Information for authors
Pakistan Journal of Physiology (Pak J Physiol, PJP) accepts manuscripts prepared in accordance with the ‘Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals’ as approved by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) available at www.icmje.org. Authors are advised to read the ICMJE recommendations and following instructions carefully before submitting their manuscript to PJP.
All material submitted for publication should be sent exclusively to Pakistan Journal of Physiology. Work that has already been reported in a published paper or is cited in a paper sent or accepted elsewhere for publication should not be submitted to PJP. Multiple or duplicate submission of the same work to other journal falls into the category of ‘Publication Fraud’ and is liable for disciplinary action, including reporting to Pakistan Medical & Dental Council and Higher Education Commission. A complete report following publication of a preliminary report, usually in the form of an abstract, or a paper that has been presented at a scientific meeting, if not published in full may be submitted. In this case, a copy of the published material should be included with a manuscript for editors’ consideration.
Aim and Scope of the Journal:
Pakistan Journal of Physiology publishes scholarly work from medical and allied subjects (all basic medical sciences and related clinical subjects) including medical education as well as from biological and biomedical sciences. The manuscripts submitted for publication may be in the form of an original research (randomized controlled trial, metanalysis, quasi experimental study, case control study, cohort study or cross-sectional analytical study), review article, case report, book review, recent advances, new techniques, debates, adverse drug reports, current practices, audit report, evidence-based report, short communication or a letter to the editor. Studies more than five years old at the time of submission as well as simple descriptive and KAP (knowledge, attitude, practice) studies are not entertained. Pakistan Journal of Physiology does not accept multiple studies/multiple end publications gathered/derived from a single research project or data (wholly or in part) known as ‘salami slices’. The Journal discourages submission of more than one article dealing with related aspects of the same study.
All submissions to Pakistan Journal of Physiology are online through ‘Open Journal System (OJS)’ at ‘http://pjp.pps.org.pk’. All authors and co-authors must provide details such as their full names, designation, mailing address, telephone/cell numbers and email addresses on undertaking certificate (author certificate). The undertaking certificate will be signed by all the authors and the sequence/order of authors on the certificate once submitted shall not be changed at any stage. Undertaking certificate can be downloaded from ‘make a submission’ page. It is mandatory to provide approval letter of institutional review board/ethical review committee or exemption thereof with all the research articles. Dissertation/thesis approval letter from relevant authority is also acceptable.
After the manuscript is received it undergoes preliminary editorial review. Decision whether the manuscript will be processed for publication or it is unsuitable for publication in PJP will be intimated to the corresponding author. Manuscripts found suitable for publication undergo peer review process which may take minimum two to four months. Each manuscript is sent to two peer reviewers. Suggestions given by the peer reviewers are intimated to the corresponding author for necessary corrections. After this the manuscript undergoes final editorial review and the composing process. The processed manuscript is finally sent to the corresponding author for proof reading before declaring it ‘camera-ready’. When the manuscript is considered fit for publication, an email is sent to the corresponding author to deposit publication fee. After receipt of the publication fee, letter of acceptance is issued and the manuscript is kept in queue for publication. The average time taken from submission to publication is approximately six months, however it highly depends upon the response from peer reviewers and authors which may lead to delays in the publication process.
Peer review process:
Pakistan Journal of Physiology follows double blind peer review process. Each manuscript is sent to at least two peer reviewers of the same speciality to which the original article belongs. A single manuscript is sent to any reviewer at a time. The editors do not serve as peer reviewers. The manuscript is sent to a third reviewer in case any of the two reviewers declares it unfit for publication. In case of conflict or disputed articles, the matter is discussed with the chief editor and finally to a third-party ombudsman as nominated by the chief editor. Authors have the right to inform the editor about the reviewers to whom their manuscript may not be sent for review.
The manuscript should be composed of a single Microsoft Word file with tables and figures placed at appropriate places within the text instead of putting at the end. The text should be single-spaced, single column with Arial or Times New Roman font style and 12-point font size. Manuscripts should be written in English in British or American style/format (same style should be followed throughout the whole text), in past tense and third person form of address. Sentences should not start with a number or figure. Present decimal figures up to 2 decimals only, e.g., 0.07 instead of 0.071. Use the full form of an abbreviation initially in the text before using the abbreviated form. Avoid capitalization except where it is grammatically required and for proper nouns. Inappropriately long or short sentences should be avoided.
Authors are advised to read carefully the publication guidelines available at ‘committee on publication ethics’ (COPE) website ‘https://publicationethics.org/’. If tables, illustrations or photographs, which have already been published, are included, a letter of permission for re-publication should be obtained from author(s) as well as the editor of the journal where it was previously published. Written permission to reproduce photographs of patients, whose identity is not disguised, should be sent with the manuscript; otherwise the eyes will be blackened out. If a medicine is used, generic name should be used. The commercial name may, however, be mentioned only within brackets, only if necessary. In case of medicine or device or any material indicated in text, a declaration by author/s should be submitted that no monetary benefit has been taken from manufacturer/importer of that product by any author. In case of experimental interventions, permission from ethical committee of the hospital should be taken beforehand. Any other conflict of interest must be disclosed. All interventional studies submitted for publication should carry Institutional Ethical & Research Committee approval letter. Ethical consideration regarding the intervention, added cost of test, and particularly the management of control in case control comparisons of trials should be addressed: multicentric authors’ affiliation may be asked to be authenticated by provision of permission letters from ethical boards or the heads of involved institutes.
Types of publication material
Original research article:
The word count of original article should not exceed 2,500 words excluding abstract and references. It should contain a structured abstract of not more than 250 words. Three to 10 keywords should be given from MeSH (Medical Subject Headings). There should not be more than 4 tables and/or figures. The number of references should not exceed 25. Fifty percent references should be from last five years from the date of submission.
Reporting guidelines available at ‘http://www.equator-network.org/’ should be followed while writing the manuscripts depending upon the specific study design. Reporting of all the RCTs must be based upon CONSORT statement. Reporting of observational studies should be based upon STROBE guidelines. Studies involving animals should follow ARRIVE guidelines. Clinical trials submitted for publication must be registered in international registry and the authors are required to provide the registration number. Unregistered trials will not be published.
It should consist of critical overview/analysis of some relatively narrow topic providing background and the recent development with the reference of original literature. It should incorporate author's original work on the same subject. The length of the review article should not be more than 3,500 words with maximum 40 references. It should have unstructured abstract of 150 words with 3–10 keywords. An author can write a review article only if he/she has written a minimum of three original research articles on the same topic.
These reports must be of academic and educational value and provide relevance of the disease being reported as unusual. Brief or negative research findings may appear in this section. The word count of case report should be 800 words with a minimum of 3 keywords. It should have a non-structured abstract of about 100–150 words (case specific) with maximum of 5–6 references. Not more than 2 figures and one table shall be accepted.
Evidence based report:
The report must have at least 10 cases and word count of 1,000–1,200 words with 10–12 references and not more than 2 tables or illustrations. It should contain a non-structured abstract of about 150 words.
It should not be more than 1,000 words, having a non-structured abstract of not more than 150 words with maximum two tables or illustrations and not more than 5 references.
Letter to Editor:
Letters should normally not exceed 400 words, with not more than 5 references and be signed by all the authors-maximum 3 are allowed. Preference is given to those that take up points made in contributions published recently in the journal. Letters may be published with a response from the author of the article being discussed. Discussions beyond the initial letter and response will not be entertained for publication. Letters to the editor may be sent for peer review if they report a scientific data.
Editorials are written upon invitation. Three to 10 key words should be given for all the category of manuscripts under the abstracts as per MeSH.
General Manuscript requirements
In addition to having title of the manuscript at the top, the title page should also include complete name, designation, postal address, office/mobile phone numbers and email address of all the authors. Corresponding author should be clearly mentioned. Information regarding word count of abstract, word count of the body of manuscript, number of tables and figures, number of references, declaration of conflict of interest, grant support and financial disclosure should also be given on the title page. Specimen of title page can be downloaded from ‘make a submission’ page. The title page should be uploaded as a separate file and should not be merged as a first page of the article file. Please do not state the author’s name, affiliation or contact details anywhere on the manuscript. Such details should only be provided through online journal system in designated fields or on the undertaking certificate. Pakistan Journal of Physiology follows double-blind peer review process and the author details are not shared with the peer reviewers within the manuscript or by any other means.
The title should be clear, comprehensive, and concise. The length of title should not exceed 20 words. Do not capitalize the first letter of each word in the title unless it is a proper noun. Do not use abbreviations in the title.
Structure of an abstract should be in accordance to the article type. A structured abstract should consist of the following headings: objective, methodology, results, conclusion, and keywords. An unstructured abstract should follow a logical sequence. Methodology must contain type, place and duration of study in addition to brief data collection details. Do not use abbreviations and references in abstract.
Write the clinical trial number after the abstract in case of randomised controlled trials. Abstracts should be followed by 3–10 MeSH words. Use appropriate terms from MeSH database to increase search-ability of your study.
It presents a background and rationale for the study and is not the review of literature. It includes global, regional and local reports where appropriate. Cite only strictly pertinent references. State the purpose or objective of the study in the last paragraph without sub-headings. Explain the hypothesis and the requirement of the research. Do not include data or conclusions from the current study.
Do not use sub-headings in this section. Describe the methodology in an organized manner with paragraphs. Components of the methodology which need to be mentioned as applicable are: Permission from institutional review board, ethical review committee certificate as per declaration of Helsinki, study design, study setting, study duration, inclusion and exclusion criteria, sample size calculations with references, sampling method, randomization process in case of RCTs and follow-up period. Identification of the methods and apparatus (provide the manufacturer’s name and address in parenthesis) and identification of all drugs and chemicals are the mandatory requirements. Any equipment used in the study should give the manufacturer’s name and address. Procedures should be clearly described so as to facilitate others to reproduce them easily
The statistical methods should be described in a simple manner to enable the reader to judge the correctness of the analysis and results. State the statistical software package used along with the version. References should be included where appropriate. Authors submitting review manuscripts should include a section describing the methods used for locating, selecting, extracting and synthesizing data. These methods should also be summarised in the abstract.
Present the results in a logical sequence in the text, tables and illustrations. Do not repeat all the data of the tables or illustrations in the text. Emphasize or summarise important observations. Frequencies and percentages both should be mentioned, for example, there were 16 (3%) women. Exact p values should be reported. Mean should be with standard deviation. Medians should be with inter-quartile range.
Data should be placed clearly and concisely to enable the reader to comprehend easily. Do not repeat the results stated in tables in the text. Tables should be numbered consecutively and cited in the results. Arabic numerals should be used. The title should be short and explanatory and written on top of the table. The columns of the table should have a short heading. Footnotes should elaborate on the abbreviations. If any data or table has been included from a published article, the source should be given.
Figures and pictures should clarify and augment the text. The selection of sharp, high-quality illustrations is of paramount importance. Figures of inferior quality will be returned to the author for correction or replacement. For x-ray films, scans, and other diagnostic images, pictures of pathology specimens or photomicrographs, high-resolution photographic image files are recommended. Titles should be placed below the figure and detailed explanations should be given as legends and not on the illustrations. Figures should have consecutive numbers and should be cited in the results accordingly in the text and written as ‘Figure’. Arabic numerals should be used. Original illustrations should be submitted; previously published illustrations are not preferred. If a figure is taken from a previous publication, the source should be given as a reference. Written permission from the publisher should be provided by the author on submission of the manuscript. The legend should include the following: (Reprinted by permission of Ref. X).
Photomicrographs should have internal scale markers. Symbols, arrows, or letters used in photomicrographs should stand out on the background. The internal scale should be given, and the method of staining in photomicrographs should be identified.
Any symbols, arrows, numbers, or letters used to identify parts of the illustration should be explained clearly in the legend.
Units of measurement:
System International (SI) Unit measurement should be used. Imperial measurement units like inches, feet etc are not acceptable.
The discussion should begin with a summary of the main results. These are then discussed with results of other published studies. Any new findings of the research should be emphasized and the relevance should be stated. These can be used for future research or clinical practice. Details of methodology or introduction should not be included in the discussion. Do not repeat in detail data or other information given in other parts of the manuscript, such as in the introduction or the results section. Limitations of the study and future recommendations should be stated at the end of the discussion in a separate paragraph.
Conclusion should be a brief resume of the study. Do not use any finding which has not been shown in the results. Do not over-emphasize the results. Do not state any benefits which have not been studied. A new hypothesis may be included if determined by the research. No speculations should be included.
Contributors who do not meet all the four criteria for authorship, but helped in the study, may be listed in the acknowledgement section. These may be named and their function or contribution should be described, for example, ‘scientific advisor critical review of study proposal’, ‘data collection’, or ‘participation clinical trial’. Such persons must have given their permission to be named. Authors are responsible for obtaining written permission from person acknowledged by name, because readers may infer their endorsement the data and conclusions. Technical help should be acknowledged in a paragraph separate from those acknowledging other contributions.
Disclose if the abstract has been presented or published in a conference or published in an abstract book or any other relevant information. If the article is part of a PhD thesis, it should be disclosed.
Conflict of Interest:
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. If there is no conflict of interest, authors should still include this heading and write ‘none to declare’.
All sources of grants received and its spending should be disclosed. If there is no funding disclosure, authors should still include this heading and write ‘none to declare’.
Pakistan Journal of Physiology follows Vancouver style of referencing with citation number as ‘superscript’. References should be cited in consecutive numerical order as first mentioned in the text and designated by the reference number in superscript. References appearing in a table or figure should be numbered sequentially with those in text.
The PJP follows Index Medicus style for references and abbreviated journal names according to the list of Journals indexed in Index Medicus available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nlmcatalog/journals. References cited as ‘In Press’ must have been accepted and not merely in preparation or submitted. The author is responsible for the accuracy of all references and must verify them against the original document.
If there are more than six authors, write et al after the sixth name. Authors should use the NLM guide which gives details regarding each citation: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK7256/
As stated in the ‘Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals’ developed by International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, authorship is based upon the following four criteria:
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.
Each author must sign a statement attesting that he/she fulfils the authorship criteria as mentioned above. PJP strongly discourages gift authorship. Mere supervision, collection of data, statistical analysis and language correction do not grant authorship rights. Ideally all authors should belong to same department of an institute, except for multi-centre and multi-specialty studies. The Journal discourages submission of more than one article dealing with related aspects of the same study.
The Pakistan journal of Physiology is the owner of all copyrights to any work published by the Journal. Material printed in this journal being the copyright of the PJP, may not be reproduced without the permission of the editors or publishers. The PJP accepts only original material for publication with the understanding that except for abstracts, no part of the data has been published or will be submitted for publication elsewhere before appearing in this journal. The Editorial Board makes every effort to ensure the accuracy and authenticity of material printed in the journal. However, conclusions and statements expressed are views of the authors and do not reflect the opinions of the Editorial Board, or the PJP.
Pakistan Journal of Physiology strictly follows Higher Education Commission, Pakistan (HEC), Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) and International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) guidelines for plagiarism. We use ‘Turnitin’ software for checking similarity index, provided by HEC. Higher Education Commission guidelines are used to make decisions regarding the similarity index. It is the authors’ responsibility to appraise themselves of plagiarism in any form including paraphrasing, self-plagiarism and salami slicing etc. Manuscripts submitted to PJP can be sent to HEC, other medical journals’ editors and international agencies for authentication of originality. The disciplinary committee of PJP would deal with cases of plagiarism and comprise of the staff, editors and the Chief Editor or his representative. For a plagiarized article in processing, the identification of act will lead to dropping of article from further processing/consideration for publication. The author will be required to give an explanation on demand. In case of an unsatisfactory reply, the matter will be referred to the disciplinary committee that may decide the course of action. For a published article, the allegedly plagiarized article will be temporarily retracted from publication and a notice to the effect will be published in the PJP. The author will be served an explanation. In case of non-response in the stipulated time or unsatisfactory explanation, the article will be permanently retracted and the author will be on watch. Higher Education Commission, PMDC and author’s institute will also be notified. In case of multiple submissions, other editors will also be informed. The author(s) will have to provided documentary proof of retraction from publication, if such a defence is pleaded. Those claiming intellectual/idea or data theft of an article must provide documentary proof in their claim.
A non-refundable processing fee of Pak Rupees 2,000 (US$ 30 for overseas) will be charged at the time of manuscript submission. Submission of processing fees does not guarantee acceptance of a manuscript. Once the manuscript is accepted for publication, the authors are required to pay publication charges as under:
Pakistani Rupees 8,000 (US$ 120 for overseas) for 3 printed pages. For each additional or colour page Pakistani Rupees 1,000 (US$ 15 for overseas) will be charged. Details about fee submission process are available in submission checklist.
One printed copy of the relevant issue of PJP will be supplied to the correspondence author. Authors can request additional copies at the prescribed rate of Rs. 2,000 per copy or US$ 30 per copy for overseas. Payment for additional copies should be added in the publication charges. The fees include the handling and courier charges.