FOR AUTHORS

AUTHORS’ RESPONSIBILITIES

The esteemed authors willing to submit their manuscripts for publishing in the journals published by The Grassroots Institute should express due diligence and take note of the following points:

  • Authorship: Authorship should be attributed to every person having contributed significantly to the study, manuscript drafting, and holding responsibility for the authenticity. General supervision, or financial support shall not suffice the authorship. Contribution of each author shall clearly be stated and contributing authors shall not be changed without prior written consent from the existing authors. Ensure that all contributors have approved the final versions of their manuscripts and submissions.
  • Data Ownership and Access: Authors are expected to clarify the ownership, appropriate access and full understanding of the data being presented in the submitted manuscripts. Gather and interpret data honestly and without breaching copyrights. When reproducing figures and/or schemes from other publications, it is the authors’ responsibility to obtain appropriate permissions from the relevant publishers or authors, if required. If there is a data set associated with the manuscript, provide information about where the data supporting the results or analyses presented in the paper can be accessed. Where applicable, this should include the hyperlink to publicly archived datasets, DOI, or other persistent identifier associated with the data set(s). Always check the journal’s guidelines for specific templates or style in which this information should be presented. While describing a new software tool/ application, authors should host their project with a recognized open-source repository such as http://www.bioinformatics.org/ or https://sourceforge.net/. Information such as the project name, project home page, operating system(s), programming language, license, and any restrictions to use by non-academics should accompany the manuscript.
  • Publishing Standards: It is essential that authors are aware of international standards on the publications and are professional and authorised to conduct studies on living objects. Moreover, authors are expected to be fully aware of practices for multiple, redundant or concurrent publications and their mitigations consequences. Read Publication Standards page in our website. Confirm that their submitted manuscripts are neither published elsewhere nor under consideration for publication in other journals or book. Avoid undue fragmentation of their work into multiple manuscripts to maximize the number of articles for publication. Ensure that manuscripts are submitted for publication in only one journal at a time. Once one journals rejects the manuscript, only then it can be submitted to other journals.
  • Originality and Plagiarism Policy: Avoid plagiarism as well as self-plagiarism, i.e., not submitting the same or substantially similar material (data or text) as contained in any previously published work, including review articles. The Editorial Office will strictly monitor text plagiarism and obvious fraudulent data prior to the review process and if plagiarism is detected at this stage or later, the manuscript will be rejected and will not be reconsidered in any journal published by The Grassroots Institute.
  • Acknowledgement of Funding Sources: Declare all sources of funding for work (Funding Source) in their manuscripts and any potential conflicts of interest. All authors shall fairly and clearly state the portion of the studies funded, supported or sponsored by any of the government, non-government or personal sources.
  • Conflicts of Interest/Disclosures: Authors are required to declare any financial, academic, commercial, political or personal conflicts before the publication of the manuscript.
  • Ethical Investigations: Ensure that any studies involving human or animal subjects conform to national, local, and institutional laws and requirements. Research Ethics must be strictly adhered to. In cases where animals are used in the submitted manuscript, the methods section must clearly indicate approval from the ethics committee of the institute or organisation and should state that all efforts were taken to minimize pain and discomfort to the animal while conducting these experiments. Authors should make sure that the manuscript is designed according to the guidelines of the Helsinki Declaration as revised in 2013, otherwise the manuscript will not be accepted for publication or will be rejected later.
  • Ethics for Research involving Indigenous Peoples and Traditional Knowledge: Authors involving Indigenous peoples and their traditional knowledge should read thoroughly our Research Ethics section and should follow the appropriate guidelines.
  • Non-Abusive Writing & Prior Permissions: Provide full and prominent disclosure of original sources at the time of submission when re-publishing papers in other languages. Ensure that submitted articles contain no personal criticism of other scientists or scholars. In case any part (e.g., table or figure) of the submitted manuscript has been taken from previously published work, it is the responsibility of the authors to obtain permission either from the publishers or from the authors depending on the copyright ownership. ResearchersLinks can demand this permission anytime, pre- or post-publication of the study.
  • Cooperation in Publishing: Please notify promptly the editor or publisher if a significant error in their published article is identified and cooperate with the editors and publisher to release an erratum, addendum, corrigendum notice, or to retract the paper if necessary.
  • Appeal of Decision & Complaints: Authors have the right to appeal the Editor's decision in writing to the Editorial Office stating the reasons for appealing the decision with evidence and supporting data. Complaints can also be lodged in case of any grievance.
WORKFLOW

It is pertinent for the authors to know the workflow of the articles publishing in our journals. This workflow is more or less same in all journals.

  1. Online Registration: Using our website, author will be required to create an online account.
  2. Reading: Read pertinent and relevant section of website, particularly related to the submission of the article, declarations, consent form, norms of article processing charges and payment methods, peer review policy, research ethics, and other necessary sections.
  3. Online Submission: Before submitting the manuscript, author needs to read and follow author guidelines, article preparation format, and essential compliance related instructions. MS Word files of the manuscript will be submitted using online forms in the ‘Submit Your Manuscript’ section of the journal chosen by the author.
  4. Submission Acknowledgement: When an author submits a manuscript online, he/she will receive a submission acknowledgement letter sent by the online system automatically. In this acknowledgement, manuscript number/code will be mentioned. If author fails to receive this confirmation, he/she should check bulk email box or contact the Editorial Team. At the time of manuscript submission, author will need to upload signed Consent Form and few Declarations.
  5. Preliminary Review: The editor or editorial assistant determines whether the manuscript fits the journal’s focus and scope. Next a check for the similarity rate is done using Turnitin or CrossCheck, powered by iThenticate. Any manuscripts out of the journal’s scope or containing plagiarism, including self-plagiarism, are rejected. This step will take 3-5 days and an intimation is sent to the author whether the manuscript can be processed further or recommended to Language Service or rejected. Again, a Consent of the Author will be sought to proceed further if author agrees to pay the Article Processing Charges (APC) on completion of Peer Review Process. In case, author is unable to pay the APC, he/she will be free to withdraw the manuscript at this stage, as it will not be possible to withdraw the manuscript once the manuscript goes into Peer Review Process.
  6. Single Blind Peer Review: We use a single-blind system for peer review; reviewers know the identity of the authors and authors’ do not know the reviewers. The submitted manuscript will be reviewed by two experts: one Editorial Board member as well as 1-2 external Reviewers. The review process may take 2-6 weeks. Along with our Editorial Board members, panel of Reviewers perform these functions. The review on each article is given in a format and/or copy of article (generally in track change mode) by all the reviewers.
  7. Intimation of Provisional Acceptance with Notification of the Result of Review: Once the reviewers’ comments are received, Editorial Team forwards the same to the corresponding/other author(s) along with the additional notes of the Editor. The decision to accept or reject an article is based on the suggestions of reviewers. If differences of opinion occur between reviewers, the Editor or Editor-in-Chief will weigh all comments and arrive at a balanced decision based on all comments, or a second round of peer review may be initiated. If the article is provisionally accepted, yet a revised draft of manuscript is solicited in addition to request for payment of Article Processing Charges.
  8. Payment of Article Processing Charge: The author(s) is/are asked to pay the APC specified. Authors submit the Revised Article along with the proof of payment of APC.
  9. Rigorous Editing of Article: This is most serious step. No article can go into publishing without 2-3 rounds of rigorous editing by the Editors. If the article has no acceptable language composition, it is necessarily to undergo rigorous editing. This rigorous editing will often be recommended to be acquired from English Language Editing Service on the cost of the author(s).
  10. Publication of the Issue: Before finally publishing the issues of the journal, authors receive the gallery proof of the article.
workflow
COMMON GUIDELINES FOR AUTHORS

The Grassroots Institute publishes scholarly open access journals. All journals uphold a peer-reviewed, rapid, and rigorous manuscript handling and editorial process. Our journals are indexed in the leading databases and, since they are open access, have a broad readership. We are serving scholars from across the globe and from a variety of backgrounds. To deepen our understanding of the research communities that we serve, we aim to build journals that are just as diverse and inclusive. Only by valuing differences can we create an equitable and inclusive work environment and foster the openness that is key to our mission.

At a time, our journals usually accept ONE manuscript from one Corresponding Author. An article having more than one authors can change Corresponding Author and can submit the manuscript. Once the submitted manuscript is published, the same Corresponding Author can submit next manuscript any time.

Journal Specific Checklist

Each of our journal has its own:

  • Guidelines for Authors
  • Aims & Scope
  • Manuscript Preparation Guide
  • Manuscript Template
  • References Style

In this context, potential authors are requested to read webpages of each individual journal published by The Grassroots Institute.

Manuscript Submission Overview

Manuscripts submitted to our journals should neither be published previously nor be under consideration for publication in another journal. The main article types that we accept are as follows:

  • Research Articles: We accept original research manuscripts provided that the work reports scientifically sound experiments and provides a substantial amount of new information. Authors should not unnecessarily divide their work into several related manuscripts. The quality and impact of the study will be examined during peer review process.
  • Review Articles: These provide concise and precise updates on the latest progress made in a given area of research.
  • Short Stories and Book Reviews: Our journals also accept short stories and book reviews for publication.
Accepted File Formats

Authors must use the Microsoft Word files to prepare their manuscript. Using the template file will substantially shorten the time to complete copyediting and publication of accepted manuscripts. Supplementary files, such as figures, drawings, tables, photos, etc., should be in MS Word, MS Excel, JPEG or PDF formats. The total amount of data for all files must not exceed 20 MB.

MANUSCRIPT PREPARATION

From the respective webpages of the individual journals, please download Manuscript Preparation Template. Using the template file will substantially shorten the time to complete copyediting and publication of accepted manuscripts.

MANUSCRIPT SUBMISSION PROCESS

Our journals accept manuscripts through online system. The submitting author, who is generally the corresponding author, is responsible for the manuscript during the submission and peer-review process. The submitting author must ensure that all eligible co-authors have been included in the author list and that they have all read and approved the submitted version of the manuscript.

To submit your manuscript, register and log in to the SUBMISSION GATEWAY. Once you have registered and created login and password, you will be asked to Submit Your Manuscript. All steps needed for submitting a manuscript are explained on the Submission Gateway and may be different for different journals. When you choose a particular journal while starting submission process, you will be guided what requirements you will need to fulfil.

General Format
  • Our journals have no strict formatting requirements, but all manuscripts must contain the required sections such as:
    • Author Information
    • Abstract
    • Keywords
    • Introduction
    • Materials & Methods or Methodology
    • Results
    • Discussion (Result & Discussion can also be together)
    • Conclusions
    • Recommendations (optional)
    • Figures and Tables with Captions
    • Funding Source
    • Author Contributions
    • Conflict of Interest
    • Acknowledgement (optional)
    • References
    • Annexures
  • Our different journals follow different styles of references. For example, GJNR follows Harvard style of referencing. An author has to use the consistent formatting throughout while writing references. DOI numbers (Digital Object Identifier) or Online Sources of 90% of the references are mandatory. To get assistance, EndNote, Zotero, Mendeley, Reference Manager are the apps recommended generally.
  • A Consent Form as well as Ethics Statements are essential to be signed online and submitted. Check the Journal Instructions for Authors for more details.
  • When your manuscript reaches the revision stage, you will be requested to format the manuscript according to the journal guidelines.
Cover Letter

A cover letter must be included with each manuscript submission. It should be concise and explain why the content of the paper is significant, placing the findings in the context of existing work and why it fits the scope of the journal. Author needs to confirm in Consent Form that neither the manuscript nor any parts of its content are currently under consideration or published in another journal. The names of proposed and excluded reviewers should be provided in the submission system, not in the cover letter.

Along with the article submitted to any journal of The Grassroots Institute, the Corresponding Author must sign a Consent Form and submit online. This Consent Form contains several crucial declarations by the author(s), including statements regarding no plagiarism, authors’ responsibilities and no simultaneous submission of the manuscript.

ETHICAL DECLARATIONALS

Human Rights Statement (in case of research conducted experimentation on humans)

Before reporting a research involving human subjects, authors should ensure that the work has been conducted in full accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible institutional or national committees on human subjects as well as with the Helsinki Declaration. In cases, where such committees do not exist, strict compliance with the Helsinki Declaration is suggested. In any other cases, authors are required to explain the full rationale for their approach and should demonstrate all doubtful matters of the study in the submitted manuscripts. For detailed account of guidelines on this subject, please read Research Ethics section of the website.

Authors must state that written Prior Informed Consent was obtained from the participants of the study (and the relevant document(s) must be provided when requested by the journal). If verbal informed consent was obtained, the reason(s) for the absence of written consent must be provided. For case reports/case series involving minor subjects/children/infants, authors should confirm that the written statements of Prior Informed Consent from legally authorized representatives/parents/guardians are available; if verbal informed consent was obtained, reasons for this must be mentioned.

Animal Care and Welfare (if animal is used for experimentation during research)

In order to avoid animal suffering and to raise animal welfare, we strictly request authors to obey all national and international guidelines set out for the care and use of animal in research. ARRIVE (Animal Research Reporting of In Vivo Experiments) has set out guidelines to improve the reporting of research using animals – maximising information published and minimising unnecessary studies. In cases of the research involving experimentation on animals, authors are encouraged to liaise with ARRIVE items, crosscheck research work against their checklist and finally upload them during the submission process of the manuscript.

Research on Plants

We also recommend our authors to follow Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

If New Taxa is Invented

Authors must provide relevant documents and unique digital identifier for manuscripts that describe new taxa or species. They should also declare that the relevant guidelines have been followed for algae, fungi and plants, zoological taxa, bacteria, and viruses. Registration numbers for the new species (for e.g., from MycoBank for fungi or ZooBank for zoological species) should be stated in the manuscript. New virus names should be sent to the relevant study groups for consideration before publication in a journal.

Honoring Indigenous Peoples and Traditional Knowledge

We have elaborated these aspects in CREDIBILITY & COMPLIANCE section of this website. Browse ‘Research Ethics’ and read detailed explanations under the heading “Research involving Indigenous peoples and Traditional Knowledge”. Our journals are highly sensitive to the issues of Indigenous peoples and their traditional knowledge.

OTHER DECLARATIONS
Authors’ Contribution

The individual contributions of authors to the research work and writing of the manuscript should be specified in this declaration; for example, who conceived the study design, who did the data acquisition, who performed the experiments, who did the data analysis, who wrote the manuscript, etc. At the time of submission of manuscript, the online system will ask you to explain this information in accordance with the journal’s rules.

Acknowledgments (optional)

Anyone who does not meet the authorship criteria, such as people who provided technical help, institutional/department head who provided general support, or field animators who assisted in the field work, any friend who assisted with the preparation of the manuscript content, should be acknowledged.

Funding Sources, if any

All sources of funding for the research work and their role (if at all) in the design of the study and collection, analysis, interpretation of data, and in writing the manuscript should be declared. Provide the name(s) of the funding agency/agencies along with the grant number(s). If the study did not receive any funding, just fill in the entry “Not Applicable”.

Competing Interests/Conflict of Interest

All financial and non-financial competing interests must be declared by the authors. Non-financial competing interests include a declaration of political, personal, religious, ideological, academic, and intellectual competing interests. Authors from pharmaceutical companies, or other commercial organizations that sponsor clinical trials, should declare these as competing interests on submission. They should adhere to Good Publication Practice Guidelines for Pharmaceutical Companies (GPP3) in medical publications. Authors should declare any personal conflict of interest including any association with consultancies; employment details; participation in advocacy groups; stock or share ownership, and any financial details with regard to grants; fees; honoraria, reimbursements royalties, and any registered patents. They should also declare any institutional conflict of interest i.e., if their employer has any financial interest in or is in conflict with the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript. If there is no disclosure, add the following statement: “No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.”

CORRECTIONS & RETRACTIONS
Corrections and Addendum

Before publication of the issue release, corrections of minor issues are directly made to the original, published version of the article. If the changes may influence the result or conclusions, the Editors will evaluate the changes.

After the publication of issue, any change that may affect the scientific interpretation of a paper (e.g., data in a figure change, changes in conclusions, whole paragraph added, correction of a species name or equation, or addition of missing details about a method, etc.) is announced using an Addendum. If crucial results (e.g., missing grant number, additional affiliation, clarification regarding some aspect of methods/analysis, etc.) were unintentionally omitted from the original publication, the original article can be amended through an Addendum reporting these previously omitted results. The Addendum will be published, with the article number added to the current issue of the journal. A hyperlink to the Addendum will also be added to the original publication, but the original paper does not need to be updated.

Erratum

An Erratum is a published notification that a formatting change and/or other non-scientific change (including changes to authorship) was made to a paper after issue is published. Formatting issues may include missing or unclear figures, or text deleted by accident. Very minor errors that do not affect readability or meaning do not require publication of an Erratum. Thus, we kindly request that all authors proofread the final version very carefully.

Retractions

Errors serious enough to invalidate a paper's result and conclusions may require retraction. Scientific misconduct includes, but is not necessarily limited to data fabrication, data falsification including deceptive manipulation of images, and plagiarism. The integrity of research may also be compromised by an inappropriate methodology that could lead to retraction.

Sometimes an article needs to be completely removed from the body of research literature. This could be due to inadvertent errors made during the research process, gross ethical breaches, fabrication of data, large amounts of plagiarism, or other reasons. Such articles threaten the integrity of scientific records and need to be retracted. The Grassroots Institute follows the recommendations of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) for retraction. Potential retractions are thoroughly investigated by the Editorial Office with the support of the Editorial Board and final approval by the Editor-in-Chief. Other persons and institutions will be consulted as necessary, including university authorities or experts in the field.

However, above situation requires individual assessment. When scientific misconduct is alleged, or concerns are otherwise raised about the conduct or integrity of work described in submitted or published papers, the Editors should initiate appropriate procedures detailed by such committees such as the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and may choose to publish an expression of concern pending the outcomes of those procedures. If the procedures involve an investigation at the authors' institution, the Editors should seek to discover the outcome of that investigation, notify readers of the outcome if appropriate, and if the investigation proves scientific misconduct, publish a retraction of the article. There may be circumstances in which no misconduct is proven, but an exchange of letters to the Editors could be published to highlight matters of debate to readers.

The validity of previous work by the author of a fraudulent paper cannot be assumed. Editors may ask the author's institution to assure them of the validity of other work published in their journals, or they may retract it. If this is not done, Editors may choose to publish an announcement expressing concern that the validity of previously published work is uncertain.

Expression of Concern

For complex, inconclusive, or prolonged situations, an Expression of Concern may be published. If investigations into alleged or suspected research misconduct have not yet been completed or prove to be inconclusive, an Editor or journal may wish to publish an Expression of Concern detailing the points of concern and what actions, if any, are in progress. This is very rarely used.

Comments and Replies

Comments are short Letters to the Editors from readers questioning either the reported results or the experimental methods used in a specific article. Usually, a reader will approach the Editorial Office or the Editor-in-Chief of a journal if he/she finds an article intriguing. In such circumstances, the Editorial Office may invite the reader to write a short and reasoned Comment on the article. After consideration and review by the Editors, the Comment may be published, in which case the Editorial Office will approach the authors of the article in question and invite them to prepare a Reply. If the reader’s Comments are substantiated, the authors or the Editorial Office may consequently publish a Correction or retract the paper entirely.

TRACKING METHODS

The journals of The Grassroots Institute manage the manuscripts using online submission system. When a manuscript is submitted, the author/submitter (user) creates an online account in the system using a login and password. After submission of the manuscript, the user can track the process/fate of the manuscript through Dashboard. User’s dashboard has a table that will show the Status of the manuscript. A copy of the published paper can be downloaded from this route.

The alternate route of accessing your published paper is to browse the issues of the journal in which paper was submitted. Two-three layers of information about the paper are uploaded on webpages of the journal.

ARTICLE AVAILABILITY

All published articles are free to accees and download by anyone. Authors can also download their papers. Readers can read and download any published without any fee or restriction.

ENQUIRY

Any specific enquiry about the journal should be directed to respective journal. The Editorial Office will be glad to address your queries. In case of any matter related to The Grassroots Institute, please visit the dedicated independent website of the Institute.

PROMOTING YOUR PUBLISHED ARTICLE

Promoting your published work is an important part of the post-publication process which will increase the visibility, impact and citation of your work. The Grassroots Institute can support you to promote your research papers within your scientific community, as well as to a wide audience. You are highly recommended to adopt the following:

Social Media

  • Share your article on various social networks, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Mendeley, and Twitter.
  • Write a blog post to explain the meaning and possible outcomes of your research. This will lead to higher engagement of your research community.
  • Ask your institution or society to post your paper on their social media accounts and to include a story about your paper in their newsletters.

Link Share

  • Share the article link directly with colleagues and peers in your field.
  • Add a link to your article in your email signature.
  • Update your personal and institutional websites by adding the title of your article and a link to it.

Academic Research-Sharing Platforms

  • Set up your profile on academic research-sharing platforms, such as ResearchGate, Academia.edu, ORCID, Scopus, Publons, SciProfiles, Google Scholar, Semantic Scholar, and add a short summary of your article.
  • Deposit your article to repositories (such as those run by your university) to make your research more discoverable.

Conferences

  • Present your publication at conferences in the form of a presentation or a poster.

Video

  • Produce a video abstract that briefly introduces your article, and upload on YouTube, Vimeo, etc.

Wikipedia

  • Find a Wikipedia page on a topic related to your article and add a reference to your paper.
CONTROVERSIAL ARTICLES

Sometimes it happens that an individual scholar or a group of scholars are dissatisfied with an item published by a journal. These scholars cast doubt on the accuracy of the publication, or the integrity of the publication process. Motivations vary widely and can include political or corporate agendas, and competing economic or intellectual interests. Such publications can become controversial in the sense that two groups have competing claims – one supporting the published work and the other opposed to it. Often, the implications cross over from one of simple scholarly merit to political or financial interests, thus clouding the most important criteria for judging the issue of suitability for publication.

In the online era, one can find an unprecedented amount of information, comments, and even slanders distributed via social networks and blogs. It becomes difficult to distinguish personal opinions, rigorous scientific commentaries, and comments from laymen misrepresenting or misunderstanding scientific work. It is often not clear whether commentators have ever read the article in question in its entirety. Such comments can also attack the journal, their editors, or the publisher by claiming that editors lack competency, that the paper did not undergo a rigorous peer-review, or that the paper should never have been published in a serious research journal. Such allegations require the support of relevant facts. In accordance with our Review Policy, all articles published by us are refereed by at least two senior experts in the relevant field. The final decision to publish a paper is always taken by Editors who have no personal interest in the publication of a particular article.

In cases where authors are found guilty of scientific misconduct (in particular: falsification of data, inappropriate editing and manipulating of images or videos, plagiarism, or republication of previously published work), the Editors or the publisher may retract an article. If the scientific misconduct cannot be appropriately judged and assessed by the editors of the journal, we will usually require an instruction for retraction from an institutional investigative body.

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