Ethics and Malpractices

The Journal of Rural Advancement strictly follows the guidelines developed by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and (ICAR).

These guidelines are intended to be advisory rather than prescriptive and to evolve over time. 

Study design and ethical approval

Good research should be well justified, well planned, appropriately designed, and ethically approved. Conducting research to a lower standard may constitute misconduct.

Data analysis

Data should be appropriately analyzed, but inappropriate analysis does not necessarily amount to misconduct. Fabrication and falsification of data do constitute misconduct. All sources and methods used to obtain and analyze data, including any electronic pre-processing, should be fully disclosed; detailed explanations should be provided for any exclusions. Methods of analysis must be explained in detail and referenced if they are not in common use. The post hoc analysis of subgroups is acceptable, as long as this is disclosed. Failure to disclose that the analysis was post hoc is unacceptable. The discussion section of a paper should mention any issues of bias that have been considered and explain how they have been dealt with in the design and interpretation of the study.


There is no universally agreed definition of authorship. As a minimum, authors should take responsibility for a particular section of the study. The award of authorship should balance intellectual contributions to the conception, design, analysis, and writing of the study against the collection of data and other routine work. If there is no task that can reasonably be attributed to a particular individual, then that individual should not be credited with authorship.

Conflicts of interest

Conflicts of interest comprise those which may not be fully apparent and which may influence the judgment of the author, reviewers, and editors, described as those which, when revealed later, would make a reasonable reader feel misled or deceived. Such interests, where relevant, must be declared to editors by researchers, authors, and reviewers. Editors should also disclose relevant conflicts of interest to their readers. If in doubt, disclose. Sometimes editors may need to withdraw from the review and selection process for the relevant submission.

Author's guidelines

While preparing the manuscript of the papers, the authors are supposed to strictly follow the author's guidelines. Not following the guidelines may be the reason for the rejection of the paper.

Peer review

Each paper submitted for publication is sent to two independent referees for peer review. They are selected on the following basis:

  • Expertise in one or more areas of paper
  • No conflicts of interest
  • Able to think clearly and logically
  • Able to write a good critique
  • Accurate
  • Reliable in returning reviews
  • be able to do the review in the allotted time frame.

Referees are expected to respond to the editor's request for advice within a limited period of time, which is clearly stated by the editor. A comment pro forma is also provided for seeking advice on all aspects of the article. If the reports of both referees disagree with regard to the suitability of the paper for publication, advice from a third referee is sought.


 The article is sent to the author for modification, along with the comments of the referees. At this stage, the editor completes the preliminary editing. It includes checking in-house style (presentation of title, affiliations, present address, abstract, scientific nomenclature, text, and reference presentation).

The article is rejected on the basis of the comments of the referees. The communicating author is informed accordingly.

The chief editor's decision, whether made independently or in consultation with the editorial board, is final. Acceptance of the article is sent to the author.

Redundant publications

Redundant publication occurs when two or more papers, without full cross-reference, share the same hypothesis, data, discussion points, or conclusions.

  • Published studies do not need to be repeated unless further confirmation is required.
  • Previous publication of an abstract during the proceedings of meetings does not preclude subsequent submissions for publication, but full disclosure should be made at the time of submission.
  • At the time of submission, authors should disclose details of related papers, even if in a different language, and similar papers in press.


Plagiarism ranges from the unreferenced use of others published and unpublished ideas, including research grant applications, to the submission under “new” authorship of a complete paper, sometimes in a different language. It may occur at any stage of planning, research, writing, or publication; it applies to print and electronic versions. All sources should be disclosed, and if large amounts of other people’s written or illustrative material are to be used, permission must be sought.

Dealing with misconduct

The general principle confirming misconduct is the intention to cause others to regard as true what is not true. The examination of misconduct must therefore focus not only on the particular act or omission but also on the intention of the researcher, author, editor, reviewer, or publisher involved. Deception may be by intention, by reckless disregard of possible consequences, or by negligence. It is implicit, therefore, that “best practice” requires complete honesty and full disclosure. Codes of practice may raise awareness, but they can never be exhaustive. Sanctions may be applied to the author in such a serious case.

The article must be accompanied with an article certificate duly signed by all the authors.