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Author Guidelines

GENERAL

Gomal Journal of Medical Sciences (GJMS) is published quarterly by Gomal Medical College, Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan. It follows the International Committee of Medical Journals Editors (ICMJE) guidelines as “Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals” available at: http://www.icmje.org/icmje-recommendations.pdf

Submission of Manuscripts

Manuscripts containing original material are accepted only. Neither the article nor any part of its essential substance should be submitted for publication elsewhere before appearing in this journal.

Online Submission

The corresponding author has to create an account or login to an existing account on our website. Then he has to follow a 5-step easy submission process. The manuscript must be blinded, not showing authors details; names, designations, departments, institutions, cities etc. The details of authors are to be uploaded in metadata. The supplementary files, including data files, fee submission document etc. may be added, if desired.

Language

GJMS is published in English. Try to follow the British English but do not hesitate to use American English where convenient.

Writing style & format

Please use Times New Roman, size 12, justified with 1.5 line spacing. Put tables and illustrations (figure/ chart/ image) where stated, not at the end of the document.

Title of the manuscript

It must show the design, objectives and variables of the study. It should also show the attributes and geographical location of the population of interest. Don’t use abbreviations. For example;
1. Prevalence of diabetes mellitus and its distribution by sex, age groups and residence in adult population of district Lahore, Pakistan: a cross-sectional enquiry
2. Hypertension, diabetes mellitus and obesity as determinants of coronary artery disease in adult population of Islamabad city, Pakistan: a case-control approach
3. Age groups, gravidity, parity and place of delivery as predictors of postpartum haemorrhage in women of Riyadh city, Saudi Arabia through cohort approach
4. Urethrocutaneous fistula following Snodgrass versus two stage Aivar Bracka repair of distal penile hypospadias in male children of district Peshawar, Pakistan: a randomized control trial
5. Post-operative oral antibiotics in reducing frequency of surgical site infection following non-perforated appendectomy in population of South Waziristan Agency, Pakistan: a randomized control trial
Key words
Five to ten key words per manuscript should be given. These should be included in Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) of U.S. National Library of Medicine, available at: https://meshb.nlm.nih.gov/search

Abbreviations

Standard abbreviations should be used only. For every abbreviation the full word should be given at first with abbreviation in parenthesis. Well known and frequently used abbreviation may be used as such.

Tables and Illustrations

1. There is no limit on the number of tables and illustrations (graphs/ charts/ images). These should be as per rational demand of the manuscript.
2. Each table and illustration should stand by itself; showing all its contents/ meanings without going into the text.
3. Each table and illustration must have a serial number and a title; above the table and below the illustration. The title of table and illustration should be summary of the tile of the manuscript.
4. Illustrations should be of good quality.
5. Where required, table or illustration should have an accompanying legend.
6. If a table or an illustration has been reproduced from a published work the source must be given.
7. The author must submit the permission from the author/ publisher to reproduce the previously published illustration.

References

1. Vancouver style must be followed.
2. References should be numbered serially and given in digits as superscripts within the text, as in standard medical journals.
3. Add authors. Give last/family/surname in full, then first letter of 1st and 2nd names as capital with no gap. Add six authors. In case of more than six authors, et al should be added after six authors.
4. Journal titles should be abbreviated as in Index Medicus/Medline/PubMed/NLM Catalogue. If not in Index Medicus, then it should be abbreviated as by the journal itself.
5. Add DOI where available; otherwise add online link.
6. Here is an example for a journal article: Ishaq T, Khattak MI, Amin S, Haq NU. Frequency and risk factors for hepatitis C among pregnant women. Gomal J Med Sci 2011; 9:166-9.

Units of Measurements

Please use Systems International (SI) units, where possible.

Drug Names

Generic names of drugs are preferred. Where essential the brand names can be given in parenthesis.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Abstract: Word count should be within 250. It may be up to 350 in exceptional cases. It should have the following sub-headings: Background, Material & Methods, Results, and Conclusion. Background includes 1-3 sentences regarding the introduction of your problem/s of interest and objective/s. Material & Methods include study design, duration, setting, population & sampling, and data collection (variables and their attributes and types) and analysis plans (descriptive, estimation of parameters and hypotheses testing). Conclusion is the summary of your results in simple words.

Text

The main part of the original research article should follow IMRAD; to have the following sub-headings: Introduction, Material and Methods, Results, AND Discussion & Conclusion.

A. INTRODUCTION: This section should have nearly all the following components.

1. Background

Bring here data in quantities (numbers & figures) regarding all your variables of interest as per your objectives. It may include prevalence and/or incidence of the disease of interest/ under investigation, its distribution by socio-demographic factors, its various determinants or its treatment. Instead of prevalence, distribution, determinant and treatment of a disease, the researcher may determine any health related event in a population, like level/ concentration/ score of some anthropometric measure/ biochemical parameter, like weight, height, blood pressure (BP), random blood sugar (RBS) etc. Here bring the level/ concentration/ score of your parameters of interest. The data is collected from global populations/ studies, then regional, then national and lastly local populations/ studies.

2. Research problem

Unawareness of any aspect of a disease like prevalence, distribution, determinants (causes/ risk factors) or its treatment or unawareness of level/ concentration/ score of some parameter in a specified population in a specified period of time is a research problem. State your problem here;
i. Unawareness regarding prevalence of diabetes mellitus in adult population of district Kohat, Pakistan for the year 2020 was our research problem.
ii. Unawareness regarding level of RBC in adult population of district Kohat, Pakistan for the year 2020 was our research problem.

3. Knowledge gap (KG)

Search different search engines and databases for your research problem. If you find the required study/data, there is no KG and this problem is not a researchable title. If it was not found, then the KG is identified and you ahead.
i. As no studies/ data was available regarding prevalence of diabetes mellitus in adult population of district Kohat, Pakistan for the year 2020, so it was our knowledge gap.
ii. As no studies/ data was available regarding level of RBC in adult population of district Kohat, Pakistan for the year 2020, so it was our knowledge gap.

4. Research question

Convert your problem to a question:
i. What is the prevalence of diabetes mellitus in adult population of district Kohat, Pakistan for the year 2020?
ii. What is the level of RBC in adult population of district Kohat, Pakistan for the year 2020?

5. Research objective

Now state your intent in measurable terms;
i. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of diabetes mellitus in adult population of district Kohat, Pakistan for the year 2020.
ii. The objective of this study was to determine the level of RBC in adult population of district Kohat, Pakistan for the year 2020.

6. Research (null) hypothesis

Here you bring a tentative answer to your research question from literature. From the background given above you know the prevalence of diabetes mellitus and level of RBC in adult population from global, regional, national and local populations/ studies, including previous studies regarding district Kohat. Now you can formulate the hypothesis.

H01: The observed prevalence of diabetes mellitus in adult population of district Kohat, Pakistan for the year 2020 is same as expected.

H02: The observed level of RBC in adult population of district Kohat, Pakistan for the year 2020 is same as expected.

7. Operational definitions

Please tell how you will label a person as having a specified disease? Give biochemical level or scoring system as applied.

8. Significance of the study

Please tell how your findings will help the concerned stakeholders to improve the health status of the population? How the patients or healthy individuals will benefit from your findings?

B. MATERIALS AND METHODS

This section should have nearly all the following components.

1. Design, setting & duration

Please mention the study design (cross-sectional/case-control/cohort/ trial) with name of the academic/ professional department and name of the academic/ professional institution with city and country. It shows ownership. Add duration of the study with day, month and year.

2. Technical approval from the institutional research board and ethical approval from institutional ethical committee & patients’ consent.

3. Population & sampling

Research is a problem solving activity for a specified population; never for a sample. Please specify/ define your population by count, geographic location, socio-demographic and disease factors. Then tell how you calculated the sample size as required by the design of your study with formula/calculation or online calculator/software with reference/link. Then give sampling technique. Then give inclusion and exclusion criteria for one group or separately for each group in case of two or more groups.

4. Equipment, procedure, intervention and follow up

Please narrate here all the steps which you took from enrolment of a subject to its discharge from the study, including history, general & systemic examination, investigations and any intervention (health education, food, exercise, vaccine, drug, device, laser or surgery). Please give details of different equipment, instruments, appliances and tools used, giving the name, model, version, company name and its manufacturing city name in parenthesis.

5. Data collection plan


1. Data collection methods (physical procedures to collect data)
a. Literature survey (secondary data; the data of other researchers collected, mostly qualitative)
b. Questionnaire
c. Interview
d. Observation: clinical examination, laboratory & imaging tests, pre, per and post drug-treatment/ device-procedure/ operation notes/ findings as morbidities, disabilities, mortalities. (b, c and d give us primary & first hand data, the data which we generate ourselves from the sample, mostly quantitative). Tell which one or more methods of data collection are used by you.
2. Questionnaire is framed from literature. The data on research variables is collected by questionnaire. Qualities are transformed into quantities (qualitative variable/data to quantitative variable/data) as in Knowledge, Attitude & Practice (KAP) Surveys. It gives us quantitative data. Its reliability is pretested by a pilot study by selecting sample from a sample and is shown as Cronbach’s alpha. It should be based on a 5-point Likert scale, with a range of 1-5 scores (strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree & strongly agree, respectively) respectively for each response. It includes respondent demographic. The questionnaire must not be on nominal or ordinal scale.
3. Questionnaire; To-do list
a. Items (questions) are extracted from literature (existing knowledge)
b. Designed as per list of variables, their attributes & their relationship as per theoretical framework
c. Items should be short & to the point
4. Avoid in framing a questionnaire; Not-to-do list
a. Double-Barrel items/questions (Qs)
b. Putting words in mouth of respondent (leading Qs)
c. Memory dependent Qs; should base on cash memory
d. Emotional loaded Qs (positive emotion=happiness, negative are anger, fear, sadness & hatreness)
e. Personal Qs (private, vary from culture to culture)
f. Technical Jargons
g. Too many
h. Too long
i. Negative Qs. I do not like computer. If negative are used, then reverse the scoring at analysis.

5. Name the demographic variables: gender, age in years, age groups, education level, residence, experience, income etc.

6. Name the research variables: pain in flank, category of pain in throat, level of knowledge, level of attitude, level of practice, weight in Kg, height in cm, volume in ml, RBS in mg/dL, T3 level in pcg/ml
7. In case of categorical (nominal or ordinal) variable, tell the attributes (categories/ groups) of the variable
a. Age grouping was; group 1 up to 50 years, group 2 more than 50 years in a study “prevalence of HTN in employees of a bank”
b. Age in years was categorized as; group 1= 40-49, group 2 = 50-59, group 3 = 60-69, group 4 = 70 and above years for a study “prevalence of DM in adult age shopkeepers”
c. The two attributes of residence were urban and rural
d. The five attributes of education level were: matric = group 1, graduation = group 2, masters = group 3, MPhil = group 4 and PhD = group 5
e. Level of knowledge, level of attitude and level of practice (KAP) were determined by a questionnaire based on 5-point Likert Scale. There were so many questions for each of the three KAP variables with a range of 1-5 scores (strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree & strongly agree, respectively) for each question.

8. Identify independent, dependent, confounding and matching variables, where required
9. Tell the data types (nominal/ordinal/interval/ratio); gender, residence and pain in flank were nominal data. Age groups, education level, and category of pain in throat were ordinal data. Age in years, level of knowledge, level of attitude, level of practice (all three on Likert Scale), pain score (on visual analogue pain scale-VAPS), weight in Kg, height in cm, volume in ml, RBS in mg/dL, T3 level in pcg/ml were interval/ ratio/ numeric/ continuous data.
10. Attach Performa and questionnaire. if any.
11. Mention which calculator or software was used for data analysis

6. Data analysis plan

Research is for a specified population; never for a sample. It is ideal to observe the entire population, but it is not feasible. Statistics as a discipline helps us in collecting data for a sample, analyze it for the sample (descriptive statistics; describe the sample) and then infer it on to the population from which it was drawn (inferential statistics; describe the population based on the data collected from the sample). Inferential statistics includes estimation of parameter and hypothesis testing.
Global literature is full of research articles which are restricted to sample, with no mention of the population. For us, it may be anything, but not research.
Our authors have to give analysis plan for all the three components of the statistical analysis. It is widely stated and widely accepted narrative that the cross-sectional studies don’t require hypothesis. It is a miss-understanding. Cross-sectional studies do require hypothesis. There may be some one dozen cross-sectional studies, each with many hypotheses published in this journal from 2018 to 2021, regarding burden/ magnitude (prevalence/ distribution) of malaria, leishmaniasis, DS-TB, DR-TB etc.
Data analysis is simply a process of converting data (un-organized facts & figures) into information (organized facts & figures). Both qualitative and quantitative data are organized as per requirements of the topic and end users of the findings. When analyzed (organized), qualitative and quantitative facts and figures are mixed together to form a single piece of information or knowledge.
There are two types of analysis.

Qualitative analysis 

Qualitative data includes text, picture, audio and video. This analysis is based on qualitative argumentation (not included here).

Quantitative analysis

Quantitative data includes nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio data. This analysis is based on statistical computations (included here).

Descriptive analysis

It is the analysis of data collected from the sample. Here each variable is described separately without talking about its difference between the groups or within the groups or its relationships to any other variable in the same population.
Categorical (nominal and ordinal data) is analyzed by count and percentage. Numeric (interval and ratio) is subjected to tests of normality; Skewness, kurtosis, Kolmogoro-Smirnov test & histogram. If it is distributed normally; then it is analyzed by mean, minimum, maximum, range and SD. If it is distributed not normally (skewed); then it is analyzed by median (quartile 2), quartile 1 (Q1), quartile 3 (Q3) and Inter Quartile Range (IQR=Q3-Q1).
Inferential analysis: Here the data for the sample is inferred on to population. It includes estimation of parameters and testing of hypotheses.

Estimation of parameters

Here an interval in constructed around a sample statistics to estimate a parameter i.e. mean or proportion for a population at certain level of confidence, usually 95%. It is represented as confidence interval of mean or proportion, both with lower and upper bounds.
The mean RBS of the sample (n=350) was 110 (95% CL, 105.5-114.5) mg/dL. The frequency (%age) of diabetes mellitus in the sample (n=300) was 45 (15%, 95% CL, 12.5-17.5).

Testing of hypotheses

Tests for significance of difference: Table 1 shows tests of statistical significance of difference of means or proportions between the groups.

Table 1: Tests for statistical significance of difference of means or proportions between the groups

Data

Numeric with normal distribution

Numeric with not normal distribution

Nominal data

Groups

1

2

>2

1

2

>2

2

 

Test

1-sample t

Unpaired t

1-way ANOVA

1-sample signed rank test

Mann-Whitney

Kruskal-Wallis

 McNemar chi-square

Parametric Tests

Non Parametric Tests

Table 2 shows tests of statistical significance of difference of means within the groups. 

Table 2: Tests for statistical significance of difference of means within the groups

Type of data

Numeric data with Normal distribution

Numeric data  with not Normal distribution

Groups

2 groups

>2 groups

2 groups

>2 groups

Type of tests

Paired samples t test

Repeated-measures ANOVA

Wilcoxon test

Friedman test

 

Parametric Tests

Non Parametric Tests


Tests for significance of relationship

Relationship between two categorical variables is verified through chi-square test of association. Relationship between two numeric variables is verified through correlation and regression analysis.

C. RESULTS

1. Preparing the sample for analysis; number of subjects
1. Total number of participants/ respondents/ subjects/ cases/ patients/ controls/ animals/ specimens/ plants/ microorganisms enrolled/ included at inception/ start of the survey/ study/ trail
2. Group wise number of participants/ subjects/ cases/ patients/ controls at inception
3. Frequency (count) & percentage of responses of the respondents in case of questionnaire based survey
4. Mention if any subject died?
5. How many were dropped out & why? Mention different causes with numbers of subject separately i.e. due to which complications of the drugs/ devices/ laser/ surgical procedure etc.
6. How many were lost to follow up?
7. Mention the missing data at follow ups
8. The rest of the subjects are the actual size of the sample/s to be analyzed
2. Descriptive analysis: Please analyze and write here your findings as explained in data analysis plan.
3. Estimation of parameters: Please analyze and write here your findings as explained in data analysis plan.
4. Testing of hypotheses: Please analyze and write here your findings as explained in data analysis plan.

D. DISCUSSION

1. Put your findings for your first objective/ variable. Then add studies with similar findings from local, then national, then regional and lastly global studies/ literature/ populations. Then add studies with higher findings (higher prevalence/proportion/mean) and lastly with lower findings. Likewise go for your next objectives/ variables one by one.
2. The comparison is to be based on estimation of parameters (indices of population) and not on sample statistics (sample indices). Further it should be based on hypotheses testing, but most studies lack both the estimation of parameters and hypotheses testing.
3. The comparisons must be based on numbers/ indices (counts, percentages and means) from populations, not merely on theoretical/logical/philosophical statements/argumentation.
4. Each study brought for comparison should have author name, city & country name, duration of study, sample size and relevant data for comparison.
5. Better to bring those studies which are already cited in introduction.
6. Other studies may have data for many more objectives/ variables. You have to bring only relevant data matching to your objective/ variables.
7. Conclusion is the last part of the discussion. It is actually summary of your results. What you observed and analyzed in your study, bring those facts here in non-statistical language as statement in simple English. Do not bring conclusions from work of other authors.
8. Recommendations may be added as separate heading or it may be the last paragraph of the conclusion. Here you may go beyond your own findings.

 

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.

  1. 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).
  2. The submission file is in Microsoft Word document file format.
  3. Where available, DOIs or URLs for the references have been provided.
  4. The text is in Times New Roman, 1.5 line-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.
  5. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  6. If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.
  7. Does not infringe patients privacy; An informed consent obtained if such information was essential for scientific purposes. (Upload copy as “Supplementary File” if applicable.)
  8. When reporting experiments on human subjects, the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards and the Helsinki Declaration. When reporting experiments on animals, the institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed.
 

Copyright Notice

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Readers may “Share-copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format” and “Adapt-remix, transform, and build upon the material”. The readers must give appropriate credit to the source of the material and indicate if changes were made to the material. Readers may not use the material for commercial purpose. The readers may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

The authors will retain the copyrights of their submitted manuscripts for all purposes.

 

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The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.

 

Author Fees

This journal charges the following author fees.

Review Charges (Only for National Authors- Non-Refundable): 4000.00 (PKR)
Authors of original articles, review articles and case reports are required to submit PKR 4,000 as Review Charges at the time of submission.

Fast-Track Review (Only for National Authors- Non-Refundable): 8000.00 (PKR)

With the payment of Fast-Track Review (PKR 8,000 for National & 50$ for International Authors), the review, editorial decision, and author notification on this manuscript is guaranteed to take place within 8 weeks.

Note: If the Turnitin shows similarity index of > 50%, the manuscript will be rejected without review and further processing.

Publication Charges (Only for National Authors): 12000.00 (PKR)

Article Publication Charges: PKR 12,000 for National and 100$ for International Authors.

Authors of original articles, review articles and case reports are required to submit Publication Charges at the time of acceptance.

The authors are requested to transfer the fees to the following account and share the receipt via email gjms786@hotmail.com

Title of account:  EDITOR (GJMS) GMC DIK

IBAN: PK36 KHYB 0004 0020 0170 2222.

SWIFT Code: KHYB PKKA

Bank of Khyber, Circular Road, D.I.Khan, Pakistan

Waivers Policy:
If an author have no funds to pay such charges, he may request for full or partial waiver off of publication fees. We do not want charges to prevent the publication of worthy work.

Hard Copies:
Two free copies of GJMS are provided to the principal author in Pakistan only. However, more copies can be ordered on payment of PKR 1500 per copy.