Journal of Saidu Medical College, Swat (JSMC) strongly believes in research integrity and follows the principles of transparency and best practice in scholarly publishing as suggested by leading organizations like International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), Committee of Publication Ethics (COPE), Council of Science Editors (CSE), Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) and Pakistan Association of Medical Editors (PAME)
The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.
EDITORIAL ETHICAL POLICY
Journal of Saidu Medical College 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.organd http://publicationethics.org/.
The ICMJE recommends that authorship should be based on the following four criteria:
- Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
- Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
- Final approval of the version to be published; AND
- 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 fourcriteria for authorship
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
ALTERATION IN THE LIST OF AUTHORS
JSMC does not prescribe to change in the authors list with respect to additions and deletions after the initial submission.
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.
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 should be included with a death dagger (â€ ) next to the author's name, and a footnote stating that the author is deceased and giving the date of their death e.g. â€ Deceased 1 January 2016
CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTERATION
The publication of results of all randomized control trials will only be considered if the ICMJE recommendations are followed. A trial registration number will have to be provided with the manuscript and should be mentioned after the end of the abstract. The trial should have been registered prospectively. Retrospective registration will not be considered. If the Trial was conducted without registration, the article will not be accepted for processing.
The ICMJE defines a clinical trial as â€œany 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.â€
The ICMJE endorses the following:
- Any registry that is a primary register of the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) (www.who.int/ictrp/network/primary/en/index.html)
The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) also provides approval and trial numbers for clinical trials involving drugs or appliances (http://www.dra.gov.pk/)
A number of other clinical trial registries and their details can be found on the internet.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
A sample definition by WAME states that conflict of interest â€œexists 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, â€œnone to declare.â€
JSMC will publish conflict-of-interest statement for each article
OPEN ACCESS, COPYRIGHT AND PERMISSIONS
- Journal of Saidu Medical College is an OPEN ACCESS JOURNAL and all its content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution, immediately upon publication.
- The work published by JSMC is licensed and distributed under the creative commons License CC BY-NC Attribution-NonCommercial
- READER RIGHTS
- JSMC offers free readership rights to all articles immediately upon publication.
- Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other non-commercial, lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher.
- REUSE RIGHTS
The work published by JSMC is licensed and distributed under the creative commons License CC BY-NC Attribution-NonCommercial
Users are free to:
- Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
- Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material
- Author holds the copyright with no restrictions including author reuse (e.g., of figures in presentations/teaching, creation of derivatives) and authorization rights (for others to use).
- AUTHORS retain the rights of free downloading/unlimited e-print of full text and sharing/ disseminating the article without any restriction, by any means including twitter, scholarly collaboration networks like Google Scholar, LinkedIn, Academia.edu, ResearchGate, Twitter, and any other professional or academic networking sites etc.
ETHICAL APPROVAL OF RESEARCH
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. Evidence should be provided that prior approval of the research project was obtained from the institutional committee responsible for animal care and use..
Further guidance on animal research ethics is available from the International Association of Veterinary Editorsâ€™ Consensus Author Guidelines on Animal Ethics and Welfare (http://veteditors.org/ethicsconsensusguidelines.html).
Every manuscript submitted to JSMC should have the ethical approval by the ethical review board of the institution. The statement should be written on the official letterhead of the ERC or IRB duly stamped and signed by the Chairperson of the committee. The study should be approved prospectively. Studies not involving direct contacts with human subjects would require submission of an exemption letter issued by the institutional ERC/IRB before the starting date of the project.
If an institution does not have an ethical review committee, the approval should be sought from another institution adhering to ethical norms and govern research involving humans by means of Ethical Review Committees that are willing to cooperate in the enhancement of ethical standards.
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.
Or, in certain cases it can be stated that all articles and content there in are published under creative commons license unless stated otherwise.
In case the manuscript is rejected, the copyright transfers back to the authors.
All sources of grants received and its spending should be disclosed. Such statements should be declared on the submission statement formand at the end of the manuscript before the references. If there are no funding sources, the authors should state â€œnone to declareâ€.
PEER REVIEW POLICY
JSMC is a PEER REVIEWED journal following DOUBLE BLIND PEER REVIEW system. JSMC is having a panel of peer-reviewers with diversity in knowledge, viewpoint and expertise in relevant specialties.
Responsibilities of reviewers
- The first responsibility of reviewers is to evaluate manuscripts critically but constructively and to prepare detailed comments about the research and the manuscript to help authors improve their work. The reviewers have to assess the manuscript according to the reviewersâ€™ proforma sent to each reviewer along with the manuscript. The evaluation should include:
- Assessments of the originality and importance of the research;
The design of the study;
â€¢ The methods of study, including analytic and statistical methods;
â€¢ The presentation of the results;
â€¢ Important findings of results discussed with new emerging findings
â€¢ Possible confounding; the strength of the conclusions
â€¢ The overall quality of the manuscript.
- The second responsibility is to make recommendations to the editor regarding the suitability of the manuscript for publication in that journal. Reviewers may be asked to write some narrative comments about the manuscript that support their recommendation to the editor regarding acceptance or rejection. They also can be asked to grade some characteristics of the manuscript, such as originality, quality, accuracy, readability and interest to readers, or to complete detailed questionnaires about these qualities and even assign a priority score.
- Reviewers should declare to the editor any potential conflicts of interest with respect to the authors or the content of a manuscript they are asked to review, and in most instances when such conflicts exist should decline to review the manuscript.
- Other responsibilities of reviewers include treating the manuscript as a confidential document and completing the review promptly. Reviewers should not show the manuscript to anyone else without the express consent of the editor.
- Reviewers should not make derogatory comments about the manuscript in their comments for the authors. If reviewers do make such comments, the editor may choose to edit the comments or even withhold all the reviewerâ€™s comments from the authors.
- Reviewers must not make any use of the work described in the manuscript.
- Reviewers should not communicate directly with authors or even identify themselves to authors, except by signing their reviews.
- The editor will provide guidance to the reviewers, particularly new reviewers, regarding how the editor wishes the reviewers to evaluate the manuscript and how the reviewers should meet their dual responsibility of providing constructive comments for the author and advice to the editor.
- Reviewers should meet the agreed-upon deadline (usually 4 weeks) for manuscript review and should respond to the reminders if sent any.
Identification and evaluation of reviewers
- The editor will establish a reviewer database that includes information about the expertise of each reviewer as well as addresses and other contact information.
- The editor may identify potential reviewers on the basis of personal knowledge of the topic or from among the authors of references in the manuscript, the membership of the professional societies, colleagues at affiliated institutions, or computer searches of databases such as PubMed, Medline, Publon etc or by asking for names from reviewers who decline to review the manuscript (see below).
- Only those reviewers who consent to be on review panel will be added to the JSMC online review and tracking system.
- Authors may suggest reviewers for their manuscript, whether invited to do so by the editor or not. The editor may choose to use one or more of these reviewers, but are under no obligation to do so. Authors may ask that certain people not be asked to review their manuscript and editor may decide the case accordingly.
- The editor should ask reviewers, by telephone, fax or e-mail, if they are willing to review a particular manuscript, and give them a date that the review is due at the editorial office (usually 3 to 4 weeks), rather than simply sending the manuscript to the reviewer. As the same time, the editor can ask for the names of others who might review the manuscript should the person initially contacted decline.
- The editor is responsible for keeping track of reviewers, and taking steps to make sure reviews are completed in a timely manner. Each peer review is rated by the editor assigned to the manuscript and stored with the reviewerâ€™s profile in the Rapid Review reviewer database. This rating becomes part of the reviewing history of each peer reviewer, and can be viewed by the editors as they select potential reviewers for future manuscripts. The reviewer database also contains information on the reviewersâ€™ areas of expertise; the number of previous invitations to review and number accepted; dates of submitted reviews, and days taken to produce reviews. Reviewers who consistently decline invitations or who write brief unhelpful reviews are eventually removed from the database.
- To avoid overworking reviewers, each reviewer will be asked to evaluate no more than one manuscript per month. Reviewer has the right to decline the review due to any reason.
Note: Due to blind peer review policy, review details are not shared publicly, however can be shared to International Indexing agencies, Higher Education commission Pakistan & Pakistan Medical & Dental Council on demand or during journal evaluation process, as the case may be.
- â€œThank youâ€ email will be sent immediately on completion of the review to each reviewer through online review system.
- Review-credit certificate, duly signed by the editor will be sent through email to the reviewer on demand.
- Names of reviewers will be published online as well as in print copy of the journal.
- Reviewer may claim the credit of review, after getting registered as reviewer on
DECISION MAKING AND COMMUNICATION TO AUTHORS
- The editor makes a decision about the manuscript (accept, invite a revision, or reject) based on a consideration of all the reviewer comments, his own critique, and other external factors.
- What considerations should enter into the decision? These may include the comments and recommendations of the reviewers, the availability of space, and the most important is the judgment of the editor(s) regarding the suitability of the manuscript for the journal and the value and interest of the manuscript to the journal readers.
- The editor may always seek additional review and advice if required.
- Editor will communicate the decisions to authors. This means that the editor may need to provide explanations for the decision independent of the comments of the reviewers that are to be sent to the authors.
- Decisions to reject a manuscript may be based on scientific weakness (poor research design, inappropriate methods of study), lack of originality, lack of importance and interest to readers, or simply lack of space. The editor will explain to authors the reasons for decisions to reject manuscripts. This is particularly important when the editor rejects a manuscript but the tone of the comments of the reviewers that will be sent to the authors is favorable.
- The editor should actively encourage revision of manuscripts thought to be potentially acceptable. When an editor seeks revision of a manuscript, he should make clear which revisions are essential, and which are optional.
- If the comments of the reviewers are contradictory, the editor must decide and tell the authors which comments the authors should follow. Editors may add their own comments and suggestions for revision, and they (or some person in the editorial office designated by the editor) are responsible for ensuring that manuscripts meet the journal.
- If any reader, author or reviewer has any complaints against the journal, its staff, editorial board or publisher, it may be submitted to "firstname.lastname@example.org" through an email with a subject mentioning COMPLAINT.
- Complaints may also be submitted regarding issues related to inappropriate authorship, gift and ghost authorship; undeclared conflicts of interests, plagiarism, multiple, duplicate, concurrent publication/simultaneous submission, unethical research; fabrication/falsification of results, selective reporting; research standards violations, reviewer bias/competitive harmful acts by reviewers or any contribution to JSMC that infringes copyright or other intellectual property rights.
- JSMC will investigate the complaint and after enquiry report, JSMC will establish a decision about the complaint, which will be communicated to all relevant quarters.
- Although every effort is taken to improve the standard of JSMC and to make it free from errors, however, we accept that occasionally mistakes might happen. JSMC welcomes highlighting any error or mistake to be corrected.
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.
Revised articles will not be considered at this stage.
REPRODUCTION OF PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED ARTICLES-APPEALS
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 JSMC.
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 Saidu Medical College. This includes material previously published by the requesting author.
RESPONSES TO PUBLISHED WORK
Comments on previously published articles in JSMC 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 http://jsmc.pk/index.php/jsmc, Please see the Guidelines to Authors for details regarding the submission.
SCIENTIFIC MISCONDUCT (e.g; Plagiarism, falsification, fabrication of data etc)
JSMC 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.
JSMC 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.
RESPONSES TO POSSIBLE MISCONDUCT
All allegations of scientific misconduct are taken very seriously at JSMC. 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.
 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
The Journal of Saidu Medical College allows authorsâ€™ self-archiving of the manuscript. The accepted manuscripts and published manuscripts in any form can be posted to any website, repository, social media group, institutional repository, or share with anyone without any restriction. The information can be seen on Sherpa Romeo, https://v2.sherpa.ac.uk/id/publication/22916.
The process of long term archiving with a national archiving agency, i-e; Pakistan Scientic and Technology Information Centre (PASTIC) is under process.
JSMC 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 editorwww.jsmc.pk.
According to JSMC'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. Electronic signatures will not be accepted.
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.
First Version: 1st January 2016
Second Version: 17th March 2017
Third (Current) Version: 6th February 2019