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National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

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Ethics Statement

E-Source for College Transitions is a resource for practical strategies that support student learning and success. Articles on a variety of topics including those focusing on a broad range of college transition issues; innovative and creative strategies to support student learning, development, and success; organizational structures and institutional resources for supporting college success; and reviews of books and other resources supporting the work of student success practitioners.

Submitted manuscripts undergo an initial review by the editor to determine that they meet the aims and scope of E-Source. Manuscripts clearing this hurdle are forwarded to three review board members. Given that manuscripts frequently focus on specific examples of institutional practice, a double-blind review process is not feasible. Instead, manuscripts moved forward in the review pipeline undergo a single-blind review process (i.e., review board members are unknown to the author[s]).

Members of the editorial review board hold advanced degrees, have a minimum of two years experience working on college student transition issues within a higher education setting, are affiliated with an accredited college or university, and have strong writing and editorial skills. The National Resource Center is committed to fostering diverse representation on the editorial review board, with respect to institutional role and type, topical areas of expertise, and personal characteristics.

Publication decisions. The editor is responsible for deciding which of the manuscripts submitted to E-Source will be published. The editor will evaluate manuscripts without regard to the authors' race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, national origin, or political philosophy. The decision will be based on the merits of the manuscript, including importance, originality, clarity, and relevance to the publication's scope. Current legal requirements regarding libel, copyright infringement, and plagiarism will also be considered. Authors can expect that the initial disposition of manuscripts will be made within 2 months of submission.

Confidentiality. The editor and editorial staff of the National Resource Center will not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, and other editorial advisers, as appropriate.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest. Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript will not be used by the editor, the members of the editorial board, or the staff of the National Resource Center for their own research purposes without the author's explicit written consent.

Originality, plagiarism, and acknowledgment of sources. Authors will submit only entirely original works and will appropriately cite or quote the work and/or words of others, including their own prior publications. Publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work should also be cited.

Ethical research practices. In some cases, manuscripts submitted to E-Source may report on institutional research. Authors should affirm that they followed their institutional policies with respect to the collection and reporting of program assessment data (e.g., IRB approval) within the cover letter accompanying the manuscript.

Authorship of the manuscript. Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the writing or revision of the manuscript under consideration. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. The corresponding author ensures that all contributing co-authors and no uninvolved persons are included in the author list. The corresponding author will also verify that all co-authors have approved the final version of the manuscript and have agreed to its submission for publication. Individuals who contributed to the manuscript in a meaningful way but who fall short of the requirements for authorship may be listed in a separate acknowledgment.

Multiple, redundant, or concurrent publications. In general, manuscripts describing a student success practice using essentially the same structure and assessment data should not be published in more than one newsletter or other publication outlet. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one newsletter or other publication outlet constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable. Manuscripts that have been published as copyrighted material elsewhere cannot be submitted. In addition, manuscripts under review by E-Source should not be simultaneously submitted for review to other copyrighted publications.

Inclusive language. Authors should refer to the latest edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association for guidance on avoiding bias in their writing. In accordance with our commitment to inclusion, the National Resource Center believes it is unacceptable to use constructions that might imply prejudicial beliefs or perpetuate biased assumptions against persons on the basis of age, disability, gender, racial and ethnic identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or some combination of other personal factors. Instead, authors should use affirming and inclusive language. For example, first-year student rather than freshman should be used to describe a student in the first year of postsecondary study.

Fundamental errors in published works. When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in their own published work, it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the editor or publisher and to cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the manuscript in form of an erratum.

Contribution to editorial decisions. The peer-review process assists the editor in making disposition decisions. Reviewers provide clear, specific, and actionable feedback to help author(s) improve the manuscript, regardless of the specific recommendation for editorial disposition.

Promptness. The editor requests that manuscript reviews be completed within three (3) weeks of accepting the invitation to review. Any reviewer who is unable to complete an assignment within the allotted time should notify the editor promptly and request to withdraw from the review process.

Confidentiality. Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be disclosed to or discussed with others except as authorized by the editor.

Standards of objectivity. E-Source seeks to publish high-quality manuscripts reporting on a range of student success initiatives by authors situated in a variety of personal and institutional contexts. To support these goals, reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Reviewers should clearly express constructive feedback with supporting arguments.

Acknowledgment of sources. Reviewers should point out whether observations or arguments derived from other publications are accompanied by the respective source. Reviewers will notify the editor of any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published manuscript of which they have personal knowledge.

Disclosure and conflict of interest. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. Reviewers should not consider manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, institutions, or organizations associated with the manuscript


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