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Journal of the Pakistan Medial Association has agreed to receive and publish manuscripts in accordance with the instructions of International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Details of ICMJE and COPE are available at www.icmje.org and http://publicationethics.org/.

The ICMJE recommends that authorship should be based on the following four criteria:

  1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  3. Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  4. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

All those designated as authors should meet all four criteria for authorship.

Acknowledgement Criteria

Contributors who do not meet all the four criteria for authorship, but helped in the study, may be listed in the acknowledgement section. Examples of those who may be listed can include, but is not limited by, the following:

  • Individuals who helped in acquisition of funding
  • Individuals who generally supervised the research group
  • Individuals who provided general administrative support
  • Colleagues who helped in designing the study
  • Individuals who helped in reviewing the manuscript, including writing assistance, technical and language editing, and proofreading
  • Physicians who referred cases
  • Individuals who provided laboratory assistance
  • Statisticians for statistical tests and analysis
  • Secretarial help
  • Parents who responded to the questionnaire
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Organisations which may have helped
  • Concerned colleagues who provided micrographs, x-rays, or slides

Alterations in the List of Authors

JPMA does not prescribe to change in the authors list with respect to additions and deletions after the initial submission.

Contributions Statement

Statements describing detailed contributions made by each author are required at the time of submission of the manuscript. This has to be outlined in the submission statement form. Incomplete form can lead to processing delays in the manuscript.

Corresponding Author

The corresponding author is the individual who takes primary responsibility for communication with the journal. The corresponding author should be available throughout the submission and peer review process to respond to editorial queries in a timely way, and should be available after publication to respond to critiques of the work and cooperate with any requests from the journal for data or additional information should questions about the paper arise after publication.

Deceased Authors

Deceased authors should be included with a death dagger (†) next to the author's name, and a footnote stating that the author is deceased and giving the date of their death e.g. †Deceased 1 January 2016.

The publication of results of all randomized control trials will only be considered if the ICMJE recommendations are followed. The trials should have been registered before the participants were recruited. A registration number will have to be provided with the manuscript and should be noted after the end of the abstract.

The ICMJE defines a clinical trial as “any research project that prospectively assigns people or a group of people to an intervention, with or without concurrent comparison or control groups, to study the cause-and-effect relationship between a health-related intervention and a health outcome. Health-related interventions are those used to modify a biomedical or health-related outcome; examples include drugs, surgical procedures, devices, behavioural treatments, educational programs, dietary interventions, quality improvement interventions, and process-of-care changes. Health outcomes are any biomedical or health-related measures obtained in patients or participants, including pharmacokinetic measures and adverse events.”

A sample definition by WAME states that conflict of interest “exists when a participant in the publication process (author, peer reviewer, or editor) has a competing interest that could unduly influence (or be reasonably seen to do so) his or her responsibilities in the publication process."

Any conflict of interest should be declared by all authors. This may include grants or honorarium, credits and promotions, memberships or any personal or professional relationships which may appear to influence the manuscript. Such competing interests are not unethical but should be declared.

Authors should state the conflict of interest clearly in the submission statement form. This statement should also appear at the end of the text before the references. If there are no conflicts of interests, the authors should state, “none to declare.”

All the authors of manuscripts submitted to and published in the Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association agree to transfer all copyright ownership of the manuscript to the Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association, Karachi, Pakistan. After publication, such manuscripts can only be re-produced after permission from the editorial board and the publisher.

All authors are required to sign the copyright policy statement which is found on the submission form and send it in with the manuscript.

In case the manuscript is rejected, the copyright transfers back to the authors.

When reporting experiments on human subjects, authors should indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation and with the latest version of Helsinki Declaration. Do not use patients' names, initials, or hospital numbers, in text and illustrative material.

When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether institutional and national standards for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed. Further guidance on animal research ethics is available from the International Association of Veterinary Editors’ Consensus Author Guidelines on Animal Ethics and Welfare (http://veteditors.org/ethicsconsensusguidelines.html).

Every manuscript submitted to JPMA should have the ethical approval by the ethical review board of the institution. If an official approval was not required, a statement as to why it was not needed should be given along with a letter of approval from the head of the department. If an institution does not have an ethical review committee, the institution’s approval from the concerned department may be submitted.

All case reports require an approval on the institutional letterhead from the head of the department. A statement should be included that participants gave informed consent before being included in the study or for publication of a case report.

All sources of grants received and its spending should be disclosed. Such statements should be declared on the submission statement form and at the end of the manuscript before the references. If there are no funding sources, the authors should state “none to declare”.

According to JPMA's copyright policy, the copyright belongs to the Journal upon submission of the manuscript. Moreover, it is considered unethical to submit the same manuscript to more than one journal at the same time.

If the authors want to withdraw the manuscript during its processing, an email has to be sent notifying as to their intention, to the effect that the manuscript withdrawal form will be emailed for the signatures of all the authors. This needs to be completed, scanned and sent back. A final letter from the editorial office for withdrawal of the manuscript will then be dispatched.

Please note that without a formal letter of withdrawal, a manuscript is not considered withdrawn and use of such a manuscript elsewhere will be construed as an ethical misconduct.

Patients have a right to privacy that should not be violated without informed consent. Authors should follow the ethical standards of the latest version of Helsinki Declaration.

JPMA also refers to the ICMJE guideline as to patient rights. Identifying information, including names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, or pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Nonessential identifying details should be omitted. Informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt that anonymity can be maintained. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients is inadequate protection of anonymity.

Informed consent for this purpose requires that an identifiable patient be shown the manuscript to be published. Authors should disclose to these patients whether any potential identifiable material might be available via the Internet as well as in print after publication. JPMA does not require the signed patient consent form in such an instance upon submission. However, please note that the editor can ask for such a form at any stage during the processing.

A statement should be included in the manuscript that the participants gave informed consent before being included in the study or publication.

All manuscripts submitted to JPMA initially undergo internal peer review. A manuscript not found suitable for publication as regards to the topic or poor writing is likely to be rejected on the internal peer review.

After in-house peer review, the manuscript is sent for external peer reviews. This is a double-blind process.

Original articles authored by the editorial board are also externally peer reviewed.

Editorials and obituaries authored by the editor-in-chief will not be subjected to an external peer review.

Reproducing material from other sources

It is the author's responsibility to secure all permissions prior to submission of the manuscript. Any part of the article accessed from another source, should be accompanied by a signed letter of consent from the copyright holder, which may be the author, journal or the publisher.

Reproducing material published by JPMA

No part of the Journal may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any other means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission, in writing, of the Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association. This includes material previously published by the requesting author.

Plagiarism Detection

JPMA uses the turnitin software to run similarity check on all submitted manuscripts.

A similarity index of more than 20% is grounds for halting the processing of the manuscript and getting in touch with authors to resolve the issue.

Plagiarism Policy

The Journal follows the authorship guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), http://www.icmje.org/

The Journal follows the standard international definition and description of plagiarism and the guidelines provided by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (http://www.hec.gov.pk; http://www.hec.gov.pk/InsideHEC/Divisions/QALI/QADivision/Documents/Plagiarism%20Policy.pdf) We also follow the guidelines of Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE – UK) for all ethical misconduct.

  • The Journal assigns equal responsibility of intellectual integrity of the manuscript to all authors whose names appear on the manuscript/article. When submitting a manuscript, the Journal requires that all authors sign a statement accepting this responsibility.
  • This statement must indicate that no part of the manuscript has been plagiarised.
  • Any such material should be made accessible to the Editor and should only be used with referencing according to the guidelines of authorship. This may otherwise form the basis of a redundant publication/duplicate publication/"salami slicing" and appropriate action may be taken by the Editor which may range from rejection of the manuscript to debarment of the authors(s) from further publication in the Journal.
  • It is emphasised that the Journal considers self-plagiarism as equally unethical as plagiarism in any other form. If material is to be used from the authors’ previous work, standard referencing guidelines must be followed.
  • All manuscripts submitted to the Journal will be checked for plagiarism. If a manuscript submitted for publication (or a manuscript accepted for publication or an article that has already been published in the Journal) is found to be based on plagiarised material, the Editor will be obliged to write to the author(s) seeking an explanation. The corresponding author will be required to respond with an explanation within 30 days of receiving the letter from the editor.
  • Any such manuscript for review will be held up till the matter is resolved.
  • After receiving the author's explanation, if considered necessary, the Editor may also send a letter of information to the head of institution or any other relevant authority at the author(s) institution. A similar letter may also be sent to the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan and the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council for information and possible action.
  • In case an acceptable explanation is provided by the author(s), the Editor may recommend appropriate changes after which the review process for the submitted manuscript may commence.
  • In case of failure of author(s) to either respond within the stipulated time, or in case they are unable to provide a suitable explanation, the Editor will convene a meeting of the Plagiarism Committee of the Board of Editors of the Journal to consider further action.
  • Further action will depend upon the nature of the offence and may include rejection of the manuscript from publication along with possible debarment of the author(s) from further publishing in the Journal. The period of debarment will depend upon the nature of the offence and may range from a period of a few months to permanent debarment.
  • Information regarding this action may be published in the forth coming issue of the Journal on a numbered page.
  • In case of confirmation of plagiarism on an already published article, the Editor will be obliged to withdraw the article from the journal website, Medline and Pakmedinet.

Plagiarism, if detected and proved, would be considered a punishable offence. Immediate and unbiased action will be taken by the Plagiarism Committee.

Animal-based studies, or research articles conducted on animals, will not be considered for processing or publication in the JPMA effective immediately.

Authors whose articles have been rejected have the right to send a letter of appeal giving detailed explanations. This will be reviewed in-house and a decision will be taken accordingly.

Do not submit the manuscript in a revised manner at this stage.

Comments on previously published articles in JPMA will be reviewed by the editor-in-chief and forwarded to the authors of the published manuscript for a reply. Appropriate time will be given for the response. Both will be published simultaneously in one of the forthcoming issues. In case the author of the published article does not reply, the comments will be published on their own.

This process will only be undertaken if the comments are appropriate.

Please submit comments to published work through eJManager via http://my.ejmanager.com/jpma/ Please see the Guidelines to Authors for details regarding the submission.

A published manuscript may be retracted in case of duplicate publication or unethical research.

A retraction notice according to the guidelines of ICMJE will be published in the following issue of JPMA.

The article will be retracted from the journal website and a notice will replace the text. A similar notice will also be placed on Medline.

JPMA follows the guidelines provided by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and the Higher Education Commission, Pakistan (HEC) for dealing with scientific misconduct.

The following examples and forms of misconduct have been taken from WAME, originally with minor modification from the ORI publication Analysis of Institutional Policies for Responding to Allegations of Scientific Misconduct:

  • Falsification of data: ranges from fabrication to deceptive selective reporting of findings and omission of conflicting data, or wilful suppression and/or distortion of data.
  • Plagiarism: The appropriation of the language, ideas, or thoughts of another without crediting their true source, and representation of them as one's own original work.
  • Improprieties of authorship: Improper assignment of credit, such as excluding others, misrepresentation of the same material as original in more than one publication, inclusion of individuals as authors who have not made a definite contribution to the work published; or submission of multi-authored publications without the concurrence of all authors.
  • Misappropriation of the ideas of others: an important aspect of scholarly activity is the exchange of ideas among colleagues. Scholars can acquire novel ideas from others during the process of reviewing grant applications and manuscripts. However, improper use of such information can constitute fraud. Wholesale appropriation of such material constitutes misconduct.
  • Violation of generally accepted research practices: Serious deviation from accepted practices in proposing or carrying out research, improper manipulation of experiments to obtain biased results, deceptive statistical or analytical manipulations, or improper reporting of results.
  • Material failure to comply with legislative and regulatory requirements affecting research: Including but not limited to serious or substantial, repeated, wilful violations of applicable local regulations and law involving the use of funds, care of animals, human subjects, investigational drugs, recombinant products, new devices, or radioactive, biologic, or chemical materials.
  • Inappropriate behaviour in relation to misconduct: this includes unfounded or knowingly false accusations of misconduct, failure to report known or suspected misconduct, withholding or destruction of information relevant to a claim of misconduct and retaliation against persons involved in the allegation or investigation. [1]

JPMA also includes redundant publication and duplicate publication, lack of declaration of competing interests and of funding/sponsorship, and other failures of transparency to be forms of misconduct.

Reponses to possible misconduct

All allegations of scientific misconduct are taken very seriously at JPMA. We follow the guidelines prescribed by the previously mentioned organisations. The manuscript processing will be halted while the fact-finding investigation is being carried out.

[1] WAME. Recommendations on Publication Ethics Policies for Medical Journals [Internet]. 2015 [cited 28 December 2015]. Available from: http://www.wame.org/about/recommendations-on-publication-ethics-policie

JPMA is willing to accept supplement publishing requests made by external organisations based on different topics, abstracts, or meetings.

The cost of publishing the supplement will be paid by the requesting body after discussion with the journal management.

It is vital to note that all the articles published represent the opinions of the authors and do not reflect official policy of the journal.

For more details regarding supplements, please get in touch with the Journal at jpmaofficial@gmail.com

Editorial Policy Page Updated On 2nd January, 2017


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