FCIC, which stands for Franciscan College of the Immaculate Conception, aspires to be a leading peer-reviewed platform and trusted source of knowledge. The journal publishes original research papers, review articles, and case studies in various education themes. These submissions should not have been previously published in English or Filipino translations and should not be under consideration for publication elsewhere. The following statement outlines the ethical conduct expected from all parties involved in the publication process of this journal, including authors, editors, reviewers, and the publisher (FCIC Insights & FCIC) in the Philippines. The team endorse the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) code of conduct and refer to the COPE website for more information on their Core Practices.
- Reporting Requirements: Authors must provide an accurate summary of their original study and an unbiased assessment of its significance. Researchers should present their findings honestly, without fabrication, falsification, or inappropriate data manipulation. Manuscripts should include sufficient material and references to enable others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or intentionally incorrect statements are unethical and should be avoided. Manuscripts should adhere to the journal's submission guidelines.
- Plagiarism and Originality: Authors must ensure that their work is entirely unique. Unless co-publication has been agreed upon, the work should not be simultaneously submitted to multiple publications. Previous research and publications, both by other researchers and by the authors themselves, should be appropriately acknowledged and cited. Primary literature should be cited where applicable. Direct text borrowed from the works of other researchers should be enclosed in quotation marks and accompanied by proper citations. The acceptable plagiarism threshold should not exceed 10%.
- Multiple, Redundant, or Concurrent Publications: In general, authors should not submit the same work to multiple journals simultaneously. Authors are also expected not to submit duplicate submissions or publications reporting the same study to multiple journals. Simultaneously submitting the same article to multiple journals is considered unethical and improper publishing behavior. Multiple publications originating from a single research endeavor should be explicitly disclosed, with proper citation given to the primary publication.
- Acknowledgment of Sources: Authors should disclose all data sources utilized in their study and acknowledge publications that significantly influenced the nature of the presented work. Proper attribution of the efforts of others is always necessary.
- Paper Authorship: Authorship of research papers should accurately reflect individuals' contributions to the study and its reporting. Authorship should be limited to those who made substantial contributions to the study's conception, design, execution, or interpretation. Others who made significant contributions should be acknowledged as co-authors. When key contributors are recognized as authors, those who made lesser or purely technical contributions to the study or publication should be mentioned in an acknowledgment section. Authors should also ensure that all co-authors have reviewed and approved the manuscript's submitted version, including their inclusion as co-authors.
- Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest: All authors should explicitly disclose any financial or other substantial conflicts of interest that could potentially influence the findings or interpretation of their paper in their manuscript. All sources of funding for the project should be disclosed.
- Fundamental Errors in Published Works: If authors identify a significant error or inaccuracy in their submitted article, they should promptly notify the journal editor or publisher and work with the editor to retract or correct the study.
- Publication Decisions: Editors may accept, reject, or recommend changes to manuscripts based on the review report of the editorial board. Such decisions should always be guided by the validity and academic significance of the work in question. Editors may be guided by the principles of the editorial board and are bound by legal requirements such as those related to libel, copyright infringement, and plagiarism. In reaching these decisions, editors may consult with other editors or reviewers. Editors bear responsibility for the content they publish and should have mechanisms and policies in place to ensure the quality of their work and the integrity of the public record.
- Submission Review: Editors must ensure that each manuscript is initially screened for originality. They should organize and employ peer review in a fair and judicious manner. Editors should describe their peer review processes and disclose which sections of the journal undergo peer review in their author guidelines. Editors should select qualified peer reviewers for manuscripts under consideration for publication while avoiding conflicts of interest.
- Fair Play: Editors should ensure that each submission to the journal is evaluated for intellectual content without regard to the authors' gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, nationality, or other characteristics. Upholding editorial independence and integrity is a crucial aspect of the responsibility to make fair and impartial decisions. Editors wield significant authority in publication decisions, and therefore, this process should be as fair and unbiased as possible.
- Confidentiality: Editors must ensure that information regarding manuscripts submitted by authors remains confidential. Editors should address any potential breaches of data security and patient confidentiality. This includes obtaining informed consent for studies conducted and consent for publication when applicable.
- Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest: Journal editors must not use unpublished information disclosed in submitted manuscripts for their own research without the explicit permission of the author. Editors should not be involved in publication decisions if they have a financial interest in the outcome.
- Confidentiality: Information related to authors' manuscript submissions must be treated as confidential and proprietary. Reviewers should not share or discuss such information with anyone unless explicitly authorized by the editor.
- Source Acknowledgement: Reviewers should ensure that authors have acknowledged all data sources used in their study. Reviewers should identify relevant published works that authors may not have cited. Any claim that an observation, derivation, or argument has been previously published should be supported by a reference. If reviewers identify any irregularities, have concerns about the ethical aspects of the work, detect substantial similarities between the manuscript and another concurrent submission or published article, or suspect research misconduct during the study or manuscript preparation, they should promptly inform the journal. However, reviewers should maintain the confidentiality of their concerns and not personally pursue them.
- Objectivity Standards: Reviewing submitted publications should be done objectively, with reviewers clearly stating their opinions backed by supporting evidence. Unless there are compelling reasons to the contrary, reviewers should follow the journal's guidelines regarding specific contributions required from them. Reviewers should provide constructive criticism and suggestions to help authors improve their articles. Reviewers should specify any additional studies needed to validate the claims made in the paper under review or to enhance and expand the work.
- Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest: Reviewers should maintain the privacy of confidential information or ideas acquired during peer review and should not use them for personal gain. Reviewers should not evaluate articles in which they have financial, collaborative, or other affiliations with any of the authors, organizations, or institutions associated with the publications. If reviewers suspect the identity of the author(s) during double-blind review and if this knowledge could create a potential conflict of interest, they should inform the journal.
- Promptness: Reviewers should respond in a timely manner. Reviewers should only agree to review a manuscript if they are reasonably confident, they can complete the review within the suggested or mutually agreed-upon timeframe, promptly notifying the journal if an extension is needed. If a reviewer anticipates that they will not be able to complete the manuscript evaluation within the specified time frame, they should inform the editor so that the manuscript can be assigned to another reviewer.
Authors of papers addressing research involving human subjects must ensure that their study, as stated in their submission and in the publication of their work, complies with all local regulations.
Authors conducting human subjects research must obtain the necessary ethical review and approval (or exemption) from their Institutional Review Board (IRB) before submitting a publication. Authors of multi-site research papers must obtain IRB approval from each institution involved. Documentation of IRB status should be available upon request. If there are no institutional review boards or committees, authors must conduct their research in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, as revised in 2013. The manuscript's Materials and Methods section (or at the end of the text for shorter article types such as announcements or short-form papers) should include a declaration of IRB approval or exemption (with an explanation for the exemption) or a statement of adherence to the Helsinki Declaration. If the participant cannot be identified from any content within the text, informed consent for publication is not required. If informed consent is not obtained, identifiable elements such as participants' initials, specific dates, precise geographic locations, or other identifying details (including body features in figures) should be removed while preserving the scientific meaning. Critical information should be presented in a way that prevents participant identification, such as referring to a season instead of a date or a general location instead of a specific city. If a participant can be identified from the manuscript's content, every effort should be made to secure informed consent for publication from the participants or their legal guardians if the participant is a minor. Participants must have the opportunity to review the manuscript before submission in order to provide informed consent. Authors should retain a copy of the participant's consent and make it available upon request. A statement confirming receipt and retention of signed participant consent should be included in the published report.
For further information, please refer to the ORI module on human subject research and the COPE standards.