Focus and Scope

Nepal Journal of Biotechnology (NJB) is open access, peer-reviewed, indexed and refereed international online journal run by volunteer researchers and have unique ISSN 2091-1130 (Print) and eISSN 2467-9313 (Online) numbers. NJB publishes full-length research articles, review articles and method articles in the fields of Biotechnology, Molecular Biology, Genetic Engineering, Microbiology, Cell Biology, Parasitology, Biochemistry, Medical Science, Plant Science, Animal Science, Bioinformatics and other Omic Sciences viz. Bioprocess, Biochemical Engineering, Fermentation Technology, Organic chemistry related to Biotechnology and provide a unique DOI (Digital Object Identifier) for every article published.

Established in 2011 A.D. with the initiation of Nabin N Munankarmi, president of Biotechnology Society of Nepal (BSN), NJB aims to provide an international forum to encourage interdisciplinary discussions contributing to the advancement of Biotechnology, benefiting readers and authors by accelerating the dissemination of research information and providing maximum access to scholarly communication. NJB aims to promote interdisciplinary studies in Applied life sciences and Biotechnology and become the leading journal in Nepal and abroad.

Peer Review Process

NJB follows the double-blind peer-review process [i.e. peer reviewers and author(s) don't know identity of each other]. All submitted manuscripts are screened manually by EiC (Editor in Chief) then by the member(s) of the NJB editorial board and only manuscripts following author guidelines that meet journal criteria and scope are sent for formal peer-review, remaining manuscripts (if any) are returned to the corresponding author stating reasons for rejections. Authors are free to submit again with necessary corrections or submit elsewhere for the publication. The peer-review process may take 4 to 5 weeks and further corrections (if any) as per demand from the peer-reviewers may lengthen the process. At least two reviewers are selected for each manuscript based on the scientific expertise for the content and the decision from the reviewers are categorized as following:

Accepted: Reviewer thinks no further corrections are needed at all except few grammatical errors and there is no need for the manuscript to go through the review process again.

Accepted with minor revision: Reviewer thinks few minor errors are there but still good to publish and the manuscript may need to go through the minor revisions before publication.

Accepted with major revision: Reviewer thinks there are major faults that need correction before publication and the manuscript needs to go through the review process again with the option of rejection.

Rejected: Reviewer thinks the manuscript is not scientifically acceptable for publication and re-submission will not be considered.

To qualify for the consideration to get published, the manuscript must get 2 (Two) Accepted status OR, 1 (One) Accepted status with 1 (One) Accepted minor/major revision OR, 2 Accepted with minor revision. The paper with 1 Accepted/Accepted with minor revision status and 1 Rejected status will be studied by the editorial board for any decision bias and if any bias is suspected then another peer reviewers will be approached. Manuscripts not considered suitable by peer reviewers will be sent back to authors and will not be considered for the publication in NJB. The manuscript that passes peer review will then be sent to EiC for the final approval. The decision of the EiC/Editors is final and will only be changed under exceptional circumstances.

The manuscript returned to the corresponding author for corrections/modification should be returned to the editorial office by the author within the given timeline as set by the Editor (usually 1 week) and non-compliance with the deadline will result in the manuscript not to be considered for publication in future. The editorial board reserves all rights to evaluate the suitability of the language, modify the text, figures and tables in a manuscript to enhance clarity and presentation without affecting the overall meaning and result conveyed by the manuscript.

Section Policies

Research Articles: Submissions are always open, indexed and peer-reviewed.

Review Articles: Submissions are always open, indexed and peer-reviewed.

Method Articles: Submissions are always open, indexed and peer-reviewed.

Editorials: Submissions are always open, indexed but not peer-reviewed.

Publication Frequency

The Nepal Journal of Biotechnology (NJB) publishes two issue per year, one in July and another in December. Submissions from authors are open throughout the year.

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. NJB applies the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial CC BY-NC license to all the works we publish after Jun 2020 (Before it was CC BY-NC-ND). Under this license, authors agree to make articles legally available for reuse, without permission or fees, for virtually any non-commercial purpose. Anyone may remix, adapt, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.

Archiving

Nepal Journal of Biotechnology is hosted by NepJOL. All articles published in NJB are archived via NepJOL database which is managed by Tribhuvan University Central Library and it is hosted by Ubiquity Press. NepJOL is also part of the Ubiquity Press Network. NepJOL is a project initiated by INASP. NepJOL uses the Open Journals System created by the Public Knowledge Project (PKP) based in Canada. This software is open source and allows the journal content listed on NepJOL to be indexed through Open Archives Initiative search engines dedicated to research, which harvest the metadata for each journal article, making this work readily available to a global audience, and giving the journals greater visibility among the worldwide research community.

Plagiarism, Duplicate Publication and Authorship Policy

NJB takes plagiarism [defined as the taking of words, images, ideas, etc. from an author and presenting them as one’s own (Roig, 2015)], as a serious violation. Other unethical publication practices like self-plagiarism (use of author’s own work without proper citation), duplicate publication, salami publication and authorship bias are not entertained in NJB. NJB follows and encourages authors to follow COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) guidelines while preparing their manuscript. The author(s) will have a chance for rebuttal if evidence of unethical publication practices is found before/after acceptance of the manuscript or after the publication. If the arguments are not found to be satisfactory, the paper will be drawn back and the guilty author(s) will be blacklisted as determined by the editorial board. NJB may use “quetext” as a plagiarism checker and may use other methods as deemed suited by the editorial board to trace unethical publication practices but NJB encourages and expect authors to comply with ethical publication practices.

Publication Ethics

NJB adopts the best standards of publication ethics and takes all possible measures against publication malpractices. It is important to agree upon standards of proper ethical behavior for all parties involved in the act of publishing: the authors, the editors, the reviewers, the publisher and the society. Based on Elsevier policy and COPE’s Best Practices Guidelines, the journal has following baseline standards for publication ethics:

Duties of Authors(s)

Authorship of the paper: Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the reported study. If there are other participants who have participated in certain substantive aspects of the research, they should be acknowledged or listed as contributors. ICJME and COPE guidelines should be taken into considerations to determine authorship in detail.

Originality and plagiarism: The authors should ensure that they have written entirely original works, and if there were the work and/or words of others, so it has been appropriately cited.

Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication: The authors should not submit the same manuscripts in more than one journal or primary publication. If the corresponding author wish to withdraw the article then it should write a formal letter signed by all the author(s) addressing EiC of NJB stating the core causes of the withdrawal, the final decision on the withdrawal will be given by EiC. Failure to submit a formal withdrawal letter will be liable for actions as per COPE practices.  

Acknowledgment of sources: Proper acknowledgment to others should always be written.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest: The authors must include disclosure of all relationships to prevent a potential conflict of interest.

Fundamental errors in published work: When the authors discover a significant error(s) on their published work then they have to notify the journal editor or publisher to retract or correct the paper.

Reporting standards: The Authors should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussion.

Hazards and human or animal subjects: If the work involves unusual hazards inherent and/or the use of animal or human subjects then the authors have to state and write it clearly in their paper. Also, authors should take all the necessary permissions and paperwork from concerned.

Use of patient images or case details: Studies on patients or volunteers require ethics committee approval and it should be documented in the paper.

Duties of Editor(s)

Publication decisions: The editor(s) may be guided by the policies of the journal's Editorial Board and constrained by such legal requirements as shall then be in force regarding the law, copyright infringement and plagiarism. Editors must follow COPE Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors and refer COPE Flowcharts to make their decisions.

Fair play: The editor(s) should evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors. There should not be any kind of bias.

Confidentiality: The editor(s) must not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher, as appropriate.

Acknowledgment of sources: Make sure proper acknowledgment(s) are always written.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest: The editors should require all contributors to disclose relevant competing interests and publish corrections if competing interests are revealed after publication. Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in an editor's own research without the express written consent of the author. If needed, other appropriate action should be taken, such as the publication of a retraction or expression of concern.

Journal self-citation: The editor(s) should direct authors to relevant literature as part of the peer-review process, however, this should not convey as direct/indirect instructions for authors to cite individual journals.

Involvement and cooperation in investigations: Every reported act of unethical publishing behavior must be looked into, even if it is discovered years after publication. The editor of the NJB should take reasonably responsive measures when ethical complaints have been presented concerning a submitted manuscript or published paper, in conjunction with the publisher (or the society).

For more information, and to counter any disputes or retraction of the paper, EiC/Editors should refer the following links:

Corresponding author requests addition of extra author before publication

Corresponding author requests removal of author before publication

Request for addition of extra author after publication

Request for removal of author after publication

What to do if you suspect ghost, guest, or gift authorship

COPE Flowcharts, translated, complete sets: EnglishFrenchFarsiChineseItalianSpanish, and Japanese

COPE Guidelines on Authorship Disputes

COPE Retraction Guidelines

Duties of Reviewer(s)

Contribution to editorial decisions: Peer review assists the editors in making editorial decisions and through the editorial communications with the author may also assist the author in improving the paper. NJB request reviewers to follow COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers for better contribution in decision making.

Promptness: Any selected peer reviewer who feels unqualified to peer review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should notify the editor and excuse himself from the review process.

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

Standards of objectivity: Peer reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.

Acknowledgment of sources: Peer reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors.

Journal self-citation: The editor(s) should direct authors to relevant literature as part of the peer-review process, however, this should not convey as direct/indirect instructions for authors to cite individual journals.

Disclosure and conflict of interest: Peer 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, companies, or institutions connected to the manuscripts. Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in a reviewer’s own research without the written consent of the author.

As per the COPE guideline prepared by Irene Hames on behalf of COPE Council March 2013, v.1, the basic principles to which peer reviewers should adhere can be summoned as:

  1. Only agree to review manuscripts for which they have the subject expertise required to carry out a proper assessment and which they can assess in a timely manner
  2. Respect the confidentiality of peer review and not reveal any details of a manuscript or its review, during or after the peer-review process, beyond those that are released by the journal
  3. Not use information obtained during the peer-review process for their own or any other person’s or organization’s advantage, or to disadvantage or discredit others
  4. Declare all potential conflicting of interests, seeking advice from the journal if they are unsure whether something constitutes a relevant interest
  5. Not allow their reviews to be influenced by the origins of a manuscript, by the nationality, religious or political beliefs, gender or other characteristics of the authors, or by commercial considerations
  6. Be objective and constructive in their reviews, refraining from being hostile or inflammatory and from making libelous or derogatory personal comments
  7. Acknowledge that peer review is largely a reciprocal endeavor and undertake to carry out their fair share of reviewing and in a timely manner
  8. Provide journals with personal and professional information that is accurate and a true representation of their expertise
  9. Recognize that impersonation of another individual during the review process is considered serious misconduct

Errata, Corrigenda and Retraction Policy:

Erratum (plural errata) refers to the issuance of correction of major errors in an article that occurred due to the publisher's mistake after publication. NJB ensures that the final accepted version before the print is made available to the author and also ensures that there are no modifications in the content from the publisher's side after acceptance. If author notices a major error that affects scientific integrity of the paper due to mistakes of publisher then the corresponding author should send an official letter signed by all the authors in the paper to Editor-in-Chief (EiC) including erratum as a Word file (DOC or DOCX) in the email of NJB so that final decision can be made if issuing erratum is an absolute.

Corrigendum (plural corrigenda) refers to the issuance of correction of major errors in an article due to the author's mistake after publication. Since peer review is done and articles are sent multiple times to the corresponding author for corrections before final acceptance hence NJB does not expect such mistakes to occur. If the author who thinks that any mistakes discovered later effects the scientific integrity of the paper then the corresponding author should send an official letter signed by all the authors in the paper to EiC including Corrigendum as a Word file (DOC or DOCX) in the email of NJB so that final decision can be made if issuing corrigendum is an absolute.

Retractions are carried out for the published article that have been reported to have major errors or violation of ethics as per the standard scholarly publication practices. Anyone that feels the retraction of the published article is absolute then the applicant can send a signed official letter to EiC including specific reasons of retraction as a Word file (DOC or DOCX) in the email of NJB so that final decision can be made based on the rigorous investigation. During the investigation carried under EiC, if allegations are found near to truth then the authors will be given a chance for their defense via the official email of NJB. The retraction if published, will be linked to the original published paper. 

Revenue sources

NJB is run by volunteers and is strictly dependent upon volunteering services provided by the editorial board members. NJB is directly supported by the Biotechnology Society of Nepal (BSN) for its expenditures. Besides that, NJB gets annual royalty from EBSCO and expect seasonal donations and grants from individuals and organizations.

Advertising and Marketing Policy

Articles published in NJB may be included in article alerts and regular email updates. Some may be highlighted on the Biotechnology Society of Nepal (BSN)’s homepage or social media page. Also, articles published in NJB may be promoted by press releases to the general or scientific press or conferences. These activities increase the exposure and number of accesses for articles published in Nepal Journal of Biotechnology. We would encourage you to promote your article through your own email, social media, distribution at conferences and any other innovative techniques you wish to adopt.

Publication Fees

Publication in NJB is FREE which means there are no Article Processing and Submission Charges for the articles to get published, as one of the main goals of the journal is to provide global researchers with a free and open-source publishing platform. However, NJB is not liable to provide the print version or hard copy for free and may charges for the hard copy or print version if the hard copy or print version is requested by the author(s) or any other third party.