Editorial Guidelines

Mirpur Journal of Medical Sciences is a bi-annual open-access, peer-reviewed Multidisciplinary journal which publishes original Research Articles, Review Articles, Mini-Reviews, Short Communications and Letters in all fields of medical and allied health sciences. The Journal is the official publication of the Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Medical College, Mirpur, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).Mirpur Journal of Medical Sciences’ primary objective is to provide researchers and medical professionals an environment to publish original research, clinical observations, case reports, and reviews of the most recent developments in medical science. Contributing researchers are provided with an opportunity or a platform to present their most recent findings on a wide range of scientific subjects with new findings and modernize methodology relevant to allied health sciences.

Mirpur Journal of Medical Sciences follows the ICMJE guidelines “Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly work" in medical journals; available at: http://icmje.org/recommendations/

Aims and Objectives

  • To encourage the publication of scholarly research and articles with the objective to expanding medical knowledge and enhancing patient care.
  • To provide a platform for healthcare professionals and researchers to share their findings and ideas, fostering collaboration and discussion within the medical community.
  • To provide evidence of the effectiveness of medical interventions and treatments to ensure medical professionals may make informed decisions regarding patient care.

Our content focuses on, but is not limited to, these areas of medicine and health science;

  • Medicine/Surgery/Dentistry and Allied Health
  • Medical Ethics
  • Medical Education/Public Health
  • Critical Care and Emergency Medicine
  • Family Practice
  • Alternative and Complementary Medicine
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Medical Sociology
  • Biological Sciences
  • Data Science in Medicine and Health Care

Open Access Policy
MJMS is committed to promoting open access to scholarly research publications. As such, the journal adopts the following policies:

  • All articles published are freely available to readers immediately upon publication, without any subscription or access fees.
  • Publishing the article under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY), which allows others to distribute, remix, and build upon the work, even commercially, as long as they credit the original creation.
  • To comply with the Budapest Open Access Initiative, the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, and other relevant open access initiatives.

Ethical Approval
Ethical approval typically refers to the process of obtaining approval from an institutional review board (IRB) or ethics committee for research involving human or animal subjects. In all manuscripts, research must contain a statement including the name of the ethics committee and the reference number, where applicable.
Retrospective Ethical Approval
Retrospective ethical approval is typically impossible to get once a study has already started, and it may not even be possible to evaluate the paper for peer review. The Editor has the option to decide whether to submit the manuscript for peer review in such circumstances.
Additionally, to ensure that the research is carried out responsibly and ethically, it is always best practice to obtain ethics approval before conducting the study.
Consent to Participate
Any research involving human subjects (or, in the case of those under the age of 18, their parent or legal guardian) must obtain informed consent, and a statement must be described in the paper. It is the procedure of informing participants about the study to obtain their voluntary consent to participate.
Trial Registration
Initiatives to enhance clinical trial reporting are supported by MJMS. This involves the prospective registration of clinical studies in appropriate, freely accessible databases. All clinical trials that are described in submissions to MJMS must be registered in accordance with ICMJE standards.
The ICMJE uses the World Health Organization's (WHO) definition of a clinical trial. Appropriate publicly accessible registries include those that are listed on the ICMJE website and any of the major registries that take part in the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, such as the ISRCTN registry. The trial registration number (TRN) and date of registration should be included as the last line of the manuscript abstract.
Standards of Reporting
A set of criteria described as "standards of reporting" provide a framework for transparently, succinctly, and clearly summarizing research studies. Following these guidelines ensure that research findings are appropriately presented, allowing comprehension, interpretation, and study replication. 
The following checklist must be completed for biomedical and biological research before peer review and made available to the editors and reviewers.
We strongly encourage authors to consult FAIRsharing.org for reporting checklists for biological and biomedical research, when appropriate, and the minimum reporting criteria for health research maintained by the EQUATOR Network when preparing work for publication. 
Furthermore, MJMS strongly suggests using the checklists and reporting criteria mentioned below:

  • Protocols for randomized controlled protocols (SPIRIT)
  • Systematic reviews and meta-analyses* (PRISMA) and protocols (PRISMA-P)
  • Observational studies (STROBE)
  • Case reports (CARE)
  • Qualitative research (COREQ)
  • Statistics checklists for editors and reviewers to use when evaluating the statistics in manuscripts:

Statistical Methods
Authors must include complete details on the statistical procedures and measures used in their research, including an explanation for why the chosen statistical test was suitable. The authors must consult a biostatistician regarding the paper's statistics (data analysis plan, sample size, and results) before submitting it to the journal. Reviewers will be asked to evaluate the statistical procedures, and if it is deemed required, the paper may be forwarded for professional statistical review.
Competing Interests
Authors must disclose all competing interests in regard to their work in order to publish in MJMS. A "competing interests" section includes any competing interests (financial and non-financial) must be included at the conclusion of every manuscript that is submitted.
Editors and reviewers must disclose any conflicts of interest, and if any, they may be excluded from the peer review process.
Editors and Members of the Editorial Board
Editors and members of editorial boards must disclose any conflicts of interest, and if any, they may be excluded from the peer review process. 
Duplicate Publication
The term "duplicate publication" describes the practice of publishing the same work, or a significant portion of it, in many journals or places without the required acknowledgement or justification. It is an example of research misconduct and a breach of moral publication standards. Plagiarism detection initiative takes seriously all cases of publication misconduct. Any suspected cases of covert duplicate manuscript submission will be handled as outlined in the COPE guidelines and the Editor may contact the authors’ institution.
Submitting a manuscript to a journal implies that the work has not previously been published in any other journal, printed or online (except as an abstract or an academic thesis), and that it is not currently being considered for publication elsewhere.
Waiver Policy
Manuscript submission and publishing are both free of charge. There are no article processing or submission fees.
Plagiarism Policy
Plagiarism is a serious ethical violation in academic writing, and journals have a responsibility to ensure that the work they publish is original and properly cited. A plagiarism policy is a set of guidelines that outline the journal's expectations for authors regarding the use of others' work in their submissions. The plagiarism policy include the following elements:

  • Definition of Plagiarism: The policy should clearly define what plagiarism is, including using someone else's work without proper citation or permission, submitting someone else's work as one's own, and paraphrasing someone else's work without proper attribution.
  • Detection of Plagiarism: The policy should describe how the journal detects plagiarism, such as through manual checks by editors or reviewers, or by using plagiarism detection software.
  • Consequences of Plagiarism: The policy should outline the consequences of plagiarism, which may include rejection of the manuscript, retraction of a published article, or banning of the author from submitting to the journal in the future.
  • Prevention of Plagiarism: The policy may also provide guidance to authors on how to avoid plagiarism, such as by properly citing sources and seeking permission for any use of copyrighted material.
  • Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest: The policy may require authors to disclose any potential conflicts of interest that may arise from the use of others' work, such as financial relationships with the authors of cited sources.
  • It is important for authors to be aware of a journal's plagiarism policy and to adhere to it to avoid ethical violations and potential consequences for their submissions.

Manuscripts should be reviewed for plagiarism before submission, and no more than 19% of the content should be plagiarized. The editorial board also examines papers for plagiarism following HEC plagiarism policy, and if more than 19% is detected, the authors are contacted and requested to change the manuscript's content.
Peer-Review Process
Peer review is a critical component of the publishing process for scholarly articles. It is a process where experts in the same field as the author review the manuscript before it is published. The following is a general overview of the peer-review process:

  • Submission: Authors submit their manuscript to the journal for consideration.
  • Editor Review: The editor screens the manuscript to ensure that it meets the journal's scope and standards. If it does not meet the criteria, the manuscript may be returned to the author without being sent for review.
  • Assignment: The editor assigns the manuscript to two or more reviewers who are experts in the field.
  • Review: The reviewers evaluate the manuscript for originality, significance, methodology, and clarity of presentation. They also make recommendations for improvement, and provide comments to the editor and author.
  • Decision: Based on the reviewers' comments, the editor makes a decision about the manuscript, which may include acceptance, rejection, or revision.
  • Revision: If the manuscript is accepted with revisions, the author will be asked to revise the manuscript based on the reviewers' comments and resubmit it for further review.
  • Final Decision: The editor will make a final decision based on the revised manuscript and the reviewers' feedback.

The peer-review process helps to ensure that the published articles are of high quality, and provides valuable feedback to the authors. It also helps to maintain the credibility of the journal and the research it publishes.
All articles submitted for publication to MJMS are subjected to double-blind peer review by, generally three, neutral distinguished scholars; one is an editorial board member and the other two are external reviewers. Throughout the review process, both the reviewer and author identities are shielded from the reviewers, and vice versa. This assures that the reviewers' assessments of the article are free of bias. The evaluation procedure might take up to maximum 60 days. Decisions will be made as soon as feasible, and reviewer(s) comments will be forwarded to the author for revision.
After reviewing the opinions of the external evaluators, the Editor-in-Chief may suggest the acceptance or rejection of a manuscript, or he/she may seek assistance and advice from additional experts in the area, if necessary. Following a review of the article by at least two independent experts, as well as the Editor's assessment, a decision is conveyed to the authors, which could be: Accept without modifications, (ii) Revisions (major or minor) recommended, or (iii) Reject.
Authorship provides credit for a researcher’s contributions to a study and carries accountability. Authors are expected to fulfil the criteria (see undertaking form)
MJMS will adhere to the COPE guidelines outlining how to handle situations of suspected misconduct and takes all allegations of potential misconduct seriously.
Depending on the particular circumstances and the policies of the relevant organizations, the reporting process for research misconduct may vary, but it is typically confidential and may involve an investigation or review of the pertinent data and documentation.
It might be necessary for the Editor to get in touch with and share manuscripts with third parties, such as the author(s)' institution(s) and ethics committee(s), in situations where research or publication misconduct is suspected.
Data Falsification and Fabrication
MJMS follows the Retraction guidelines | COPE: Committee on Publication Ethics