Aims, Scope & Policies
Journal of Surgery Pakistan (JSP)
Open Access Policy
Journal of Surgery Pakistan is a peer reviewed open access biomedical journal published quarterly since 1996. It is recognized by Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan under “Y” Category of national journals. It is also indexed in Index Medicus of EMRO of World Health Organization. It was also recognized by Pakistan Medical & Dental Council (defunct since recent Pakistan Medical Council Act). It is covered by Google Scholar. It provides platform for dissemination of research related to Surgical and Allied Specialties with emphasis on clinical studies and basic research on human subjects. JSP does not process animal studies. It has a print version and Open Access online version so as to facilitate quick access to the latest issue to larger audience as well as for archiving in bound volumes for libraries, both within country and abroad.
All submitted articles undergo initial in-house editorial triage so as to assess the suitability of the manuscript according to the scope of the journal and then send for double blind peer-review to two expert external reviewers. This ensures that authentic and quality research is published that helps in advancing and improving clinical practices and to build public trust. It follows guidelines of International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and committee of publication ethics (COPE).
All material submitted for publication must comply with ethical standards related to biomedical journals. Multiple, duplicate and, redundant submission falls under publication misconduct. Similarly, falsification and fabrication of data are also considered as fraud. Selective reporting and misleading reporting as well as intentional omission of references are considered unethical. Tempering of images also fall into this category. Salami slicing of data is not allowed unless clear reason is provided as to why more than one articles are needed to report the findings from single data.
Institutional Review Board (IRB) / Ethics Review Board (ERB) approval is mandatory before conducting any human subject research. Informed consent must be obtained from study participants. Pictures of patients showing identity of the subject are not appropriate for publication. The identity of the patient must be hidden before submission to the journal. Authors must ensure that permission to use the photographs of the subject is acquired at the time of data collection. IRB approval letter must be submitted with all the manuscripts even if exemption has been granted by the board.
Authorship criteria as specified by ICMJE must be followed. This include four essential conditions: 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 integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved. No change (the order and number) will be accepted in authorship once article is submitted to the journal. Gift, Guest and Ghost authorship is discouraged. Read carefully about contributorship criteria as well from ICMJE website. Briefly Contributors who do not meet all the above mentioned four criteria for authorship, but helped in the study, may be listed in the acknowledgement section.
Contributions of Authors to the Manuscript:
Detailed contribution made by each author will be required at the time of submission of the manuscript.
Corresponding Author will be the person with whom all the correspondence will be made. He will act on behalf of other authors and will be responsible for all the required changes to be made in the manuscript in the light of reviewers and editors observations.
Disclosure must be made if funding is acquired for the study. Any other conflict of interest / competing interest in professional / personal capacity must be disclosed. In case the study is carved out of dissertation / thesis, must be mentioned in covering letter.
Plagiarism / Publication Misconduct Policy
According to Merriam Webster dictionary plagiarism is defined as “ the act of using another person's words or ideas without giving credit to that person”. This is considered as misconduct in publication ethics and is dealt with sternly. A more detailed document can be accessed from Higher Education of Pakistan website and from World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) and COPE web pages. Each case will be processed as per guidelines of COPE. Any of the following actions will be taken depending upon the nature of plagiarism. Authors will be asked to provide explanation as to their act. If issue is found to be of minor category, then a letter of reprimand will be issued with a warning not to repeat the same conduct. A formal letter may be send to the head of the institution. Funding authority may be informed as well. If the issue is considered of higher nature a notice of redundant publication or plagiarism may be published. Journal may decide to ban the author for variable period of time from submitting the manuscript in future. Formal withdrawal or retraction of the paper will be done in cases of copying full length article and the indexing authorities will also be informed. Same will be reported to HEC and relevant licensing authorities as required by them, for appropriate action.
Journal of Surgery Pakistan checks the submitted manuscript for plagiarism at initial submission with “Turnitin” software. It is emphasized that verbatim should be kept to minimum within inverted commas, and proper attribution to the source must be made. A detailed document in this regard is available from COPE website at URL••http://publicationethics.org-/files/COPE_plagiarism_discussion_%20doc_26%20Apr%2011.pdf accessed on January 1, 2016.
Authors are encouraged to run plagiarism check software on their manuscript to detect any similarity. It is expected that no more than 19% overall similarity is found in the submitted manuscript with no more than 5% from an individual article as required by HEC Pakistan. .
Peer Review Policy
All peer reviewers are expected to disclose their conflict of interest before the process of review. They are expected to follow the ethical guidelines in reviewing the manuscripts. It is expected that they will keep the confidentiality upfront and comply with the time allowed for the review. In case of their inability to complete the review in time, a prompt email must be sent to the editor. Any harsh and sarcastic comments must be avoided. Editors have the right to edit the comments of the reviewers before sending them to authors.
Policy on Integrity / Editorial Board Selection Policy
JSP considers the integrity as the most important aspect of any research. Responsible conduct of research is of utmost importance. Similarly, it is expected that editorial staff will uphold principles of integrity during the process of manuscript scrutiny, its review and subsequent publication. It is ensured that readers in particular and public in general, must not be harmed by publication of any research the scientific worth of which is disputed and potential harm can occur to the people. Editors are responsible for deciding as to which of the articles will be finally published. For this editorial policies will be kept upfront. Legal aspects will also be taken into consideration. All editors are required to declare their potential conflict of interest in all the matters related to the policy development, manuscript handing, its publication and any issue concerning publisher.
Induction of a person in editorial board will also follow the established standard and accepted guidelines which include the scholarly background, documented experience in research with credentials related to academic writing and teaching / training in the background of medical journalism.
Article Processing Policy
The submission of the manuscript shall be solely for JSP. The study must not be published (partly or as a whole) in any other journal and must not be under consideration for publication elsewhere. This duplicate submission falls under the category of publication misconduct.
Authorship policy is already explained and is in accordance with ICMJE guidelines. After initial Editorial Triage process including plagiarism check, IRB approval letter, and conformity with the Good Clinical Practices (GCP) which is an international ethical and scientific quality standard for the design, conduct, performance, monitoring, auditing, recording, analyses and reporting of clinical trials. It also serves to protect the rights, integrity and confidentiality of trial subjects. The process usually takes seven working days. The manuscript shall be sent to at least two reviewers, expert is the field, to comment on the quality of the manuscript and all the scientific aspects of the research including references section. JSP follows double blind peer review. The reviewers are given two weeks to send their observations. If they did not comply with timeline, then a reminder is sent. If still no response is received then manuscript is sent to another reviewer.
The corresponding author is responsible for ensuring article publication has been approved by all co-authors. After the publication of the paper author dispute related issues will not be entertained. Any change in the authorship (such as addition or deletion of author(s) or change in the sequence of author list after submission of an article will not be entertained. The copyright status is observed according to the Creative Common License.
Manuscript Withdrawal Policy
In case authors want to withdraw their article after submission, they may do so by sending an official mail signed by all the authors. Without formal withdrawal article cannot be submitted to any other journal. It is expected that a reason for withdrawal shall be provided as editorial team / reviewers already put in lot of effort to process the manuscript.
Article Acceptance / Rejection Policy
Articles considered to be of high standard producing new scientific knowledge are easily accepted. The RCT’s are encouraged, however simple KAP survey and Case Series on common conditions where no new information is reported are usually of low clinical impact and may not be accepted for processing. After peer review, based upon the assessment made, the manuscript may be send back to authors for their response on the observations made by the reviewers. They have the right to provide clarification or reason for complying / refuting certain observations with reference to the literature. Final decision of accepting or denying submission for publication is the prerogative of the editorial board.
Article Retraction Policy
Any article in which serious infringements of professional ethical codes is identified including falsification, fabrication of data, plagiarism etc will be retracted. However, a retraction may be done in order to correct errors that is identified after publication. The originally published article will then be replaced by corrected version to avoid potential health risk due to incorrect information. The retraction request may be made by authors themselves or by the editor when issue is identified by readers and after formal investigation into the matter.
A retraction note will be published by the journal in the paginated part of a subsequent issue and will be listed in the contents list. In the electronic version, a link will be made to the original article. The water mark will also appear with the said article and same will be put into PDF format of the article. The HTML version of the document will be removed.
Errata & Corrigenda
Erratum (mistakes made by journal during publication) and corrigenda (correction to be made following identification of deficiency by authors) for previously published articles will be published in print form on a regular page of subsequent issue and in list of contents. Same will appear in electronic format of the article. The information will also be communicated to indexing authorities.
Expression of Concern
An expression of concern about the integrity of a published article will be written by the editor. Same will be the item title. This will be written if there is doubt as to the reliability of the result or an honest error (experimental error in otherwise reliable publication) is supposedly has occurred. Editor will then conduct appropriate inquiry into the matter.
Right to Appeal Against Editorial Decision
Authors have the right to appeal to the Chief Editor if they disagree with the editors’ decision. They need to send an e mail describing in detail the matter under consideration and reasons why they do not agree with editor’s position. The decision taken by the Chief Editor will be communicated to the authors in two week time.
Policy on Conflict Resolution: Journal Ombudsperson
In case of conflict between Chief Editor decision and author’s position the case may be send to an ombudsperson for final decision. For this purpose Pakistan Association of Medical Editors (PAME) will be asked to appoint a senior editor from any journal published from Pakistan.
Policy on Conflict of interest / Competing Interest / Declaration of Source of Funding / Disclosures
All participants including authors, peer reviewers and editorial board members must disclose conflict of interest if any. Source of funding must be provided with details of grant number etc. Studies if based upon thesis or dissertation, must carry a disclosure of its details. Any pharmaceutical industry / equipment related source of funding and collaboration must be disclosed.
Policy on Confidentiality of Information and Research Subject Privacy:
Prior to research, informed consent should be taken from each participant by the researcher and information about the patients should be kept confidential and not be published.
Policy on Discrimination:
JSP strongly discourage any discrimination in context of processing based upon country of origin, race, ethnicity, sex, socioeconomic status, orientation, surgical specialty.
Authors retain copyright of their work and can deposit their publication in any repository. The work can be freely shared and adapted provided that appropriate credit is given and any changes specified. JSP is fully compliant with open access mandates, by publishing its articles under the Creative Commons Attribution non-commercial 4.0 license.
Publication Schedule and Category of Manuscripts Processing Policy:
Journal of Surgery Pakistan publishes four issues in a calendar year. JSP accepts manuscripts under the category of Original Article (Original Research), Clinical Practice Articles, Review Articles / Meta-analysis, Short Communication, Case Report, Viewpoints, Commentary, Audit, Medical Education and Letter to the Editor. Requirement for each category is available on website of JSP. Editorial are contributed by the Editorial Board members as well as by invitation.
Policy on Who Can Publish
All persons from medical background related to surgical and allied disciplines can submit manuscript for processing in JSP. They may be the faculty members, researchers, consultants, postgraduate residents, medical educationist, public health experts, policy makers.
Article Processing Charges:
At submission authors are required to submit Rs.3000/- as initial processing fee which is non-refundable. If article is accepted for publication after the review process then Rs.5000/- are to be deposited. All charges are to be deposited in the Bank Account of the JSP in National Bank of Pakistan.
JSP does not print any advertisement in its hard copy. No advertisement is put on its online version. JSP does not endorse any drug / equipment / gadget related publication that are found in its published articles. However, authors are required to give details of funding sources and disclosure in case of any sponsorship for the research.