Editorial Policy

Peer Review:

Northwest Journal of Medical Sciences (NJMS) ensures an exceptional rigorous peer-review process to assess the articles for scientific accuracy, novelty, and significance. The Journal’s highly qualified editorial board employs a high-quality editing process that often requires extensive revisions to meet the highest publishing standards. NJMS maintains a large database of national and international peer-reviewers who are experts in their respective fields.

All submissions received at NJMS would be reviewed in two stages. In the first stage, the manuscript is reviewed internally by members of the editorial board for initial scrutiny, if a submission is not following the scope of the journal or any major flaw is observed like poor methodology or ethical misconduct, the submission would be likely rejected. If the submission is approved in initial scrutiny, it would be sent to at least two external expert peer reviewers. This process would be double-blinded to maintain anonymity and merit. Except for editorials, all other manuscripts submitted by members of the editorial board must be subjected to external peer-review before acceptance. All manuscripts sent for peer review are considered as privileged communication and no one associated with the editorial and peer-review process is allowed to copy or share manuscripts.

In case of rejection of a manuscript, authors reserve the right to appeal against the decision with proper explanation. The final decision would be taken by Editor in Chief and cannot be challenged.

 

Authorship:

Northwest Journal of Medical Sciences follows guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) for credit of authorship.

ICJME authorship criteria include the following points:

  • Substantial contributions to conception and design; or acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data.
  • Drafting of the article or critical revision for important intellectual content.
  • Final approval of the version to be published.
  • 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 article are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Every person listed as an author in the manuscript submitted to NJMS would be liable for his/her significant contribution to the project. Before publication, each person listed as an author would be required to sign an undertaking stating that he or she fulfils the criteria of the ICMJE Recommendations. NJMS reserves the right of rejection or retraction of publication if at any stage found guilty of breaching above mentioned criteria.

Corresponding Author: The corresponding author is the person who takes complete liability for correspondence with the editorial staff. The corresponding author would be the only person; the journal will contact during the peer review process and be responsible for answering all editorial queries. Even after publication, the corresponding author would be responsible for any additional communication if required.

 

Acknowledgement Criteria:

Those individuals, who contributed to the project but do not meet the authorship criteria of ICJME guidelines, may be listed under acknowledgements. Examples of those who may be listed can include, but is not limited by, the following:

  • Helped in funding the project.
  • Supervision of research team.
  • Assisted in technical writing, reviewing and proofreading.
  • Individuals who participated in the study.
  • Organizations that supported the project.
  • Statistical contribution.
  • Technical support in labs and investigations.
  • Clinicians who identified of diagnosed the cases.

 

Ethical Approval:

NJMS is committed to following the highest standards of medical ethics and follows COPE and World Health Organization Research ethics committee guidelines. NJMS requires ethical approval by the Ethics committee or institutional review board for every submitted research article. Ethical approval should be given on the official letterhead of the EC or IRB duly stamped and signed by the Chairperson. An exemption letter issued by IRB or EC would be required if a study doesn't involve direct contact with human subjects. For case reports and studies involving patients from a hospital, authors are required to attach a permission letter from the respective clinical setting and a statement that explains that participants gave informed consent before being included in the study or for publication of the study.

 

Financial Disclosures and Conflicts of Interest:

NJMS is committed to following the highest ethical standards of medical publishing. Commercial influence in any type of manuscript is unacceptable. Each author is required to fill a disclosure form where they must state that there are no financial interests with any biomedical company in their research or review article. When authors do have financial ties to disclose, editors will decide the appropriateness of the article for publication.

Any conflict of interest such as grants, promotions, memberships, credits or any relationship which may influence the manuscript should be declared by all authors. Authors should clearly state in the submission even if there are no conflicts of interests and this statement would be published with the manuscript.

 

Copyright Policy and Open Access Policy:

The authors will retain the copyrights of their submitted manuscripts for all purposes. However, authors reserve the right to spread their work to any community through the NJMS platform (Published article). Our central goal is to share scientific knowledge with maximum scientific communities; work published in NJMS is free and reusable for all under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons CC-BY NC license. Our open-access policy abides by the Budapest Open Access Initiative definition of Open Access which states:

“Free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.”

 

Archiving Policy:

NJMS utilizes the LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) and CLOCKSS (Controlled LOCKSS) systems to create a distributed archiving system and permits libraries to create permanent archives of the journal. The libraries of Northwest General Hospital, Northwest School of Medicine and Northwest Institute of Health Sciences keep multiple copies of each issue of NJMS for purpose of preservation and restoration.

 

Scientific Misconduct:

To deal with any scientific misconduct, NJMS follows the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and World Association of Medical Editors (WAME):

Following are a few examples of scientific misconduct but not limited to this:

  • Plagiarism
  • Misappropriation of the theories
  • Fake or Gift authorship
  • Falsification and fabrication of data:
  • Ethical Misconduct
  • Violation of generally accepted research practices
  • Inappropriate behaviour concerning misconduct
  • Failure to comply with legislative and regulatory requirements

NJMS strictly deals with all allegations of scientific misconduct. NJMS will seriously investigate every potential scientific misconduct as per recommendations of the above-mentioned organizations and if scientific misconduct is found at any stage of publication, the journal reserves the right to reject/retract the manuscript and authors will be blacklisted.

 

Responses to the Published Work:

Any comments on the published literature would be reviewed by the editorial office and if found appropriate will be forwarded to the corresponding author of the publication. Enough time would be given to authors to respond and both comments and responses will be published in the next issue.  The comments will be published alone if authors fail to respond on time.

 

Business Model and Publication Fees:

NJMS is sponsored by Alliance Healthcare Private Limited and is following a diamond model open access policy and it's a free platform for both authors and readers. There are no submission charges, processing charges or publication charges for authors and neither readers are required to pay any fees to read or use the content of NJMS.