Animal-based studies, or research articles conducted on animals, will not be considered for processing or publication in the JPMA effective immediately. Thus has been effective since 2015.
Journal of the Pakistan Medial Association has agreed to receive and publish manuscripts in accordance with the instructions of International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Details of ICMJE and COPE are available at www.icmje.org and http://publicationethics.org/.
The ICMJE recommends that authorship should be based on the following four criteria:
- 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 four criteria 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
Alterations in the List of Authors
JPMA does not prescribe to change in the authors list with respect to additions and deletions after the initial submission.
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 (†) next to the author's name, and a footnote stating that the author is deceased and giving the date of their death e.g. †Deceased 1 January 2016.
The publication of results of all randomized control trials will only be considered if the ICMJE recommendations are followed. 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 “any research project that prospectively assigns people or a group of people to an intervention, with or without concurrent comparison or control groups, to study the cause-and-effect relationship between a health-related intervention and a health outcome. Health-related interventions are those used to modify a biomedical or health-related outcome; examples include drugs, surgical procedures, devices, behavioural treatments, educational programs, dietary interventions, quality improvement interventions, and process-of-care changes. Health outcomes are any biomedical or health-related measures obtained in patients or participants, including pharmacokinetic measures and adverse events.”
The ICMJE endorses the following:
1. 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.
A sample definition by WAME states that conflict of interest “exists when a participant in the publication process (author, peer reviewer, or editor) has a competing interest that could unduly influence (or be reasonably seen to do so) his or her responsibilities in the publication process."
Any conflict of interest should be declared by all authors. This may include grants or honorarium, credits and promotions, memberships or any personal or professional relationships which may appear to influence the manuscript. Such competing interests are not unethical but should be declared.
Authors should state the conflict of interest clearly in the submission statement form. This statement should also appear at the end of the text before the references. If there are no conflicts of interests, the authors should state, “none to declare.”
When an article is accepted for publication in the print format, the author will be required to transfer exclusive copyright to the JPMA and retain the rights to use and share their published article with others. However, re-submission of the full article or any part for publication by a third party would require prior permission of the JPMA.
Online publication will allow the author to retain the copyright and share the article under the agreement described in the licensing rights with creative commons, with appropriate attribution to JPMA.
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.
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 Editors’ Consensus Author Guidelines on Animal Ethics and Welfare (http://veteditors.org/ethicsconsensusguidelines.html).
Every manuscript submitted to JPMA should have the ethical approval by the ethical review board of the institution. 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.
All sources of grants received and its spending should be disclosed. Such statements should be declared on the submission statement form and at the end of the manuscript before the references. If there are no funding sources, the authors should state “none to declare”.
ACCESS MODEL - GOLD MODEL - OPEN ACCESS No Charges
Business MODEL - Author pays the publication fee
All manuscripts submitted to JPMA initially undergo internal peer review. A manuscript not found suitable for publication as regards to the topic or poor writing is likely to be rejected on the internal peer review.
After in-house peer review, the manuscript is sent for external peer reviews. This is a double-blind process. Research articles are reviewed by two peer reviewers.
Original articles authored by the editorial board are also externally peer reviewed.
Editorials and obituaries authored by the editor-in-chief will not be subjected to an external peer review
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.
Reproducing material from other sources
It is the author's responsibility to secure all permissions prior to submission of the manuscript. Any part of the article accessed from another source, should be accompanied by a signed letter of consent from the copyright holder, which may be the author, journal or the publisher.
Reproducing material published by JPMA
No part of the Journal may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any other means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission, in writing, of the Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association. This includes material previously published by the requesting author.
Comments on previously published articles in JPMA will be reviewed by the editor-in-chief and forwarded to the authors of the published manuscript for a reply. Appropriate time will be given for the response. Both will be published simultaneously in one of the forthcoming issues. In case the author of the published article does not reply, the comments will be published on their own.
This process will only be undertaken if the comments are appropriate.
Please submit comments to published work through eJManager via http://my.ejmanager.com/jpma/ Please see the Guidelines to Authors for details regarding the submission.
JPMA follows the guidelines provided by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and the Higher Education Commission, Pakistan (HEC) for dealing with scientific misconduct.
The following examples and forms of misconduct have been taken from WAME, originally with minor modification from the ORI publication Analysis of Institutional Policies for Responding to Allegations of Scientific Misconduct:
- Falsification of data: ranges from fabrication to deceptive selective reporting of findings and omission of conflicting data, or wilful suppression and/or distortion of data.
- Plagiarism: The appropriation of the language, ideas, or thoughts of another without crediting their true source, and representation of them as one's own original work.
- Improprieties of authorship: Improper assignment of credit, such as excluding others, misrepresentation of the same material as original in more than one publication, inclusion of individuals as authors who have not made a definite contribution to the work published; or submission of multi-authored publications without the concurrence of all authors.
- Misappropriation of the ideas of others: an important aspect of scholarly activity is the exchange of ideas among colleagues. Scholars can acquire novel ideas from others during the process of reviewing grant applications and manuscripts. However, improper use of such information can constitute fraud. Wholesale appropriation of such material constitutes misconduct.
- Violation of generally accepted research practices: Serious deviation from accepted practices in proposing or carrying out research, improper manipulation of experiments to obtain biased results, deceptive statistical or analytical manipulations, or improper reporting of results.
- Material failure to comply with legislative and regulatory requirements affecting research: Including but not limited to serious or substantial, repeated, wilful violations of applicable local regulations and law involving the use of funds, care of animals, human subjects, investigational drugs, recombinant products, new devices, or radioactive, biologic, or chemical materials.
- Inappropriate behaviour in relation to misconduct: this includes unfounded or knowingly false accusations of misconduct, failure to report known or suspected misconduct, withholding or destruction of information relevant to a claim of misconduct and retaliation against persons involved in the allegation or investigation. 
JPMA also includes redundant publication and duplicate publication, lack of declaration of competing interests and of funding/sponsorship, and other failures of transparency to be forms of misconduct.
Reponses to possible misconduct
All allegations of scientific misconduct are taken very seriously at JPMA. We follow the guidelines prescribed by the previously mentioned organisations. The manuscript processing will be halted while the fact-finding investigation is being carried out.
 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
To be updated soon.
JPMA is willing to accept supplement publishing requests made by external organisations based on different topics, abstracts, or meetings.
The cost of publishing the supplement will be paid by the requesting body after discussion with the journal management.
It is vital to note that all the articles published represent the opinions of the authors and do not reflect official policy of the journal.
For more details regarding supplements, please get in touch with the Journal at firstname.lastname@example.org
According to JPMA's copyright policy, the copyright belongs to the Journal upon submission of the manuscript. Moreover, it is considered unethical to submit the same manuscript to more than one journal at the same time.
If the authors want to withdraw the manuscript during its processing, an email has to be sent notifying as to their intention, to the effect that the manuscript withdrawal form will be emailed for the signatures of all the authors. This needs to be completed, scanned and sent back. A final letter from the editorial office for withdrawal of the manuscript will then be dispatched. 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.