INSTRUCTIONS TO AUTHORS

Overview

Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association is an international biomedical journal from Pakistan. We publish materials of interest to the practitioners and scientists in the broad field of medicine. Articles describing original qualitative, quantitative, human or laboratory studies are considered for publication. All manuscripts should be comprehensible to the general reader and lead to improved decision making in clinical practice, medical education, research and policy. Types of articles include case reports, case series, descriptive and analytical research with clinical trials, short reports, special communications and letters to the editor. Clinical conference abstracts, special issues, articles regarding innovation and those related to research methods and reporting are also considered. Secondary research including narrative reviews, systematic reviews, evidence-based articles, meta-analysis, and practice guidelines will also be accepted. From time-to-time invited articles are included.

Manuscripts must be original and not under consideration by another publication at the time of submission.

Animal-based studies, that is research articles conducted on animals, will not be considered for processing or publication in the JPMA effective since 2015.

Ensure that you have read and understood the details noted in JPMA’s editorial policy . Failure to comply can lead to delays in processing of the manuscript, or even rejection.

Manuscript Submission

Manuscript submission at Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association is online via the OJS only. We do not accept submissions via email, nor hardcopies by hand or post.

A guide has been prepared to help the authors upload the manuscripts on OJS, which can be retrieved here.

If you have trouble uploading and submitting the manuscript, email us at editor@jpma.org.pk for guidance. The office contact details are given below:

P.M.A. House, Aga Khan III Road, Karachi- 74400 (Pakistan)

Telephone: +92 (021) – 32226443

Timings: 9am – 5pm (Monday to Saturday except public holidays)

Please note that no article will be processed without a cover letter, ethical approval of research, submission form, and processing fees. Upon initial submission, the team confirms if all the valid documents are present and complete. If the submission is complete, a request to submit processing fees is sent. If the submission is incomplete, the article is returned to the author for completion. Authors will have two weeks to complete the submission. Failure to do so within the time limit will result in automatic deletion of the article from the online submission system without prior notice. For this reason, we request all authors not to send the processing fees until our team emails the request. Further details regarding the fees is given below.

Processing Fees

A non-refundable processing fee of Pak Rs. 3500/- will be charged for manuscripts submitted within Pakistan. The fees can be submitted via a pay order, bank draft, or via online transfer. The details will be emailed upon submission of a complete manuscript.

For overseas manuscripts (outside Pakistan), a non-refundable processing fee of US$ 200/- will be charged. Overseas authors can send the fees through bank transfer. Exact details of the account and transfer will be emailed once a complete manuscript is submitted for processing.

Note the following important points regarding processing fees:

  • Submission of processing fees does not guarantee acceptance of a manuscript.
  • The publication fees are separate and are not included in the processing fees. Details regarding the publication fees can be found below.
  • If the article is withdrawn by the author after payment of the processing or publication fee, no refund will be made. This holds good for all authors, within the country and abroad, and for all categories of articles.
  • If an article is withdrawn by the authors after all the processing have been completed and before publication, the author will have to pay half of the respective publication charges before the article is considered withdrawn and the copyright is transferred to the author.
  • Withdrawal Form Here.

There is no processing fee for a comment written in response to our published article.

Supporting Documents

Ensure that you have the following supporting documents prepared before you attempt to submit the manuscript.

Obligatory Document 1: Cover Letter

A cover letter is an obligatory supporting document for all types of manuscripts except letter to the editor, without which the OJS will not upload and accept the manuscript.

A cover letter should be kept succinct and include the following information. (Maximum 200 to 250 words)

  • Title of the manuscript.
  • What is already known on the subject?
  • What will the results of your study add?
  • How will your results help in clinical practice and or further Research?
  • An explanation of any issues (if any) relating to JPMA policies.

Acceptable formats for cover letter include: jpg, jpeg, gif, png, doc, docx or pdf.

Download the cover letter template here.

Obligatory Document 2: Ethical Approval of Research

Ethical approval of research in the form of letters from the ethical review committee (ERC), ethical review board (ERB), institutional review board (IRB), or any other relevant form of ethical approval is mandatory for all manuscripts submitted to JPMA. The only exceptions to this rule include letters to the editor based on some new information, narrative reviews, and special communications in the form of a review. Reporting a case report or case series in retrospect does not require an IRB certificate but a letter of approval from the head of the department or institute on the institute’s letterhead is required. Ensure that you have read our editorial policy on ethical approval here .

  • IRB number.
  • Date when IRB approval was given.
  • Permission of time period during which the research can be conducted.
  • Signature of chairperson of the IRB/ERB with additional designation of chairperson if any. Stamp of the IRB of the institute should be present.
  • Letter should be on the letter head of the IRB of the institute.

Download the Ethical Approval letter template here.

Obligatory Document 3: Submission Form

Download the submission statement form from here .

This form can be typed on and saved before taking a print-out. It is preferable to fill out the form in type. Alternatively, the form may be printed and handwritten. The form has to be signed by ALL authors. Electronic signatures are not acceptable. After printing and signing the form (by hand), it can be scanned and uploaded to the OJS.

Ensure that the form has been filled correctly and completely. Incomplete forms will result in return of the manuscript and will cause delays in processing.

Ensure that you have the following information in hand while filling out the form:

  • Details of the contributions made by each author
  • List of disclaimers if required
  • List of possible conflict of interests for disclosure
  • List of possible sources of funding for disclosure
  • Details regarding all authors including:
    • Full names of all authors
    • Email addresses of all authors
    • Phone numbers of all authors
    • Full current affiliation of all authors
    • Year of study if any of the authors are undergraduate students
    • Highest degree if the authors are not undergraduate students

Note that the order of the authors will not be changed at any stage. You can read the full details regarding our policy regarding authorship here .

All authors must read the copyright statement and the undertaking detailed on the form before signing it. JPMA assumes that all authors comply with the editorial policy on receipt of the signed submission form.

Obligatory Document 4: Withdrawal From

Download the Withdrawal form from here .

Article Categories

The following is a detailed description of the various types of articles to be published in JPMA. Authors are directed to refer to the list below and select an appropriate category for their article. Once you have done, you see below or click here to see note and format your manuscript accordingly. Failure to do follow the proper guideline can result in delays of manuscript processing or even rejection of the article.

Audit

"A systematic review of a practice, process or performance to establish how well it meets predetermined criteria. The procedure includes identifying problems, developing solutions, making changes to practice, and then reviewing the whole operation or service again."
(Source: Glossary [online] National Institute for Health and Care Excellence [cited 2018 October 3] Available from URL:https://www.nice.org.uk/Glossary?letter=A)

"A clinical audit is “a process for monitoring standards of clinical care to see if it is being carried out in the best way possible (known as 'best practice'). Clinical audit can be described as a systematic 'cycle'. It involves measuring care against specific criteria, taking action to improve it if necessary, and monitoring the process to sustain improvement. As the process continues, an even higher level of quality is achieved."
(Source: Glossary [online] National Institute for Health and Care Excellence [cited 2018 October 3] Available from URL: https://www.nice.org.uk/Glossary?letter=C)

Case Report

"A detailed report of the diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of an individual patient. Case reports also contain some demographic information about the patient (for example, age, gender, ethnic origin)."

(Source: NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms [online] National Cancer Institute [cited 2018 October 3] Available from URL: https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/case-report)

Case Series

“A group or series of case reports involving patients who were given similar treatment. Reports of case series usually contain detailed information about the individual patients. This includes demographic information (for example, age, gender, ethnic origin) and information on diagnosis, treatment, response to treatment, and follow-up after treatment.”

(Source: NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms [online] National Cancer Institute [cited 2018 October 3] Available from URL: https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/case-series)

Comments on a Published Article

This letter contains comments of an individual on any article published in JPMA within a maximum period of 3 months. It will be published along with the reply from the original author.

Letter to the Editor

A letter sent to the editor to address an area of concern or reporting early results of a new research.

Original Article

A manuscript will be considered in the original article category if it is a randomised controlled trial or a multi-centre study.

Randomised Controlled Trials: “A study in which a number of similar people are randomly assigned to 2 (or more) groups to test a specific drug, treatment or other intervention. One group (the experimental group) has the intervention being tested, the other (the comparison or control group) has an alternative intervention, a dummy intervention (placebo) or no intervention at all. The groups are followed up to see how effective the experimental intervention was. Outcomes are measured at specific times and any difference in response between the groups is assessed statistically. This method is also used to reduce bias.””

It is mandatory for a RCT to be registered prospectively and have a TRIAL NUMBER

  • Randomized Control trials(Trial Registration Number mandatory): It contains the studies in which groups are randomly allocated to carry out a clinical intervention.
  • Non- Randomized Trial: A study where participants have been assigned to the treatment, procedure or intervention alternatives by a method that is not random. The investigator defines and manages the alternatives. They are QUASI EXPERIMENTAL STUDIES. There is NO Control Group and NO Random assignment of participants.
  • Epidemiological studies: It contains the studies based on a particular population followed over a period of time. They can be either “incidence” in which the new cases are studied or the “prevalence” studies in which the existing cases are researched upon.
  • Descriptive observational studies: Cohort, Case control and cross sectional studies

PERSPECTIVE

REPORT: World or Country

KAP Studies

KAP measures and explores knowledge, attitude and practices of a community. It is a questionnaire based survey using the quantitative method to analyze the quantitative and qualitative information.

Pilot study

A pilot study is done to perform a small initial experiment is conducted to analyze and test the logistics and gather information prior to a larger study in order to improve the quality and efficiency of the larger study.

Innovation

Innovation studies are the multidisciplinary researches in which different study areas are explored and the dynamics of emerging technologies and innovations are taken in consideration.

Meta analysis

Meta analysis is a statistical technique for summarizing and reviewing data from already conducted researches and to reach out on a conclusion from that.

Narrative Review

“Narrative reviews are aimed at identifying and summarizing what has been previously published, avoiding duplications, and seeking new study areas not yet addressed.”

Research reports/Research articles

Research report is a manuscript formulated by an analyst stating different aspects of a specific ailment. They are single centered studies done to determine new management/investigation/aspect of a disorder.

Exploratory research

Exploratory research conducted for a problem that has not been studied more clearly, intended to establish priorities, develop operational definitions and improve the final research design. Exploratory research helps determine the best research design, data-collection method and selection of subjects.Wikipedia

Short Communication

These are written communications in which a manuscript explains the study done on the small number of population with restricted outcome and setting.

Short Report

Similar to short communication. These are brief reports in which a manuscript explains the study done on the small number of population with restricted outcome and setting.

Special Communication

An article which states a new advancement in the field which showed promising results.

Systematic Reviews

“A systematic review summarises the results of available carefully designed healthcare studies (controlled trials) and provides a high level of evidence on the effectiveness of healthcare interventions. Judgments may be made about the evidence and inform recommendations for healthcare.”

(Source: What is a systematic review? [online] Cochrane Consumer Network [cited 2018 October 3] Available from URL: https://consumers.cochrane.org/what-systematic-review)

Editorials and contents of the imaging corner are usually invited manuscripts. Do not make a submission on OJS for these. If you are interested in writing one, kindly email at editor@jpma.org.pk

Manuscript Formatting – General Overview

All manuscripts should be uploaded on the OJS as a Word document. JPMA follows the ICMJE’s Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals .

The article should be formatted accordingly on MS Word:

  • Font Type: Times New Roman
  • Font Size: 18 for article title, 14 for article text
  • Line spacing should be set at 1.5 throughout the text
  • Alignment: Justified throughout
  • Line numbers should be added
  • Page numbers should be added
  • Begin the abstract, introduction, methods, results, conclusion, references, and each table and figure on a new page.
  • Tables and figures should be included at end of the manuscript and not in the middle of the text.

We have prepared document templates for all article categories which you may download and use to typeset your article with ease.

Manuscript Type Manuscript Template
Audit Template
Case Report Template
Case Series Template
Comments on Published Article Template
Innovation Template
Letter to the Editor Template
Meta-Analysis Template
Narrative Review Template
Original Article Template
Research Article Template
Short Communication Template
Short Report Template
Special Communication Template
Systematic Reviews Template

Title Page

The title page should include the following: article title, article category, abstract word count, manuscript word count, number of references, and the number of tables and figures.

Do not state the authors’ names, affiliations or contact details anywhere on the manuscript. Such details should only be provided on the OJS and the submission statement form. The peer review process at the JPMA is a double-blind process and the author details are not shared with the peer reviewers with the manuscript.

Article Title

  • The title should be clear and concise.
  • Study design/article category should be a part of the title, especially in cases of randomised trials, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, audits, and case reports or case series. These should appear after a colon (“How to title a manuscript: an audit”.)
  • The title length should not exceed more than 14 words.
  • Do not capitalise the first letter of each word in the title unless it is a proper noun.
  • Do not use abbreviations in the title.

Article Category

Choose the article category from the following list.

Abstract Word Count

State the word count of the abstract. This does not include the MeSH terms.

Manuscript Word Count

State the word count for the paper’s text, excluding its abstract, acknowledgments, tables, figure legends, and references.

Number of References

State the total number of references used in the manuscript.

Number of Figures and Tables

State the total number of figures and tables uploaded with the manuscript. This is to allow editorial staff and reviewers to confirm that all figures and tables were actually included with the manuscript.

Manuscript Formatting – Abstract

An abstract should briefly state the objective, time and location of the study, basic procedures (selection of study participants, settings, measurements, analytical methods), main findings (giving specific effect sizes with frequencies and percentages, and their statistical and clinical significance, if possible), and principal conclusions. It should emphasize new and important aspects of the study or observations, note important limitations, and not over-interpret findings. Do not use references in abstracts.

Structure of an abstract should be in accordance to the article type:

Structured Abstracts:

  • Word Count: 250 words
  • Article categories: Audit, innovation, meta-analysis, original articles, research articles and systematic reviews
  • A structured abstract should consist of four paragraphs, under the following headings: objective, methods, results and conclusion.

Unstructured Abstracts

  • Word Count: 150 words
  • Article categories: Case reports, case series, narrative review, short communications, short reports and special communications.
  • An unstructured abstract should follow a logical sequence
  • Write the clinical trial number after the abstract in case of randomised controlled trials. Please read our policy on clinical trial numbers here .
Manuscript Formatting – Introduction

Present a background for the study. Include global, regional and local reports where appropriate. Cite only strictly pertinent references. State the purpose or objective of the study without sub-headings. Explain the hypothesis and the requirement of the research. Do not include data or conclusions from the current study.

Manuscript Formatting – Methods

The following heading should be used for the methods section, as appropriate:

  • Subjects and methods
  • Patients and methods
  • Materials and methods

Components of the methodology which need to be mentioned as applicable are:

  • Ethical review statement
  • Study design
  • Description of the selection of the observational or experimental subjects
  • Study setting
  • Study duration
  • Sampling method
  • Sample size calculations with references
  • Follow-up period
  • Inclusion and exclusion criteria
  • Identification of the methods and apparatus (provide the manufacturer's name and address in parenthesis)
  • Identification of all drugs and chemicals

Do not use sub-headings. Detail the methodology in an organised manner with paragraphs.

The Methods section should include the approval of the Institutional Review Board. If an ethics committee does not exist then the statement, that the research was conducted according to the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki should be included.

Selection and Description of Participants

The inclusion criteria of the study participants, which may be patients, healthy controls or healthy subjects, should be clearly described. Exclusion criteria need to be elaborated. The source of the study subjects should be included.

Technical Information

The primary and secondary objective of the study should be clearly stated. This is at times called the primary and secondary outcome.

Equipment

Any equipment used in the study should give the manufacturer’s name and address. Procedures should be clearly described so as to facilitate others to reproduce them easily. References are necessary for to established methods, statistical methods, for already published methods not well-known, substantially modified methods with the reasons for using them, along with their limitations. All drugs and chemicals used should be stated in generic name(s), dose(s), and route(s) of administration.

Statistics

The statistical methods should be described in a simple manner to enable a reader to judge the correctness of the analysis and results. State the statistical software package used along with the version. References should be included where appropriate.

Authors submitting systematic reviews should include a section describing the methods used for locating, selecting, extracting and synthesizing data. These methods should also be summarised in the abstract.

Note that the methodology and results are combined under one heading for the following article categories:

  • Short Report
  • Special Communication
Manuscript Formatting – Results

Present the results in a logical sequence in the text, tables and illustrations.

Do not repeat all the data of the tables or illustrations in the text.

Emphasize or summarise important observations.

Frequencies and percentages both should be mentioned, example, there were 18 (2%) men.

Exact p values should be reported.

Mean should be with standard deviations.

Medians should be with inter-quartile range.

Present decimal figures up to 2 decimals only. e.g. 0.07 is correct instead of 0.071.

JPMA encourages authors to use the SAMPL guidelines for statistical reporting

Manuscript Formatting – Discussion

The discussion should begin with a summary of the main results. These are then discussed with results of other published studies. Any new findings of the research should be emphasized and the relevance should be stated. These can be used for future research or clinical practice.

Details of methodology or introduction should not be included in the discussion. Do not repeat in detail data or other information given in other parts of the manuscript, such as in the introduction or the results section.

Limitations of the study should be stated at the end of the discussion in a separate paragraph.

Manuscript Formatting – Conclusion

Conclusion should be a brief summary of the study. Do not use any finding which has not been shown in the results. Do not over-emphasize the result. Do not state any benefits which have not been studied. A new hypothesis may be included if determined by the research. No speculations should be included.

Manuscript Formatting – Acknowledgement

Contributors who do not meet all the four criteria for authorship, but helped in the study, may be listed in the acknowledgement section. These may be named and their function or contribution should be described - for example, "scientific advisor critical review of study proposal, "data collection," or "participation clinical trial". Such persons must have given their permission to be named. Authors are responsible for obtaining written permission from person acknowledged by name, because readers may infer their endorsement the data and conclusions. Technical help should be acknowledged in a paragraph separate from those acknowledging other contributions.

Please see our editorial policy on acknowledgement policy .

Manuscript Formatting – Disclaimer

Disclose if the abstract has been presented or published in a conference, or published in an abstract book or any other relevant information. If the article is part of a PhD thesis, it should be disclosed.

Manuscript Formatting – Conflict of Interest

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.

If there are no conflict of interests, authors should still include this heading and write “none to declare.”

Please see our editorial policy on conflicts of interest .

Manuscript Formatting – Funding Disclosure

All sources of grants received and its spending should be disclosed. If there is no funding disclosure, authors should still include this heading and write “none to declare”.

Please see our editorial policy on funding disclosures .

Manuscript Formatting – References

Vancouver style is essential for publication in Journal of Pakistan Medical Association. References should be cited in consecutive numerical order as first mentioned in the text and designated by the reference number in superscript. References appearing in a table or figure should be numbered sequentially with those in text.

The Journal follows Index Medicus style for references and abbreviated journal names according to the list of Journals indexed in Index Medicus: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nlmcatalog/

"Unpublished observations" and "personal communications" should not be used as references, although written-not verbal-communications may be noted as such in the text. References cited as "in press" must have been accepted and not merely in preparation or submitted. The author is responsible for the accuracy of all references and must verify them against the original document.

If there are more than six authors, write et al after the first six names.

Authors may use the NLM guide which gives details regarding each citation: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK7256/

JPMA has prepared a guideline for writing references in Vancouver style, which can be accessed from here .

Manuscript Formatting – Tables

Data should be placed clearly and concisely to enable the reader to comprehend easily.

Do not repeat the results stated in tables in the text.

Tables should be numbered consecutively and cited in the results. Arabic numerals should be used.

The tables should be placed at the end of the manuscript, not scattered throughout the manuscript.

The tables should be designed on MS Word or MS Excel. Do not attach tables in the form of pictures.

Keep the design simple and clear, and avoid excessive use of colour

The title should be short and explanatory and written on top of the table.

The columns of the table should have a short heading.

Footnotes should elaborate on the abbreviations.

Statistical results should include the standard deviation or standard error of mean.

If any data or table has been included from a published article, the source should be given.

Manuscript Formatting – Figures and Illustrations

Figures and pictures should clarify and augment the text. The selection of sharp, high-quality illustrations is of paramount importance. Figures should be in 300 DPI and charts in Power Point (editable) high resolution format. Figures of inferior quality will be returned to the author for correction or replacement.

For x-ray films, scans, and other diagnostic images, pictures of pathology specimens or photomicrographs, high-resolution photographic image files are recommended.

Photomicrographs should have internal scale markers. Symbols, arrows, or letters used in photomicrographs should stand out on the background. The internal scale should be given, and the method of staining in photomicrographs should be identified.

Place all the figures at the end of the manuscript, and not scattered throughout the manuscript. Titles should be placed below the figure and detailed explanations should be given as legends and not on the illustrations.

Format According to Article Category

The following is the requirement for formatting an article according to its category.

Audit

  • Structured abstract: 250 words
  • Maximum word count of text 3000 words
  • Maximum of 25 references
  • Maximum 3 allowed tables or figures
  • Use the following five headings in the main text: introduction, subjects/patients/materials and methods, results, discussion, conclusion and Limitations. This is followed by acknowledgements, disclaimer, conflicts of interest and funding disclosure. Do not use any other sub-headings.
  • State clearly when and where the study was conducted
  • Quote the ethical approval and informed consent if applicable

Case Report

  • Unstructured abstract: 150 words
  • Maximum word count of text 1250 words
  • Maximum of 10 references
  • Maximum 2 allowed tables or figures
  • Use the following four headings in the main text: introduction, case report/ case series, discussion, and conclusion. Do not forget to add the heading of acknowledgement if required. . This is followed by disclaimer, conflicts of interest and funding disclosure.
  • Ensure that a statement is present within the text of your manuscript which declares that the consent of the patient/guardian was taken prior to the writing of the manuscript. JPMA does not require a signed patient consent form; however, keep it with you in case the journal asks for it in future to verify this.
  • State clearly when the case was seen
  • Describe the follow-up of the patient.
  • If there is no follow-up, it should be stated

Case Series

  • Unstructured abstract: 150 words
  • Maximum word count of text 1250 words
  • Maximum of 10 references
  • Maximum 2 allowed tables or figures
  • Use the following four headings in the main text: introduction, case series, discussion, and conclusion. Do not forget to add the heading of acknowledgement if required. . This is followed by disclaimer, conflicts of interest and funding disclosure.
  • Ensure that a statement is present within the text of your manuscript which declares that the consent of the patient/guardian was taken prior to the writing of the manuscript. JPMA does not require a signed patient consent form; however, keep it with you in case the journal asks for it in future to verify this.
  • State clearly when the case was seen
  • Describe the follow-up of the patient.
  • If there is no follow-up, it should be stated

Comments on a Published Article

  • Maximum word count of text: 250 words
  • Maximum of 5 references
  • Maximum 1 allowed table or figure
  • Should not be signed by more than 3 authors
  • Must be received within four weeks of the publication of the article
  • There are no manuscript processing or publication fees for responses
  • Make sure to state any acknowledgements, disclaimer, conflicts of interest and funding disclosure.

Innovation

  • Structured abstract: 250 words
  • Maximum word count of text 3000 words
  • Maximum of 25 references
  • Maximum 3 allowed tables or figures
  • Use the following five headings in the main text: introduction, subjects/patients/materials and methods, results, discussion, and conclusion. This is followed by acknowledgements, disclaimer, conflicts of interest and funding disclosure. Do not use any other sub-headings.
  • State clearly when and where the study was conducted
  • Quote the ethical approval and informed consent if applicable

Letter to the Editor

  • Maximum word count of text: 400 words
  • Maximum of 5 recent references
  • Maximum 1 allowed table or figure
  • Should not be signed by more than 3 authors
  • Make sure to state any acknowledgements, disclaimer, conflicts of interest and funding disclosure.

Meta-Analysis

  • Structured abstract: 250 words
  • Maximum word count of text 3000 words
  • Maximum of 25 references
  • Maximum 3 allowed tables or figures
  • Use the following five headings in the main text: introduction, subjects/patients/materials and methods, results, discussion, and conclusion. This is followed by acknowledgements, disclaimer, conflicts of interest and funding disclosure. Do not use any other sub-headings.
  • State clearly when and where the study was conducted
  • Quote the ethical approval and informed consent if applicable

Narrative Review

  • Unstructured abstract: 150 words
  • Maximum word count of text 4000 words
  • Maximum of 35 references with at least half from the previous five years.
  • Maximum 5 allowed tables or figures
  • Follow a logical sequence and use sub-headings as required
  • JPMA does not accept narrative review articles written by undergraduate students
  • Make sure to state any acknowledgements, disclaimer, conflicts of interest and funding disclosure.

Original Article

  • Structured abstract: 250 words
  • Maximum word count of text 3000 words
  • Maximum of 25 references
  • Maximum 3 allowed tables or figures
  • Use the following five headings in the main text: introduction, subjects/patients/materials and methods, results, discussion, and conclusion. This is followed by acknowledgements, disclaimer, conflicts of interest and funding disclosure. Do not use any other sub-headings.
  • State clearly when and where the study was conducted
  • Quote the ethical approval and informed consent if applicable
  • A clinical trial number should be included for all randomised controlled trials

Research Article

  • Structured abstract: 250 words
  • Maximum word count of text 3000 words
  • Maximum of 25 references
  • Maximum 3 allowed tables or figures
  • Use the following five headings in the main text: introduction, subjects/patients/materials and methods, results, discussion, and conclusion. This is followed by acknowledgements, disclaimer, conflicts of interest and funding disclosure. Do not use any other sub-headings.
  • State clearly when and where the study was conducted
  • Quote the ethical approval and informed consent if applicable

Short Communication / Short Report

  • Unstructured abstract: 150 words
  • Maximum word count of text 1250 words
  • Maximum of 10 references
  • Maximum 2 allowed tables or figures
  • Use the following three headings in the main text: introduction, patients/methods and results, and conclusion. Do not forget to add the heading of acknowledgement if required.

Special Communication

  • Unstructured abstract: 150 words
  • Maximum word count of text 3000 words
  • Maximum of 25 references
  • Maximum 3 allowed tables or figures
  • Use the following three headings in the main text: introduction, methods and results, and conclusion. Do not forget to add the heading of acknowledgement if required.

Systematic Reviews

  • Structured abstract: 250 words
  • Maximum word count of text 4000 words
  • Maximum of 35 references
  • Maximum 5 allowed tables or figures
  • Use the following five headings in the main text: introduction, subjects/patients/materials and methods, results, discussion, and conclusion. This is followed by acknowledgements, disclaimer, conflicts of interest and funding disclosure. Do not use any other sub-headings.
  • State clearly when and where the study was conducted
  • Quote the ethical approval and informed consent if applicable

A table is provided below as a convenient summary of the information mentioned above.

Manuscript Type Abstract Structure Abstract Word Count Maximum Authors Word Count Number of References Total Tables and Figures
Audit Structured 250 6 3000 25 3
Case Report Unstructured 150 6 1250 10 2
Case Series Unstructured 150 6 1250 10 2
Comments on Published Article N/A N/A 3 250 5 1
Innovation Structured 250 6 3000 25 3
Letter to the Editor N/A N/A 3 400 5 1
Meta-Analysis Structured 250 6 3000 25 3
Narrative Review Unstructured 150 6 4000 35 5
Original Article Structured 250 6 3000 25 3
Research Article Structured 250 6 3000 25 3
Short Communication Unstructured 150 6 1250 10 2
Short Report Unstructured 150 6 1250 10 2
Special Communication Unstructured 150 6 3000 25 3
Systematic Reviews Structured 250 6 4000 35 5
Reporting Guidelines

Authors are strongly encouraged to refer to the scientific reporting guidelines for health research, hosted by the EQUATOR Network (Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research).

Authors should adhere to these scientific reporting guidelines when drafting their manuscript. Separate guidelines are available for each study design and topic under study. Although JPMA has not made the submission of these checklists mandatory, doing so will aid in the processing of the manuscripts. A quick overview of the most commonly used study design methods are listed below. If you are not sure which guideline to use, use the new tool developed by EQUATOR Network and Penelope Research to guide the authors.

Study Design Checklist Website
Observational Studies in Epidemiology(cohort, case-control, and cross-sectional studies) STROBE http://www.strobe-statement.org/index.php?id=strobe-home
Case Reports http://www.care-statement.org/
Infection Control Intervention Studies ORION http://www.idrn.org/orion.php
Tumour Marker Prognostic Studies REMARK
Genetic Association Studies STREGA http://www.medicine.uottawa.ca/public-health-genomics/web/eng/strega.html
Randomised Control Trials CONSORT http://www.consort-statement.org/
Non-Randomised Controlled Trials TREND http://www.cdc.gov/trendstatement/
Diagnostic Accuracy Studies STARD http://www.stard-statement.org/
Reliability and Agreement Studies GRRAS
Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses PRISMA http://www.prisma-statement.org/
Study Protocols SPIRIT http://www.spirit-statement.org/
Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies MOOSE
Qualitative Research Studies SRQR
Qualitative Research (focus groups and interviews) COREQ http://intqhc.oxfordjournals.org/content/19/6/349.long
Quality Improvement Studies SQUIRE http://www.squire-statement.org/
Multivariate Prediction Models TRIPOD http://www.tripod-statement.org/

House Style
  • • Manuscript must be written in ‘British English’. Non-native English speakers must seek the assistance of experienced, English-speaking medical editors if in doubt. Taking feedback from your colleagues also makes the manuscript writing more productive, versatile and simple for the readers.
  • Sentences should be properly structured instead of giving brackets within a sentence. For example, the study participants (women of age group 25-30 years) were approached for the interviews. The correct way is ‘The study participants included women of age group 25-30 years. They were approached for interviews.’
  • Present decimal figures up to 2 decimals only. e.g. 0.07 is correct instead of 0.071.
  • Use the full form of an abbreviation initially in the text before using the abbreviated form.
  • Avoid capitalisation except for proper nouns and where it is grammatically required.
  • Do not start a sentence with a number.
Publishing Fees

Upon acceptance of the manuscript by the journal, a publishing fee will be charged. Local authors (Pakistan) can submit the fees via pay order or bank draft, or via online bank transfer. Overseas authors can send the fees through online bank transfer or via MoneyGram Money Transfer. Exact details of the account and transfer will be emailed upon acceptance of the manuscript. Note that there will be extra publishing charges for exceeding the references and word count, and adding extra tables and figures. Note the recommended guidelines for word count etc. here .

"Effect from June 1st 2020"

Manuscript For Authors in Pakistan For Overseas Authors
Audit Rs.11000 US $ 550
Case Report Rs.9000 US $ 350
Case Series Rs.9000 US $ 350
Comments on Published Article Nil Nil
Innovation Rs.11,000 US $ 550
Letter to the Editor Rs.3,000 US $ 200
Meta-Analysis Rs.11,000 US $ 550
Narrative Review Rs.13,500 US $ 550
Original Article Rs.11,000 US $ 550
Research Article Rs.11,000 US $ 550
Short Communication Rs.9,000 US $ 400
Short Report Rs.9,000 US $ 400
Special Communication Rs.11,000 US $ 550
Systematic Review Rs.11,000 US $ 550

Charges for Undergraduate Students’ Corner

See Students’ Corner also

Manuscript For Students in Pakistan For Overseas Students
Audit Rs.5,500 US $ 275
Case Report Rs.4,500 US $ 175
Case Series Rs.4,500 US $ 175
Comments on Published Article Nil Nil
Innovation Rs.5,500 US $ 275
Letter to the Editor Rs.2,000 US $ 120
Meta-Analysis Rs.5,500 US $ 275
Original Article Rs.5,500 US $ 275
Research Article Rs.5,500 US $ 275
Short Communication Rs.4,500 US $ 200
Short Report Rs.4,500 US $ 200
Special Communication Rs.5,500 US $ 275

Please note that narrative reviews written by undergraduate students are not processed at JPMA.

Processing Fees

Manuscript For Authors in Pakistan For Overseas Authors
All Article Rs.3,500 US $ 200
Students' Corner

An article in which the first author is an undergraduate student will be treated as a student’s article. The processing of the manuscript and the review process will be the same as all other articles. The publication charges , however, will be different. The manuscript if accepted for publication will find a place in the students’ corner of JPMA.

Checklist Before Submission

We have made a PDF with a checklist of all the documents to be submitted with the article, along with a checklist of headings and items to be included in the article itself. This document can be downloaded or printed for the author’s guidance. It should not be submitted to JPMA. The document can be accessed here .

First Version: 1st January 2016

Second Version: 7th May 2018

Third (Current) Version: 6th February 2019

Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association has agreed to receive and publish manuscripts in accordance with the principles of the following committees: