Submission Preparation ChecklistAs part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
- The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
- The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
- Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
- The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
- The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
- If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.
Preparation of Manuscript
The Manuscripts should be typed, written in English (using 12-point Times New Roman font and 1.5 line-spacing) on A4 sized paper justified fully with 3cm margin on all sides. MS-Word, Office 2010,13 or 2016 for Windows should be used while preparing manuscripts. Length of manuscripts should not normally exceed 15 printed pages (including figures, references, tables etc.). The manuscripts must be numbered starting with the title page. The presentation and reference format should be in line with the style prescribed in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) 6th edition. Articles written in Urdu can also be accepted.
The title page of the manuscript should have the following information:
- Concise and informative title.
- Authorâ€™s surname with first and middle initials.
- Highest qualifications of authors with main area of research specialization.
- Institutional address of the Authors including telephone and e-mail address.
- A short running title of not more than 6 words.
An abstract of 200-250 words is required with up to a maximum of 5 keywords provided below the abstract. Abstract must be typed on a separate page using single line spacing, with the purpose of the study, methods, major results and conclusions concisely presented. Abbreviations should either be defined or excluded.
Text should carry the following designated headings also using 1.5 line-spacing: Introduction, objectives/ hypothesis materials and methods, results, discussion, conclusions, acknowledgement, and references.
The introduction should start on a new page and in addition to comprehensively giving the background of the study it should clearly state the problem and purpose of the study. Authors should cite relevant references to support the basis of the study.
A concise but informative and critical literature review is required expressing state of art in the
Materials and Methods
This section should provide sufficient and relevant information regarding study participants, ethics/informed consent, instrumentation, research design, validity and reliability estimates, data collection procedure, statistical methods and data analysis techniques used. Qualitative research techniques are also acceptable.
Findings should be presented precisely and clearly. Tables and figures must be presented separately or at the end of the manuscript and their appropriate locations in the text indicated. The results section should not contain materials that are appropriate for presentation under the discussion section. Formulas, units and quantities should be expressed in the system international (SI) units. Color printing of figures and tables is expensive and could be done upon request at authorsâ€™ expense.
The discussion section should reflect only important aspects of the study and its major causes. Information presented in the results section should not be repeated under the discussion. Relevant references should be cited in order to justify the findings of the study. Overall, the discussion should be critical and tactfully written.
In this section, main conclusion of the study based on the findings should be written.
Acknowledgement, if necessary, should appear at the end of the text.
The American Psychological Association (APA) style should be used for referencing and citations. Only reference cited in the text should be alphabetically listed in the reference section at the end of the article. References should not be numbered either in the text or in the reference list.
Authors are advised to consider the following examples in referencing and citations:
Examples of Citations in Body of the Text: -
For one or two authors; Ali (2014) and Ali and Waheed (2012). These references should be cited as follows when indicated at the end of a statement: (Ali, 2014); (Ali & Waheed, 2012).
For three or more authors cited for the first time in the text; Waheed, Ali, Muntazir and Safdar (2013) or when cited at the end of the statement as in the preceding example; (Waheed, Ali, Muntazir, & Safdar, 2013). For subsequent citations of the same reference it suffices to cite this particular reference as: Waheed,Â et al. (2013).
Multiple references when cited in the body of the text should be listed chronologically in ascending order, i.e. starting with the oldest reference. These should be separated with semi colons. For example, (Waheed & Safdar, 1982; Farhan & Muntazir, 1992; Ahmed, Ali, Bilawal, & Aafaq, 2002; Tariq & Ijaz, 2010; Safoora, 2012).
Where reference is made to more than one work by the same author published in the same year, identify each citation in the text as: (Waheed, 2012a), (Waheed, 2012b).
In compiling the reference list at the end of the text the following examples for journal reference, chapter from a book publication, proceeding of seminar conferences and electronic citation should be considered:
Manuscript accepted for publication shall be returned to the author(s) for final correction and proofreading. Corrected proofs should be returned to the Chief Editor electronically within one week of receipt. It will be assumed that the publication should go ahead if no response is received from the corresponding author within one week. Minor editorial corrections are handled by Journal managing team itself.
SPARK holds the copyright in accordance to write copyright law. In keeping with copyright laws, authors will be required to assign copyright of accepted manuscripts to IJSSPE publication. This ensures that both the publishers and the authors are protected from misuse of copyright information. Requests for permission to use copyright materials should be addressed to the Editor.
The authors of the articles shall be fully responsible for the content of their work. All articles are checked against plagiarism; however, if any problem related to unethical research is observed, it should be communicated to the Editor-In-Chief for swift resolution.
SPARK is an international journal of Sports Sciences and physical education, has established its Publication Ethics Policy on the acknowledged practice settled by Elsevier policies and COPE's Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors. Accordingly, the guiding principles for authors, editorial board and peer reviewers are listed as follows:
(source: Publishing Ethics â€“ Elsevier)
Authors of original research reports should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the paper. A paper should contain sufficient details and references to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or delibrate inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable. Review and professional publication articles should also be accurate and objective, and editorial opinion works should be clearly identified as such.
Data Access and Retention
Authors may be asked to provide the raw data in connection with a paper for editorial review, and should be prepared to provide public access to such data, if practicable, and should in any event be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable time after publication.
Originality and Plagiarism
The authors should ensure that they have written entirely original works, and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others, which this has been appropriately cited or quoted. Plagiarism takes many forms, from â€œpassing offâ€ another's paper as the author's own paper, to copying or paraphrasing substantial parts of another's paper (without attribution), to claiming results from research conducted by others. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable.
Multiple, Redundant or Concurrent Publication
An author should not in general publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal or primary publication. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable. In general, an author should not submit for consideration in another journal a previously published paper. Publication of some kinds of articles in more than one journal is sometimes justifiable, provided certain conditions are met. The authors and editors of the journals concerned must agree to the secondary publication, which must reflect the same data and interpretation of the primary document. The primary reference must be cited in the secondary publication.
Acknowledgement of Sources
Proper acknowledgment of the work of others must always be given. Authors should cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work. Information obtained privately, as in conversation, correspondence, or discussion with third parties, must not be used or reported without explicit, written permission from the source. Information obtained in the course of confidential services, such as refereeing manuscripts or grant applications, must not be used without the explicit written permission of the author of the work involved in these services.
An editor 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.
The editor and any editorial staff 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.
Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest
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. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. Editors should rescue themselves (i.e. should ask a co-editor, associate editor or other member of the editorial board instead to review and consider) from considering manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or (possibly) institutions connected to the papers. Editors should require all contributors to disclose relevant competing interests and publish corrections if competing interests are revealed after publication. If needed, other appropriate action should be taken, such as the publication of a retraction or expression of concern.
Involvement and Cooperation in Investigations
An editor should take reasonably responsive measures when ethical complaints have been presented concerning a submitted manuscript or published paper, in conjunction with the publisher (or society). Such measures will generally include contacting the author of the manuscript or paper and giving due consideration of the respective complaint or claims made, but may also include further communications to the relevant institutions and research bodies, and if the complaint is upheld, the publication of a correction, retraction, expression of concern, or another note, as may be relevant. Every reported act of unethical publishing behavior must be looked into, even if it is discovered years after publication.
(sources: COPE's Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors and Publishing Ethics â€“ Elsevier)
Contribution to Editorial Decisions
Peer review assists the editor in making editorial decisions and through the editorial communications with the author may also assist the author in improving the paper. Peer review is an essential component of formal scholarly communication, and lies at the heart of the scientific method. All scholars who wish to contribute to publications have an obligation to do a fair share of reviewing.
Any selected referee who feels unqualified to 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.
Any manuscripts received for 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
Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.
Acknowledgement of Sources
Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also call to the editor's attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.
Disclosure and Conflict of Interest
Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in a reviewer's own research without the express written consent of the author. 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, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.
Submission of an original manuscript to the Journal will be taken to mean that it represents original work not previously published, that it is not being considered elsewhere for publication. And if accepted for publication, it will be published in print and online and it will not be published elsewhere.
The journal main policy reflects in its stance that the publication of scholarly research is exclusively meant to disseminate knowledge and not-for-purposes.