Higher Education Commission of Pakistan for the year 2023-24
The College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan
1.DOUBLE BLIND PEER REVIEW PROCESS & EDITORIAL PROCESS
This Policy is applicable to all publications submitted to the research journals of the Lahore Medical Research Center and operates a double-blind peer review process. All the submitted manuscripts undergo an initial evaluation (1-2 days) which includes assessment of the scope of the article along with its originality. The Editorial Board of the Journal is responsible for the selection of reveiwers based on their expertise in the relevant field. The manuscript is sent to two external reviewers (from outside the organization of journal) for a peer review. The experts/reviewers in the field are given a time of 1 week to make decisions accordingly. In case of major/minor revisions, the manuscript is returned to authors for further amendments and its resubmission in a period of 3 days (The duration is further extended on special requests by authors). The revised manuscript is then again reviewed by the reviewers with a final decision of the editor to get it accepted or rejected which takes up to 2 days. The manuscript upon acceptance is preceded for final copy editing, English editing, proof reading with the confirmation of article processing charges meanwhile. The final version of the manuscript is published within 3 days after the acceptance. The entire publication process completes in a range of 15-20 days. In case of conflict of interest regarding a specific manuscript, a member of the Editorial Board will be assigned to assume responsibility for overseeing peer review. Reviewers will be treated anonymously and the pre-publication history of each article will not be made available online. Intentionally falsifying information, for example, authors or reviewers with a false name or email address, will result in rejection of the manuscript and may lead to penalty according to misconduct policy. Guest editorial submitted by authors is reviewed internally by Editor-in-Chief or Editor and is then sent externally to another guest editor for final verdict.
All articles in PJHS are open access and freely available online. The journal's contents are released under the Creative Commons Attribution licence, which allows for unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium as long as the original authors and source are cited.
Long-term preservation and archiving (LPTA) of data ensures that the journal’s data is backed up in a network of libraries created by a dedicated digital archiving and preservation service. PJHS employs PKP Private’s LOCKSS network to create a file distributed among the participated libraries, allowing these libraries to create permanent files of the journal with goals to preserve and restore the digital data. Other than that, a separate doi has been assigned to each article.
All articles published in Pakistan Journal of Health Sciences (PJHS) receive a DOI and are permanently published. This applies regardless of the outcome of the peer review that follows after publication.
Authors can revise, change and update their articles by publishing new versions, which are added to the article’s history; however, the individual versions, once published, cannot be altered or withdrawn and are permanently available on the Pakistan Journal of Health Sciences (PJHS) website. Pakistan Journal of Health Sciences (PJHS) participates in the CrossMark scheme, a multi-publisher initiative that has developed a standard way for readers to locate the current version of an article. By applying the CrossMark policies, Pakistan Journal of Health Sciences (PJHS) is committed to maintaining the content it publishes and to alerting readers to changes if and when they occur.
If critical results were accidentally omitted from the original publication, an Addendum may be submitted to include the missing information. This Addendum will be published in the current issue of the journal and hyperlinked to the original publication, without requiring an update to the original paper.
An Erratum should be published for scientifically relevant formatting changes or errors in the author or contributor list. Minor errors, such as spelling or grammatical mistakes that do not impact the meaning or readability of the article, do not qualify for an Erratum. All authors should carefully proofread the final version of their manuscript.
If an author wishes to change their name following publication, they can contact the Editorial Office with their request. PJHS will update and republish the article, with updated metadata provided to indexing services. An Erratum will not be published to protect author identity, and co-authors will not be notified.
Corrections should be submitted for scientifically relevant errors in published articles. Any changes may be evaluated by the academic editors. Any changes that affect the scientific interpretation, such as correcting a misleading portion of a reliable publication, adding missing method details, or errors in data that do not affect conclusions, will be announced using a separate publication called a Correction. The original paper will be updated, and a note will be added to the Article Versions Notes and the abstract page to inform readers of the updated version.
Retractions are necessary in cases where articles pose a threat to the integrity of scientific records, such as inadvertent errors, ethical breaches, data fabrication, or plagiarism. PJHS follows the recommendations of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) for retraction. The Editorial Office investigates potential retractions, with support from the Editorial Board and final approval from the Editor-in-Chief. The article will be amended with a "RETRACTED" watermark but will remain available on the journal's website. Retracted articles should not be cited or used for future research. Retractions are published as a separate item in the current issue of the journal, with the same authorship and affiliation as the original article, and page numbers added. Partial retractions may be published in cases where only some results are incorrect. Complete removal of an article is a rare occurrence, reserved only for cases where leaving it online would be illegal or cause significant harm.
PUBLICATION ETHICS AND POLICY GUIDELINES
This journal advocates acknowledging contributions to a scientific work where authorship is not claimed. All additional individuals who contributed to the study and are not a part of authorship should be credited, and their contributions should be detailed, according to ICMJE criteria. All authors must reserve the right to know their contributions were acknowledged along with the technical assistance, data gathering assistance, writing assistance and services offered from departmental head. Support in terms of funding and access to scientific instrumentation should also acknowledged.
Number and order of authors
The number of authors is not limited, although it shouldn't be substantially higher than the amount of work produced. The contribution to the work should determine the rank of the authors. All authors should concur on the number and arrangement.
Principal and corresponding authors
Author with the most significant contribution should be ranked as the principal/first author. First author or the primary author should be the person who contributed the most. The principal author may, with the consent of all authors, either be the corresponding author himself or nominate another author for it.
Informed consent & maintaining the confidentiality of research participants
Conflicts of interest/ Grant support and financial disclosure
PROTECTION OF RESEARCH PARTICIPANTS
Approval of Ethical Committee/ Use of humans and animals/ Helsinki Declaration
Replacement: approaches, which avoid or replace the use of animals.
Reduction: approaches, which minimize the number of animals used per experiment.
Refinement: approaches which minimize animal suffering and improve welfare.
Research Ethics Policies for Studies Involving Clinical Trials (CT) Registration
This policy aligns with the criteria set forth by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). The ICMJE defines a clinical trial as a research project that assigns human subjects to intervention or comparison groups in a prospective manner to investigate the causal relationship between a medical intervention and a health outcome. Studies with different objectives, such as examining pharmacokinetics or significant toxicity (e.g., phase 1 trials), would be exempt from this definition.
While the ICMJE doesn't endorse a specific registry, authors submitting to the Pakistan Journal of Health Sciences are required to register their trials in an international trial registry system that meets specific criteria.
This registry should be accessible to the public without any charges, open to all potential registrants, and managed by an established organization.
It is essential for the registration data to be validated, and the registry itself should be searchable electronically.
A comprehensive registry should encompass the following details at a minimum: a unique identification number, a description of the interventions and comparisons under study, the study hypothesis, definitions of primary and secondary outcome measures, eligibility criteria, crucial trial dates (registration, anticipated or actual start, last follow-up, closure to data entry, and completion date), the expected number of participants, funding source, and contact information for the principal investigator.
Registration is just one facet of achieving complete transparency regarding the execution and reporting of clinical trials.
Participants who volunteer for clinical trials should be informed that their valuable contribution to advancing human health will be accessible to guide healthcare decisions. The collective generosity of these individuals should result in knowledge that's accessible to everyone. Mandatory trial registration serves as a step toward this objective. The Clinical Trial Registration number must be included in the manuscript and clearly stated.
Plagiarism is the presenting of another author's language, text, thoughts, ideas, or expressions as one's own unique work. Self-plagiarism is also included, which includes duplicate/redundant publication, content recycling, and salami slicing. PJHS adheres to the COPE, ICMJE, and HEC (Higher Education Commission) of Pakistan recommendations, norms, and policies on plagiarism. PJHS uses TURNITIN to check the similarity index, and notifications are sent to the authors if it is greater than 50%. If it is greater than 50%, it will be rejected without further inspection or processing. For authenticity, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan needs a similarity of less than 20%. If the authors have already checked the paper with the same software, they can submit the similarity report as a supplementary file. Plagiarism is considered academic dishonesty. If it is proven after the article has been published, it will be retracted, the authors may be permanently or temporarily blocked, and the parent institution may be notified for departmental proceedings against the author. If it is proven before publication, the present work will be rejected, and the authors may be prohibited from submitting to this journal for one or more years.
Authors are permitted to deposit all versions of their paper in an institutional or subject repository:
2. Author’s Accepted Manuscript
3. Version of Record
No embargo is applied.
Authors can submit their data in any public repository and share the information or link under this section at the end of the manuscript.
Digital Cancellation Policies
Advertiser may cancel the entire insertion Order, or any portion thereof, as follows:
RUN-OF-SITE BANNER PROGRAMS
On written notice to the PJHS, advertiser may cancel all, or a portion of the campaign, without penalty 21 days or more before the campaign start date. For cancellations made within 21 days of the start date, the advertiser will be responsible for 50% of the campaign amount that was reserved for delivery.
FLAT FEE-BASED, SOV-BASED, OR FIXED PLACEMENT PROGRAMS
On written notice to the Publisher, advertiser may cancel all, or a portion of the campaign, without penalty 30 days or more before the start date of the campaign. For cancellations made 30 to 15 days before the start date, advertiser will be responsible for 50% of the campaign amount that was reserved for delivery. For cancellations made within 14 days of the start date, advertiser will be responsible for 100% of the campaign amount that was reserved for delivery.
The readers, authors, reviewers or any other person may submit a formal appeal through official email (email@example.com) of the journal regarding any problem, including but not limited to any conflict, delays in review or publishing or article processing charges or rejection of manuscripts to the Chief Editor. The case will be referred for examination/ investigation to the Appeals Committee of the Editorial Board/ Advisory Board to give recommendations to the Board for decision. The Committee is comprised of;
Regarding any publication misconduct on the part of an author, a reviewer, or the Editor/Editorial Board, readers, writers, or any other person may send a written complaint to the Chief Editor using the journal's official email address (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Complaints Process Committee of the Editorial Board/Advisory Board will be asked to investigate the issue and make suggestions to the Board regarding its course of action. The Committee is comprised of;
PJHS follows the International Committee of Medical Journals Editor (ICMJE) guidelines for authorship criteria as “Defining the Role of Authors and Contributors”
Each author must have made enough contributions to the work to be considered an author, according to the principal author. One must fulfil all four of the following criteria for authorship, according to ICMJE rules.
The mere arrangement of a research grant, the gathering of data, or general project management cannot justify authorship. Such actions could also be acknowledged in various ways. When submitting the work, the primary author must include the names of other authors in the proper order. Later additions of authors are not permitted. Contributions from authors will be published alongside the document. The editorial board will decide on any authorship disputes in accordance with ICMJE and COPE norms. The authors who assume primary responsibility for the manuscript should be identified when the study was carried out by a sizable, multi-center group. The above-described standards for authorship should be fully met by these. The corresponding author should explicitly identify all authors in a group author manuscript before submitting it. The acknowledgements section needs to list the other group members. After submission, changes to the authors' names or order are not permitted.
Submission of Manuscripts
Only original material in the manuscript will be considered for publication. Neither the manuscript nor essential substance of the manuscript should be submitted for publication elsewhere before appearing in this journal.
On our website, the corresponding author must create an account or login to an existing account. Then he must complete a 5-step simple submission process. The manuscript must be blinded, with no indication of the authors' names, designations, departments, institutions, or towns. Author information should be included in metadata. If required, supplemental files such as data files, fee submission documents, and so on can be included.
PJHS is published in English. Use of British English is preferred however American English can also be employed where convenient.
Writing Style and format
Please use Times New Roman, size 12, justified, with a line spacing of 1.0. Tables and illustrations (figure/ chart/ image) should be placed where specified, not at the conclusion of the document.
Submission Format According to the type of Manuscript
Review article: Maximum 3500 words excluding references.
Original article: Maximum 2500 words excluding structured abstract of 250 words and 20 references (minimum).
Case Report: Abstract; Introduction; Case Report; Discussion and Conclusion
Short Report: Abstract; Introduction; Patients Methods and Result; and Conclusion
Special Communication: Abstract; Introduction; Methods and Result; and Conclusion
Short Reports / Short Communications / Special Communications / Case reports: Maximum 1250 words excluding title page and an unstructured abstract of 150 words with no more than two tables or figures and 10 references. It should not be signed by more than six authors.
Letters to the Editor: Maximum 250 words if it is in reference to a recent journal article, or 400 words in all other cases. It must have no more than five references and one figure or table. It must not be signed by any more than three authors. Letters referring to a recent journal article must be received within four weeks of its publication.
Title of the manuscript
It must include the study's design, objectives, and variables. It should also include information about the characteristics and geographical location of the population of interest. Use of abbreviations should be avoided in title. Each manuscript should include five to ten key words. These should be included in the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) of the United States National Library of Medicine, which may be found at: https://meshb.nlm.nih.gov/
Only standard abbreviations should be used. For each abbreviation, the full term should be presented first, followed by the abbreviation in parenthesis. A well-known and widely used abbreviation may be used in this capacity.
Tables and Illustrations
Units of Measurements
Please use Systems International (SI) units, where possible.
Generic names of drugs are preferred. Where essential the brand names can be given in parenthesis.
Abstract: Word count should be within 250. It may be up to 350 in exceptional cases. It should have the following sub-headings: Background, Material & Methods, Results, and Conclusion. Background includes 1-3 sentences regarding the introduction of your problem/s of interest and objective/s. Material & Methods include study design, duration, setting, population & sampling, and data collection (variables and their attributes and types) and analysis plans (descriptive, estimation of parameters and hypotheses testing). Conclusion is the summary of your results in simple words.
The main part of the original research article should follow IMRAD; to have the following sub-headings: Introduction, Material and Methods, Results, AND Discussion & Conclusion.
This section should have nearly all the following components.
Bring here data in quantities (numbers & figures) regarding all your variables of interest as per your objectives. It may include prevalence and/or incidence of the disease of interest/ under investigation, its distribution by socio-demographic factors, its various determinants or its treatment. Instead of prevalence, distribution, determinant and treatment of a disease, the researcher may determine any health related event in a population, like level/ concentration/ score of some anthropometric measure/ biochemical parameter, like weight, height, blood pressure (BP), random blood sugar (RBS) etc. Here bring the level/ concentration/ score of your parameters of interest. The data is collected from global populations/ studies, then regional, then national and lastly local populations/ studies. The manuscript should clearly sate research problem, knowledge gap, research question, research objective, hypothesis and significance of the study.
This section should have nearly all the following components.
Please mention the study design (cross-sectional/case-control/cohort/ trial) with name of the academic/ professional department and name of the academic/ professional institution with city and country. It shows ownership. Add duration of the study with day, month and year.
Research is a problem solving activity for a specified population; never for a sample. Please specify/ define your population by count, geographic location, socio-demographic and disease factors. Then tell how you calculated the sample size as required by the design of your study with formula/calculation or online calculator/software with reference/link. Then give sampling technique. Then give inclusion and exclusion criteria for one group or separately for each group in case of two or more groups.
Please narrate here all the steps which you took from enrolment of a subject to its discharge from the study, including history, general & systemic examination, investigations and any intervention (health education, food, exercise, vaccine, drug, device, laser or surgery). Please give details of different equipment, instruments, appliances and tools used, giving the name, model, version, company name and its manufacturing city name in parenthesis.
Research is for a specified population; never for a sample. It is ideal to observe the entire population, but it is not feasible. Statistics as a discipline helps us in collecting data for a sample, analyze it for the sample (descriptive statistics; describe the sample) and then infer it on to the population from which it was drawn (inferential statistics; describe the population based on the data collected from the sample). Inferential statistics includes estimation of parameter and hypothesis testing.
Global literature is full of research articles which are restricted to sample, with no mention of the population. For us, it may be anything, but not research.
Our authors have to give analysis plan for all the three components of the statistical analysis. It is widely stated and widely accepted narrative that the cross-sectional studies don’t require hypothesis. It is a miss-understanding. Cross-sectional studies do require hypothesis. There may be some one dozen cross-sectional studies, each with many hypotheses published in this journal from 2018 to 2021, regarding burden/ magnitude (prevalence/ distribution) of malaria, leishmaniasis, DS-TB, DR-TB etc.
Data analysis is simply a process of converting data (un-organized facts & figures) into information (organized facts & figures). Both qualitative and quantitative data are organized as per requirements of the topic and end users of the findings. When analyzed (organized), qualitative and quantitative facts and figures are mixed together to form a single piece of information or knowledge.
There are two types of analysis.
Qualitative data includes text, picture, audio and video. This analysis is based on qualitative argumentation (not included here).
Quantitative data includes nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio data. This analysis is based on statistical computations (included here).
It is the analysis of data collected from the sample. Here each variable is described separately without talking about its difference between the groups or within the groups or its relationships to any other variable in the same population.
Categorical (nominal and ordinal data) is analyzed by count and percentage. Numeric (interval and ratio) is subjected to tests of normality; Skewness, kurtosis, Kolmogoro-Smirnov test & histogram. If it is distributed normally; then it is analyzed by mean, minimum, maximum, range and SD. If it is distributed not normally (skewed); then it is analyzed by median (quartile 2), quartile 1 (Q1), quartile 3 (Q3) and Inter Quartile Range (IQR=Q3-Q1).
Inferential analysis: Here the data for the sample is inferred on to population. It includes estimation of parameters and testing of hypotheses.
Estimation of parameters
Here an interval in constructed around a sample statistics to estimate a parameter i.e. mean or proportion for a population at certain level of confidence, usually 95%. It is represented as confidence interval of mean or proportion, both with lower and upper bounds.
The mean RBS of the sample (n=350) was 110 (95% CL, 105.5-114.5) mg/dL. The frequency (%age) of diabetes mellitus in the sample (n=300) was 45 (15%, 95% CL, 12.5-17.5).
It should be based on the objective and principal findings. False ambiguous conclusion and speculations should be avoided.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.
Readers may “Share-copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format” and “Adapt-remix, transform, and build upon the material”. The readers must give appropriate credit to the source of the material and indicate if changes were made to the material. Readers may not use the material for commercial purpose. The readers may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.
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.
Article Processing Fee: NONE
Article Publication Fee (National) Rs 35000 / Article
Article Publication Fee (International ) 200 USD / Article
If an author has no funds to pay such charges, he may request for full or partial waiver off of publication fees. We do not want charges to prevent the publication of worthy work.
Copies can be ordered on payment of PKR 2500 per copy.