Information for Authors
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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. There are many editing services available that can help the authors improve the scientific and grammatical writing of their manuscripts. However, language editing does not guarantee processing and publication and any costs incurred are the sole responsibility of the author.
The Saudi Medical Journal is a peer reviewed monthly publication.
- Scope of the Journal
- Open Access
- Conflict of Interest
- Ethical Consent
- Ethical Standards
- Peer Review Process
SCOPE of the JOURNAL Authors are invited to submit for publication articles with a wide spectrum of coverage reporting original work, epidemiology, public health, indigenous disease, and standards of health care from all parts of the globe. Basic research with clear clinical implications will also be considered.
OPEN ACCESS Articles published in Saudi Medical Journal are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial (CC BY-NC).
CONFLICT OF INTEREST Conflict of interest for a given manuscript exists when a participant in the peer review and publication process - author, reviewer, and editor has ties to activities that could inappropriately influence his and her judgement, whether or not judgement is in fact affected. Financial relationships with industry (for example, through employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria expert testimony) either directly or through immediate family, are usually considered to be the most important conflicts of interest. However, conflicts can occur for other reasons, such as personal relationships, academic competition, and intellectual passion.
Authors should be responsible for recognizing and disclosing financial and other conflicts of interest that might bias their work. They should acknowledge in the manuscript all financial support for the work and other financial or personal connections to the work.
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, after receiving approval of the experimental protocol by a local human ethics committee or institutional review board. Ethical approval is necessary not only for patient consent, but to avoid duplication of work from the same institute, and confirms that the institute gives approval to release the data. 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 after receiving approval of the experimental protocol by a local human ethics committee or institutional review board. The author should also indicate if it follows the principles of Helsinki Declaration.
When reporting experiments on animals' authors should indicate whether the institutional and national guide for the care and use of laboratory animals was followed. All procedures involving laboratory animals should be performed according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Guiding Principles in the Care and Use of Animals.
ETHICAL STANDARDS Saudi Medical Journal is committed to upholding the highest standards of research, editorial, and publication ethics and follows international guidelines, procedures, and policies; the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and Office of Research Integrity (ORI) when dealing with any cases of suspected ethical misconduct.
By submission, the author grants the journal right of first publication. Therefore, the journal discourages unethical withdrawal of manuscript from the publication process after peer review.
The corresponding author should send a formal request signed by all co-authors stating the reason for withdrawing the manuscript. Withdrawal of manuscript is only considered valid when the editor accepts, or approves the reason to withdraw the manuscript from publication. Subsequently, the author must receive a confirmation from the editorial office. Only at that stage, authors are free to submit the manuscript elsewhere.
No response from the authors to all journal communication after review and provisional acceptance is also considered unethical withdrawal. Withdrawn manuscripts noted to have already been submitted or published in another journal will be subjected to sanctions in accordance with the journal policy. The journal will take disciplinary measures for unethical withdrawal of manuscripts. An embargo of 5 years will be enforced for the author and co-authors, and their institute and other scientific databases will be notified of this action.
Authors should follow the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Uniform Requirements; however, the journal has specific requirements for different types of articles.
In manuscript preparation, we encourage authors to check the instructions and guidelines for authors. Please carefully consider that all authors’ names are included, as no change to author’s details will be permitted after the initial submission. All authors must read and sign the following statements: (1) Authorship Responsibility and (2) Copyright Transfer Agreement. Please download this document and distribute to co-authors for their original ink signatures. Please include them with the manuscript submission.
Submission with incomplete requirements will not be considered. Only complete submission acknowledged by the editorial office will be assigned a receipt date and will be considered for further process.
Authors are required to pay a nonrefundable submission fee of US$10, which helps support the journal operations. Payment of publication fees can be made by bank transfer, or online payment through our website.
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. The journal may 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.
All authors should refer to the appropriate checklists according to the type of manuscript and comply with their guidelines:
Randomized controlled trials: CONSORT Checklist
Observational studies in epidemiology: STROBE Checklist
Diagnostic accuracy studies: STARD Checklist
Systematic reviews and meta-analysis: PRISMA Checklist
Meta-analysis of observational studies MOOSE Checklist Clinical guidelines
Resource centre for good reporting of health research studies EQUATOR NETWORK WEBSITE
RESEARCH Research articles should be original, relevant, and convey a new message. All original articles must contain structured abstract of not more than 230 words, and a structured Arabic abstract should also be provided. The following are the typical headings: Objectives (background), Methods (settings, design) including where and when the study took place, Results, Conclusion. Original research articles should follow the IMRaD style (introduction, methods, results and discussion). Original articles should be no longer than 4000 words (excluding abstract and references). Articles may include a maximum of 6 tables and/or figures in total. It may include up to 40 references. Ethical Approval and Informed Consent are required for this type of article. Studies that are found old and end pointed more than five years will not be accepted.
Please refer to the Original Submission Checklist and upload as supplementary file.
CASE We consider case reports that present unusual topics that add something new to the literature. Case report abstracts should be unstructured and not more than 150 words. References should be limited to 10. There is a maximum of 4 authors for Case report. Case reports must include at least one figure. Radiological and histopathological images should be reviewed by a radiologist and histopathologist for clarity and correctness.
Download and fill out the form and upload as supplementary file.
REVIEW Review articles are usually by invitation; however, articles of current interest and high standard will be considered. Review article abstracts should be unstructured and not more than 150 words. References should not exceed 100 references. There is a maximum of two authors for Review articles. Review articles should be no longer than 4000 words (excluding abstract and references). Articles may include a maximum of 6 tables and/or figures in total. Radiological and histopathological images should be reviewed by a radiologist and histopathologist for clarity and correctness.
A systematic review is a literature review focused on a research question that tries to identify, appraise, select, and synthesize all high quality research evidence relevant to that question.
SMJ welcomes submission of high quality systematic reviews that are within the scope of the journal and address important health outcome.
The author should follow the PRISMA checklist while preparing the systematic review and provide the checklist during submission.
The abstract should not exceed 300 words while the manuscript should not be more than 4000 words. References should not exceed 100.
BRIEF COMMUNICATIONS are short methodological articles not more than 2000 words excluding the title page and reference pages. Brief Communication should have structured abstract not more than 200 words. Use subheadings within the text such as Methods, Results and Discussion. Brief Communications may include tables, figures and combination thereof limited to 3 only. Use not more than 15 references. Requires Ethical Approval.
BRIEF REPORTS are short articles of broad interest presenting medical advances, reporting standards, and experience practice or considering controversial issues. Brief reports have no abstract and subheadings. Brief reports should not exceed 2000 words. Limited to one figure or table with 5 references only.
OTHER ARTICLE TYPES
We also consider Clinical Notes, Clinical Image, Editorials, and Correspondence. These sections should be 5 typed pages and include the 5 most recent references.
Clinical Practice Guidelines must include a short abstract. There should be an Introduction section addressing the objective in producing the guideline, what the guideline is about and who will benefit from the guideline. It should describe the population, conditions, health care setting and clinical management/diagnostic test. Authors should adequately describe the methods used to collect and analyze evidence, recommendations and validation. If it is adapted, authors should include the source, how, and why it is adapted? The guideline should include not more than 50 References, select illustrations, and an algorithm.
Student Corner must contain an abstract of not more than 300 words with a descriptive title. The typical headings: Objectives, Methods, Results, and Conclusion. Submitted abstracts should be co-authored by a Senior Supervisor. This is a non-indexed material and will be available only in the website and printed journal.
Download and fill out the form and upload as supplementary file.
The manuscript submitted should be single spaced in MS Word format. Figures should be provided with high resolution (300 dpi) in JPEG, TIFF, GIF, PDF or PSD format. Tables should be in MS Word format and not in raw MS Excel version.
JOURNAL HOUSE-STYLE BASICS
1) Spelling - Use American English
a) Minimal commas, but use commas before the "and" and "or" in lists
b) Full stop should be followed by one space in both English and Arabic text.
a) Write in the active voice and use the first person where necessary. Try to avoid long sentences that have several embedded clauses.
a) Nouns and verbs should agree: was/were, is/are
b) Replace/omit the following words: done – carried out; not uncommon – common; respectively; commonest – most common; about – around or approximately; ie – namely; e.g. – for example; sex – gender.
c) Check consistency of language and scientific information in the various parts of the manuscript
d) All abbreviations should be in full when they are mentioned first in the text, thereafter they can be written in their abbreviated form, except at the start of a sentence when they should be written in full. If used in tables and figures – should be defined in the table footnote and figure legend.
e) If studies are mentioned by authors' name, the appropriate reference should always be included next to the authors' name. Always double-check the spelling of names of authors mentioned in the text against the appropriate reference in the reference section.
f) All numbers should be written as a number, with only number one being spelling out in full, unless at the beginning of sentence, when the word should always be spelled out in full.
g) Numbers as fractions remain as words, eg. two-thirds
h) Avoid sentences such as “to the best of our knowledge, this is the first case in Saudi Arabia”
i) All organism names should be written in full the first time and then in the standard abbreviated form thereafter, and should always appear in italics.
j) If specialized equipment is mentioned in the methods section, this should always be accompanied by the manufacturer's name, the city/state, and country.
k) Percentages should be rounded up or down to one decimal place only, except if the last digit is 5 eg. 1.26 becomes 1.3, but 1.25 remains 1.25.
All manuscripts submitted are initially reviewed by Editors. Articles rejected at this stage are those that are too specialised and outwith the scope of the journal, an older study date that end-pointed more than 5 years, lacks originality and does not add new information to the literature. Also, those that were previously rejected by the editor cannot be considered for submission. Manuscripts found suitable for processing are sent to three external reviewers. Saudi Medical Journal practices a double-blind peer review process. To ensure appropriate methodology and scientific quality, articles are referred to a Biostatistician and Scientific Editor. In cases where there is discrepancy in the decision of reviewers, the manuscript is sent to an Editorial and Advisory Board member. Articles invited for revision will be screened using CrossCheck for plagiarism and similarity. If articles are free from plagiarism and duplication, reviewer’s comments are sent to the corresponding author for revision. When revised manuscripts are received, the journal contacts the original reviewers for reassessment. The journal aims to reach a decision within six to eight weeks from submission.
When revision and reassessment of manuscript is complete and article is provisionally accepted; it will now be forwarded to copy editing. Prior to publication, the editing department will contact the corresponding author for the necessary changes regarding the typesetting, copy editing (mechanical and substantive), and proofreading requirements. Final acceptance is only confirmed after the galley proof is prepared, edited and approved for publication. Manuscript is considered for publication on the condition that its contents have not appeared elsewhere.
Click here for Proofreading Instructions.