Editorial Policy

The frequency of issue is once a year. The efficiency and effectiveness of the editorial review process are critically dependent upon the actions of both the research authors and the reviewers. An author accepts the responsibility of preparing the research paper for evaluation by independent reviewers. The responsibility includes subjecting the manuscript to evaluation by peers and revising it prior to submission. The review process is not to be used as a means of obtaining feedback at early stages of developing the research paper.

Subscription Policy

The SMCC Higher Education Journal is accessible through institutional subscriptions for libraries at www.ejournals.ph (ejournals.ph@gmail.com) while individual subscriptions at www.journals.smccnasipit.edu.ph by registering in the journal of your choice.

Policy on Retraction

Retraction is an act of the journal publisher to remove a published article from the digital file due to post publication discovery of fraudulent claims by the research, plagiarism or serious errors of methodology which escaped detection in the quality assurance process. Complaints by third party researchers on any of the grounds and validated by the editorial office trigger the retraction but only after the writer has been notified and allowed to present his side in compliance to due process.

Policy on Digital Preservation

Digital Preservation is the process of storing systematically electronic files in multiple formats such as compact discs, cloud computing, Google drive, email accounts, external hard drives, among others. This is to guarantee that in conditions where the website crashes, there is natural calamity, fire and other man made destructions, virus invasions, the files are preserved.

Policy on Handling Complaints

If the Journal receives a complaint that any contribution to the Journal infringes copyright or other intellectual property rights or contains material inaccuracies, libelous materials or otherwise unlawful materials, the Journal will investigate the complaint. Investigation may include a request that the parties involved substantiate their claims. The Journal will make a good faith distribution whether to remove the allegedly wrongful material. A decision not to remove material should represent the Journal’s belief that the complaint is without sufficient foundation, or if well founded, that a legal defense or exemption may apply, such as fair use in the case of copyright infringement or truthfulness of a statement in the case of libel. Journal should document its investigation and decision. If found guilty after investigation, the article shall be subject to retraction policy.

Policy on Use of Human Subjects in Research

The Journal will only publish research articles involving human subjects after the author(s) have verified that they have followed all laws and regulations concerning the protections afforded human subjects in research studies within the jurisdiction in which a research study they describe was conducted. The research protocol must have been approved by the appropriate institutional review board (IRB). In the case of exempt research, the IRB must have deemed the research protocol exempt. A certificate of approval by the IRB must be submitted along with the manuscript.

Policy on Conflicts of Interest

The Journal will only publish articles after the author(s) have confirmed that they have disclosed all potential conflicts of interest.

Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice

The SMCC Higher Education Journal is committed to upholding the highest standards of publication ethics and takes all possible measures against any publication malpractice. All authors submitting their works to the SMCC Higher Education Journal for publication as original articles attest that the submitted works represent their authors’ contributions and have not been copied or plagiarized in whole or in part from other works. The authors acknowledge that they have disclosed all and any actual or potential conflicts of interest with their work or partial benefits associated with it. In the same manner, the SMCC Higher Education Journal is committed to objective and fair double-blind peerreview of the submitted manuscripts for publication and to prevent any actual or potential conflict of interests between the editorial and review personnel and the reviewed material. Any departures from the above-defined rules should be reported directly to the Editors-in-Chief who are unequivocally committed to providing swift resolutions to any of such type of problems. Reviewers and editors are responsible for providing constructive and prompt evaluation of submitted research papers based on the significance of their contribution and on the rigors of analysis and presentation.

The Peer Review System

Definition. Peer review (also known as refereeing) is the process of subjecting an author’s scholarly work, research or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the same field. Peer review requires a community of experts in a given (and often narrowly defined) field who are qualified and able to perform impartial review. Peer review refers to the work done during the screening of submitted manuscripts and funding applications. This normative process encourages authors to meet the accepted standards of their discipline and prevents the dissemination of unwarranted claims, unacceptable interpretations and personal views. Peer review increases the probability that weaknesses will be identified, and, with advice and encouragement, fixed. For both grant-funding and publication in a scholarly journal, it is also normally a requirement that the subject is both novel and substantial.

Type. The double-blind review process is adopted for the journal. The reviewer(s) and the author/s do not know each other’s identity.

Recruiting Referees. The task of picking reviewers is the responsibility of the editorial board. When a manuscript arrives, an editor solicits reviews from scholars or other experts to referee the manuscript. In some cases, the authors may suggest the referees’ names subject to the Editorial Board’s approval. The referees must have an excellent track record as researchers in the field as evidenced by researches published in refereed journals, research-related awards, and an experience in peer review. Referees are not selected from among the author’s close colleagues, students, or friends. Referees are to inform the editor of any conflict of interests that may arise. The Editorial Board often invites research author to name people whom they considered qualified to referee their work. The author’s input in selecting referees is solicited because academic writing typically is very specialized.The identities of the referees selected by the Editorial Board are kept unknown to research authors. However, the reviewer’s identity can be disclosed under some special circumstances. Disclosure of Peer Review can be granted under the following grounds: as evidence to prove that the published paper underwent peer review as required by the University for ranking and financial incentives, for regulatory bodies such as the Commission on Higher Education, Accreditation of Academic Programs among others. Request for peer review results shall be made in writing.

Peer Review Process. The Editorial Board sends advance copies of an author’s work to experts in the field (known as “referees” or “reviewers”) through e-mail or a Web-based manuscript processing system. There are two or three referees for a given article. One is an expert of the topic of research and one is an expert in research and statistics who shall review the technical components of the research. These referees return to the board the evaluation of the work that indicates the observed weaknesses or problems along with suggestions for improvement. The board then evaluates the referees’ comments and notes opinion of the manuscript before passing the decision with the referees’ comments back to the author(s).

Criteria for Acceptance and Rejection. A manuscript is accepted when it is (1) endorsed for publication by 2 or 3 referees, (2) the instructions of the reviewers are substantially complied; (3) ethical standards and protocols are complied for studies involving humans and animals; and (4) the manuscript passed the plagiarism detection test with a score of at least 80 for originality, otherwise the manuscript is rejected. The referees’ evaluations include an explicit recommendation of what to do with the manuscript, chosen from options provided by the journal. Most recommendations are along the following lines:

  • Unconditional acceptance
  • Acceptance with revision based on the referee’ recommendations
  • Rejection with invitation to resubmit upon major revisions based on the
     referees’ and editorial board’s recommendations
  • Outright rejection

In situations where the referees disagree substantially about the quality of a work, there are a number of strategies for reaching a decision. When the editor receives very positive and very negative reviews for the same manuscript, the board will solicit one or more additional reviews as a tie-breaker. In the case of ties, the board may invite authors to reply to a referee’s criticisms and permit a compelling rebuttal to break the tie. If the editor does not feel confident to weigh the persuasiveness of a rebuttal, the board may solicit a response from the referee who made the original criticism. In rare instances, the board will convey communications back and forth between an author and a referee, in effect allowing them to debate on a point. Even in such a case, however, the board does not allow referees to confer with each other and the goal of the process is explicitly not to reach a consensus or to convince anyone to change his/ her opinions.