Submission Deadlines:
The IPRI Journal is a biannual publication. Research scholars who wish to contribute original, unpublished articles to the Journal may submit these by 15th of March for the Summer Issue and by 15th of September for the Winter Issue.

Article Word Limit:
Articles should be between 5000-8000 words, inclusive of an abstract of 150-200 words, 5-6 key words, and footnotes.

Book Reviews:
Reviews of recent books by scholars of standing in their field should be approximately 1000 words.

Editorial and Peer Review Process:
All submissions are screened using a Similarity detection software. Articles shortlisted by the Editorial Board undergo three double-blind peer reviews (one national and two international). During this stage, articles may not be approved for publication by the referees. However, if they are found suitable for the Journal, reviewers may recommend either major or minor changes in the manuscript. The revision process might comprise multiple rounds. Peer review timelines vary depending on reviewer availability, area expertise and responsiveness. Authors of published articles are given a modest honorarium. Authors whose papers were not selected/shortlisted will be informed by April 15th and October 15th for summer and winter issues, respectively.

Submission Procedure:
The IPRI Journal does not have Article Processing Charges (APCs) nor submission charges. It offers no waiver support. Author/s are required to submit both soft and hard copies in MS Word format, along with their brief introduction, complete contact details, Author/s’ Certification & Conflict of Interest Statement (CCIS), Author Contribution Form (in case of more than one author) to the address below:

Postal Address:
Editor/Editor-in-Chief IPRI Journal. Islamabad Policy Research Institute, Fifth Floor, E.T. Complex, Sir Aga Khan Road, F-5/1, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan
Tel: +92-51 9211346-49; Fax: +92-51 9211350


Citation Format:
The Chicago Manual of Style 17th Edition (Full Note).


  1. British English should be used. Dates should be written as January 1, 2019.
  2. Acronyms should be written within brackets after writing the words in full on first use.
  3. “Per cent” should be used in the text, instead of % sign.
  4. Complete references of all figures, graphs, images, maps and tables need to be provided.
  5. Images/maps should have a resolution of 300–600 dpi and sent as .tiff, .jpeg, or .bitmap.

Note:     IPRI holds the right to accept or reject a paper/book review at any stage from being published in the IPRI Journal. The Journal has zero tolerance for plagiarism.

Ethical Guidelines

At IPRI, Editor’s role is pertinent to institutionalize and maintain the professional standards of all the publications in general and of the journal in particular. He/she ensures the HEC recognized standards by reflecting the quality research of the author (s) and the affiliating institution (if any). All stages, from receiving to its publishing is closely monitored by the Editor with diligence and professional proficiency. Adapting the following guidelines becomes the prime responsibility of the editor in this process.

The Editor’s Responsibilities:

  1. To ensure the publishing of a quality research work and maintain its standard according to the requirements of international norms.
  2. The cultural and constitutional/legal framework is closely monitored while encouraging the freedom of expression.
  3. Ensuring integrity and credibility of the research writings.
  4. Bridging an intellectual gap between the reader and the writer by making it more reader-friendly.
  5. Avoiding imprecision, amplification and certifying apologies where required.

Quality practice includes:

  1. Encouragement of novel and constructive ideas/suggestions by authors, peer reviewers, members of editorial board and readers.
  2. Strict/confidential following of blind peer review.

Prioritizing innovative findings in respective fields:

  1. Assuring anti-plagiarism policy.
  2. Corresponding ethical practices in research.
  3. Implementing the journal’s policy without institutional pressure and revising the policy from time to time.
  4. Formation of Editorial Board.
  • IPRI journal has an established Board of both national and international scholars widely recognized in their field of expertise.
  • Its Editorial Board has members for a prescribed duration and add or revise constitution of the Board, if required.
  • All the changes, the challenges and the developments in the circulation, contributions and the review process is regularly shared by the Editor with the members of the Editorial Board.
  • The contributions of the local authors is tried to be maintained at 75% in order to make space for the international authors. They are frequently pursued for their contributions.
  • In case of new appointments, the Editorial Board is taken into confidence about the ethical guidelines and their expected role. Editorial Board members are updated without fail.
  • The Editorial Board ensures the quality of the journal in order to correspond with the prescribed categories of HEC (e.g. W, X, Y, and Z categories). Quality of the paper and its smooth functioning requires to conduct the meetings of the Editorial Board on regular basis (at least twice a year) by the Editor.

Fair play and Impartiality:
IPRI corroborate the criteria of impartiality while selecting the research papers. Only academically and scientifically thorough papers are given space in IPRI Journal.
The Editor makes sure that:
The author(s) of the papers are responded immediately after due process.
Evaluation of the content of research papers impartially while disregarding the discrimination with regards to gender, race, ethnicity, religious belief, cultural sentiments, political affiliation, seniority and/or institutional association of the author(s).
The author is required to certify the declaration of the Conflict of Interest.

Confidentiality of the author(s) and reviewers during the process of double-blind peer review is duly followed while keeping the information on the paper strictly between the two contracting parties.
• The Editor holds the authority to announce the acceptance/rejection of the paper to the author.
Contents of the manuscript is kept confidential, both by the Editor and reviewer(s). A contract is signed between the Editor and the reviewer(s) in this respect. 

Editing and Formatting Guidelines:
• Every issue of the journal contains clear guidelines on the format and printing related to ‘content’ and ‘format’ of a research paper along with the preferred manual of style (e.g. APA, Chicago Manual, MLA Style, etc) as a policy decision.

The Review Process:
Review process of the papers in the journal are duly declared while maintaining the double-blind peer review policy with one national and two international peer reviewers.
Anonymity of both the author and the reviewer is strictly maintained.
The reviewer’s evaluation form is standardized with professional proficiency. The guidelines provided to the reviewers, including necessary information about the review process encompass IPRI’s preferred policies /objectives.
There is a tightlipped confidentiality policy being followed by the publication section of IPRI. Only the constructive comments/suggestions/alterations, recommended by both the Internal Evaluation Board and the International Evaluation Board are shared with the author(s) under surveillance in order to maintain the sanctity of the privacy.
There is a prompt procedure followed in order to convey the reviewers’ comments to author(s).
The Editor critically evaluates peer review practices regularly and make improvements, if, required.
Ever since its publication, IPRI has very methodically maintained a database of competent and qualified reviewers, while using various sources other than personal contacts.
In order to avoid any controversy risen due to difference in opinion with respect to the acceptance or rejection of the paper, the Editor may refer the case to the Advisory Committee for its amicable resolution.

Dealing with Misconduct:
It falls in the premise of the Editor to encourage the reviewers to comment on ethical issues and possible research and publication misconduct (e.g. inappropriate research design, incomplete detail on participant’s consent, data manipulation, and presentation).
The validity of the submitted research paper and identification of the ‘blatant (simply copy-paste)’ and/or ‘subtle (paraphrasing)’ plagiarism, if, practised by the author(s) is encouraged by the Editor to be identified by the reviewer(s).
Similarity Index (through Turnitin) and/or searching for similar titles to the submitted research paper is the responsibility of the Editor/Assistant Editor.
In case of the publishing of the plagiarized article, the Editor is required to issue a corrigendum.

No duplication of the paper should be allowed by the Editor.
Only one co-authorship is allowed for those authors who also contribute a research paper as a principal writer in the same issue.
The members of the Editorial Board (including the Editor) are allowed to publish only one paper per issue, either to submit research paper as a principal writer or co- author.
Only the authors with substantial contributions are allowed to enjoy the ownership of the paper. The Editor is strictly prohibited to make claims of the authorship or co-authorship. No forcible inclusion of the name be allowed.

Conflict of Interest:
In case of any author(s) and/or institution against which the Editor shares the conflict of interest (e.g. resulting from competitive, collaborative and/or professional standing), the author holds the priority as per IPRI policy.
Similarly, the Editor applies the same policy while giving guidelines to the reviewers and Editorial Board members.
Since HEC does not allow the work of the Editor or any member of the Editorial Board, a clear cut policy is followed by IPRI.
In fact, the Editor publishes an updated version of the list of common interests from time to time (e.g. financial, academic and/or any other type) for all Editorial Board members and editorial staff.

Any use of the data/material by the Editor from the unpublished material must carry a written permission from the original author(s), Any information received after the peer review process must be kept confidential and not used for personal gains.

Publication Decisions:
The Editor at IPRI is authorized to only shortlist research papers having relevance to the clearly stated scope of the IPRI Journal. No personal preferences are allowed to the Editor.
Once the reviewing process is completed, the Editor still holds the right to accept or reject a research paper while maintaining the prescribed standards of merit, academic standards and professional demands of the journal.
The justification of the rejection of the paper may also be clearly stated by the Editor to the author(s). This may include:
■ Failure to fit in the scope of the journal (may be communicated after preliminary review)
■ Insufficient depth of content
■ Major errors related to design, analysis, write up and format
■ Any misconduct or conflicting factors (e.g. plagiarism, copyright infringement, legal issues, fake data, authorship issues)
■ The Editor is required to timely communicate the editorial decision to the author(s),
■ The Editors should not reverse decisions in favor or against author(s) on their own.

Establishing a Procedure for Appeal
The Editor also establishes a proper mechanism for appeals launched against:
■ The rejection of a research paper.
■ Objections to publications causing harm to any party.
■ Infringement of Ethical boundaries in any manner.

Ethical Guidelines for the Author(s):
Author’s Guidelines

The following ethical guidelines are obligatory for all author(s) violation of which may result in application of penalties by the editor, including but not limited to the suspension or revocation of publishing privileges.
Reporting Standards:
• It is the author(s)’ responsibility to ensure that the research report and data contain adequate detail and references to the sources of information in order to allow others to reproduce the results.
• Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable.
Originality and Plagiarism:
• It is the author(s)’ responsibility to ascertain that s/he has submitted an entirely original work, giving due credit, by virtue of proper citations, to the works and/or words of others where they have been used.
• Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is not acceptable.
• Material quoted verbatim from the author(s)’ previously published work or other sources must be placed in quotation marks.
• As per HEC’s policy, in case the manuscript has a similarity index of more than 19%, it will either be rejected or left at the discretion of the Editorial Board for the purposes of a conditional acceptance.

• Authors are required to provide an undertaking / declaration stating that the manuscript under consideration contains solely their original work that is not under consideration for publishing in any other journal in any form.
• Authors may submit a manuscript previously published in abstracted form, e.g. in the proceedings of an annual meeting, or in a periodical with limited circulation and availability such as reports by the Government agencies or a University.
• A manuscript that is co-authored must be accompanied by an undertaking explicitly stating that each author has contributed substantially towards the preparation of the manuscript in order to claim right to authorship.
• It is the responsibility of the corresponding author that s/he has ensured that all those who have substantially contributed in the manuscripts have been included in the author list and they have agreed to the order of authorship.

Multiple, Redundant and Current Publication:
Authors should not submit manuscripts describing essentially the same research to more than one journal or publication except if is a re-submission of a rejected or withdrawn manuscript.
Authors may re-publish previously conducted research that has been substantially altered or corrected using more meticulous analysis or by adding more data.
The authors and editor need to agree to the secondary publication, which must cite the primary references and reflect the same data and interpretation of the primary document.
Concurrent submission of the same manuscript to more than one journal is unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable.

Acknowledgment of Sources:
A paper must always contain proper acknowledgment of the work of others, including clear indications of the sources of all information quoted or offered, except what is common knowledge.
The author(s) must also acknowledge the contributions of people, organizations and institutes who assisted the process of research, including those who provided technical help, writing assistance or financial funding (in the acknowledgement).
It is the duty of the author(s) to conduct a literature review and properly cite the original publications that describe closely related work.

Authorship Credit:
Authorship of the work may only be credited to those who have made a noteworthy contribution in conceptualization, design, conducting, data analysis and writing up of the manuscript.
It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to include the name(s) of only those co- authors who have made significant contributions to the work.
The corresponding author should ensure that all co- authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication. Others who have participated in certain substantive aspect of the research should be acknowledged for their contribution in an “Acknowledgement” section.

Privacy of Participants:
Authors must respect the privacy of the participant of research and must not use any information obtained from them without their informed consent.
Authors should ensure that only information that improves understanding of the study is shared.
Authors must ensure that in instances where the identity of the participant needs to be revealed in the study, explicit and informed consent of the concerned party is obtained.
In the case of the demise of a participant, consent must be obtained from the family of the deceased.

Data Access and Retention:
If any question arises about the accuracy or validity of the research work during the review process, the author(s) should provide raw data to the Editor.

The author(s) should ensure that images included in an account of research performed or in the data collection as part of the research are free from manipulation.
The author(s) must provide an accurate description of how the images were generated and produced.

Disclosure and Conflict of Interest:
The potential and relevant competing financial, personal, social or other interest of all author(s) that might be affected by publication of the results contained in the manuscript must be conveyed to the editor.
The author(s) should disclose any potential conflict of interest at the earliest possible stage, including but not limited to employment, consultancies, honoraria, patent applications/registrations, grants or other funding.
All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed alongside a brief overview of the role played, if any by the responses during various stages of the research.

Authors may have to sign an agreement allowing the journal to reserve the right to circulate the article and all other derivative works such as translations.

Manuscript Acceptance and Rejection:
The review period can last between 1-2 months or longer and during this period the author(s) reserve the right to contact the Editor to ask about status of the review.
Once the review process has been completed, the author will be informed about the status of the manuscript which could either be an acceptance, rejection or revisions. In the case of rejection, the author(s) reserves the right to publish the article elsewhere.
In case of revisions, the author(s) must provide an exposition of all corrections made in the manuscript and the revised manuscript should, then, go through the process of affirmation of revisions and be accepted or rejected accordingly.
In case of dissatisfaction over the decision of rejection, the author can appeal the decision by contacting the Editor.

Ethical Guidelines For the Reviewers:
Review of the manuscript by reviewers is not only an essential component of formal scholarly engagement, but is also a fundamental step in the publication process as it aids Editor in the editorial decision making. It also allows author(s) improve their manuscript through editorial communications. Scholars accepting to review a research paper have an ethical responsibility to complete this assignment professionally. The quality, credibility and reputation of a journal also depend on the peer review process. The peer review process depends on the trust, and demands that a reviewer is supposed to fulfill ethically. These professionals are the momentum arm of the review process, but they may be performing this job without any formal training. As a consequence, they may be (especially young professionals) unaware of their ethical obligations. The Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan wants to list down ‘Ethical Guidelines for Reviewers’ so that all reviewers provide their valuable services in a standardized manner.

Suitability and Promptness:
The Reviewers should:
Inform the Editor, if they do not have the subject expertise required to carry out the review and s/he should inform the Editor immediately after receiving a request.
Be responsible to act promptly and submit review report on time.
Immediately inform the Editor of any possible delays and suggest another date of submission for a review report, and
Not unnecessarily delay the review process, either by prolonged delay in submission of their review or by requesting unnecessary additional data/information from the Editor or author(s).

Standards of Objectivity:
The reviews should be objectively carried out with a consideration of high academic, scholarly and scientific standards.
All judgments should be meticulously established and maintained in order to ensure the full comprehension of the reviewer’s comments by the editors and the author(s).
Both reviewers and author(s) in rebuttal should avoid unsupported assertions,
The reviewer may justifiably criticize a manuscript but it would be inappropriate to resort to personal criticism on the author(s), and
The reviewers should ensure that their decision is purely based on the quality of the research paper and not influenced, either positively or negatively, by any personal, financial, or other conflicting considerations or by intellectual bias.

Disclosure and Conflict of Interest:
A reviewer should not, for the purpose of his/her own research, use unpublished material disclosed in a submitted manuscript, without the approval of the Editor.
The data included in the research paper is confidential and the reviewer shall not be allowed to use if for his/her personal study.
A reviewer must declare any potentially conflicting interests (e.g. personal, financial, intellectual, professional, political or religious). In such situation, s/he will be required to follow the journal’s policies.
A reviewer should be honest enough to declare conflicts of interest, if, the research paper under review is the same as to his/her presently conducted study.
If the reviewer feels unqualified to separate his/her bias, s/he should immediately return the manuscript to the Editor without review, and justify to him/her about the situation.

Reviewers should consider the research paper as a confidential document and must not discuss its content on any platform except in cases where professional advice is being sought with the authorization of the Editor, and
Reviewers are professionally and ethically bound not to disclose the details of any research paper prior to its publication without the prior approval of the Editor.

Ethical Considerations:
If the reviewer suspects that the research paper is almost the same as someone else’s work, s/he will ethically inform the Editor and provide its citation as a reference.
• If the reviewer suspects that results in the research paper to be untrue/unrealistic/fake, s/he will share it with the Editor,
• If there has been an indication of violating ethical norms in the treatment of human beings (e.g. children, female, poor people, disabled, elderly, etc), then this should be identified to the Editor, and
• If the research paper is based on any previous research study or is replica of an earlier work, or the work is plagiarized for e.g. the author has not acknowledged/referenced others’ work appropriately, then this should be brought in the Editor’s knowledge.

For evaluating originality, the reviewers should consider the following elements:
■ Does the research paper add to existing knowledge?
■ Are the research questions and/or hypotheses in line with the objective of the research work?

If the layout and format of the paper is not according to the prescribed version, the reviewers should discuss it with the Editor or should include this observation in their review report. On the other hand, if the research paper is exceptionally well written, the reviewer may overlook the formatting issues. At other times, the reviewers may suggest restructuring the paper before publication. The following elements should be carefully evaluated:
■ If there is serious problem of language or expression and the reviewer gets the impression that the research paper does not fulfill linguistic requirements and readers would face difficulties reading and comprehending the paper. The reviewer should record this deficiency in his/her report and suggest the editor to make its proper editing. Such a situation may arise when the author(s)’ native language is not English.
■ Whether the data presented in the paper is original or reproduced from previously conducted or published work. The papers which reflect originality should be given preference for publication.
■ The clarity of illustrations including photographs, models, charts, images and figures is essential to note. If there is duplication then it should be reported in the review report. Similarly, descriptions provided in the “Results” section should correspond with the data presented in tables/figures, if not then it should be clearly listed in the review report.
■ Critically review the statistical analysis of the data. Also check the rational and appropriateness of the specific analysis.
■ The reviewers should read the “Methodology” section in detail and make sure that the author(s) has demonstrated the understanding of the procedures being used and presented in the manuscript.
■ The relationship between “Data, Findings and Discussion” requires a thorough evaluation thoroughly. Unnecessary conjecture or unfounded conclusions that are not based on the presented data are not acceptable.
■ Further questions to be addressed are whether: the organization of the research paper is appropriate or deviates from the standard or prescribed format?
■ Does the author(s) follow the guidelines prescribed by the journal for preparation and submission of the manuscript?
■ Is the research paper free from typographical errors?

Review Report:
The reviewer must explicitly write his/her observations in the section of ‘comments’ because author(s) will only have access to the comments reviewers have made,
• For writing a review report, the reviewers are requested to complete a prescribed form (s).
• It is helpful for both the Editor and author(s) if the reviewer writes a brief summary in the first section of the review report. This summary should comprise the reviewer’s final decision and inferences drawn from a full review.
• Any personal comments on author(s) should be avoided and final remarks should be written in a courteous and positive manner,
• Indicating any deficiencies is important. For the understanding of the Editor and author(s), the reviewers should highlight these deficiencies in some detail with specificity. This should help justify the comments made by the reviewer,
• When a reviewer makes a decision regarding the research paper, it should be clearly indicated as ‘Reject’, ‘Accept without revision’, or ‘Need Revision’ and either of the decisions should have justification.
• The reviewers should indicate the revisions clearly and comprehensively, and show willingness to confirm the revisions submitted by the author(s), if Editor wishes so, and
• The final decision about publishing a research paper (either accept or reject) will solely rest with the Editor and it is not a reviewer’s job to take part in this decision. The editor will surely consider reviewer’s comments and have a right to send the paper for another opinion or send it back to the author(s) for revision before making the final decision.

Originally prepared by Prof. Dr Rukhsana Kausar, Director Institute of Applied and Clinical Psychology, University of the Punjab, Lahore incorporated strictly by the publication section of IPRI.

Scroll to Top