonable observer might wonder if the individual’s behavior or judgment was motivated by considerations of his or her competing interests Reviewers should declare their conflicts of interest and rescue themselves from the peerreview process if a conflict exists.

4.2 Confidentiality

Manuscripts are confidential materials given to a reviewer in trust for the sole purpose of critical evaluation. Reviewers should ensure that the review processes is confidential. Details of the manuscript and the review process should remain confidential during and after the review process.

4.3 Fairness

Reviews should be honest and objective. Reviewers should not be influenced by:

  • The origin of the manuscript
  • Religious, political or cultural viewpoint of the author
  • Gender, race, ethnicity or citizenry of the author

4.4 Review reports

In evaluating a manuscript, reviewers should focus on the following:

  • Originality
  • Contribution to the field
  • Technical quality
  • Clarity of presentation
  • Depth of research

4.5 Reviewers should also:

  • Observe that the author(s) have followed the instruction for authors, editorial policies and publication ethics.
  • Observe that the appropriate journal’s reporting guidelines is followed
  • The report should be accurate, objective, constructive and unambiguous. Comments should be backed by facts and constructive arguments with regards to the content of the manuscript. Reviewers should avoid using hostile, derogatory and accusatory comments
  • Reviewers should not rewrite the manuscript; however necessary corrections and suggestions for improvements should be made.

4.6 Timeliness

Reviewers should only accept manuscript that they are confident that they can dedicate appropriate time in reviewing. Thus, reviewers should review and return manuscripts in a timely manner.

5.0 Recommendations

Reviewers’ recommendation should be either:

  • Accept
  • Requires minor corrections
  • Requires moderate revision
  • Requires major revision
  • Not suitable for the journal
  • Reject

Recommendation should be backed with constructive arguments and facts based on the content of the manuscript.

6.0 Manuscript Handling Fee

KURJ does not charge for processing and publication of articles except membership subscription fee and hard copy dispatch fee.

7.0 Copyright

When an article is published by Kabale University Interdisciplinary Research Journal (KURJ), it does not take ownership of the copyright of the published article. In other words, authors retain the copyright to their articles and may republish these articles as part of a book or other materials. However, for author(s) to retain the copyright ownership of a published article.