Instructions to author

The editorial team of Journal of Fatima Jinnah Medical University (JFJMU) welcome contributions in the form of original articles and case reports from all biomedical disciplines, including but not limited to medicine, public health, trauma, medical education, surgery, pathology, infectious diseases, allied health sciences, dentistry, nursing, epidemiology, pharmacology, biochemistry, microbiology, etc.

This page contains information regarding:

            >> Preparation of the manuscript for submission
            > General formatting requirements for the manuscript
           >> Authorship criteria
            >> Ethical considerations
                     > Human subject research
                     > Research involving animals
                     > Publication misconduct
                     > Plagiarism policy
           >> Peer-review policy
           >> Copyright policy

The sections below contain important information regarding the submission and formatting of the manuscripts and ethical considerations. Therefore, authors are strongly advised to read these guidelines and prepare manuscripts accordingly before submitting them to JFJMU to avoid any unnecessary delays. Manuscripts not prepared according to these guidelines will be returned to the authors for changes before proceeding any further. Only those manuscripts which will be of scientific importance and substantiate the existing knowledge will be accepted for publication.

PREPARATION OF THE MANUSCRIPT FOR SUBMISSION
Manuscripts should be submitted in electronic form through the online submission system under the submission drop-down menu above. Following documents must be submitted along with the manuscript:

a. Cover Letter
Each manuscript should accompany a cover letter addressed to Chief Editor JFJMU (on official letterhead) signed by the corresponding author on behalf of all co-authors. It must contain a statement that the manuscript is submitted for exclusive consideration for publication in the JFJMU and is not published or under consideration by any other scientific journal. It should also state that all the authors have read the manuscript and approved the final version for submission. It is advised to include a paragraph explaining the significance of the study being submitted. The letter must be signed by the corresponding author.

b. Undertaking/Contribution form
The undertaking form is available under the "Submission" drop-down menu above. The form should be duly filled and signed by all contributing authors. The authors should certify that the submitted article has not been published nor considered for publication elsewhere. Accepted manuscripts must not be published elsewhere without prior permission of JFJMU.

c. CARE Checklist [for Case Reports only]
For case reports, JFJMU follows the Care guidelines (http://www.care-statement.org). The CARE checklist should be provided separately at the time of submission of the manuscript. Submissions received not according to CARE guidelines will be considered incomplete and returned to the authors. The manuscript not conforming to the guidelines will not be processed and will be immediately returned to the authors for changes.

d. Initial Article Processing Charges (non-refundable)
Authors are required to upload evidence of payment of initial article processing charges. Please see the sidebar for details.

GENERAL FORMATTING REQUIREMENTS
The manuscript should be written in the English language in Microsoft™ Word software on an A4 size page, with margins of 1-inch from each side, and should use appropriate font style (e.g. Times New Roman) size 12. The lines should be double-spaced and numbered consecutively. Pages should be numbered consecutively beginning with the title page. The body of the manuscript must be structured according to the headings given below (see sections a to l for the preparation of the manuscripts):

a. Title page
The first page of the manuscript must contain the following information:
      (1) Concise and informative title of the manuscript
      (2) Correct/complete names of all byline authors
      (3) Designation, institutional affiliation, and addresses of each author
      (4) Short running title (up to 50 characters)
      (5) Name, street address, and email address of the corresponding author, under the heading of "Correspondence to:"

For case reports, it is recommended that the number of authors should be limited to three. For complete authorship criteria and ethical issues, please see "Authorship criteria" at the bottom of the page. Authors should also enter complete/correct names of the authors, affiliations, and email addresses while submitting the manuscript online.

Conflict-of-interest statement
A conflict of interest statement must also be provided on the title page before the abstract. All authors should declare any conflict of interest involved in the study.  In case of no conflict of interest following statement must be included in the manuscript:

                   "All authors declared no conflict of interest exist"

 b. ABSTRACT
All original articles must contain a structured abstract of not more than 250 words on the second page of the manuscript. Break it into four paragraphs: Background, Subjects and Methods, Results, and Conclusion. Background: State why the study was done, and its objectives. 
Subjects and methods: Describe patients, laboratory material, and other methods used. It is important to identify the nature of the study; randomized controlled trial, retrospective review, experimental study, etc. In the case of a wet-lab study, authors could write "Materials and methods" instead of "Subject and methods" in the abstract as well as in the methodology section.
Results: State the main findings of the study; include important numerical values.
Conclusion: State the main conclusion drawn from the results of the study.  A non-structured abstract should be written in case of a case report with keywords.
Keywords
Three to six keywords should be provided according to Mesh (Medical Subject Headings) immediately below the abstract. The first word of each keyword should be capitalized and they must be separated by a comma.

c. INTRODUCTION
It should briefly state the purpose of the study performed by giving the latest references (preferably from the last 5 years) from the literature where required.

d. SUBJECTS AND METHODS
It should explain the methodology followed by the researchers in sufficient detail so that readers and reviewers can understand precisely what has been done. It should provide information about the study design and methods, diagnostic criteria, the population or patient samples, and laboratory and statistical methods used in the study. Authors are encouraged to register clinical trials with the suitable publicly available registry, like WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform or U. S. NLM Clinical Trials registry, etc. In case of registration, the name of the registry and the number of the clinical trial must be mentioned in the methodology section.

e. RESULTS
Authors should concisely present the results of the study in a logical manner. Results should not be duplicated in the tables and figures.

f. DISCUSSION
It should state conclusions based on the findings, evidence from the literature that supports the conclusions conflicting evidence, the applicability of the conclusions, and implications for future research of clinical applications.

g. Acknowledgments
All those who contributed intellectually but do not qualify for authorship should be acknowledged, as per the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Recommendations for Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals  (available at: http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/). Furthermore, funding agencies should also be acknowledged for their financial support.

i. Supporting agency
It is mandatory to disclose any funding received to support the research work submitted for publication in JFJMU.  Disclosure will not only acknowledges the contributions of the funding agency but also promotes transparency in the process. Therefore, all authors are required to individually declare all sources of funding they received for the research work under consideration. In case of funding, the following information must be provided in the manuscript: name of the funding agency, the role of the funding agency in research work, and web address of the funding agency. The information should be provided in the form of one or two sentences that will be published in the manuscript. Authors are required to declare any role played by the funding agency in writing the methodology, data collection, preparation of the manuscript, and decision to publish the article. If no funding is received, authors should write "No funds received" in the supporting agency field in the manuscript file as well as in the metadata while submitting online.

j. REFERENCES
The authors should follow the Vancouver Style in both the text and reference section. The first six authors should be listed however, for seven or more authors, list the first six, followed by “et al.” In-text citations should be indicated with appropriate superscript and bold number(s) for example Heart3,6,9, Dengue4-6,25, 30. Help may be taken from online ICMJE recommendations and following citing guidelines available at the link: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/citingmedicine. The list of references should be double spaced, in consecutive numerical order (the order of citation in the manuscript, not alphabetically). Once a reference is cited, all subsequent citations should refer to the original numbers. Unpublished data and personal communications will not be accepted as references. Reference to journal articles should include in the following order: (1) authors, (2) title of the published article, (3) journal name abbreviation, as mentioned in Index Medicus (for more information, please see: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nlmcatalog/journals), (4) year of publication, (5) volume, (6) issue number and page number(s), while (7) publisher, volume and edition number must be mentioned in case of book.  
k. Illustrations/Figures
All figures should be numbered as cited in the text in consecutive numeric order (e.g. Figure 1, Figure 2, and so on). The photographs/images must be of high resolution (preferably in TIFF or BMP format) for final printing. Authors are required to incorporate figures and legends in the same file, at the time of initial submission. However, after acceptance of the manuscript for publication, the high-quality figures (300dpi to 600dpi) must be submitted separately. Figure legends should be detailed enough to explain the figure completely including. For photomicrographs, the legends should include the original magnification and scale used. The photographs should be clear and of high resolution. Gel diagrams should be of high resolution, properly labeled, and submitted in TIFF or BMP format. Gel diagrams labeled in Microsoft word in the text form will not be acceptable. The printing cost of the manuscript and the cost of more than two colored figures will be borne by the contributors. However, no additional fee will be charged up to two colored figures or black and white/grayscale figures.

l. Tables
All Tables should be numbered as cited in the text in consecutive numeric order (e.g. Table 1, Table 2, and so on). Tables should be simple and should supplement and not duplicate information already provided in the text. Authors should verify tabular statistics to make sure they tally and match data cited in the text. Any abbreviations and symbols if used should be explained in the footnotes.

For smaller data, authors are advised to prepare charts and figures while larger data might be summarized in the form of tables. 

Units of measurement
All units of measurement (except blood pressure) and laboratory values must be expressed in SI units; conventional units may be included parenthetically. 

Names of the species
Species names of the organisms (animals, plants, microorganisms, etc.) given in the manuscripts must be italicized (e.g. Staphylococcus aureus (or S. aureus), etc.).

AUTHORSHIP CRITERIA
Authorship should be based on intellectual contribution as per criteria given in the recommendations of the International Committee for Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE):  

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
the integrity of any part of the work is appropriately investigated and resolved.

All the authors listed in the manuscript should meet all four criteria listed above. All authors must declare their contributorship in the undertaking form. "Acquisition of funding, collection of data or general supervision of the research group, alone, does not justify authorship (ICMJE)."

JFJMU generally discourages addition/removal or changes in the order of byline authors after submission of the manuscript, however, it follows COPE guidelines while deciding in these matters. The journal will not consider multiple submissions and duplicate publications.

ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS

Human Subjects Research

The authors are required to declare if their experiments involving human subjects were conducted following the best ethical standards in place as described in the Declaration of Helsinki and Independent Data and Safety Monitoring Committee ( IDMC). It is pertinent to note that the use of any information that can lead to the identification of human subjects is strictly prohibited. Likewise, reports of experiments should state the institutional or national standards that were followed during experiments. The authors should obtain ethical clearance before the start of any study from the relevant review board (institutional/provincial/national bioethics committee, etc.). It is mandatory to provide information regarding the name of the ethical Review Committee or equivalent ethics committee, and approval/certificate number in the manuscripts. The editorial board/reviewers might also judge the article regarding ethical issues despite approvals by Ethical Review Committees.

Informed Consent
Researchers are expected to safeguard the rights of the study participants and they must not be used as a means to an end. Researchers must also strive hard to empower their study participants regarding their participation in the study. Therefore, written informed consent must be obtained from all the study participants until otherwise waiver has been granted by the Ethical Review Committee. Taking informed consent is a whole process involving :(1) delivery of information in comprehensible form regarding study title, objectives, methodology, risks, and benefits, and confidentiality; (2) comprehension by the study participants which requires delivery of information in plain language and understanding and, (3) lastly, allowing them to participate voluntarily in the study. Written informed consent must be obtained from all the study participants or legal guardians/parents (in the case of minors). Authors must state in the manuscript how the informed consent was obtained from participants of different age groups, gender, vulnerable population (e.g. children, pregnant females, prisoners, unconscious patients, etc.).  Formal assent might also be taken in case of minors (9 -16 years) in addition to informed consent from the parents/legal guardians. The main components of informed consent include:

            >> Study information
            >> Purpose of the study
            >> Methodology
            >> Confidentiality
            >> Possible benefits / risks or discomforts
            >> Financial considerations
            >> Treatment alternatives
            >> Right to refuse to participate and withdrawal from the study
            >> Contact details of the researcher
            >> Undertaking by the research participant
 In the case of mentally incapacitated patients, informed consent might be taken from their immediate relatives or legal guardians. In community-based studies, researchers should strive to ensure that individuals agree to participate in research without coercion or undue inducements from community leaders or representatives. Informed cosent preferably be obtained in the written form, however, if it cannot be obtained the other forms of (audio/video) of it obtained and witnessed. The journal reserves the right to ask the authors to submit copies of the informed consent if required.

In siutations where it is not possible to take informed consent due to some physical and mental conditions, the reason for not obtaining informed consent must be stated in the manuscript and approval must be taken from Ethical Review Committee. If it is possible informed consent might be taken at later stage to remain in the study. Please read Declaration of Helsinki for further information.

Research Involving Animals
Studies involving animals (lab-reared or non-lab-reared, vertebrates or invertebrates) must adhere to nationally/globally accepted standards on animal care and welfare. The studies involving animals must be approved by Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) or equivalent. The authors must mention such approvals in the methodology section mentioning the name of the approving body and certificate number with the date of its issuance. The journal reserves the right to ask authors for additional information regarding experiments involving animals if required. It is desirable to briefly mention the procedures and institutional/national/international guidelines followed regarding animal welfare.

The journal will reject any manuscripts where there is enough reason to believe that the animals have been subjected to unnecessary or avoidable pain/distress. Animals should only be used for experimentation if it is really necessary and no alternatives are available. For further information, please read the International Association of Veterinary Editors’ Consensus Author Guidelines on Animal Ethics and Welfare.

Publication Misconduct
This section is dedicated on issue related to publication ethics other than plagiarism which is discussed in detail in the next section. In the case of reporting of publication misconduct, the case will be dealt according to Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines. The corresponding author will be contacted for an explanation given the available evidence. The article will be processed for correction or retraction according to the severity of the misconduct. In case of no or unsatisfactory response from the authors, the manuscript will be dropped from consideration if unpublished and retracted if published. Due notice of retraction will be given in print and on the website as well. The authors might be blacklisted for further submissions and considerations at the journal. The authors' institutional Head might also be informed of the action in such a case. Plagiarism and other publication misconduct like fabrication (text or figures), falsification, a duplicate submission, redundant publication, selective and misleading reporting, selective and misleading referencing will be liable to strict action.

Plagiarism Policy
The editors are committed to observing zero tolerance for any unethical practice and plagiarism. The JFJMU follows the guidelines of ICMJE (www.icmje.org), PMDC (www.pmdc.org.pk), and the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (www.hec.gov.pk). All the manuscripts submitted for publication will be screened for similarity index through Turnitin software and will be immediately rejected in case it exceeds the threshold levels. In case of any complaint regarding plagiarism in the published article, a notice will be served to the authors demanding an explanation on the matter in the stipulated time. In case of unsatisfactory response, the published article will be permanently retracted and retraction will also be published in the journal.

The Journal of Fatima Jinnah Medical University requires a similarity index of 19% or less for acceptance of a submitted manuscript and uses the Turnitin® software for detecting similarity indices. A similarity index of 19%-30% is required to be reviewed by the author and a similarity index of 40% or more is deemed sufficient to reject the submitted manuscript. JFJMU observes/follows the ICMJE, PMC, and HEC guidelines/criteria for all types of plagiarism. The same can be accessed at www.icmje.org, www.pmc.gov.pk, and www.hec.gov.pk

It is the authors’ responsibility to apprise themselves of plagiarism in any form including paraphrasing and self-plagiarism. Manuscripts submitted to JFJMU can be sent to HEC, other medical journals’ editors, and international agencies for authentication of originality. The disciplinary committee of JFJMU would deal with cases of plagiarism and comprise the staff, editors, and the Chief Editor or his representative. For a plagiarized article in processing, the identification of actions will lead to the dropping of an article from further processing/ consideration of publication. The author will be required to give an explanation on demand. In case of an unsatisfactory reply, the matter will be referred to the disciplinary committee that may decide the course of action. For published articles, the allegedly plagiarized article will be temporarily retracted from publication. The author will be served an explanation demand. In case of non-response in the stipulated time or unsatisfactory explanation, the article will be permanently retracted and the author will be on the watch. HEC, PMC, and the author’s institute will also be notified. In case of multiple submissions, other editors will also be informed. The author(s) will have to provide documentary proof of retraction from publication if such a defense is pleaded. Those claiming intellectual/idea or data theft of an article must provide documentary proof in their claim.

PEER-REVIEW POLICY
The Journal follows a double-blind peer review process in which neither the authors nor the peer reviewers know each other’s details. The submitted manuscripts will be reviewed for originality, scientific significance, and adequacy of documentation by independent subject experts who are not members of the editorial board. Further, reviewers are also required to disclose any competing interests (e.g. affiliation with the drug company tested in the study, etc.) regarding the manuscripts they are going to review. In case of any conflict of interest, another subject expert will be invited to review the manuscript. Any identifiable information about the authors including their names, affiliations, and contact details will be removed from the manuscript before forwarding the manuscript to peer reviewers. All the manuscripts submitted will be initially scrutinized within a week for completeness and formatting by the editorial staff. The manuscripts not prepared according to the instructions will be returned to the authors for any corrections/modifications before sending them for peer review. While manuscripts prepared according to the prescribed guidelines will be sent for peer review to at least two independent subject experts (i.e. subject experts affiliated to a different institute than the authors’ institute). The manuscripts will be accepted or rejected or sent for modifications according to the reviewers’ recommendations. In case of a difference of opinion among both subject experts, the manuscript will be sent to a third reviewer. All parts of accepted manuscripts are subject to editing for scientific accuracy and clarity by the office of the Editor. The manuscripts will undergo copyediting (including modifications in the text, table, and figures, etc.) and layout formatting by the editorial staff. The corresponding author will receive an edited manuscript (galley proof) for final approval before publishing. All co-authors should review this carefully as they will be responsible for all changes in their work, including changes made by the copy editors. The names of the reviewers and their reviews will be strictly kept confidential and will not be disclosed at any point. Reviewers are expected to keep the scientific data strictly confidential and shall not keep its record or share it with any other colleague. Reviewers must also not use/quote data from the manuscript under review before its publication. All submissions will be reviewed by at least two subject specialists and their evaluation will be communicated to the authors. The editorial board entertains articles on a first come first served basis and does not guarantee the publishing of an accepted article in any particular issue.

COPYRIGHT POLICY
The Journal follows the Attribution Creative Commons-Noncommercial (CC BY-NC) license which allows the users to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, remix, transform and build upon the material. The users must give credit to the source and indicate, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. However, the CC BY-NC license restricts the use of material for commercial purposes. For further details about the license please check the Creative Commons website. The editorial board of the journal strives hard for the authenticity and accuracy of the material published in the journal. However, findings and statements are views of the authors and do not necessarily represent views of the Editorial Board. Many software like (Google Maps, Google Earth, Biorender (free), etc.) restricts the free distribution of materials prepared in using this software. Therefore, authors are strongly advised to check the license/copyright information of the software used to prepare maps/images, etc. In case of publication of copyright material, the correction will be published in one of the subsequent issues of the journal and the printing cost will be totally borne by the authors. 

ARCHIVING
The journal is committed to providing uninterrupted access to the published articles to the research community, therefore, journal backup is maintained at a publisher's domain. However, a suitable archive facility will be adopted (CLOCKS or PubMed, etc.) soon in the future.

PUBLICATION CHARGES
Only a minimal fee is charged from the authors to cover printing charges only, therefore, it will not be possible to grant any waivers to the authors. Details of the Article Processing Charges (APC) is given below:

For submissions from Pakistan

Initial processing fee (nonrefundable): PKR 1500
Printing fee: PKR 8500

For international submissions
Initial processing fee (nonrefundable): $10
Printing fee: $85

An additional Rs. 1000 (or $10) per figure will be charged for more than two colored figures. Printing fee will be charged only upon acceptance of the manuscript for publication.

Payments in cash will not be accepted and all payments including processing fee, printing fee, subscription charges, and any other payments should be made only to the following official bank account:

Bank Account Title: Journal of FJMU
Bank Account Branch: HBL Queen's Road, Opposite Emergency Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Lahore
Bank Account Number: 12527901543703