VIRTUTIS INCUNABULA (VI) is the official institutional journal of the University of Negros Occidental‑Recoletos (UNO-R), Bacolod City. This annual, refereed multi-disciplinary Journal, published by the Research and Development Office, commits to serve as the cradle where excellence is conceptualized and nurtured. It is the information bank that is dedicated to promote knowledge in the various disciplines in the University.
It also serves as the vehicle through which UNO-R realizes its commitment “to extend the frontiers of knowledge through experimentation and verification” in order to deepen the evaluation of problems towards the synthesis of faith, reason, culture, and life. As a tool for development, it provides the framework and support system that will propel the UNO-R community to evolve continuously towards technological, social, economic, political, and moral advancement until excellence is achieved.
This Journal is envisioned to publish the research outputs that manifest the EXCELLENCE that every UNO‑Rian heart and mind embodies.
Policy on Subscription
Virtutis Incunabula is accessible online or through institutional subscriptions in print.
Policy on Contributions/Submissions
Articles are mainly contributed by the UNO-R students, both graduate and undergraduate, faculty members, and non-teaching personnel. Articles of the baccalaureate degree students are submitted by the colleges as official entries to the annual University Research Exposition. On the other hand, the articles of graduate school students are selected from the theses and dissertations of the graduating students.
Other articles are submitted by students, faculty members, and non-teaching personnel upon the invitation of the Editorial Board.
Policy on Editorial Process/Responsibilities
The efficiency and effectiveness of the editorial review process are critically dependent upon the actions of both the research authors and the referees. The authors of the article accepted for review are informed that the manuscript shall undergo the review process. Authors are encouraged to accept the responsibility to prepare the research paper for evaluation, to subject the manuscript to evaluation by the reviewers, and to revise it prior to submission. The review process is not to be used as a means of obtaining feedback at the early stages of developing the research papers.
Policy on Publication Ethics and Practices
VI is committed to uphold the highest standards of publication ethics, and thus, takes all possible measures against any publication malpractices. All authors submitting their works to VI for publication as original articles must attest that the submitted works present the authors’ contributions and have not been copied or plagiarized in whole or in part from other works. The authors must acknowledge that they have disclosed all and any actual or potential conflicts of interest with their work or partial benefits associated with it.
In the same manner, VI is committed to ensure an objective and fair review of the submitted publication works and to prevent any actual or potential conflict of interest between the editorial and review personnel and the reviewed material. Any departure from the above-defined rules should be reported directly to the editorial board who are unequivocally committed to provide swift resolutions to any of such type of problems. Reviewers and editors are responsible for providing constructive and prompt evaluation of submitted research papers based on the significance of their contribution and on the rigors of analysis and presentation.
Policy on Use of Human Subjects in Research
VI will only publish research articles involving human subjects after the author(s) have verified that they have followed all laws and regulations concerning the protection aﬀorded to human subjects in research studies within the jurisdiction in which a research study they describe was conducted. The research protocol must have been approved by the institutional ethics committee. A certificate of approval by such a committee must be submitted along with the manuscript.
Policy on Plagiarism Detection
Contributors are advised to use a software for plagiarism detection to increase the manuscript’s chances of acceptance. The editorial office uses licensed software such as Grammarly and Turnitin to screen research articles of plagiarism. The standard set is 95 percent in originality using Grammarly Software or15 percent in similarity using Turnitin Software to pass the plagiarism detection test.
Policy on Conﬂicts of Interest
VI will only publish articles after the authors have confirmed that they have disclosed all potential conﬂicts of interest.
Policy on Retraction
Retraction is an act of the journal publisher to remove a published article from the digital file due to post publication discovery of fraudulent claims by the research, plagiarism, or serious errors of methodology which escapes detection in the quality assurance process. Complaints by third party researchers on any of the grounds that would be validated by the editorial office shall result in retraction but only after the writer has been notified and allowed to present his side in compliance to due process.
Policy on Digital Preservation
Digital Preservation is the process of storing systematically electronic files in multiple formats such as cloud computing, Google drive, email accounts, external hard drives, among others. This is to guarantee that in conditions where the website crashes and where there is natural calamity, fire, other man made destructions, and virus invasions, the files are preserved.
Policy on Literature Review
The contributors are required to provide three dimensions of literature review. A global situational analysis of the problem backed by references from diﬀerent continents, literature from the region of the research (i.e ASEAN, MENA), and literature from the country of origin shall be integrated in the introduction as basis for the definition of gap in the literature.
Policy on Handling Complaints
If the Journal receives a complaint that any contribution to the Journal infringes copyright or other intellectual property rights or contains material inaccuracies, libelous materials, or otherwise unlawful materials, the Journal will investigate the complaint. Investigation may include a request to the parties involved to substantiate their claims. The Journal will make a good faith distribution whether to remove the allegedly wrongful material. A decision not to remove a material should represent the Journal’s belief that the complaint is without sufficient foundation, or if well founded, that a legal defense or exemption may apply such as fair use in the case of copyright infringement or truthfulness of a statement in the case of libel. The Journal should document its investigation and decision. If the author is found guilty after investigation, the article shall be subject to retraction policy.
Appropriateness of Citation Format. Authors are advised to use the citation format prescribed by APA.
Word Count, Spelling, and Grammar Checks. Authors are encouraged to perform word count for the abstract (100-250) and the full text (about 4000 to 6,000). Spelling and grammar checks should be performed prior to submission. The standard set is 90 percent in grammar using Grammarly Software.
VI welcomes submission of comments on previous articles. Comments on articles previously published in the Journal will generally be reviewed by two reviewers, usually an author of the original article (to assist the editor in evaluating whether the submitted comment represents the prior article’s accuracy) and an independent reviewer. If a comment is accepted for publication, the original author will be invited to reply. All other editorial requirements, as enumerated above, apply to proposed comments.
The Review System
The review system for this Journal involves a community of experts who are qualified and are able to perform impartial review. The main goal of the review system of this Journal is to provide a constructive feedback to the authors to allow them to improve the quality of the article and prepare it for publication in refereed journals.
Similar to peer review, it covers the work done during the screening of the submitted manuscripts. This is also a normative process that encourages authors to meet the accepted standards of their discipline and prevents the dissemination of unwarranted claims, unacceptable interpretations, and personal views. It also increases the probability that weaknesses will be identified, and, with advice and encouragement, fixed. For publication in a scholarly journal, it is also normally a requirement that the subject is both novel and substantial.
Type. The open review process is adopted for this multidisciplinary journal where the reviewer (s) and the writers know each other’s identity, thus, encouraging open and honest review. This is also an internal review process where the referees are mainly members of the Research Core Group (RCG), other experts in the University, and, in some cases, invited experts in specialized fields.
Recruiting Referees. In cases where an expert in a specialized field is necessary to conduct a review of the article, the Editorial Board identifies an additional reviewer.
In some cases, the authors’ input in selecting referees is solicited because academic writing is typically very specialized. Thus, the Board invites research authors to name experts whom they consider qualified to referee their work.
The Board then sends an invitation to potential and qualified referees. Upon acceptance, the Board sends the article together with the peer-review form.
After the first screening, the manuscript is sent to two to three internal reviewers consisting of an expert of the topic of research, an expert in research and statistics who shall review the technical components of the research, and an expert in ethics who shall look into the ethical practice/s required for the study.
Thus, the referees must have excellent track record as researchers in the field as evidenced by research published in refereed journals, research-related awards, and an experience in peer review. Should any conflict of interest arise, the referees must inform the editor promptly.
Internal Review Process. The internal review process ensures quality research that conforms with the standards set by the journal publication. It involves a series of review and revision until the paper qualifies for publication.
First round of review. For students whose research is a requirement for their degree, their research outputs undergo the first round of review by a panel of experts as part of the proposal and final defense processes.
Second round of review. Consequently, the best studies in each college are submitted to the Research and Development Office (RDO) as entry of the college to the annual university-wide research exposition. During this exposition, the studies undergo the second round of review by a panel of experts invited by the RDO. After this event, the same studies are considered for publication in this Journal.
Third round of review. At this stage, the review process advances to the refereeing process. This round begins with the submission of the manuscripts to the EIC who conducts the first screening. The articles that are accepted for review are forwarded to the referees invited by the RDO who thoroughly evaluate all aspects of the paper, identify their observed weaknesses or problems, offer suggestions for improvement, and recommend the paper to be accepted or rejected. The Managing Editor evaluates and summarizes the referees’ comments, notes the opinions regarding the manuscript, communicates the result to the author, and allows time for revision. After revision, the manuscript is sent to the referees again for another review if the referees indicate that they want to read the revised paper. When accepted by the referees, the revised article is submitted to the EIC for the final decision on its publication.
An article should be approved by at least two referees and the editorial board in order to be published. Thus, when only one of the referees accept the manuscript, it is sent to another referee for the second approval. When the additional referee recommends it for acceptance, the article advances to the next step, but when the referee recommends it for rejection, the article is returned to the author with comments.
For studies that are submitted upon the invitation of the Editorial Board, the review process begins with the Editorial Board who conducts the first screening and advances to the refereeing process.
Guide for Reviewers/Referees
Invited reviewers or referees are expected to accept the review task only if they have appropriate expertise and without conflict of interest; thus, when the invited referees think that the paper is not aligned with their expertise or when they recognize a conflict of interest at their end, they are expected to send the editorial staff an email stating their reason for not accepting the paper for review within three (3) days after receiving the paper. They are likewise expected to recommend qualified person(s) for the review process.
When they accept the invitation to referee, they must understand and follow the review criteria, address both the content and the rhetorical elements of the paper, provide constructive feedback, comply with deadlines, and maintain confidentiality.
Criteria for Acceptance and Rejection
The article is to be evaluated based on its general aspects, presentation, abstract, methods, results and discussion, translational research, and references or literature cited.
Based on the evaluation result, the referees give any of the following recommendations: Accept, without revisions; (2) Accept, after minor revisions suggested in this review; (3) Accept, after major revisions suggested in this review; or (4) Reject, not fit for publication at this time.
The referees shall indicate whether they will want to read the article again or leave it up to the editor to decide whether to accept or reject the article after the revision.
Finally, the Editorial Board decides on the approval for an article to be accepted for publication.