- To establish a clear and sound framework for the encouragement of publications;
- To protect the rights of authors, reviewers and editors with respect to the publication of any research;
- To transfer the Copy rights of manuscript to DIET FACTOR at the time of submission through transparent and clear policy;
- To formulate and implement Research ethics policies so that uniform criteria for ethical reviews can be practiced;
- To protect the rights of research participants and ensure their safety, privacy, confidentiality and consent during research;
- To formulate and implement blind Peer Review quality criteria and external blind peer review process for publication;
- To establish a policy regarding Conflict of interests and disclosure of funding sources for research and publication;
- To establish a policy of selection of editorial team members, their editorial freedom, continuous monitoring and terms of accountability for a defined period;
- To protect the interests of the Institute, including ensuring that the use of the Institute name and insignias is accurate and appropriate, and ensuring that the Institute receives appropriate credit of its publications;
1.1 Research: includes Works leading to systematic investigation and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions.
1.2 Institute: means Lahore Medical Research Center LLP.
1.3 Institute Personnel: includes all full-time and part-time employees of the Institute, fellows and residents, interns, volunteers and any non-employees who receive Institute Support, including visiting faculty, reviewers, editorial board members, advisory board members, researchers, in respect of their work at the Institute.
1.4 Students: includes all registered students of any College/ Institute/ Allied Health Sciences, including visiting students.
1.5 Institute Support: means financial or any other support including but not limited to salaries, personnel facilities, equipment, data, materials or technological information, regardless of origin, which is used in the discovery or development of Intellectual Property and is provided through Institute channels.
1.6 Work(s): shall include any copyrightable material intended for publication and submitted to DIET FACTOR.
1.7 Invention(s): include any discovery, process, composition of matter, article of manufacture, know-how, design, model, technological development, biological material, strain, variety, culture of any organism, or portion, modification, translation or extension of these items, and any mark used in connection with these items.
1.8 Author: means a member of Institute Personnel or Student who creates a Work or Invention or Innovation and submitted it to the office of Lahore Medical Research Center LLP with the intention of publication.
1.9 Patent: is an exclusive right granted by the Government allowing the applicant to exclude all others from making, using, or selling his/her invention within a particular territorial limit for a limited number of years. The patent should be mentioned if intended for publication.
1.10 Trademark: or a service mark is a distinctive word or a graphic symbol identifying the source, producer or distributor of goods or services.
1.11 Copyright: a legal right of the author(s)/creator(s)/owner(s) of copyright to exclusive publication, production, sale and distribution of their work both domestically and internationally regardless of how it is published. Copyright protects the "expression" of an idea, not the idea itself.
1.12 Computer program/software: any computer program regardless of form of expression or object in which it is embodied, together with any users’ manuals and other accompanying explanatory materials and any computer database.
1.13 Contract: is a legally binding agreement between two or more parties in which an exchange of value occurs, and which ties each party to certain liabilities covering that exchange. Those signing such an agreement must be authorized to bind the entity that they represent.
1.14 Tangible Research Property (TRP): means any tangible items produced in the course of research projects either through Institute Support or by external sponsors and includes but is not limited to biological materials, cell lines, data sets, computer software, computer databases, prototype devices and equipment.
1.15 Net Income: income remaining after deducting all costs incurred for obtaining, protecting, marketing and licensing the Intellectual Property by the Institute.
1.16 Scholarly Work: means a copyrightable work created by any Institute Personnel as evidence of academic advancement or academic accomplishment including, but not limited to, scholarly publications, journal articles, research-based bulletins, and monographs, books, (excluding case-studies and textbooks and other works).
1.17Scholarly Publications: means Academic publications which distributes academic research and scholarships based on peer review and editorial refereeing to qualify texts for publication.
1.18 Original Research Articles: means Original research involving independent data collection based on any combination of fieldwork, participant observation, interviews, surveys, and formal data collection and analysis. An article is considered as original research article when The hypothesis and the purpose is described. Research methods are described fully and the results of the research are reported. The researcher interprets the results and discuss possible implications.
1.19 Case reports: means a detailed report of the symptoms, signs, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of an individual patient. Case reports may contain a demographic profile of the patient and describe an unusual or novel occurrence.
1.20 Case series: means a detailed report on series of cases with similarities and addresses the research objective and research question.
1.21 Short Communications: means short research papers addressing new ideas, controversial opinions, innovations, negative results or interesting findings during a research study that present original and significant material for rapid dissemination.
1.22 Systematic Reviews: means review that collects and critically analyzes multiple research studies or published papers according to the research objectives, research questions, methods, standard criteria for interpretation of results and discussion.
1.23 Clinical Practice Articles: means articles reflecting experiences in healthcare science that determines the safety and effectiveness of medications, devices, diagnostic products and treatment regimens intended for practice in clinical settings. They include prevention, treatment, diagnosis or for relieving symptoms of a disease or health related issues.
1.24 Evidence based Clinical Reviews: means systematically developed reviews to assist practitioners and patient decisions about appropriate health care for specific clinical circumstances.
1.25 Medical Humanities: means interdisciplinary field of medicine which includes the humanities, social science and the arts and their application to medical education and practice.
1.26 Letter to editor: means letter intended for publication and shall present opinions, critical review on published work, innovative ideas, new results, and idea likely to stimulate further research.
1.27 Editorial: means short article expressing the opinion on current health related issue or innovative idea in research in certain specialty or producing facts by experts of the field.
1.28 Perspective: means one or a cluster of recently published papers or a current research topic of high interest in which an author's perspective sheds an incisive light on key findings in research. These articles typically have one or two authors whose task is to inform our interdisciplinary readership about exciting scientific developments in the author's area of expertise. Other appropriate topics include discussions of methods, books, or meeting highlights. Perspectives are usually between 2000 and 4000 words total (including abstract, main text, references and figure legends). They should have a short pithy title, an abstract of 250 words or less, no more than 35 references, and 1 or 2 figures (with figure legends) or tables.
2.1 This Policy is applicable to all publications in the course of work or study at the Institute with Institute Support or submitted from outside the Institute to the research journal of the Institute. This Policy extends to all Institute Personnel and Students and applies to DIET FACTOR owned, controlled, managed and/or operated by the Institute.
3.0 Ethics and consent
3.1 This Policy is applicable to all ethical permissions and approvals for publications in the course of research work or study at the Institute or with Institute Support or work outside the Institute intended for publication. The research work must be submitted to the research journal for publication.
3.2 Ethics approval for research involving human subjects, human material, or human data, must have been performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and must have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee.
3.3 A statement detailing this, including the name of the ethics committee and the reference number where appropriate, must appear in all manuscripts reporting such research.
3.4 If a study has been granted an exemption from requiring ethics approval, this should also be detailed in the manuscript (including the name of the ethics committee that granted the exemption).
3.5 Further information and documentation to support this should be made available to the Editor on request. Manuscripts may be rejected if the Editor considers that the research has not been carried out within an appropriate ethical framework.
3.6 The Editor may contact the ethics committee for further information on special cases.
3.7 Retrospective ethics approval in cases when a study has not been granted ethics committee approval prior to commencing, retrospective ethics approval usually cannot be obtained and it may not be possible to consider the manuscript for peer review. The decision on whether to proceed to peer review in such cases is at the Editor's discretion.
3.8 Ethical approval for new clinical tools and procedures in cases when authors are reporting the use of a new procedure or tool in a clinical settings, for example as a technical advance or case report, must give a clear justification and ethical approval statements in the manuscript for why the new procedure or tool was deemed more appropriate than usual clinical practice to meet the patient’s clinical need.
3.9 Ethical approval for new clinical tools and procedures and justification is not required if the new procedure is already approved for clinical use at the authors’ institution. Authors will be expected to have obtained ethics committee approval and informed patient consent for any experimental use of a novel procedure or tool where a clear clinical advantage based on clinical need was not apparent before treatment.
3.10 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.
3.11 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.
3.12 In case of medicine or device or any material indicated in text, a declaration by author/s should be submitted that no financial 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. All interventional studies submitted for publication should carry Institutional Ethical & Research Committee approval letter.
3.13 Ethical consideration regarding the intervention, added cost of test, and particularly the management of control in case-control comparisons of trials should be addressed: multi-centric authors' affiliation may be asked to be authenticated by provision of permission letters from ethical boards or the heads of involved institutes.
4.0 Research involving animals
4.1 This Policy is applicable to all publications in the course of work involving animals as subjects for research and submitted to the research journal of the Institute.
4.2 Experimental research on vertebrates or any regulated invertebrates must comply with institutional, national, or international guidelines, and should have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. The Basel Declaration outlines fundamental principles to adhere to when conducting research in animals and the International Council for Laboratory Animal Science (ICLAS) has also published ethical guidelines.
4.3 The ethical approval (including the name of the ethics committee and the reference number where appropriate) must be included in the manuscript.
4.4 If a study has been granted an exemption from requiring ethics approval, this should also be detailed in the manuscript (including the name of the ethics committee that granted the exemption and the reasons for the exemption).
4.5 The Editor will take account of animal welfare issues and reserves the right to reject a manuscript, especially if the research involves protocols that are inconsistent with commonly accepted norms of animal research.
4.6 In special cases, the Editor may contact the ethics committee for further information.
4.7 For experimental studies involving client-owned animals, authors must also document informed consent from the client or owner and adherence to a high standard (best practice) of veterinary care.
4.8 Field studies and other non-experimental research on endangered species of animals must comply with institutional, national, or international guidelines, and where available should have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. A statement detailing compliance with relevant guidelines and/or appropriate permissions or licences must be included in the manuscript. We recommend that authors comply with the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and the IUCN Policy Statement on Research Involving Species at Risk of Extinction.
5.0 Research involving humans in special situations
5.1 Consent to participate for all research involving human subjects in special situations requires informed consent to participate in the study should be obtained from participants (or their parent or legal guardian in the case of children under 18) and a statement to this effect should appear in the manuscript. Special consent for vulnerable populations like prisoners, insane, internally displaced persons (IDP) should be obtained with permissions from legal custodians or state.
5.2 Clinical Trials Registration must comply with institutional, national, or international guidelines, and should have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. A statement detailing compliance with relevant guidelines and/or appropriate permissions and trial registration number must be included in the manuscript and Authorship form.
6.0 Consent for publication
6.1 This Policy is applicable to all publications in the course of work or study at the Institute with Institute Support or submitted to the research journal of the Institute.
6.2 For all manuscripts that include details, images, or videos relating to individual participants, written informed consent for the publication of these must be obtained from the participants (or their parent or legal guardian in the case of children under 18) and a statement to this effect should appear in the manuscript.
6.3 If the participant has died, then consent for publication must be sought from the next of kin of the participant.
6.4 Authors can use a consent form from their own institution or region or local language.
6.5 This documentation must be made available to the Editor if requested, and will be treated confidentially.
6.6 In cases where images are entirely unidentifiable and there are no details on individuals reported within the manuscript, consent for publication of images may not be required.
6.7 The final decision on whether consent to publish is required lies with the Chief Editor.
7.0 Publication of Clinical Trial
7.1 This Policy follows International Committee of Medical Journals Editors (ICMJE) criteria. ICMJE defines a clinical trial as any research project that prospectively assigns human subjects to intervention or comparison groups to study the cause-and-effect relationship between a medical intervention and a health outcome. Studies designed for other purposes, such as to study pharmacokinetics or major toxicity (e.g., phase 1 trials), would be exempted.
7.2 The ICMJE does not advocate one particular registry, but DIET FACTOR will require authors to register their trials in an international trial registry system that meets several criteria.
7.3 The registry must be accessible to the public at no charge. It must be open to all prospective registrants and managed by an organization.
7.4 There must be a mechanism to ensure the validity of the registration data, and the registry should be electronically searchable.
7.5 An acceptable registry must include at minimum the following information: a unique identifying number, a statement of the intervention (or interventions) and comparison (or comparisons) studied, a statement of the study hypothesis, definitions of the primary and secondary outcome measures, eligibility criteria, key trial dates (registration date, anticipated or actual start date, anticipated or actual date of last follow-up, planned or actual date of closure to data entry, and date trial data considered complete), target number of subjects, funding source, and contact information for the principal investigator.
7.6 Registration is only part of the means to an end; that end is full transparency with respect to performance and reporting of clinical trials.
7.7 Patients who volunteer to participate in clinical trials deserve to know that their contribution to improving human health will be available to inform health care decisions. The knowledge made possible by their collective altruism must be accessible to everyone. Required trial registration will advance this goal. The Clinical Trial Registration number should be published and clearly mentioned in the manuscript.
8.0 Availability of data and materials
8.1 This Policy is applicable to all research materials and data in the course of work or study at the Institute with Institute Support or submitted to the research journal of the Institute.
8.2 Submission of a manuscript to DIET FACTOR implies that materials described in the manuscript, including all relevant raw data, will be freely available to any scientist wishing to use them for non-commercial purposes, without breaching participant’s confidentiality.
8.3 The authors are encouraged to ensure that their datasets are either deposited in publicly available repositories (where available and appropriate) or presented in the main manuscript or additional supporting files, in machine-readable format (such as spreadsheets rather than PDFs) whenever possible.
8.4 The availability and deposition of the data on which the conclusions of the manuscript rely may be required by editor and it is the main responsibility of corresponding author to present it without delays.
8.5 Availability of data and materials section should be included at the end of manuscript detailing where the data supporting their findings can be found. Authors who do not wish to share their data must state that data will not be shared, and give the reason.
8.6 Availability of data and materials statements can take one form (or a combination of more than one if required for multiple datasets); following are the accepted forms:
8.61 The datasets generated and/or analysed during the current study are available in the [NAME] repository, [PERSISTENT WEB LINK TO DATASETS]
8.62 The datasets used and/or analysed during the current study available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
8.63 All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this published article [and its supplementary information files].
8.64 The datasets generated and/or analysed during the current study are not publicly available due [REASON WHY DATA ARE NOT PUBLIC] but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
8.65 Data sharing is not applicable to this article as no datasets were generated or analysed during the current study.
8.66 The data that support the findings of this study are available from [third party name] but restrictions apply to the availability of these data, which were used under license for the current study, and so are not publicly available. Data are however available from the authors upon reasonable request and with permission of [third party name].
8.67 Not applicable. If your manuscript does not contain any data, please state 'Not applicable' in this section.
8.68 DIET FACTOR requires that all publicly available datasets be fully referenced in the reference list with an accession number or unique identifier such as a digital object identifier (DOI).
8.69 For datasets containing clinical data, authors have an ethical and legal responsibility to respect participants’ rights to privacy and to protect their identity. Ideally, authors should gain informed consent for publication of the dataset from participants at the point of recruitment to the trial. If this is not possible, authors must demonstrate that publication of such data does not compromise anonymity or confidentiality or breach local data protection laws, for the dataset to be considered for publication.
8.70 Authors must state in their manuscript on submission whether informed consent was obtained for publication of patient data. If informed consent was not obtained, authors must state the reason for this, and which body was consulted in the preparation of the dataset.
8.71 Any previously unreported software application or custom code described in the manuscript should be available for testing by reviewers in a way that preserves their anonymity.
8.72 The manuscript should include a description in the Availability of Data and Materials section of how the reviewers can access the unreported software application or custom code. This section should include a link to the most recent version of software or code as well as a link to the archived version referenced in the manuscript. The software or code should be archived in an appropriate repository with a DOI or other unique identifier.
9.0 Standards of reporting
9.1 This Policy is applicable to the checklists submitted to the research journal of the Institute. DIET FACTOR advocates complete and transparent reporting of biomedical and biological research according to the standards and that is checklist should be submitted for a number of study designs, including:
- Randomized controlled trials (CONSORT) and protocols (SPIRIT)
- Systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) and protocols (PRISMA-P)
- Observational studies (STROBE)
- Case reports (CARE)
- Qualitative research (COREQ)Diagnostic/prognostic studies (STARDand TRIPOD)
- Economic evaluations (CHEERS)
- Pre-clinical animal studies (ARRIVE)
10.0 Describing new taxonomy/ nomenclature
10.1 This Policy is applicable to all publications containing new taxon names or other nomenclatural acts must follow the guidelines set by the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants. Authors describing new fungal taxa should register the names with a recognized repository, such as Mycobank, and request a unique digital identifier which should be included in the published article.
10.2 This Policy is applicable to Zoological names. Manuscripts containing new taxon names or other nomenclatural acts must follow the guidelines set by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. We require the new taxon name in italics and the article it is published in to be registered with ZooBank. The unique identifier provided by ZooBank should be included in the published article. Authors are able to update ZooBank with the final citation following publication.
10.3 This Policy is applicable to Bacterial names. In accordance with the International Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes (ICNP) effective publication of new prokaryotic names in electronic journals is possible. In order to comply with rules of the International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes (ICSP) authors must submit a copy of the published article in its final form, together with certificates of deposition of the type strain (for unrestricted distribution), in at least two internationally recognized, publicly accessible culture collections located in different countries, to the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (IJSEM) editorial office. Following review by the List Editor, effectively published names that conform to all of the rules of the ICNP will appear on a subsequent Validation List, in the order received, thereby becoming validly published.
10.3 This Policy is applicable to Virus names. The proposal of new virus names must follow the guidelines established by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) in the International Code of Virus Classification and Nomenclature. Proposals for new virus taxa should be forwarded to the relevant Study Group of the ICTV for consideration.
11.0 Conflict of interests
11.1 This Policy states that DIET FACTOR requires authors to declare conflict of interests in relation to their work. All submitted manuscripts must include a ‘conflict of interests’ section at the end of the manuscript and also in letter of Authorship listing all competing interests (financial and non-financial) duly signed by all authors. Where authors have no competing interests, the statement should read “The author(s) declare(s) that they have no competing interests”. The Editor may ask for further information or documents relating to conflict of interests.
11.2 Editors and reviewers are also required to declare any competing interests and may be excluded from the peer review process if a competing interest exists.
11.3 Competing interests may be financial or non-financial. A competing interest exists when the authors’ interpretation of data or presentation of information may be influenced by their personal or financial relationship with other people or organizations. Authors should disclose any financial competing interests but also any non-financial competing interests that may cause them embarrassment if they were to become public after the publication of the manuscript.
11.4 DIET FACTOR requires disclosure of Financial conflict of interests that include (but are not limited to):
11.41 Receiving reimbursements, fees, funding, or salary from an organization that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of the manuscript, either now or in the future.
11.42 Holding stocks or shares in an organization that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of the manuscript, either now or in the future.
11.43 Holding, or currently applying for, patents relating to the content of the manuscript.
11.44 Receiving reimbursements, fees, funding, or salary from an organization that holds or has applied for patents relating to the content of the manuscript.
11.45 Authors from pharmaceutical companies, or other commercial organizations that sponsor clinical trials, should declare these as conflict of interests on submission and publications should be produced in a responsible and ethical manner. The policies also apply to any company or individuals that work on industry-sponsored publications, such as freelance writers, contract research organizations and communications companies.
11.46 DIET FACTOR also requires disclosure of non-financial conflict of interests that include (but are not limited to) political, personal, religious, ideological, academic, and intellectual competing interests. Public trust in the scientific process and the credibility of published articles depend in part on how transparently conflicts of interest are handled during the planning, implementation, writing, and publication of scientific work.
12.1 This Policy states that DIET FACTOR requires letter of Authorship duly signed by corresponding author, authors and co-authors as compulsory requirement for publication. Authorship confers credit and has important academic, social, and financial implications.
12.2 Authorship also implies responsibility and accountability for published work.
12.3 DIET FACTOR requires information about the contributions of each person named as having participated in a submitted research study as authorship does not communicate what contributions qualified an individual to be an author.
12.4 DIET FACTOR has adopted ICMJE criteria for authorship and contributor policy. Authors are strongly encouraged to follow contributor ship policy. This policy removes much of the ambiguity surrounding contributions.
12.5 The letter of Authorship for DIET FACTOR is based on the following 4 criteria. All those designated as authors should meet all four criteria for authorship, and all who meet the four criteria should be identified as authors. Those who do not meet all four criteria should be acknowledged.
12.51 Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
12.52 Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
12.53 Final approval of the version to be published; AND
12.54 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.
12.6 In DIET FACTOR, author is accountable for the parts of the research work he has done and should be able to identify which co-authors are responsible for specific other parts of the work. In addition, authors should have confidence in the integrity of the contributions of their co-authors. The individuals who conduct the work are responsible for identifying who meets these criteria and ideally should do so when planning the work, making modifications as appropriate as the work progresses.
12.7 It is not the responsibility of DIET FACTOR but the collective responsibility of the authors to determine that all people named as authors meet the criteria; it is not the role of journal editors to determine who qualifies or does not qualify for authorship or to arbitrate authorship conflicts.
12.8 If agreement cannot be reached about who qualifies for authorship, the institution(s) where the work was performed should be asked to investigate.
12.9 If authors request removal or addition of an author after manuscript submission or publication, journal editors should seek an explanation and signed statement of agreement for the requested change from all listed authors and from the author to be removed or added.
12.10 The DIET FACTOR communicates with corresponding author who takes primary responsibility for communication with the journal during the manuscript submission, peer review, and publication process, and ensures that all the journal’s administrative requirements, such as providing details of authorship, ethics committee approval, clinical trial registration documentation, and gathering conflict of interest forms and statements, are properly completed, although these duties may be delegated to one or more coauthors by corresponding author. The corresponding author should be available throughout the submission and peer review process to respond to editorial queries in a timely way, and should be available after publication to respond to critiques of the work and cooperate with any requests from the journal for data or additional information should questions about the paper arise after publication.
12.11 When a large multi-author group has conducted the work, the group ideally should decide who will be an author before the work is started and confirm who is an author before submitting the manuscript for publication. All members of the group named as authors should meet all four criteria for authorship, including approval of the final manuscript, and they should be able to take public responsibility for the work and should have full confidence in the accuracy and integrity of the work of other group authors. They will also be expected as individuals to complete conflict-of-interest disclosure forms.
12.12 DIET FACTOR gives credit of authorship to all members of group if multi-author groups designate authorship by a group name, with or without the names of individuals. When submitting a manuscript authored by a group, the corresponding author should specify the group name if one exists, and clearly identify the group members who can take credit and responsibility for the work as authors or credit should be equally distributed to everyone in the group authorship. In contributors there should be a note clearly stating the individual names and whether those names are authors or non-author collaborators.
12.13 DIET FACTOR requires contributors who meet fewer than all 4 of the above criteria for authorship should not be listed as authors, but they should be acknowledged. Examples of activities that alone (without other contributions) do not qualify a contributor for authorship are acquisition of funding; general supervision of a research group or general administrative support; and writing assistance, technical editing, language editing, and proofreading. Those whose contributions do not justify authorship may be acknowledged individually or together as a group under a single heading (e.g. "Clinical Investigators" or "Participating Investigators"), and their contributions should be specified (e.g., "served as scientific advisors," "critically reviewed the study proposal," "collected data," "provided and cared for study patients", "participated in writing or technical editing of the manuscript").
12.14 DIET FACTOR requires the corresponding author to obtain written permission to be acknowledged from all acknowledged individuals as acknowledgment may imply endorsement by acknowledged individuals of a study’s data and conclusions.
13.0 Editorial board
13.1 This policy deals with the constitution of editorial board, assigning their roles and responsibilities, functions and criteria for continuous monitoring. The editorial board is responsible for the process of publication and implementation of policies.
13.2 The Editorial board shall consists of chief editor, editor, associate editor, assistant editors, members national, members international, online assistant editor, editorial assistant, bibliographer, and statisticians. They should be appointed by the Vice chancellor of the Institute for certain term and bound to submit their annual performance reports. Their criteria for appointments, responsibilities and functions are as below:
13.2.1 The Editor-in-Chief must have an academic rank of Professor or equivalent along with publications in peer reviewed journals with high impact factor. The editor in chief is directly responsible for the management and publication of Annals of KEMU.
13.2.2 The Editor must have an academic rank above Associate Professor or equivalent. There must be 30-50 publications in peer reviewed journals. Editor must assist the Editor-in-Chief in judging a manuscript to be accepted or rejected, provide support in taking decisions and communicating with other Board members. The editor, fill the role of both serving as an editorial board member in review process as well as ensuring the publication of high quality papers in the Journal.
13.2.3 The Assistant Editors must have an academic rank above Assistant professor or equivalent. There must be 3-5 publications in peer reviewed journals. The Assistant Editors have to assist both the Senior Editor and the Editor-in-Chief in guaranteeing the quality of content found in Journal and communicating its vision for the journal to authors, Editorial Board members, readers, and publisher. Assistant Editor should be mindful with the policies of the DIET FACTOR, letter of authorship, disclosure of conflict of interests and funding sources, author’s guidelines, editorial guidelines and reviewer’s guidelines.
13.2.4 Editorial board shall consist of national and international members. The national members shall be the twelve senior professors serving in academic council of King Edward Medical Institute. International members shall be from technologically advanced countries and constitute 50% of the editorial board. Members are expected to review around 1-5 manuscripts for each year. If they failed to do so, editors will bring it to the notice of patron according to the Editorial policy. Every member shall contribute research work in the form of editorial or manuscript to the journal regularly on agreed timelines.
13.2.5 The editorial assistant shall maintain record of correspondence, similarity index reports, plagiarism reports, statistical reports, bibliographer reports, financial reports and receipts, consent forms of members of editorial board, consent forms of reviewers, reviewer’s reports, author ship letters, record of corrections, modifications and rejections of research manuscript submitted to DIET FACTOR for processing. Record related to indexing and archiving services, regulatory authorities and official meetings with timelines shall be maintained. The timelines of publication, inspection of journal and timely dissemination and subscriptions shall be adhered. Record of ethical permissions, trial registration forms, conflict of interest statements, funding sources and confidentiality of official material shall be the responsibility of the editorial assistant.
13.2.6 DIET FACTOR must have statistician(s) with acceptable qualifications and experience in health related biostatistics. The statistician(s) shall be responsible for evaluation of all the statistical analysis submitted to DIET FACTOR and may request the provision of datasets from authors through editor for confirmation of results.
13.2.7 DIET FACTOR must have bibliographer(s) with acceptable qualifications and experience in bibliography of various styles. The bibliographer(s) shall be responsible for evaluation of all the references submitted to DIET FACTOR and may request the provision of hard copies or grey literature or unpublished materials from authors through editor for confirmation of references for possible publication.
13.3 Functions of chief editor include (but not limited to):
13.3.1. Identifying new topics and themes for special editions and advising on direction for the journal by giving feedback on past issues and making suggestions for both subject matter and potential authors.
13.3.2. Provide content by writing editorials and other articles. Every member of Editorial board has the responsibility to contribute editorials in issues of DIET FACTOR.
13.3.3. Approaching potential contributors for improving quality of publications
13.3.4. Help to identify peer reviewers and provide second opinions on papers (i.e. where there is a conflict between reviewers)
13.3.5. Identify appropriate conferences for editors to attend and present DIET FACTOR at various forums.
13.3.6. Endorse the journal to authors, readers and subscribers and encourage colleagues to submit their best work.
13.3.7 The Editor-in-Chief should put consistent efforts to enhance quality and elevate the significance of published articles to the corresponding community.
13.3.8 Editor-in-Chief should take the whole responsibility of the Journal and should be familiar with the subject literature, research design, statistics, publication ethics and standards. Should also possess extensive Editorial and interpersonal skills and responsible for the Budget and Financial records.
13.3.9 Should strive for the development of the Journal and suggest the publisher for further improvisations with additional policies.
13.3.10 Should be responsible in selection and rotation of Editorial Board members, maintenance and development of Journal, participation in review process and look for appropriateness.
13.3.11 Should conduct regular meetings and educate the Editorial Board members with updated information and new policies of the Journal.
13.3.12 Set annual objectives and assign responsibilities to the Board members for peer review process and ensure their timely completion.
13.3.13 Sets annual objectives on peer review process and timely publication, evaluate the performance of Board members and encourage promotions appropriately. Should act accordingly in taking action to improve the objectives that are not achieved timely.
13.3.14 Should recommend Editorial office promptly when approached on the account of rejection or acceptance of a manuscript in relation to the scope, manuscript transfer or re-submission requests while ensuring the readers interest, significance of the study, readability and wide accessibility.
13.3.15 The final decision to accept or reject of an article will be held with Editor-in-Chief and should cross check the content quality, writing style and construction, grammar, spellings, data presentation and organization prior to take the final decision.
13.3.16 Should ensure that the manuscript is neither plagiarized nor published elsewhere. If the paper found plagiarized or infringed, the Editor-in-Chief has the right to reject the article straight away.
13.3.17 Should supervise and support the editorial team in handling complaints and appeals, responding genuinely to ethical problems regarding publication of any duplicate or fraudulent work.
13.4 Functions of editor include (but not limited to):
13.4.1 Editor should assist the Editor-in-Chief and also involve in the peer review process.
13.4.2 Should be responsible for the quality of Journal content and the published articles.
13.4.3 Encourage submission of high quality papers.
13.4.4 Provide fair and constructive feedback to the contributors, editors and reviewers.
13.4.5 Provide editorials on latest health issues, cutting edge technologies and promoting new policies when introduced.
13.4.6 Assist Editor-in-Chief in conducting regular meetings and educate the Editorial Board members with updated information and new policies of the Journal.
13.4.7 Assist Editor-in-Chief in setting annual objectives and assign responsibilities to the Board members for peer review process and ensure their timely completion.
13.4.8 Should ensure that the manuscript is neither plagiarized nor published elsewhere and similarity report from plagiarism software is acceptable.
13.5.9 Should support Editor-in-Chief in handling ethical issues, complaints and appeals regarding the publication standards.
13.5.10 Suggest publisher with new policies and for the development of the Journal
13.5.11 Contribute to Journal development and management through generous relationship with other board members and arrange training workshops for plagiarism, medical writing and publications.
13.5.12 Update reviewers and authors with new policies and guidelines
13.5.13 Ensure steady communication with the editorial office
13.5.14 Assure the integrity in the published work
13.5.15 Editors should ensure the protection of individual data and maintain confidentiality
13.5.16 Editor should ensure that every editorial board member must submit at least one editorial or manuscript in a year
13.5.17 Ensure constructive, fair and timely feedback to the authors for their contribution
13.5.16 Elevate Journal's reputation among their affiliated academic community
13.5.17 Represent and promote the journal at academic meetings and conferences.
13.5.16 Submit the annual performance report regarding objectives achieved, successful completion and progress of assigned tasks.
13.6 Functions of assistant editor(s) include (but not limited to):
13.6.1 Assistant Editor should guide the Authors, Editors and Reviewers with the guidelines available from the website.
13.6.2 Encourage submission of high quality articles in the Journal and assist Senior Editor in monitoring the content quality.
13.6.3 Participate in conducting regular meetings and educate the Editorial Board members with updated information and new policies of the Journal.
13.6.4 Monitor the manuscripts for writing style, language, presentation according to the Journal's policy and instructions.
13.6.5 Should ensure effective peer review process and timely publication.
13.6.6 Should ensure the integrity of the Journal content and quality in the published articles.
13.6.7 Should ensure that the manuscript is neither plagiarized nor published and should be trained to use software for similarity reports and plagiarism.
13.6.8 Suggest new policies and for the development of the Journal to the editor.
13.6.9 Should suggest eminent reviewers during the peer review process to the editor.
13.6.10 Submit the annual performance report regarding objectives achieved, successful completion and progress of assigned tasks to editor for further reporting.
14.0 Advisory Board
This Policy describes the establishment of Advisory board that consists of professors and eminent scholars from broad array of medical specialties. They should be nominated by Editorial board and approved by the Vice Chancellor of King Edward Medical Institute. They are independent advisors and should be working outside the Institute. They should help the editorial board to establish and maintain editorial policy and should be nominated for three years term. Editorial board seeks input from advisory board especially on controversial issues raised during publications and invites them in meetings.
15.0 Editorial Freedom
15.1 The DIET FACTOR adopts the World Association of Medical Editors’ definition of editorial freedom, which holds that editors-in-chief have full authority over the entire editorial content of their journal and the timing of publication of that content. Journal owners or Institute should not interfere in the evaluation, selection, scheduling, or editing of individual articles either directly or by creating an environment that strongly influences decisions.
15.2 Editors should base editorial decisions on the validity of the work and its importance to the journal’s readers, not on the commercial implications for the journal, and editors should be free to express critical but responsible views about all aspects of medicine without fear of retribution, even if these views conflict with the goals of the publisher or administration.
15.3 Editors-in-chief should also have the final say in decisions about which advertisements or sponsored content, including supplements, the journal will and will not carry, and they should have final say in use of the journal brand and in overall policy regarding commercial use of journal content.
15.4 Editors are encouraged to establish an independent editorial advisory board to help the editor-in-chief establish and maintain editorial policy. Editors should seek input as needed from a broad array of advisers, such as reviewers, editorial staff, an editorial board, and readers, to support editorial decisions and potentially controversial expressions of opinion, and administration should ensure that appropriate insurance is obtained in the event of legal action against the editors, and should ensure that legal advice is available when necessary.
15.5 Editors should defend the confidentiality of authors and peer-reviewers (names and reviewer comments). Editors should take all reasonable steps to check the facts in journal commentary, including that in various sections and social media postings, and should ensure that staff working for the journal adhere to best journalistic practices including contemporaneous note-taking and seeking a response from all parties when possible before publication. Such practices in support of truth and public interest may be particularly relevant in defense against legal allegations of libel.
15.6 To secure editorial freedom in practice, the editor should have direct access to the highest level of the Institute, not to a delegated manager or administrative officer.
15.7 Editors and editorial board must support the concept of editorial freedom and to draw major transgressions of such freedom to the attention of the international medical, and academic communities.
16.0 Types of Manuscripts and subsections
16.1 This Policy is uniformly applicable to all manuscripts including Editorial, Original Research Article, case reports, case series, short communications, clinical practice articles, systematic reviews, critical reviews, Medical Humanities and letters to Editor. Between 3 to 10 key words should be given for all the category of manuscripts under the abstracts as per mesh [medical subject heading].
16.2 This policy includes all subsections including Editorial, Medicine and Allied, Surgery and Allied, Basic and Biomedical Sciences, and Medical Humanities. DIET FACTOR has adopted ICMJE criteria for types of manuscripts in subsections.
16.3 The material submitted for publication may be in the form of an Original research (Randomized controlled trial - RCT, Meta-analysis of RCT, Quasi experimental study, Case Control study, Cohort study, Observational Study with statistical support etc), a Review Article, Commentary, a Case Report, Recent Advances, New techniques, Debates, Adverse Drug Reports, Current Practices, Clinical Practice Article, Short Article, KAP (Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices) study, An Audit Report, Evidence Based Report, Short Communication or a Letter to the Editor. Ideas and Innovations can be reported as changes made by the authors to an existing technique or development of a new technique or instrument.
16.4 A mere description of a technique without any practical experience or innovation will be considered as an update and not an original article. Any study ending three years prior to date of submission is judged by Editorial Board for its suitability as many changes take place over the period of time, subject to area of the study.
16.5 Annals of KEMU also 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'.
16.6 Original articles should normally report original research of relevance to clinical medicine. The original paper should be of about 2000-2500 words excluding abstract and references. It should contain a structured abstract of about 250 words. Three to 10 keywords should be given for an original article as per MeSH (Medical Subject Headings). There should be no more than three tables or illustrations. The data should be supported with 20 to 25 references, which should include local up to 10 years as well as international references up to 5 years. Most of the references should be from last five years from the date of submission.
16.7 Clinical Practice Article is a category under which all simple observational case series are entertained. The length of such article should be around 1500 - 1600 words with 15 - 20 references. The rest of the format should be that of an original article. KAP studies, Audit reports, Current Practices, Survey reports and Short Articles are also written on the format of Clinical Practice Article.
16.8 Evidence based reports must have at least 10 cases and word count of 1000 - 1200 words with 10 - 12 references and not more than 2 tables or illustrations. It should contain a non-structured abstract of about 150 words.
16.9 Short communications should be of about 1000 - 2200 words, having a structured abstract of about 250 words with two tables or illustrations and not more than 20 references.
16.10 Clinical case 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 key words. 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 shall be accepted.
16.11 Systematic Review article 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 be of 2500 to 3000 words with minimum of 40 and maximum of 60 references. It should have non-structured abstract of 150 words with minimum 3 key words.
16.12 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.
16.13 Guest Editorials will be written upon invitations.
17.0 Publication policy and special issues
17.1 DIET FACTOR requires specific publication standards and scientific merit for publications. Scientific merit of a journal's content is based on validity, importance, originality of research submitted to DIET FACTOR, and contribution to the coverage of the field.
17.2 DIET FACTOR requires following steps for publication;
Manuscript received by the editor, then checking plagiarism through “Turnitin”, after acceptability limit of plagiarism according to similarity report, manuscript forwarded to in-house editors, statistician, bibliographers and section reviewers, then final review by the blind peer reviewers including internal reviewers and external reviewers, explicit process of external peer reviews, based on the review reports by the peer reviewers, the manuscripts are either approved or rejected or returned to authors for improvement/ revision. All approved are accepted for publication in DIET FACTOR.
17.2 Authors should include full information on the statistical methods and measures used in their research, including justification of the appropriateness of the statistical test used.
17.3 Reviewers will be asked to check the statistical methods, and the manuscript may be sent for specialist statistical review if considered necessary.
17.4 To enable effective tracking of the key resources used to produce the scientific findings reported in the biomedical literature, authors are expected to include a full description of all resources with enough information to allow them to be uniquely identified. DIET FACTOR encourages authors to use unique Digital Object Identifier (ODI) within their manuscript to identify their model organisms, antibodies, or tools.
17.5 If human cell lines are used, authors are strongly encouraged to include the following information in their manuscript:
17.5.1 The source of the cell line, including when and from where it was obtained
17.5.2 Whether the cell line has recently been authenticated and by what method
17.5.3 Whether the cell line has recently been tested for mycoplasma contamination
Further information is available from the International Cell Line Authentication Committee (ICLAC).
17.6 Standardized gene nomenclature should be used throughout. Human gene symbols and names can be found in the HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC) database. Alternative gene aliases that are commonly used may also be reported, but should not be used alone in place of the HGNC symbol.
17.7 DIET FACTOR endorse the recommendations of the Human Variome Project Consortium for describing sequence variants (Human Genome Variation Society) and phenotypes (Human Phenotype Ontology).
17.8 The database URL and the unique identifier should be reported in the manuscript.
17.7 DIET FACTOR expects authors to drive the maximum re-use and utility of published research and comply with available field-specific standards for the preparation and recording of data. The Bio-Sharing website for information on field-specific data standards must be visited. Authors must comply with best practice in their field for sharing of data, with particular attention to maintaining patient confidentiality.
17.8 Authors using unpublished genomic data are expected to abide by the guidelines and based on broadly accepted scientific community standards, the key requirement of third parties using genomic data is to contact the owners of unpublished data (i.e. the principal investigator and sequencing center) prior to undertaking their research, to advise them about their planned analyses.
17.9 DIET FACTOR will only publish those manuscripts that strongly adhere with the format as prescribed from time to time in guidelines. Few important points are as below:
17.9.1 The title page should carry the following information:
17.9.11 The title of the article. Concise titles are easier to read than long, convoluted ones. Authors should include all information in the title that will make electronic retrieval of the article both sensitive and specific.
17.9.12 Authors’ names and Title of the Program. The names and other relevant information should be on title page only to ensure blind peer review of research article.
17.9.13 The name of the department(s) and institution(s) to which the work should be attributed.
17.9.14 Disclaimers, if any.
17.9.15 Name, designation, place and contact of Corresponding authors. The name, mailing address, telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail address of the author responsible for correspondence about the manuscript.
17.9.16 The name and address of the Supervisor / Co-Supervisor (s), if thesis based article
17.9.17 Source(s) of support in the form of grants, equipment, drugs, finances or non-financial technical support.
17.9.18 Word counts. A word count for the text only (excluding abstract, acknowledgments, figure legends, and references). A separate word count for the Abstract is also required.
17.9.19 The number of figures and tables.
17.9.20 Conflict of Interest Notification is compulsory
17.9.2 An abstract (requirements for length and structured format vary by type of manuscript) should follow the title page. The abstract should provide the objective, methods, results, conclusions, and key words. These will assist indexers in cross-indexing the article and may be published with the abstract. Terms from the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) list of Index Medicus should be used.
17.9.3 An introduction provides a context or background for the study (i.e., the nature of the problem and its significance). State the specific purpose or research objective of, or hypothesis tested by, the study or observation; the research objective is often more sharply focused when stated as a question. Both the main and secondary objectives should be made clear, and any pre-specified subgroup analyses should be described. Give only strictly pertinent references and do not include data or conclusions from the work being reported.
17.9.4 Patients and Methods section should include only information that was available at the time of the study. Identify the methods, apparatus (give the manufacturer’s name and address in parentheses), and procedures in sufficient detail to allow other workers to reproduce the results. Give references to established methods, including statistical methods; provide references and brief descriptions for methods that have been published but are not well known; describe new or substantially modified methods, give reasons for using them, and evaluate their limitations. Identify precisely all drugs and chemicals used, including generic name(s), dose(s), and route(s) of administration.
17.9.5 When data are summarized in the Results section, the numeric results should be provided as the absolute numbers from which the derivatives were calculated, and should specify the statistical methods used to analyze them. The tables and figures should be used to explain the argument of the paper and to assess its support.
17.9.6 The discussion emphasizes the new and important aspects of the study and the conclusions that follow from them. Link the conclusions with the goals of the study but avoid unqualified statements and conclusions not adequately supported by the data. Avoid claiming priority and alluding to work that has not been completed. State new hypotheses when warranted.
17.9.7 References should be in Vancouver’s style and numbered consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text. Identify references in text, tables, and legends by Arabic numerals in parentheses. The titles of journals should be abbreviated according to the style used in Index Medicus. Consult the list of Journals Indexed for MEDLINE, published annually as a separate publication by the National Library of Medicine. The international references should be cited within five years and local within 10 years in manuscript.
17.9.8 Illustrations (Figures) should be either professionally drawn or photo-graphed, or submitted as photographic quality digital prints. In addition to requiring a version of the figures suitable for printing, Annals of KEMU requires electronic files of figures in a format (e.g., JPEG or GIF) that will produce high quality images (30 dpi) in the online version of the journal; authors should review the images before submission for quality.
188.8.131.52 Letters, numbers, and symbols on Figures should therefore be clear and even throughout, and of sufficient size that when reduced for publication each item will still be legible. Figures should be made as self-explanatory as possible, since many will be used directly in slide presentations. Titles and detailed explanations belong in the legends, however, not on the illustrations themselves.
17.9.9 If photographs of people are used, either the subjects must not be identifiable or their pictures must be accompanied by written permission to use the photograph. When-ever possible permission for publication should be obtained. Figures should be numbered consecutively according to the order in which they have been first cited in the text. Photomicrographs should have internal scale markers. Symbols, arrows, or letters used in photomicrographs should contrast with the background.
17.9.10 Legends for Illustrations (Figures) should be type or print out legends for illustrations using double spacing, starting on a separate page, with Arabic numerals cor-responding to the illustrations. When symbols, arrows, numbers, or letters are used to identify parts of the illustrations, identify and explain each one clearly in the legend.
17.9.11 Measurements of length, height, weight, and volume should be reported in metric units (meter, kilogram, or liter) or their decimal multiples. Temperatures should be in degrees Celsius. Blood pressures should be in millimeters of mercury, unless other units are specifically required.
17.9.12 Use only standard abbreviations; the use of non-standard abbreviations can be extremely confusing to readers. Avoid abbreviations in the title. The full term for which
17.9.13 Generic names should be used. When proprietary brands are used in research, include the brand name and the name of the manufacturer in parentheses after first mentioning of the generic name in the Methods section. All randomized trials should also provide a proof of being registered at the International RCT Registry.
17.10 Thesis based article approved by Advanced Study and Research Board of King Edward Medical Institute, which was submitted as part of the requirement for any examination of the KEMU, can be sent for publication provided the data is not more than three years old. A copy of approval letters of synopsis and thesis obtained from KEMU must be submitted with the research paper. Thesis based article should be re-written in accordance with the journal's instructions to the author guidelines.
17.10.1 Thesis based article shall undergo routine editorial processing including external review based upon which final decision shall be made for publication.
17.11 Proofs for approval from corresponding authors will be emailed, without the original manuscript, for proof correction and should be returned to the editor within three days. Major alterations from the text cannot be accepted. Any alterations should be marked, preferable in red.
17.12 Special issues will be published annually and special themes for the issue will be recommended by the members of editorial board and will be finalized and announced by the Editor-in-chief.
18.0 Subscription and publication charges
18.1 This Policy is applicable to all publication charges and subscriptions of DIET FACTOR.
18.2 The payment mode from authors and organizations is demand draft in favour of King Edward Medical Institute or online submission in account of King Edward Medical Institute and it will be according to the fees prescribed by the Institute from time to time.
18.3 The waiver of publication fees should be given to eminent foreign scholars, distinguished researchers, reviewers of DIET FACTOR and for promotion of cutting edge or novel research. It will be decided by the Editor in chief on case to case basis.
19.1 This Policy is applicable to all publications in the course of work or study using citations submitted to the research journal of the Institute.
19.2 Research articles and non-research articles (e.g. Editorial, Opinion, Review, and Commentary articles) must cite appropriate and relevant literature in Vancouver’s style. Excessive self-citation is discouraged and should not exceed 20%.
19.3 Any statement in the manuscript that relies on external sources of information (i.e. not the authors' own new ideas or findings or general knowledge) should use a citation.
19.3 Authors should avoid citing derivations of original work. For example, they should cite the original work rather than a review article that cites an original work.
19.4 Authors should ensure that their citations are accurate (i.e. they should ensure the citation supports the statement made in their manuscript and should not misrepresent another work by citing it if it does not support the point the authors wish to make).
19.5 Authors should not cite sources that they have not read.
19.6 Authors should not preferentially cite their own or their peers, or institution’s publications.
19.7 Authors should avoid citing work solely from one country.
19.8 Authors should not use an excessive number of citations to support one point.
20.0 Duplicate publication
20.1 This Policy is applicable to all material submitted for publication and should be sent exclusively to the DIET FACTOR.
20.2 DIET FACTOR reserves the right to judge potentially overlapping or redundant publications on a case-by-case basis. Work that has already been reported in a published paper or is described in a paper sent or accepted elsewhere for publication, should not be submitted.
20.3 Multiple or duplicate submission of the same work to other journal should be avoided as this fall into the category of publication fraud and are liable for disciplinary consequences, including reporting to Pakistan Medical & Dental Council and Higher Education Commission.
20.4 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 in a proceedings or similar publication, may be submitted. Press reports of meetings will not be considered as breach of this rule, but additional data or copies of tables and illustrations should not amplify such reports. In case of doubt, a copy of the published material should be included with a manuscript for editors' consideration.
20.5 Any manuscript submitted to DIET FACTOR must be original and the manuscript, or substantial parts of it, must not be under consideration by any other journal. In any case where there is the potential for overlap or duplication we require that authors are transparent. Authors should declare any potentially overlapping publications on submission. Any overlapping publications should be cited. Any ‘in press’ or unpublished manuscript cited, or relevant to the Editor’s and reviewers' assessment of the manuscript, should be made available if requested by the Editor. In general, the manuscript should not already have been formally published in any journal or in any other citable form. If justified and made clear upon submission, there are exceptions to this rule. Details of these exceptions follow below and are also summarized in table 1.
20.6 DIET FACTOR endorses the policies of the ICMJE in relation to overlapping publications, duplicate publications and Salami Slices.
21.1 This Policy is applicable to authors, editors and reviewers. Manuscripts submitted to journals are privileged communications that are authors’ private, confidential property, and authors may be harmed by premature disclosure of any or all of a manuscript’s details. Thus editorial team, reviewers, and authors are accountable to the office of Vice Chancellor King Edward Medical Institute as below:
21.2 The authors are accountable for research findings, conclusions, collection and storage of data used for publication. When authors submit a manuscript of any type or format they are responsible for disclosing all financial and personal relationships that might bias or be seen to bias their work. The ICMJE has developed a Form to facilitate and standardize authors’ disclosures and it is compulsory for submission in DIET FACTOR. Manuscripts submitted to journals are privileged communications that are authors’ private, confidential property, and authors may be harmed by premature disclosure of any or all of a manuscript’s details.
21.3 Reviewers should treat the received research manuscript and material as confidential and disclose when they are asked to critique a manuscript if they have relationships or conflicts that could complicate their review. Reviewers must disclose to editors and should recuse themselves from reviewing specific manuscripts if the potential for bias exists even in blind peer review.
21.3.1 Reviewers must not use knowledge of the work they’re reviewing before its publication to further their own interests.
21.3.2 Reviewers should keep manuscripts and the information they contain strictly confidential. Reviewers must not publicly discuss authors’ work and must not appropriate authors’ ideas before the manuscript is published.
21.3.3 Reviewers are expected to respond promptly to requests to review and to submit reviews within the time agreed. Reviewers must not retain the manuscript for their personal use and should destroy copies of manuscripts after submitting their reviews.
21.3.4 Reviewers should not try to contact or inform the authors or organizations about the manuscript for possible approval or rejection in any case. If secrecy and confidentiality is breeched then they are accountable for the act.
21.3.5 Editors should treat the received research manuscript and data as confidential. The editor should recuse themselves from editorial decisions if they have relationships that pose potential conflicts related to articles under consideration.
21.3.6 Other editorial team members who participate in editorial decisions must provide editors with a current description of their financial interests or other conflicts.
21.3.7 Editorial members must not use information gained through working with manuscripts for private gain. Editors should publish regular disclosure statements about potential conflicts of interests related to the commitments of editorial members.
21.3.8 Assistant Editors or members or guest editors should not try to contact or inform the authors or organizations directly about the manuscript for possible approval or rejection in any case. If secrecy and confidentiality is breeched then they are accountable for the act.
21.4 The Vice Chancellor King Edward Medical Institute should provide editors, assistant editors, and editorial team, at the time of their appointment with job descriptions that clearly states their rights and duties, authority, the general terms and duration of their appointment, accountability and mechanisms for resolving conflict. The editor’s performance may be assessed using mutually agreed-upon measures, including citations, downloads, readership, manuscript submissions and handling times, annual progress reports and various journal metrics.
21.5 The Vice Chancellor King Edward Medical Institute may dismiss editors for substantial reasons, such as scientific misconduct, disagreement with the long-term editorial direction of the journal, inadequate performance by agreed-upon performance metrics, or inappropriate behavior that is incompatible with a position of trust.
21.6 Appointments and dismissals should also be based on evaluations and monitoring by a panel of independent experts in medical journalism or publications. This is especially necessary in the case of dismissals because of the high value society places on freedom of speech within science.
22.0 Blind Peer Review Policy
22.1 This Policy is applicable to all publications submitted to the research journal of the Institute and they must undergo blind peer review involving internal and external reviewers. This involves review by two independent peer reviewers.
22.2 All submissions to DIET FACTOR are assessed by the Editor, who will decide whether they are suitable for in house editing and further process.
22.3 Where an Editor is on the author list or has any other conflict of interest regarding a specific manuscript, another member of the Editorial Board will be assigned to assume responsibility for overseeing peer review.
22.4 Manuscripts after satisfactory reports from plagiarism check, bibliography report and statistical check will be sent for two or more peer reviews to appropriate independent experts preferably from technologically advanced countries. The manuscript will be returned to author if reports are unsatisfactory and will be informed.
22.5 Editors will make a decision based on the reviewers’ reports. The approval for publication is based on approval from two independent blind peer reviews. Rejection is also based on two independent blind peer reviews.
22.6 Authors should remove the concerns raised by reviewers within given time. Failure to respond in time or corrections not accepted by reviewers may result in the manuscript being rejected. The modifications from authors need final approval from the reviewers prior to publication.
22.7 DIET FACTOR operates a closed peer review process. Reviewers will be treated anonymously and the pre-publication history of each article will not be made available online. However, names of all reviewers for DIET FACTOR are published in every issue.
22.8 Authors may suggest potential reviewers; however, whether or not to consider these reviewers is at the Editor's discretion. Authors should not suggest recent collaborators or colleagues who work in the same institution as themselves. Authors who wish to suggest peer reviewers can do so in the cover letter and should provide institutional email addresses where possible, or information which will help the Editor to verify the identity of the reviewer.
22.9 Authors may request exclusion of individuals as peer reviewers, but they should explain the reasons in their cover letter on submission and conflicts of interest statement. Editor may choose to invite excluded peer reviewers if satisfactory statements are not provided.
22.10 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.
23.1 This Policy is applicable to all publications in the course of work or study at the Institute or with Institute Support and submitted to the research journal of the Institute.
23.2 Editorial Board and all members of Editorial team in DIET FACTOR will treat all manuscripts submitted in confidence. DIET FACTOR adheres to ICMJE criteria for confidentiality.
23.3 Members of Editorial Board and reviewers are therefore required to respect the confidentiality of the peer review process and not reveal any details of a manuscript or its review, during or after the peer-review process, beyond the information released by the journal. If reviewers wish to involve a colleague in the review process they should first obtain permission from the journal. The Editor should be informed of the names of experts who assisted in the review process and provide their signatures on the report.
24.1 This Policy of Misconduct is applicable to authors, reviewers, editorial board members, and advisory board of DIET FACTOR.
24.2 DIET FACTOR takes seriously all allegations of potential misconduct.
24.3 In cases of suspected research or publication misconduct, it may be necessary for the Editor to contact and share manuscripts with Vice Chancellor King Edward Medical Institute for further action.
24.4 The regulatory authorities, for example, Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PM&DC), author(s)’ institution(s) and ethics committee(s) and relevant institutions may be informed to deal with cases of suspected misconduct through the office of Vice Chancellor.
24.5 Research misconduct is unethical research involving humans (including human data and human material) and animals those are carried out without an appropriate ethical framework and approvals. If there is suspicion that research has not taken place within an appropriate ethical framework, the Editor may reject a manuscript and may inform the Vice Chancellor King Edward Medical Institute, and may recommend information to author(s)’ institution(s) and ethics committee(s).
24.6 During publication process if objections are raised during or after the peer review process will be referred to the Editor, who will request the original data from the author(s) for comparison with the results and conclusions. If the original data cannot be produced in time, the manuscript may be rejected or, in the case of a published article, retracted. Any case in which the manipulation affects the interpretation of the data will result in rejection or retraction. Cases of suspected misconduct will be reported to the Vice Chancellor King Edward Medical Institute.
25.0 Plagiarism Policy
25.1 DIET FACTOR adopted Plagiarism Policy formulated by Higher Education Commission (HEC).
25.2 All research submitted to DIET FACTOR will be evaluated for plagiarism report and similarity index through software ‘Turnitin’. Acceptability limit for similarity in submitted manuscript should be less than 19% and not more than 5% from single source.
25.3. Reporting of alleged plagiarism will be considered only when a complaint duly signed made by email, post, fax or other means to office of DIET FACTOR or respective department. In case of lodging a complaint following information is to be provided:
25.3.1 Citation of the original paper or document or idea which was plagiarized, (paper title, author(s), publication title, month and year of publication if available and the journal, in which published, with details). If the original paper is unpublished (e.g. an institutional technical report, an on-line paper), the complainant is to provide as much information as possible to ensure authenticity of the claim.
25.3.2 The citation of the alleged plagiarizing paper (paper title, author(s), publication title, month and year of publication if available and the journal with details in which published). If the paper is unpublished (e.g. an institutional technical report, an on-line paper), the complainant is to provide as much information as possible to ensure proper investigation.
25.3.3 Name, designation, signatures, organization, address, e-mail address and telephone number of the complainant.
25.4. Upon receipt of an allegation of Plagiarism, the office of DIET FACTOR will request the Vice Chancellor to carry out investigation.
25.5 For investigation of Plagiarism cases, the Vice Chancellor will have an obligation to:
- a) Plagiarism Standing Committee consisted of faculty members, a subject specialist in that particular field is to be coopted, and a nominee of the HEC. of the individual being investigated upon and the nature and gravity of the offence.
- b) Provide a guideline, prepared by HEC for the functioning of the "Plagiarism Standing Committee", to all members of the Committee.
- c) Plagiarism Standing Committee investigation.
- d) Plagiarism Standing Committee confidentiality statement that during the investigation they will, under no circumstances, disclose any individual author's name, paper titles, referees, or any other personal or specific information concerning the plagiarism complaint under investigation, nor shall they reveal the names of the committee members.
- e) Provide opportunity to the author / authors under investigation to justify the originality of their concepts and research work. Similar opportunity will also be provided to the author whose paper is deemed to have been Plagiarized and / or the complainant, to justify the complaint.
- f) Use all foreseeable means to investigate the plagiarism claim.
25.6. The Plagiarism Standing Committee shall then conduct the investigation. Depending on the details of the claim, the investigation may include, but may not be limited to, any or all of the following steps:
- a) Software and automated tests for content similarity.
- b) Determination of the extent and quantum of significant material plagiarized.
- c) Soliciting comments to the claim, from the Editor-in-Chief (of a journal) or Program Chair (of conference proceedings) and referees of either or both papers.
- d) Consultation with legal counsel.
- e) Consult / contact witnesses and record statements there-of if so required.
- f) Consult / contact present and / or past employers of the authors.
25.7 Plagiarism Standing Committee submit its report with clear cut findings and recommendations to the Vice Chancellor within a specified period not exceeding sixty days. The Vice Chancellor will have the discretion to implement the recommendations after approval through the statutory process and take punitive action against the offender as per penalties prescribed under this policy or to forward the report to HEC or his / her parent organization for further action if outside their purview / jurisdiction.
25.8 Penalties for Plagiarism are adopted from HEC as plagiarism is an intellectual crime.
25.8.1"Plagiarism Standing Committee" in its recommendations, DEPENDING UPON THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE PROVEN OFFENCE, will advise the Competent Authority of the Organization, to take any one or a combination of the following disciplinary action(s) against the teacher, researcher and / or staff found guilty of the offence:
(i) Major Penalty:
In cases where most of the paper (or key results) have been exactly copied from any published work of other people without giving the reference to the original work, then (a) a major penalty of dismissal from service needs to be prescribed, along with (b) the offender may be any academic / research organization author(s) may be published in the print media or may be publicized on different websites at the discretion of the Vice-Chancellor.
(ii) Moderate Penalty:
In case where some paragraphs including some key results have been copied without citation, then a moderate penalty involving any one or both of the following needs to be imposed (a) demotion to the next lower grade, (b) which may be published in the print media or may be publicized on different websites at the discretion of the Vice-Chancellor.
(iii) Minor Penalty:
In case a few paragraphs have been copied from an external source without giving reference of that work, then minor penalties need to be prescribed for a specified period involving any one or more of the following: (a) warning, (b) freezing of all research grants, (c) the promotions/annual increments of the offender may be stopped, for a specified period and (d) HEC or the Institute / Organization may debar the offender from sponsorship of research funding, travel grant, supervision of Ph.D. students, scholarship, fellowship or any other
25.8.2 Students: When an act of plagiarism is found to have occurred, the "Plagiarism Standing Committee" in its recommendations, DEPENDING UPON THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE PROVEN OFFENCE, will advise the Vice Chancellor / Head of the Organization, to take any one or a combination of the following disciplinary action(s) against the student(s) found guilty of the offence:
(i) In the case of thesis the responsibility of plagiarism will be of the student and not of the supervisor or members of the Supervisory Committee.
(ii) The offender may be expelled/ rusticated from the Institute and from joining any institution of Higher Education in Pakistan for a period as deemed appropriate by the "Plagiarism Standing CommitteeA notice may be circulated among all academic institutions and research organization to this effect.
(iii) The offender may be relegated to a lower class.
(iv) The offender may be given a failure grade in the subject.
(v) The offender may be fined an amount as deemed appropriate.
(vi) The offender may be given a written warning if the offence is minor and is committed for the first time.
(vii) The degree of a student may be withdrawn if AT ANY TIME it is proven that he or she has presented Plagiarized work in his / her MS, MPhil or PhD dissertation or research paper as requirement if the extent of plagiarism comes under the category of major penalty.
(viii) The notification of the plagiarism by the author(s) may be published in the print media or may be publicized on different websites at the discretion of the Vice Chancellor / Rector / Head of the Organization.
(ix) HEC or the Institute / Organization may debar the offender from sponsorship of research funding, travel grant, scholarship, fellowship or any other funded program for a period as deemed appropriate by the "Plagiarism Standing Committee".
25.8.3 Co-Authors/Declarations 1. Provided that a co-author has listed a paper in his/her resume and applied for a benefit forthwith, any co-author is deemed to be equally responsible for any plagiarism committed in a published paper presented to or published in a journal or presented at a conference. 2. All Journals in Pakistan must require ALL authors to sign a declaration that the material presented in the creative work is not plagiarized (Sample Attached) 12. Additional Actions Required: In addition to the above punishments, the following additional common actions must be taken if the offence of Plagiarism is established:
- a) If the plagiarized paper is accessible on the web page its access will be removed. The paper itself will be kept in the database for future research or legal purposes.
- b) The author(s) will be asked to write a formal letter of apology to the authors of the Original paper that was plagiarized, including an admission of plagiarism. Should the author(s) refuse to comply then additional punishments as deemed fit may be recommended by the "Plagiarism Standing Committee.
- c) If the paper is submitted but not published yet, the paper will be rejected by the Editor-in-Chief without further revisions and without any further plagiarism investigation conducted. However, Warning may be issued to the author/ co-author.
25.8.4. Appeal for review: As the penalties are severe, the affected person(s) will have the right to appeal to the Chairman HEC / Vice Chancellor / Rector / Head of the Organization for a review of the findings or may submit a mercy petition within 30 days from the date of notification. Such appeals / petitions will be disposed off within 60 days of receipt, by following the laid down procedures regarding such appeals.
25.8.5. Penalty for Wrong Reporting / False Allegation: If the case of Plagiarism is not proved and it is confirmed that a false allegation was lodged, the Vice Chancellor / Rector / Head of the Organization will inform Organization and will recommend strict disciplinary action against the complainant, to be taken by his / her parent organization.
26.0 CORRECTIONS AND RETRACTION
26.1 This Policy is applicable to all publications in DIET FACTOR. Honest errors are a part of science and publishing and require publication of a correction when they are detected. Corrections are needed for errors of fact. Matters of debate are best handled as letters to the editor, as print or electronic correspondence, or as posts in a journal-sponsored online forum.
26.2 If a correction is needed, DIET FACTOR will follow these standards:
26.2.1 The journal should publish a correction notice as soon as possible detailing changes from and citing the original publication; the correction should be on an electronic or numbered print page that is included in an electronic and a print Table of Contents to ensure proper indexing.
26.2.2 The DIET FACTOR shall post a new article version with details of the changes from the original version and the date(s) on which the changes were made. The journal shall archive all prior versions of the article. This archive can be either directly accessible to readers or can be made available to the reader on request. Previous electronic versions shall prominently display a note that there are more recent versions of the article after correction and citation should be to the most recent version.
26.2.3 Errors serious enough to invalidate a paper’s results and conclusions may require retraction.
26.2.4 In cases of proven research misconduct or publication misconduct involving published articles, or where the scientific integrity of the article is significantly undermined, articles may be retracted.
26.3 The post publication committee will review each articles uploaded online. Review will be an ongoing Process.
26.4 In case an article is found with mistakes, it will be taken down from website immediately and the author or other relevant person will be asked to make relevant corrections and resubmit within 72 hours.
26.5 Any delay in resubmission will result in cancellation of article for publication in that issue or as decided by the post publication committee.
26.6 The details of all the articles reviewed by post publication committee will be presented in the fortnightly meeting of the editorial board.
26.7 The Post publication committee can hold meeting as and when required in addition to the fortnightly meeting of the editorial board. The time and venue of meeting will be decided by the chairperson of the committee.
26.8 In case of any controversy or appeal from the author, the decision will be made by the Editorial board in its fortnightly meeting.
26.9 All the decisions of the post publication committee will be recorded in the minutes of the editorial board meeting.
26.10 In addition to the current issue, the previous issues will be reviewed from the archives of the website and the same procedure will be followed.
26.11 If article violated a copyright of another publisher, has serious flaws that undermines the reliability of data and results or there is evidence of duplicate publication or submission or any other ethical dilemma, the article should be rejected and retracted on charges of Misconduct/Fabrication/Plagiarism/Falsification.
27.0 Appeals and complaints
27.1 All appeals and complaints regarding (but not limited to) misconduct, authorship conflicts or plagiarism in publications in DIET FACTOR will be directed to the Competent Authority i.e, the Vice Chancellor King Edward Medical Institute.
28.0 Fast Track Review
We offer fast track review and full online publication in minimum time of four weeks. All the research articles of exceptional clinical importance or having some important public policy reason for urgent publication maybe dealt according to fast track policy. The Editorial board will consider your application for Fast Track Review only if:
- You will also be required to explain clearly in your cover letter/ rapid review form why your article is of sufficient importance and urgency to jump the queue.
- Upon submission of the paper the author/authors will suggest three or four people who might be suitable reviewers for research paper and give their contact details (including email).
- If only minor amendments are suggested by the reviewers, then we will try to publish your reseach paper on fast track policy after 4 weeks and not more than 6 weeks.
- We will communicate our decision of dealing with your paper on fast track and suggest changes in the paper if needed.
- The revised manuscript must be resubmitted within 48 hours of emailing you about changes required, please include table of corrections in revised manuscript.
- If the paper is accepted we will try to publish it as soon as possible.
- If major changes/revision are required in the research paper, the article will not be dealt on fast track policy.
- All postgraduate students having compulsory requirement of publication for completion of PHd/2nd Fellowship degrees would be dealt with fast track policy .
Exceptions to all the timelines above include the situation where a theme issue is planned for a particular date, when the paper arrives over a public holiday, you when you need longer than 48 hours to revise the manuscript, or as otherwise negotiated.
29.1 Higher Education Commission
29.2 Pakistan Medical and Dental Council
29.3 International Committee of Medical Journal Editors
29.4 Committee of Publication Ethics
29.5 Editorial Policy of New England Journal of Medicine
29.6 Editorial Policy of British Journal of Medicine
29.7 Editorial Policy of BioMed Central
29.8 World Association of Medical Editors