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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • Authors must register online and submit the article and supporting documents at www.ajsmu.com.
  • Authors have read the Instructions to Authors given on this page and ensured that the submission follows the given guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • All the references are in Vancouver style (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/citingmedicine).
  • The abstract and the article follow AJSMU format which includes: Objectives, Methodology, Results, Conclusion, and keywords.
  • The manuscript lists every author's contribution to the article, in the end.
  • Ethical approval letter from authorized Ethical Review Committees/Institutional Review Boards must be uploaded at the time of submission. In case ERC approval is not applicable, please leave a note for the Editor stating the same and describing why. Please note retrospective studies also require an exemption certificate from ERCs.
  • Copyright and authorship form must be downloaded, printed, duly signed by all authors, then scanned and uploaded at the time of submission. The form is available in the Publisher's Library at http://www.ajsmu.com/index.php/AJSMU/libraryFiles/downloadPublic/10

Author Guidelines

Prior to submission, authors are requested to read the full instructions for authors, together with the Uniform Requirements for Biomedical Journals and submission checklists. Manuscripts that do not conform to these Instructions to Authors may be subject to delay. A Checklist is also given to help you prepare your manuscript for submission.

Key Points:

  • Articles are processed when they are accompanied with Ethical Review Committee Approval Letter and Copyrights Form (downloadable from this page http://www.ajsmu.com/index.php/AJSMU/libraryFiles/downloadPublic/10 )
  • All studies dealing with human samples will require Ethical Approval letter. Retrospective studies also need a letter of exemption from an Ethical Review Committee/Institutional Review Board.
  • Metadata must be filled accurately and carefully. ALLCAPS is not used in titles or names. Dr, Mr, Mrs, Ms are also not used as prefixes. Whatever you fill in Metadata is meant to appear as it is on the journal Website. Authors cannot be changed later on.
  • Articles must be in MS Word and must accompany a title page or cover letter naming all authors, their designations, and institutes of affiliation.
  • The manuscript must list every author's contribution to the article in the end paragraph.
  • There is no publication fee.
  • To avoid any delay in processing manuscripts, prior to submission, all authors should refer to the appropriate checklists according to the type of the manuscript and comply with their guidelines:


  • Abstract must follow AJSMU pattern: Objectives, Methodology, Results, Conclusion, and keywords. Article will include: Introduction, Objectives, Methodology, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion. (Detailed descriptions of these sections follow.)
  • For Original articles: Structured abstract up to 250 words
  • For Reviews and Case Reports: Unstructured abstract up to 150 words

Word Limit:

  • Original article: No more than 3000 words (excluding abstract and references)
  • Short Review: Up to 1500 words
  • Systematic Review: Up to 4000 words


  • All the references must be in Vancouver style (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/citingmedicine).
  • Original articles: Up to 25 references
  • Short and Systematic Review: Up to 50 references
  • References should not be older than 10 years, with at least two references from the last five years. One or two maximum historical references may be used.
  • Figures and tables: Up to 6 in total
  • Illustrations: Jpeg format (resolution 300 dpi)


Instructions to Authors (full text)

The Annals of Jinnah Sindh Medical University (AJSMU) is an open access, peer reviewed, bi-annual publication. Authors are invited to submit articles with a wide spectrum of coverage reporting original work, epidemiology, public health, indigenous disease and standards of health care from Pakistan and overseas. Basic research with clear clinical implications will also be considered. Review articles of current interest and high standard are welcomed for consideration. There are also sections for Case Reports, Short Communication and letter to editors. To encourage the young investigators, AJSMU also includes a ‘Student Section’. All submissions must conform to the Uniform Requirements for Biomedical Journals of International Committee of Medical Journals Editors (ICMJE).

AJSMU is copyrighted under the Berne Convention. All rights are reserved. AJSMU is an Open Access journal and will not charge readers, or their institutions for access. From the Budapest Open Access initiative (BOAI) definition of open access, the reader has the right to “read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full text of the articles”. Articles published in AJSMU are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial License (CC BYNC). Readers may copy, distribute, display, and perform the work, and make derivative works based on it for non-commercial purposes with the proper citation of the original work. Please note, however, if an article contains a figure from another source that is protected by copyright, the republication is not allowed without seeking permission from the original source of publication.

Submission of Manuscripts: Manuscripts, or the essence of their content, must be previously unpublished and should not be under simultaneous consideration by another journal. The authors should also declare if any similar work has been submitted to or published by another journal. They should also declare that it has not been submitted/published elsewhere in the same form, in English or in any other language, without the written consent of the Publisher.

We are happy to consider articles that have been previously published in another language, or in a local journal with limited distribution, on the condition that there is an appropriate citation included in the references, and written consent is obtained.

If any article is already made publicly available on an institute website or repository, this will not affect our decision to publish, but we do need to know this. Failure to disclose this is unethical. Following publication, the author should update the repository and include a citation to the published work. Furthermore, if any study is already presented orally or in poster form in an international conference and the abstract or full paper is available in the conference ‘abstract book’ or in proceedings, can be considered for publication in AJSMU.

The authors should also declare that the paper is the original work of the author(s) and not copied (in whole or in part) from any other work. All papers will be automatically checked for duplicate publication and plagiarism using TURNITIN software. If detected, appropriate action will be taken in accordance with guidelines of Higher Education Commission’s plagiarism policy. All Tables and Figures must be original and not adapted from other work unless specified and with the appropriate references and copyright permission. By virtue of the submitted manuscript, the corresponding author acknowledges that all the co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the manuscript. The corresponding author should provide all co-authors with information regarding the manuscript, and obtain their approval before submitting any revisions. Participation solely in the acquisition of funding or the collection of data does not justify authorship. Manuscripts are only accepted for publication on the understanding that the authors will permit editorial amendments, though galley proofs will always be submitted to the corresponding author before being sent finally to press. There is no submission or publication charges for AJSMU to avoid any extra financial burden on the investigator. The authors should be able to provide upon request the raw material of any study or the quality assurance assessment of any study under publication. To avoid any delay in processing manuscripts, prior to submission, all authors should refer to the appropriate checklists according to the type of the manuscript and comply with their guidelines:

Randomized controlled trials: CONSORT Checklist available at http://www.consort-statement.org/

Observational studies in epidemiology: STROBE Checklist available at https://www.strobe-statement.org/

Diagnostic Accuracy Studies : STARD Checklist available at https://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/stard/

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses: PRISMA Checklist available at http://www.prisma-statement.org/

Qualitative research: COREQ Checklist available at http://cdn.elsevier.com/promis_misc/ISSM_COREQ_Checklist.pdf

Prior to the initial submission of a new manuscript, please carefully consider that all authors’ names are included as no change to authors’ details will be permitted after the initial submission.

Ethical standards: AJSMU is committed to upholding the highest standards of research, editorial, and publication ethics, and follows international guidelines, procedures, and policies (eg. Committee of Publication Ethics [COPE], and Office of Research Integrity [ORI]) when dealing with any cases of suspected ethical misconduct. If such cases arise, the journal may share relevant information with necessary third parties (for example, authors’ institutes, Pakistan Association of Medical Editors or Higher Education Commission). All information will be treated in a confidential, factual, and non-judgmental manner. AJSMU will also retain the right to pursue any issues of ethical misconduct even after rejection or withdrawal of a manuscript from the journal.

Electronic submission of Manuscripts: Letter of approval from an Ethical Review Board must be uploaded at the time of online submission. Manuscripts can be submitted electronically on www.ajsmu.com.

Electronic submission saves time and postage costs, and allows the manuscript to be handled in electronic form throughout the review process.

Figures and Illustrations should be provided in jpeg format (resolution 300 DPI). Titles and detailed explanations belong in the legends for illustrations (on a separate sheet), not on the illustrations themselves. Upon acceptance of the manuscript for publication, authors are required to provide the original copy of the assignment of copyright dully signed by all authors.

Manuscript Preparation: Manuscripts including tables, references and figure legends, must be typewritten MS Word. Pages should be numbered consecutively, beginning with the title page and continuing through the last page of typewritten material. Manuscripts must be accompanied by a covering letter signed by the author and all co-authors. All Case Reports must include at least one figure. The journal recommends that authors should consider having their manuscripts professionally edited prior to submission; even more so for authors for whom English is a second language.

Word Limits: Original articles should be no longer than 3000 words, (excluding abstract and references). Short review could have up to 1500 words, systematic review could have 4000 words and expert review will be free from word limitation. Short and systematic review articles may include up to 50 references, and Original articles may include up to 25 references. Articles may include a maximum of 6 tables and/or figures in total.

Title Page: The title page must contain (1) title of the article, (2) first name, middle initial and family name of each author plus highest degrees, not more than 2, in that specific order (3) any disclaimers, and (4) a short running title of no more than 40 characters (count letters and spaces). The second page should include (1) name and address of the department(s) and institution(s) from where the research was carried out for each author; affiliation address should be a record of where an author is currently working. If the study was previously carried out at another institute this should appears as “formerly of ....” (2) current position and affiliation address for the corresponding author and (3) first name, address, telephone number, fax number and E-mail address of author to whom correspondence should be sent if it differs from the first author. Review articles should consist of one or two authors, only Clinical Review or Meta-analysis may include multiple authors. Case Reports should preferably not exceed four authors.

Abstracts: For original articles, a structured abstract of 250 words should include the following subheadings: Objectives (may include background in one line if pertinent), Methodology (place and duration of study, design, patients/respondents, brief methodology), Results (key findings only), Conclusion. For review articles and case reports, the abstract should be unstructured with not more than 150 words.

Introduction: For original research articles, the introduction should be fully referenced with not more than three paragraphs and a maximum of 15 pertinent references. The introduction should end with the rationale of the study leading to the research question/study objectives. For case reports, the introductory section should include a maximum of 10 pertinent references and end with the objective and reason of presenting the case.

Methods: This section should include setting, study design, sampling technique and sample size estimation. In studies of diagnostic accuracy, the methodology should be detailed and include the inclusion and exclusion criteria of patients involved in the study together with information on patient recruitment. Textual re-use of portions of an author’s previous work in the methods section will be considered, providing that an explanatory note is included with appropriate referencing: “The methods are exactly as published in the previous publication.....”

Statistical Analysis: The author(s) should adequately describe or reference all statistical procedures used in a paragraph at the end of the methods section. It is expected that the statistical tests used are appropriately selected and applied, with an indication of the related assumptions and how they have been tested. The ambiguous use of statistical terms should be avoided such as, random to mean haphazard, correlation instead of association, etc. Exact p-values and confidence intervals are to be used. Standard guidelines must be used in reporting the results of clinical trials, studies assessing diagnostic tests, etc. The statistical software package used must be specified and properly referenced.

Tables: Tables should be double spaced on a separate sheet of paper. Do not submit tables as photographs. Number tables consecutively in the order of their first citation in the text and supply a brief “stand-alone” title for each. Give each column a short or abbreviated heading. Place explanatory matter in footnotes, not in the heading. Explain in footnotes all non-standard abbreviations that are used in each table. For footnotes use the following symbols, in this sequence *, †, ‡, §, **, ††, ‡‡, §§ etc. Bar graphs and pie charts should only be used where absolutely indicated and should be provided in pattern. If the author is interested to print the graphs in color, he/she has to pay color printing. Where possible the information should be presented in table format.

Discussion: Discussion should include the comparison and critical analysis of the study results with the contemporary references. The references cited in the introduction should be made use of in the discussion. This section should also include the comments of the author(s) on their study and should not be a repetition of the results. Discussion should not be more than six paragraphs

Conclusion and Recommendations: Conclusions should directly relate to the objectives of the study and not be hypothetical statements by the author(s). The conclusions may include recommendations (if any), however it is not a requirement of the journal.

Acknowledgment: Acknowledgment should conform to the Uniform Requirements for Biomedical Journals which states: List all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship, such as a person who provided purely technical help, writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support. Financial and material support should also be acknowledged. Groups of persons who have contributed materially to the paper but whose contributions do not justify authorship may be listed under a heading such as “clinical investigators” or “participating investigators,” and their function or contribution should be described, for example, “served as scientific advisors,” “critically reviewed the study proposal,” “collected data,” or “provided and cared for study patients.” Because readers may infer their endorsement of the data and conclusions, all persons must have given written permission to be acknowledged.

References: For research reports, a maximum of 25 pertinent references and for review papers a maximum of 50 pertinent references can be cited. References should be numbered consecutively in the order, in which they are first mentioned in the text, not alphabetically, and formatted according to Vancouver style. References must be superscripted throughout the text of the manuscript. List all authors when there are 6 or fewer; when there are 7 or more, list only the first 6 and add “et al”. References older than ten years should be updated to the most recent. Acceptable references are from the last ten years with a minimum of two from the last five years, however, one or two historical references may be used if necessary. All references must be cited in the text or tables. Where references are cited in tables only, the first reference number used in the table should follow on numerically from the last reference number used in the main text of the article. Where previous studies are mentioned in a table, the authors’ names should appear in Vancouver style, with the names and reference numbers appearing in one column, and any other necessary information appearing in a separate column. Unpublished data and personal communications may be cited as references. Please try to avoid using conference papers or abstracts as references, these can only be allowed if published by journals included in Index Medicus or a well-known publishing company and are within one year from the submission date of the manuscript. Only 1-2 up to date references should be used for each particular point in the text. Only few website references can be accepted. The download dates should be mentioned in such references.

References to journal articles should include, in this order: (1) authors, (2) title, (3) journal name (as abbreviated in Index Medicus, if not included in Index Medicus journal title should be given in full), (4) year, (5) volume, (6) page numbers (start and end). Volume and edition numbers and specific page numbers should be included when appropriate. Secondary references are not acceptable. The author is responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the references and for their correct textual citation. When a citation is referred to in the text by name, the accompanying reference must be from the original source. Upon acceptance of a paper, all authors must be able to provide the full paper for each reference cited upon request at any time up to publication. Failure to do so may result in the paper being withdrawn from the journal. Example of correct reference form is given as follows:

Journal: Khan NB. Treatment needs for dental caries in schoolchildren of Riyadh: A-follow-up study of the Oral Health Survey of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Med J 2003; 24 (10):


Al-Nozha MM, Al-Maatouq MA, Al-Mazrou YY, Arafah MR, Khalil MZ, Khan NB, et al. Diabetes mellitus in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Med J 2004; 25(11): 1603-1610.

Book Chapter: Thilander B. Ronning O. Introduction to

Orthodontics. Stockholm: Gothia; 1995. p. 43-49.

Review Articles should include an extended bibliography up to 100 references. Original Articles and Case Reports should include up to date references, preferably not exceeding 40 and 15 respectively. Brief Communication should include a maximum of 5 references.

Illustrations: All figures or photographs should be submitted in a high resolution (minimum 300 DPI) electronic version saved in jpeg format. Original hard copies of all figures may be requested when necessary.

Photographs will be accepted at the discretion of the Editorial Board. All lettering, arrows, or other artwork must be done by an artist or draftsman. If arrows are used please ensure they appear in a different color to the background color, preferably black with a white border, or white with a black border. If arrows distinguish different items on the figure then different arrow styles should be used i.e. long, short, wide, narrow. Written informed consent for publication must accompany any photograph in which the subject can be identified. Written copyright permission, from the publishers, must accompany any illustration that has been previously published. All illustrations (“figures”) must be numbered as cited in the text in consecutive numeric order. With color illustrations, the author must bear part of the expense for color reproduction. Titles and detailed explanations belong in the legends for illustrations, (on a separate sheet), not on the illustrations themselves. If the authorship does not include a radiologist, please ensure that all radiology figures are reviewed and written approval submitted from a radiologist. Please note, this will not qualify for authorship, however, an acknowledgment may be included.

Units of Measurement: Le Systerne International d’Unites (SI) is preferred Equivalent values in traditional units should be given if thought to be necessary.

Abbreviations and symbols: Use only accepted international abbreviations. Avoid abbreviations in the title and abstract. The full term for which an abbreviation stands should precede its first use in the text unless it is a standard unit of measurement.

Ethical consent: All manuscripts reporting the results of experimental investigations involving human subjects should include a statement confirming that informed consent was obtained from each subject or subject’s guardian. All manuscript must include an approval letter from ethics committee or institutional review board, even if the study does not include human or animal subjects. Ethical approval is also necessary to avoid duplication of work from the same institute, and confirms that the institute gives approval to release the data. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether the institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals was followed.

Conflict of interest: Authors are responsible for recognizing and disclosing financial and other conflicts of interest that might add bias to their work. They should acknowledge in the manuscript all financial support for the work and other financial or personal connections to the work. Conflict of interest of reviewers, editors, and staff can be seen in Conflict of Interest page.

Corrections, retractions and expressions of concern about research findings: Editors must assume initially that authors are reporting work based on honest observations. Nevertheless, t wo types of difficulty  may arise . Firstly, errors may be noted in published articles that require the publication of a correction or erratum of part of the work. It is conceivable that an error could be so serious as to vitiate the entire body of the work, but this is unlikely and should be handled by editors and authors on an individual basis. Such an error should not be confused with inadequacies exposed by the emergence of new scientific information in the normal course of research. The latter require no corrections or withdrawals.

The second type of difficulty is scientific fraud. If substantial doubts arise about the honesty of work, either submitted or published, it is the editors’ responsibility to ensure that the question is appropriately pursued (including possible consultation with the authors). However, it is not the task of editors to conduct a full investigation or to make a determination; that responsibility lies with the institution where the work was carried out or with the funding agency.

The editor should be promptly informed of the final decisions, and, if a fraudulent paper has been published, the journal must print a retraction. If this method of investigation does not result in a satisfactory conclusion, the editor may choose to publish an expression of concern, with an explanation.

The retraction or expression of concern, so labeled, should appear on a numbered page in a prominent section of the journal, be listed in the contents page, and include in its heading the title of the original article. It should not simply be a letter to the editor. Ideally, the first author should be the same in the retraction as in the article, although under certain circumstances, the editor may accept retractions by other responsible people. The text of the retraction should explain why the article is being retracted and include a bibliographic reference to it.

If a published paper is found later to be extensively plagiarized and is found to be a duplicate or redundant publication, a note of retraction will be published, the indexing services will be notified, and copies of the correspondence will be sent to the authors’ head of institute, Pakistan Association of Medical Editors and Higher Education Commission.

The validity of previous work by the author of a fraudulent paper cannot be assumed. Editors may ask the authors’ institution to assure them of the validity of earlier work published in their journals or to retract it. If this is not done, they may choose to publish an announcement to the effect that the validity of previously published work is not assured.

Permission to Reprint: Whenever a manuscript contains material (text, tables dosages, figures etc.), which is protected by copyright, it is the obligation of the author to secure written permission from the holder of the copyright.

Galley Proofs: The research team of any study should assign one of the authors as the corresponding author. The Editorial Office will send proofs of the manuscript to the corresponding author for final proof reading and it will be the responsibility of the corresponding author to return the galley proof materials appropriately corrected within the stipulated time. Proofs will not be accepted from any other of the authors without an accompanying authorization letter from the corresponding author. After the corresponding author has signed the galley proof, they will bear the burden of responsibility for any publication errors missed on the galley proof found after publication. No major changes such as deletion, shortening or expansion of sentences in the text will be accepted at this time.

During the proofing process, no addition of information is allowed, however, if there is new relevant information to be added to the manuscript, this can be included as an addendum to the article. The corresponding author(s) is required to sign on each page of the galley proof indicating their approval of any Editorial amendments and agree that the meaning of their article has not been altered. The author should review this carefully, as he/she is responsible for all changes in his work, including changes made by the copy editor. It is the duty of the corresponding author to respond promptly to any query from the Editing Department as failure to do so may result not only in delay of the article but also return of the article to the author without publication.

Papers will be published only when finally accepted manuscript signed by the corresponding author or designated corresponding author is received in the Editorial Office. If a manuscript is sent out for proofing and no response is received from the corresponding author, this manuscript will be deferred for one issue only. The proof will then be resent after four months and if there is still no response from the corresponding author at that time, the paper may be withdrawn from the Journal. If the Editorial Office is able to proofread the article and answer any outstanding queries, it will be at the Editor’s discretion to proceed with the publishing of the paper including a statement that this has not been proofread by the corresponding author. If there are a substantial number of unresolved queries, then the paper may be withdrawn from the Journal.


Submit manuscripts electronically only at: www.ajsmu.com

Annals of Jinnah Sindh Medical University

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