Policies & Guidelines

Policies, Guidelines, and Additional Information about FJES

Forman Journal of Economic Studies (FJES) strictly follows the policies and guidelines given by the Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan, regarding the following.

  1. Peer Review Policy
  2. Publication Charge Policy
  3. Authorship Policy
  4. Policies for Research Misconduct
  5. Complaint Registration Policy
  6. Confidentially Policy
  7. Copyright and License Policy


  1. Peer Review Policy

The peer-review process involves an exchange between a journal editor and a team of reviewers (referees). Following the double-blind review method, the identity of both Author(s) and Referees is kept anonymous for proper assessment and to overcome the issues of bias in reviewing process. We shall briefly discuss the Peer Review Process in the following.

  1. a) Editorial Office Assessment

On submission, the editorial assistant examines the composition and arrangement of the article according to the "Author's Guidelines" available on the website. Plagiarism is also checked on this point. The editorial assistant forwards a well-structured research article to the Editorial Board for the desk evaluation. Although, the quality of the article is not reviewed in-depth at this point. However, failing to meet the minimum degree of quality may result in the rejection of the paper from the desk.

  1. b) Appraisal by the Editorial Board

At this point, the editorial board first reviews the compatibility of the submitted article with the aims & scope of the journal, the originality of the paper, and the contribution of the paper to the existing literature. Failing an article to meet the minimum degree of quality may result in rejection from the editorial board. However, If the paper has favorable consideration by the editorial board, it will be sent to a local referee for evaluation.

  1. c) Local Referee Review

The job of the local referee is to evaluate the paper as per HEC given guidelines for referees. The local referee will submit a review with a recommendation to accept (in original, with major or minor changes) or reject the article on the online Journal Management System. In case of rejection by the local referee, the system will communicate the decision to the corresponding author. However, if the local referee accepts the article, then the paper will be forwarded to the foreign referee for their feedback.

  1. d) Foreign Referee(s) Review

The Foreign referee is selected to review the paper as per their area of specialization. The review procedure continues as per the HEC guidelines for foreign referees. The review report of the article is sent to the Editorial Office along with comments and recommendations as accepted (in original, with major or minor changes) or rejected for publication in FJES. If the foreign referee rejects the article, the decision is communicated to the corresponding author. However, if the foreign referee recommends the article for publication in FJES, the comments of local and foreign referees are communicated to the corresponding author. Then, the corresponding author submits the revised paper and the response sheet to the comments of local and foreign referees for consideration by the editorial board.

  1. e) Editorial Board Decision

Based on comments and recommendations of the local and foreign referees and the revised article, the Editorial Board of the FJES makes the final decision for publication.

  1. Publication Charge/Fee Policy

FJES does not charge any Article Processing Charges (APC) or Article Publication Fee (APF) to cover the costs of peer review administration and management, professional production, and dissemination of published papers in various venues (in addition to other publishing functions). The Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan and the Forman Christian College (A Chartered University), Lahore, Pakistan, bear these charges.

  1. Authorship Policy

The authorship policy ensures that the appropriate individuals get the credit and therefore be considered accountable for the research. Misrepresenting the relationship of the study with the provided author names is misconduct that adversely affects the confidence in the reporting of the work itself. Submission of study to the journal will also be considered as explicit consent of all the authors. The following four criteria should be taken under consideration while assigning authorship.

  • Substantial contributions to the concept or design of the work; acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content
  • Final approval of the version to be published
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work, i.e., accuracy or integrity.

In addition, authors should have confidence in the integrity of the contributions of their co- authors. The designated authors should meet the authorship criteria, and the other contributors may be acknowledged.

  1. Policies for Research Misconduct

Researchers are entitled to research with the best practices and codes of conduct. FJES strictly follows specific guidelines and the ethical guidelines provided by the HEC. These guidelines are obligatory for the author(s). Violation of these guidelines may have negative consequences

on the author(s), e.g., suspension or revocation of publishing privileges up to a specific time. The policies for research misconduct mainly hover around the following four themes.

  1. a) Research Fraud: This misconduct comprises of publication of results based on data fabrication and falsification. Data Fabrication means making up research data and results, and data falsification includes manipulating research materials, tools, or processing. It also includes omitting or adding data to acquire results of interest.
  2. b) Simultaneous Submission: The author(s) should submit original research (never published before). Intentionally submitting it to other journals is considered a breach of publication ethics. The simultaneous submission of a research study to two different journals may cause a publication of the article in both journals. It also includes duplicate or multiple publications, when two or more research publications are shared without cross-reference while sharing similar hypotheses, data, and conclusions.
  3. c) Plagiarism: It is serious misconduct. Plagiarism implies that an author deliberately uses another's work without permission, credit, or acknowledgment. It may include copying data, words & phrases, or ideas & concepts of published work without acknowledging and crediting the work of others. While acknowledging the building steps derived from the available literature, the submitted study should be an advancement in the particular field instead of a mere revision. If the report has less than a 19% Similarity index, the benefit of the doubt may be given to the author. However, if any single source has a similarity index of more than 5% without citation, it needs to be revised.
  4. d) Undeclared Conflict of Interest (CoI): Transparency is the only course of action that builds sound relations with the journal. Undeclared conflict of interest occurs when an investigator, author, editor, or reviewer has a financial/personal interest or belief that could affect the objectivity. Therefore, any direct (e.g., employment, ownership) or indirect (e.g., mutual fund ownership, consultancies to sponsoring organizations) competing interest will seriously undermine the credibility of the author(s).

Examples of conflicts of interest might include the following, although it is not an exhaustive list:

  • Having received fees for consulting.
  • Having received research funding.
  • Having been employed by a related company.
  • Holding stocks or shares in a company that might be affected by the paper's publication.
  • Having received funds reimbursing the author for attending related symposia or talk.
  • Upon identification of any conflict of interest, the editors may require more information from the author, e.g.
  • Acknowledgment of financial support/sponsorship in their contribution
  • Any signed agreement with any sponsor of the research that prevents them from publishing positive and negative results or without prior approval of the sponsor
  1. Complaint Registration Policy

Before registering a complaint, the author or reader should have supporting evidence. The complaint can be submitted to the managing editor or editor-in-chief of FJES. The editor-in- chief shall maintain confidentiality until the resolution of the complaint. Editor-in-chief will schedule a focused meeting with the editorial board to discuss the complaint, and appropriate measures will be taken and informed to the concerned quarter.

The complaints may be and are not limited to:

  1. a) Before Publication from the Reviewer: The concern may be raised about a submitted draft during the review process:
  • The editorial office can ask the reviewer to demand the information/data if there is any skepticism.
  • If the problem exists, the editorial office will ask the author for clarification.
  • The review process can be put on hold until the resolution of the issue.
  • A satisfactory response from the author will resume the review process.
  • The editorial office  may  reject  the  submission  if  the  author  cannot  explain satisfactorily.
  1. b) After Publication from the Reader: If a reader finds something skeptical and complains, the reader will be asked for supporting evidence. If the supporting evidence does not stand, no further action will proceed. However, if action is required due to substantial evidence, the following possibilities can arise:
  • publishing a correction statement
  • publish an expression of concern
  • Retraction of the published article, depending upon the seriousness of the issue, like fabricated data and plagiarism
  1. c) After Rejection of the Research Article from the Author: If an author finds something skeptical, the author can directly ask the managing editor for the review process, comments of the reviewers, and the purpose of rejection. If any action is required, the following possibilities can arise:
  • Acceptance of the submitted article
  • Rejection upholding
  1. Confidentially Policy

The editors and the publication handling/managing staff keep all information about a submitted manuscript confidential and share it only with those involved in the evaluation, review, and publication processes as per the journal’s publication policy. The journal is being operated through an automated journal management system to ensure a transparent double-blind peer- review process and the confidentiality of the information.

  1. Copyright and License Policy
  • Author(s) grant FJES a license to publish the article and identify FJES as the original publisher
  • Author(s) also grant any third   party the right lo use the article   freely as long   as its integrity   is  maintained   and  its original  authoris),   citation  details,   and publisher  are identified.
  • The Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 formalizes these and other terms and conditions of publishing articles. This license permits reproduction, distribution, derivation and commercial    use,  provided the original   work is  properly   cited,  and the authors and the publisher are appropriately   
  • The author(s) should consider the above-mentioned guidelines     before    submitting     their manuscripts.    For detailed    information, please   see the ethical guidelines by the HEC, or the author(s) can contact the editorial board for any queries or confusion.