Our Policies

Sustainable Trends and Business Research (SBTR) is introduced by the ResearchApt, with great pride as a leading institution dedicated to higher learning within the country. As a journal under ResearchApt, SBTR is committed to fostering quality research endeavors aimed at enriching the knowledge landscape through locally driven investigations.

Policy Framework and Objectives

The objectives and scope outlined by SBTR Journal's policies delineate the overarching aims and thematic focus of the journal, emphasizing content quality, ethical standards, and contributions to the academic community. This policy framework serves to ensure consistency and clarity in the operational processes of SBTR Journal, applicable to all stakeholders including the Editorial Teams, Editorial Board, Advisory Board, Review Board, Authors, and Readers.

Originality and Plagiarism Policy

SBTR Journal prioritizes originality to safeguard the integrity of published research. All submissions must constitute the author's own work and should not have been previously published or concurrently submitted elsewhere for publication. Authors are encouraged to duly acknowledge and cite any existing works that have informed their research. Instances of plagiarism or inadequate citation are dealt with sternly and may result in submission rejection. To ascertain manuscript originality, advanced tools such as Turnitin are utilized as part of the stringent evaluation process.

Alignment with COPE Guidelines

Upholding the principles of originality aligns with the guidelines set forth by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Preserving the integrity of academic publishing is paramount, with originality serving as the cornerstone of credible and impactful research. SBTR Journal's policies on originality, guided by COPE's best practices, are aimed at fostering ethical research conduct and upholding the highest standards of scholarly publication.

Author(s) Contributions/Credits Policy

This policy seeks to establish clear criteria for authorship, ensuring appropriate recognition for individuals who have significantly contributed to a research article accepted for publication in SBTR Journal. Authorship should be based on substantial contributions to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the research study. Authors delineate their specific roles and contributions through the CRediT system. We appreciate the cooperation of all parties in maintaining transparent authorship standards. Therefore, all authors are required to adhere to the following criteria:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work, or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data.
  • Drafting or critically revising the article for intellectual content.
  • Final approval of the version to be published.
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work to ensure its accuracy and integrity.

Authorship order within the manuscript should reflect the relative contributions to the research study (which may vary across disciplines) as follows:

  • The main author, the researcher making the most significant contribution to the research (both in practice and writing), should be listed first.
  • Co-authors should be listed in descending order according to their relative contributions.
  • The designated corresponding author, responsible for communication with the journal and readers, should be clearly identified.

In cases of conflict regarding authorship, the Editor-in-Chief or a designated Senior Editor will facilitate discussions between involved parties. Decisions on authorship will be based on adherence to the criteria outlined in this policy, ensuring fair assessment of contributions and consultation with appropriate experts when necessary.

Any changes in authorship, including additions, deletions, or rearrangements, post-submission require written consent from all concerned authors. Such changes should be promptly communicated to the journal's editorial team, accompanied by a clear rationale for modification. If necessary, such changes will be communicated to the editorial team even after the peer review process but before publication.

Affiliation Policy

Corresponding authors are kindly requested to ensure that all authors have provided a comprehensive list of pertinent affiliations for their research work. In the event of a transfer from the current affiliated institution to another, an author may update their affiliation before the manuscript's publication. Following the publication process, affiliations will remain unchanged. For authors with multiple affiliations, it is necessary to indicate the order of affiliation as primary, secondary, or tertiary institutions. However, the number of affiliations should not exceed ten at a time. Independent researchers should denote their independent status.

Citation Guidelines

The SBTR Journal adheres to the citation guidelines outlined by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and incorporates valuable recommendations for ensuring accurate and ethical citation practices. The following citation guidelines, based on COPE rules, are to be observed:

  1. Accurate and Complete Citations:

Authors must furnish accurate and complete citations for all sources referenced in their research work. Include all pertinent information, such as authors' names, article titles, journal titles, publication years, volume numbers, and page numbers. For online sources, researchers should include stable identifiers such as DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) or URLs.

  1. Citing Previous Work Appropriately:

Authors are obliged to cite relevant prior research works that have influenced or contributed to their research. Credit the original authors by including their work in the reference list or through proper in-text citations. Cite both published and unpublished works (with permission) that have significantly influenced the research or analysis.

  1. Avoiding Plagiarism:

Authors are responsible for ensuring that their citations accurately attribute ideas, data, and words to their sources. Directly quote or paraphrase other works, while indicating the source. Use quotation marks for verbatim text and provide the proper initial source.

  1. Transparent Self-Citation:

Authors should refrain from excessive or inappropriate self-citation that may appear biased or manipulative (See COPE guidelines related to text recycling). Self-citations should only be employed when necessary to provide context or acknowledge previous related work. Self-citations should adhere to the same guidelines for accuracy and completeness as citations to other authors' works.

  1. Correcting and Retracting Citations:

In case of errors or omissions discovered in published articles, authors should promptly issue corrections or retractions. Corrections should be transparently communicated to the readers and publishers, including a clear explanation of the changes made to the original publication.

Cross-Checking Citations

Authors are encouraged to meticulously cross-check their references to ensure accuracy and verify that all cited sources are reputable and reliable. Attention should be paid to adhering to proper citation formats, such as APA, AMA, IEEE, or Chicago style, depending on the specific requirements of the journal. Authors should prioritize citing sources that are peer-reviewed, credible, and reliable, including scholarly journals, books, and conference proceedings. Adhering to Copyright Guidelines:

Authors are expected to uphold copyright regulations and obtain permission to reproduce copyrighted materials whenever necessary. While authors retain the copyright to their work, they grant SBTR Journal the right to publish the article under a specified license. This arrangement allows authors to maintain control over their intellectual property. Proper attribution and citation of sources, including the work of other authors, are essential to respecting creators' rights and upholding the accuracy of scholarly communication.

Conflict of Interest/Competing Interest Policy

A robust conflict of interest policy is essential for ensuring transparency, integrity, and unbiased decision-making throughout the publishing process. Accordingly, SBTR Journal adheres to the following policy.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all individuals involved in the publishing process of SBTR Journal disclose and manage any potential or actual conflicts of interest that could influence their objectivity, integrity, or decision-making. This policy applies to all individuals engaged in editorial roles, including editors, editorial board members, reviewers, authors, and staff members associated with SBTR Journal. A conflict of interest arises when an individual's personal, professional, financial, or institutional affiliations or relationships may impact their judgment, objectivity, or decision-making during the publishing process. Individuals involved in the publication process, including authors, reviewers, editorial team members, and staff, must disclose any potential or actual conflicts of interest. These conflicts may include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

Financial relationships, such as employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or funding sources. Personal relationships, including familial or other personal connections with authors, reviewers, or editors. Institutional affiliations or biases that may influence judgment or create perceptions of bias. Intellectual or professional conflicts that could affect objectivity or fairness in reviewing, editing, or publishing decisions.

Editorial Board Conflicts

Members of the advisory board and guest editors are required to disclose potential conflicts of interest related to their roles. In cases where conflicts are identified, advisory board members and guest editors may be excluded from decisions about manuscripts that pose conflicts.

Disclosure Process

Authors must disclose any potential conflicts of interest related to their research or funding sources in a designated section of the manuscript, following the journal's guidelines (refer to the attached template in Annexure A for the conflict-of-interest statement). Reviewers and editors must disclose any conflicts of interest relevant to the manuscripts assigned to them for review. They should promptly notify the journal's editorial office of any conflicts that arise during the review process. Editorial board members should disclose any conflicts of interest that may impact their decision-making or editorial duties. Staff members associated with SBTR Journal should disclose any potential conflicts of interest arising from their roles in the publishing process.

Handling Conflict of Interest

Review and Evaluation: Conflicts of interest are taken into consideration during editorial decision-making to ensure an unbiased and objective process. Disclosed conflicts of interest are reviewed by the journal's Editor-in-Chief or a designated Editor to assess their potential impact on the individual's ability to fulfill their responsibilities impartially.

Mitigation Strategies: Appropriate measures are implemented to manage conflicts of interest, which may include abstaining from specific tasks, assigning alternative reviewers or editors, or seeking additional expert opinions.

Transparency: The journal is committed to maintaining transparency by clearly disclosing any identified conflicts of interest, either within published articles or on the journal's website.

Confidentiality: All disclosed conflicts of interest will be handled by the journal's editorial team with strict confidentiality, sharing information only with individuals directly involved in the evaluation and decision-making process.

Continuous Monitoring and Improvement: SBTR Journal periodically reviews and updates its conflict-of-interest policy to ensure effectiveness and alignment with industry best practices. Upholding the principles of fairness, transparency, and the highest ethical standard in scholarly publishing guides the management of conflicts of interest.

Author(s) Appeals: The editorial staff of SBTR Journal carefully considers all issues related to academic integrity. Authors who disagree with a decision made by the journal's editorial team or wish to complain about the publication process may file an appeal.

Appeal Process and Complaint Handling: Authors must formally submit their appeal or complaint to the journal's editorial team within fifteen days of the decision or incident. The Editor-in-Chief or Editor will review the appeal for validity and determine the appropriate course of action, which may involve appointing an independent reviewer for re-evaluation and investigation.

Continuous Improvement: All appeals and complaints are treated with strict confidentiality, and reviewers are selected based on their expertise and impartiality. Personal information is handled in accordance with relevant privacy laws and regulations to address problems promptly and uphold the integrity of the editorial process and the reputation of the journals.

Corrections, Retractions, and Withdrawal Policy: SBTR Journal adheres to COPE guidelines and best practices for scholarly journals to handle corrections, retractions, and withdrawals. The policy ensures prompt consideration and resolution of errors or misconduct, with transparent communication to readers and appropriate actions taken to maintain the integrity of the scholarly record.

Policy for Research Misconducts: The journal's policy for research misconduct aligns with COPE guidelines, ensuring a confidential and accessible reporting mechanism, impartial preliminary assessment, thorough investigation process, transparent communication of findings and outcomes, appropriate corrective actions and sanctions, and a fair appeals process.

Data Availability and Sharing Policy

Data Availability Statement: SBTR Journal may request authors to include a data availability statement in their manuscripts, as per the provided template in Annexure B. The data availability statement should clearly specify whether data will be openly accessible or subject to specific restrictions. For openly available data, authors must indicate where the data can be accessed, such as repositories, websites, or supplementary materials. In cases of restricted data, authors should justify the restrictions and outline the conditions under which access can be granted.

Open Data: Authors are encouraged to make their data openly available whenever feasible, adhering to FAIR principles (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable). Authors are encouraged to deposit their data in reputable repositories or archives. The use of data citation practices is encouraged to ensure appropriate attribution of datasets.

Data Sharing Exceptions: SBTR Journal recognizes situations where data sharing may be prohibited due to legal (intellectual property rights) or ethical (confidentiality and privacy) restrictions. In such exceptional cases, authors must provide a clear explanation for the restrictions in the data availability statement.

Data Access Requirements: Authors are requested to provide metadata, documentation, or data access agreements for restricted data. Authors are encouraged to provide detailed descriptions of data collection, processing, and analysis methodologies to enhance transparency and reproducibility.

Reproducibility and Validation: SBTR Journal emphasizes the reproducibility of findings by encouraging authors to share the necessary data and code. Authors should include information on data validation processes (quality control) along with potential data limitations.

Compliance Monitoring: SBTR Journal ensures authors' compliance with data availability and sharing policies, with oversight from reviewers and editors.

Use of Figures, Tables, and Images in Articles

Copyright Compliance: Authors must adhere to copyright laws and obtain permission for copyrighted materials (images, tables, figures, and data) used in their manuscripts. Copyrighted material must be cited properly in the manuscript to comply with copyright regulations.

Originality and Authenticity:

  • Data, tables, images, and figures presented in the manuscript must be original, authentic, and accurate. Any modifications should be disclosed and justified.
  • Use of manipulative and misleading data is strictly prohibited.

Clarity and Appropriateness

  • Tables and figures/images should be relevant to the manuscript, aiding in a better understanding of the research.
  • They should be numbered sequentially with appropriate titles and referenced within the text.
  • Figures and images should be clear, labeled appropriately (e.g., graphs), and presented cohesively.

Ethical Use of Images

  • Consent must be obtained from identifiable research participants in photographs or images.
  • Offensive, discriminatory, or inappropriate images or figures should be avoided.

Quality and Resolution:

  • High-quality images and figures with sufficient resolution should be provided to maintain clarity and readability.
  • Low-resolution images compromising content understanding should be avoided.

Consistency and Formatting

  • Authors must adhere to the journal's formatting guidelines for images, tables, and figures to ensure a cohesive appearance across published articles.

Permissions and Citations

  • Appropriate permissions and citations are required for all images, tables, and figures used from external sources, including citing the source and complying with licensing requirements.

Plagiarism Policy

  • SBTR Journal places a strong emphasis on originality and employs plagiarism detection tools and thorough editorial review processes to identify and address originality-related issues.
  • Authors must ensure their submissions are original and not previously published or simultaneously submitted elsewhere for publication.

AI Involvement

  • Authors should disclose the involvement of AI tools in their research and provide details about the tools used to ensure transparency.
  • Articles exploring the use of AI in research methodologies are encouraged.

Peer Review Policy

  • Manuscripts undergo editorial evaluation for scope and technical correctness before being sent for double-blind peer review.
  • The double-blind peer review process ensures objectivity and minimizes bias, with both authors and reviewers remaining anonymous to each other.
  • The Chief Editor/Editor reserves the right to reject manuscripts at any stage, with authors having the right to appeal.

Role of Reviewers

Reviewers are tasked with critically analyzing assigned research articles based on their relevance to the field and the journal's scope. Their feedback should be constructive, honest, and respectful, following the guidelines provided by COPE for peer review.

Research Ethics Guidelines

The research ethics policy of SBTR Journal is committed to upholding the highest ethical standards in research and publication. It is the responsibility of authors, reviewers, editors, and the journal itself to adhere to these standards fully.

Ethical Guidelines for Authors

  • Authors must adhere to ethical principles in conducting research, ensuring the protection of human subjects, animals, and the environment.
  • Informed consent, confidentiality, and proper handling of data are essential, along with compliance with relevant legal and ethical regulations.
  • Studies involving human subjects should receive approval from an appropriate Institutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics committee, with authors providing detailed information about ethical considerations, consent processes, and approvals.
  • Authors conducting research involving animals should adhere to established guidelines for animal welfare and fair treatment, minimizing stress or harm during studies.
  • Emphasis is placed on originality, accurate reporting, and proper citation of sources to prevent plagiarism and self-plagiarism.
  • Authors are encouraged to disclose any potential conflicts of interest that may influence their research or its interpretation.

Peer Review Process

  • Reviewers must conduct fair and unbiased evaluations of submitted manuscripts, maintaining confidentiality, and avoiding conflicts of interest.
  • Constructive feedback should be provided, ethical concerns identified, and any suspected misconduct or data manipulation reported.
  • Transparency in the peer review process, especially in double-blind reviews, is essential.

Editorial Responsibilities

  • Editors ensure the ethical conduct of the journal, maintaining independence, transparency, and unbiased decision-making.
  • The editorial team, guided by editors, handles allegations of misconduct, with decisions on corrections, retractions, or expressions of concern being final.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

  • Authors must comply with relevant ethical standards, guidelines, and regulations, obtaining appropriate approvals and permissions.
  • Details of ethical considerations, approvals, and informed consent should be provided in manuscripts.
  • All violations of academic integrity will be reported to the concerned editors, SBTR Research Ethics Committee, or Rector SBTR. Reported ethical issues will be handled with fairness and due process. Education and Awareness:
  • The investigation process ensures confidentiality and respects individuals' privacy. External experts or advisors may be involved to ensure objectivity. Support and Protection:

Transparency and Accountability

  • The harassment policy is publicly stated, and updates are made when necessary to ensure transparency.
  • Regular updates regarding the progress and outcomes of harassment investigations are provided for accountability.

Education and Training

  • ResearchApt provides workshops and training programs to individuals involved in the publishing process to enhance their understanding of conflict of interest, disclosure, and proper management.

Accessibility Policy

  • SBTR Journal ensures that content is accessible to all readers by using the Open Journal System (OJS) and uploading HTML versions along with PDF versions of published articles.
  • Feedback regarding accessibility concerns is welcomed and helps identify areas for improvement to enhance platform accessibility.

Open Access Statement

  • SBTR Journal follows an Open Access approach, making articles freely available to readers without access restrictions, ensuring accessibility to researchers, educators, policymakers, and the public globally.

Digital Archiving Policy

  • SBTR Journal stores digital archives of published material to ensure availability for readers, archiving articles on the internet and Preservation Networks (CLOCKS) regularly.
  • Metadata compatibility with repository services enhances preservation efforts, and self-archiving of data associated with SBTR Journal is performed regularly to maintain accessibility.

Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) and Archival Practices:

  • DOIs are assigned to journals/articles for better archiving, ensuring accurate and retrievable citations over time.
  • Published articles and associated metadata are archived in reputable digital repositories and preservation systems, ensuring readability, accessibility, and content availability for the foreseeable future, while guarding against technological changes and obsolescence.

Author Self-Archiving Policy

  • SBTR Journal encourages authors to display their published work on personal websites, social media handles, and institutional repositories to enhance the visibility and data analytics of articles.

Article Processing Charges (APC)

  • STBR does not charge any submission or publication fee.

Copyrights and Permissions

  • SBTR Journal publishes articles under Creative Commons (CC) licenses, specifically the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC By 4.0).
  • This license allows others to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the work, even for commercial purposes, provided proper attribution is given to the original authors.
  • Authors retain the copyright to their manuscripts, but SBTR Journal may distribute printed copies with certain subscription fees.
  • The publication may include general descriptive names, trade names, and trademarks, which may be protected by relevant laws and regulations.
  • While the information in the journal is believed to be true and accurate at the time of publication, neither the author nor the publisher can be held responsible for any errors or omissions.
  • The published material is the sole responsibility of the author, and SBTR would not be responsible for any published content.

Promoting Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing:

  • By publishing under CC licenses, SBTR Journal promotes collaboration, knowledge sharing, and unrestricted access to scholarly content.
  • Authors' contributions to disseminating knowledge align with the principles of open science, encouraging collaboration, innovation, and scholarship advancement.

Systematic Reviews Registration

  • Authors conducting systematic reviews and meta-analyses should register them in appropriate databases to promote transparency and prevent duplication of effort.
  • Registration should clearly outline the study's objectives and methodology, and systematic reviews should be registered in specialized registries like PROSPERO or similar platforms.

Originality and Plagiarism

  • Authors must ensure the originality of their submitted articles, which should not have been previously published elsewhere.
  • Plagiarism, including the use of AI tools and the unacknowledged use of others' work, is strictly prohibited.
  • SBTR Journal may use plagiarism detection software such as Turnitin, authenticate, and others to screen submissions for potential plagiarism.

Authorship and Contributions

  • All individuals who have made significant contributions to the research and preparation of the article should be listed as authors.
  • The order of authorship should reflect the extent of their contributions, and the corresponding author is responsible for ensuring all co-authors approve the final manuscript.

Disclosure of Conflict of Interest

  • Authors must disclose any financial, personal, or professional conflicts of interest that could potentially influence the research or findings.
  • If no conflicts of interest exist, authors should explicitly state this in their submission.

Advertisement Policy

  • SBTR Journal does not accept or publish advertisements on its websites to maintain editorial independence and the integrity of scholarly content.
  • This policy ensures clarity, credibility, and unbiased reporting, promoting research accuracy and transparency.
  • By adhering to a no-advertisement policy, SBTR Journal provides a trustworthy platform for disseminating high-quality research.

Article Publishing Rights Policy

For SBTR to publish research articles, publishing rights are required. This involves an agreement between the author and SBTR, where the author grants certain rights to SBTR while retaining key rights to use and share their own published articles. SBTR supports the authors' need to share the impact of their articles and these rights in Islamic Culture. The Journal SBTR holds all the rights to articles published.