Policies

 It is policy of the Pakistan Armed Forces Medical Journal (PAFMJ) to publish articles pertaining to different fields of medical sciences providing sufficient contribution to medical knowledge.     The journal is presently being published bimonthly. The articles may include new experimental methods of medical importance; new results obtained experimentally; new interpretation of existing results or data pertaining to clinical problems; or epidemiological work giving substantial scientific information pertaining to medical sciences.
All such articles should aim for development of medical concepts rather than mere recording of facts. Incomplete, descriptive observational studies will be discouraged. Article/material that contradicts the Govt Policy, ORBAT/ORGS/insignias/statistics/data related to ops/trg should not be submitted in any form/context to PAFMJ.
For Army Personnel: Required of acceptance/ publication for promotions and classification board please refer to the GHQ letter no 3543/242/ DMS-5(B) – WJPA2B dated 03 Jan 2019.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

  1. To publish original, well documented, peer reviewed clinical and basic sciences articles.
  2. To inculcate the habit of medical writing.
  3. To enable physicians to remain informed in multiple areas of medicine, including developments in fields other than their own.
  4. To share the experience and knowledge for benefit of patients.
  5. To document medical problems pertinent to military medicine like high altitude medicine, heat stroke, disaster management etc.
  6. To achieve the highest level of ethical medical journalism and to produce a publication that is timely, credible, and enjoyable to read.

EDITORIAL FREEDOM

Chief Editor has full authority over the editorial content of the journal. There is no interference in the evaluation; selection or editing of individual articles either directly or by creating an environment that strongly influences decisions.

AUTHORSHIP AND CONTRIBUTORSHIP

An “author” is generally considered to be someone who has made substantive intellectual contributions to a study.  Authorship credit should be based on:

  1. Substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data.
  2. Drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content.
  3. Final approval of the version to be published.

Authors should meet conditions 1, 2, and 3.

It is important to note that:

  1. Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group, alone, does not justify authorship.
  2. All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed.
  3. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.
  4. Once authorship certificate is submitted no further change will be allowed in the sequence and addition of new authors.

 MANUSCRIPT PROCESSING

Upon the initial submission of the manuscript, the author is acknowledged and allocated            a reference member for future correspondence. This process takes place within 2 days. The manuscript is categorized according to the type of article into Original, Review, Case Report and so forth. Each type of article has a special format and should comply with the updated PAFMJ Instruction to Authors, which are published in all issues. Normally an article is reviewed by at least two subject experts and the other member of the editorial committee. If the reviewer has not sent review within stipulated period, a first and second reminder letters are sent within 2-3 weeks. If after the 2nd reminder the reviewer fails to reply, the matter is referred to editor who assigns it for an urgent review by one of the members of Editorial Advisory Board. The usual delay is in the reviewing process owing to the reviewer's professional and academic commitments. The reviewer's comments are communicated to the author. The revised version of the article is sent back to the reviewers. A period of 2-4 months is set to finalize the process. The author will be given 2 weeks to incorporate the reviewers’ comments in the revised manuscript. First reminder will be given at three weeks if the author does not comply with the time lines. Second reminder will be given at 4th week. The article will be declined if no response is received (after two reminders) from the corresponding author concerned (within one and a half month of the revision letter). Accepted manuscript is then handed to statistician and bibliographer for data analysis and verification of reference respectively. The editor, then critically goes through each of the article, get their order, pagination and is sent to press for printing.

PEER REVIEW POLICY

Unbiased, independent, critical assessment is an intrinsic part of all scholarly work, including the scientific process. Peer review is the critical assessment of manuscripts submitted to journals   by experts who are not part of the editorial staff. Peer review can therefore be viewed as an important extension of the scientific process. It is the policy of PAFMJ that every article received for publication is peer reviewed by at least two senior specialists of the concerned specialty. The “double blind” process is strictly followed. In certain controversial cases, the opinion of a 3rd reviewer is also obtained.  In case of conflict of opinion between the two reviewers, the matter is referred to the Chief-editor.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

Conflict of interest exists when as author (or the author’s institution), reviewer, or editor has financial or personal relationships that inappropriately influence (bias) his or her actions (such relationship are also known as dual commitments, competing interests, or competing loyalties). However, conflicts can occur for other reasons, such as personal relationships, academic competition, and intellectual passion. Increasingly, individual studies receive funding from commercial firms, private foundations, and government.  The conditions of this funding have the potential to bias and otherwise discredit the research.

When authors submit a manuscript, whether an article or a letter, they are responsible for disclosing all financial and personal relationships that might bias their work. To prevent ambiguity, authors must state explicitly whether potential conflicts do or do not exist.

It is the discretion of editorial committee of PAFMJ to resolve any conflict of interest between the author(s) and reviewers. Editors may choose not to consider an article for publication if they feel that the research is biased by the sponsors funding the research project.

PLAGIARISM

Plagiarism is the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and representing them as one’s own original work. Within the academia, researcher is considered academic dishonesty or academic fraud and offenders are subject to academic censure. Plagiarism can be unintentional or intentional reproducing academic material without appropriate citation. Similarly self plagiarism is the re-use of significant, identical or near identical portions of one’s own work without citing the original work. This is also known as “Recycling fraud”. Worst form of plagiarism is to steal the whole article from some journal and publish it under own name in another journal. Lately the use of internet has made it easier to plagiarize, by copying the electronic tests and using them as original work.

Originality of narration is key attribute of any scientific writing. Articles showing high Similarity Index more than 19% therefore will not be processed further.

It is the policy of editorial committee of PAFMJ to blacklist any author found to be guilty of plagiarism. The name of author(s) committing plagiarism will also be disseminated to editors of other medical journals, PM&DC and HEC.

BIOMEDICAL ETHICAL COMMITTEE

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 (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach, and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should be asked to indicate whether the institutional and national guide for the care and use of laboratory animals was followed.

In case of any study involving clinical trial, taking of informed consent of patients is mandatory.

Whenever editorial committee of PAFMJ feels necessary, the research paper will be referred to the ethical committee of the center for Research in Experimental and Applied Medicine (CREAM) based at Army Medical College, for its evaluation and approval.

EDITORIAL OFFICE

The editorial office has been established at Army Medical College, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD

The editorial advisory board will be as per following appointments.

Surgeon General/DGMS (IS), Pak Army                                    Chairman

Chief Editor PAFMJ/Principal, Army Medical College              Member         

Director General Medicine                                                           Member

Director General Surgery                                                             Member

Commandant AFPGMI, RWP                                                     Member

Deputy Surgeon General/DGMS (IS)                                         Member

DGMS (Navy)                                                                              Member

DGMS (Air)                                                                                  Member

 

A meeting of editorial advisory board is held as often as required to give approval/decision on matters forwarded by editor pertaining to any change in the existing policy, appointment/deletion of any member of the editorial board and any other point.

THE EDITORIAL BOARD

The members of the editorial board are appointed keeping in view their professional competence (advisers) in different fields of medical sciences. The aim is to have members having wide experience in different fields of medical sciences. In addition to senior specialists from Armed Forces, senior professionals from civil sector as well as from foreign countries will be co-opted with approval of the editorial advisory board.

EDITORIAL COMMITTEE

An editorial committee consisting of chief editor, editor(s), joint editor, assistant editor(s) and the editorial secretaries meet at least once a month to expedite the business of the journal.

The editorial committee follows the guidelines provided by International Committee of  medical Journal editors in” Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Writing and Editing for Biomedical Publication” which can be downloaded from http://www.icmje.org/

PUBLICATION TIMELINES 
PAFMJ is a Bi – monthly medical journal. Timelines for print and online publications are as under:-


Issue              Month                         Date


1                      Jan, Feb                        28th Feb

2                      Mar, April                     30th April

3                      May, June                    30th June

4                      July, Aug                       31st Aug

5                      Sep, Oct                        31st Oct

6                      Nov, Dec                      31st Dec