Guide for Authors

Instruction for Authors

Journal of Iranian Medical Council (JIMC) is a seasonal peer-reviewed multidisciplinary medical publication. The journal welcomes all contributions, particularly those related to applied medical sciences, medical ethics, malpractices and errors, clinical topics, medical education, medical laws and regulatory audit issues, fitness to practice, medical income and taxes, health economy, public health and medical professional issues and other similar subjects. In addition, the journal is interested in any study that helps national and regional health policies.

Peer-Review System at JIMC

Manuscripts are first reviewed by the editorial board to ensure they are appropriate and relevant to the framework of the journal. Manuscripts are also excluded by the editor if they bear major faults in their methodology of research. Peer-review process is double blind. Peer reviews are handled anonymously and comments are discussed in weekly editorial sessions. Reviews are then sent to the corresponding authors for proposed modifications and the new version of the manuscript will be peer-reviewed for a second time by one or two external reviewers.

Ethics of Publication

The AIM’s policy regarding suspected scientific misconduct including plagiarism, fabricated data, falsification, and redundancy is based on the guidelines on good publication practice of the “Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)”. The complete guidelines appear on COPE website: http:/www.publicationethics.org.

Ethic Committee Approval

Inclusion of the approval letter from the relevant Ethics Committee or Institution’s Review Board regarding the research protocol and the rights of the subjects (if applicable to the study).

Clinical Trial Registration

Archives of Iranian Medicine requires that randomized controlled trials be registered according to the policies accepted by International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and World Association of Medical Editors (WAME). In order to be considered for publication, trials that begin enrollment of patients after January 2008 must register in a public trials registry at or before the onset of enrollment, and trials that began patient enrollment on or before this date must register anytime before submission to the journal.

The registration number of the trial and the name of the trial registry must be mentioned at the end of the abstract. Acceptable trial registries include the following:

http://www.clinicaltrials.gov

http://www.anzctr.org.au

http://isrctn.org

http://www.irct.ir

http://www.umin.ac.jp/ctr

Submission

Manuscripts must be submitted in English. Only contributions will be considered for publication if they are exclusively submitted to JIMC, have not been previously published elsewhere (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture, review or thesis), and are not under consideration by another journal for publication. The covering letter should introduce at least one of the authors as “corresponding author”. Manuscripts should be prepared in accordance with the “Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submission to Biomedical Journals” proclaimed by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (available from: http://www.icmje.org). Authors are responsible for all statements made in their work. The right is reserved to incorporate any changes if recognized as necessary by the editorial board to make contributions harmonized with the editorial standards of the journal. Accepted manuscripts become the property of JIMC. Manuscript submission to JIMC is possible in one of the following two ways:

a) E-mail submission: Submit the manuscript and all related materials to JIMC email address: jimc@irimc.org. The authors may propose three potential reviewers in the field of the study; however, their endorsement depends on the editorial decision.

b) Online submission: JIMC provides an online submission and peer review system that enable authors to submit their papers online and track its progress via web interference. For online submission, authors should first refer to the following email for registration: jimc@irimc.org. Please carefully read the user’s manual online before submitting the paper at http://www.jimc.ir/contacts.

Manuscript should be submitted in a compatible format with Microsoft Word. The entire manuscript should be submitted as a single file excluding figures and tables that must be submitted as separate files. 

Covering Letter: All submissions to the JIMC must be accompanied by a completed copy of signed covered letter including the copyright agreement. The authors must always make a complete statement to the editor about all previous submissions that might be regarded as redundant or duplicate publications (including meeting presentations, registries, etc). If redundant or duplicate publication is attempted without notification, prompt rejection of the manuscript should be expected.

The authors are required to submit an ethics committee approval letter as a supplementary file and write the number of the approval letter in the cover letter and the acknowledgment section of the manuscript.

Structure of Articles

Text of the Original Articles should include title page, abstract, keywords, introduction, materials/patients and methods, results, discussion, conclusion, acknowledgment, conflict of interest, references, tables, figures, and legends, enumerated from the title page. The length of the text should not exceed 4000 words excluding the references; however for review articles this is up to 6000 words. 

All Clinical Trials should include patients’ informed consent forms and the approval of the bioethics committee of the corresponding university/institution as well as the trial registry number (Prospective register) and Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials (http://irct.ir/). 

Review Articles are solicited by the editor, but JIMC will also accept submitted reviews. The authors of review articles are invited to contact the Editorial Office before preparing a review article. The journal will only consider unsolicited review articles from the authors who have substantial research background in the field of that subject. Systemic reviews with sound methodology of such studies do not require the above-mentioned condition and are greatly encouraged. Both solicited and unsolicited review articles undergo peer review and editorial processing like original papers.

Brief Reports has original articles structure with a word limit up to 2000 words with at most 3 figures or tables and 15 references.

Editorials provide commentary and analysis about an article in the issue of the Journal in which they appear. They may include 1 figure or 2 tables. They are nearly always invited, although uninvited editorials may occasionally be considered. Editorials are limited to 1500 words, with up to 15 references.

Case Reports should be limited to 2000 words and must include abstract, keywords, case presentation, discussion, acknowledgment, references, and 1-5 figures. Necessary documentations of the case(s) like pathology reports, laboratory test reports, and images should be included in the submission package. Brief reports should not have more than 2 figures and/or one table.

Opinion is a forum where researchers can present their points of views on various controversial issues of science, at large, and medicine, in particular.  The submissions should not be more than 1000 words with at most one Figure, Graph or Table, and ten references.

Photoclinics should be up to 1000 words. The maximum number of pictures is four. Number of references should not exceed ten.

Letter to the Editor: JIMC welcomes letters to the editor. Letters, up to 500 words, should discuss materials published in the journal in previous six months. They can be submitted either by e-mail or by regular mail. Letters are subjected to the editorial review and editing for clarity and space.

Submissions must include:

Cover Letter

All submissions to the JIMC must be accompanied by a completed copy of signed covered letter including the copyright agreement. The authors must always make a complete statement to the editor about all previous submissions that might be regarded as redundant or duplicate publications (including meeting presentations, registries, etc). If redundant or duplicate publication is attempted without notification, prompt rejection of the manuscript should be expected.

The authors are required to submit an ethics committee approval letter as a supplementary file and write the number of the approval letter in the cover letter and the acknowledgment section of the manuscript.

Title Page

Should include title; author(s) information including first name, last name, highest academic degree, affiliation; running title ≤50 characters including spaces; and name and address of the author to whom correspondence and reprint requests should be addressed.

 

Abstract

Should include the background, methods, results, and conclusion sections separately. Objective of the study, findings (including its statistical significance), and the conclusion made on the basis of the findings should be clearly stated. Structured abstract is not necessary for case reports, however review articles should have an abstract. Nevertheless, the length of an abstract should not exceed 250 words (150 words for case reports).

 

Keywords

For indexing purposes, each submitted article should include three to five keywords chosen from the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH). (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/mesh)

 

Introduction
The introduction should provide a background for the study (i.e., the features of the problem and its importance), clearly state the research objective(s) or the hypothesis tested by the study. The primary and secondary objectives should be made clear in this section. Give only strictly relevant references and do not include data or conclusions from the study.

 

Methods

The methods section should include only information that was available at the time the plan or protocol for the study was written. It may also include:

  • Statement of the study registration at a domestic or international database for RCTs (The trial's registration number needs to be mentioned, too).
  • Selection and description of participants: Describe clearly your selection criteria, if any, of the observational or experimental participants (cases or lab animals and the controls), including eligibility plus a description of the source population. Make sure to indicate the justification for inclusion or exclusion of variables such as age and sex and their relevance to the objective of research as they are not always clear. For variables such as race or ethnicity, you should define how you measure these variables and justify their use.
  • Technical information: Indicate the methods, tools (plus the manufacturer's name and address in parentheses), and procedures in full detail for reproducibility. For established methods, referencing to them and giving brief descriptions for published new methods or modified methods while including their limitations and justification for their use are necessary. Describe precisely all chemicals and medications used, including their generic names, doses and routes of administration. If you are submitting a review, include a section describing the methods used for locating, selecting, extracting, and producing data. Summarize these pieces of information in the abstract, too.
  • Observance of ethical issues regarding human and animal rights: Aside from the inclusion in the cover letter, state the issue in the methods section and the procedures of observance of ethical issues related to human or animals that might be of concern to the readers of the journal, any legal body or the journal’s authorities as this journal is in conformity with the Declaration of Helsinki.
  • Declaration of Helsinki: The Declaration of Helsinki was developed by the World Medical Association (WMA) as a statement of ethical principles for medical research involving human subjects and research on identifiable human material and data. The declaration was first adopted by the 18th WMA General Assembly, Helsinki, Finland, June 1964, and amended by the 59th WMA General Assembly, Seoul in October 2008. To get more insight about the principles, it is suggested to log onto: https://www.wma.net/en/30publications/10policies/b3/
  • Statistics: Describe the statistical methods and significance level in a fashion to make it possible for a knowledgeable reader to validate the reported results when the data are available. Relying merely on hypothesis testing by using p-values falls short of demonstrating the effect size properly. Mention the statistical software used for analysis and its version, if any. For selecting the design of the study and use of statistical methods, provide standard works and references. Define statistical terms, abbreviations, and the main symbols.

Results
It should be written in logical sequence in the text with the main or most important findings first. Report or summarize only important observations related to the objectives or secondary objectives of the study. Supply more information, if needed to be mentioned, in footnotes and or appendix. These could be easily published in electronic formats without any restriction. Give numeric results not only as percentages but also as numbers and express the statistical methods used to analyze them. Restrict tables and figures to only explain the argument of the paper and to assess its support. Use graphs as an alternative to tables with many entries; do not duplicate data in graphs and tables and vice versa. Avoid non-technical usages of statistical terms (such as the word “normal”, etc.), adverbs of frequency (e.g. usually, etc.), common words or phrases or vague words for describing subjects (such as “a promising drug”, “a devastating disease”, etc.) instead of numbers and percentages.

 

Discussion
Stress the novelty and important features of the study and the conclusions derived from them. Do not repeat the data or other material given in the introduction, methods or the results sections. For experimental studies:

  • Begin the discussion by summarizing the main findings
  • Show possible mechanism(s) or explanations for these findings
  • Compare and contrast the results with other studies
  • State the limitations of the study and finally state the implications of the findings for future studies or for clinical practice.

Conclusion

It is necessary to add “conclusion” at the end of article. Link the conclusions with the goals of the study but avoid statements and conclusions that are not adequately supported by your data. Avoid making statements unless your manuscript includes the appropriate and relevant data and analyses. Avoid claiming precedence in doing the intended research which almost always proves to be faulty and faces strong criticism, especially by foreign and domestic reviewers (e.g. This research is the first to establish a link …), or referencing to work that has not been completed yet.

 

Acknowledgements

All contributions that do not meet authorship criteria should be listed. Sources of financial support should be mentioned in this section, if required. The organization(s) which financially and otherwise supported the research project should be acknowledged, in order of priority (if necessary). The code number of ethics committee approval letter should be written in the acknowledgment.

Conflict of Interest

Conflict of interest should be mentioned or ruled out. 

 

References

The authors are responsible for the accuracy of the bibliographic information that they provide. References must be numbered consecutively in order of citation in the text. Mark reference citations by superscript Arabic numbers. Personal communications and unpublished data including manuscripts submitted but not yet accepted for publication should not be used as a reference, nonetheless, they may be placed in parentheses in the text.

Periodical titles should be abbreviated according to the Index Medicus. Inclusive page numbers should be given for all references. Print surnames and initials of all authors when there are six or less. In the case of seven or more authors, the names of the first six authors followed by et al, should be listed.

Listed below, are references to a journal, a chapter in a book, and a book, respectively, in correct style:

1.Comroe JH, Long TV, Sort AJ. The lung clinical physiology and pulmonary function tests. Chest. 1989;65:20–22.

2.Schiebler GL, van Mierop LHS, Krovetz LJ. Diseases of the tricuspid valve. In: Moss AJ, Adams  F, eds. Heart Disease in Infants, Children, and Adolescents. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins; 1988: 134 – 139.

3. Guyton AC. Textbook of Medical Physiology. 8th ed. Philadelphia: WB Saunders; 1996.

Tables

Enumerate tables with Arabic numerals. They should be self-explanatory, clearly arranged, and supplemental to the text. Tables should provide easier understanding and not duplicate information already included in the text or figures.

 

Figures

Figures should be used only if they augment comprehension of the text. Drawings and graphs should be professionally prepared in deep-black and submitted as glossy, black-and-white clean photo. Professionally designed computer-generated graphs (grayscale or color) with a minimum of 600 dpi laser printer output is also acceptable. Each figure should have a label on the back, listing the figure number, title of manuscript, first author, and an arrow indicating the top.  Illustrations should be numbered as cited in the sequential order in the text, and each should have a legend on a separate sheet. Color photographs are welcomed at no extra-charge.

 

Units of Measurement
Report laboratory information or drug concentration in SI units. All measurements should be mentioned in metric units (meter, kilogram, or liter) or decimal ( e.g. temperatures are stated in degrees centigrade).

 

Abbreviations and Symbols
Use of standard abbreviations needs prior use of the word(s) and indication of the abbreviation or the acronyms in parentheses. Do not use abbreviations in the title.

 

Proofs

These will be sent via E-mail, and must be duly corrected and returned within 48 hours. Absent authors should arrange for a colleague to access the E-mail and reply to the proofs.

 

Authorship

Designated authors should meet all criteria for authorship in the ICMJE Recommendations. Please download the related Copyright/authorship form. By submitting a manuscript to the journal, authors consent to the free access policy of the Journal. Authors are responsible for the contents of their manuscript and they guarantee that the work contains no infringement of law or unlawful statements or opinion or infringements of copyright laws of other journals or articles. They also make sure that the procedures they explain does not promote acts of violence. By signing the request for publication, authors transfer all their copyrights to the publisher.

 

Plagiarism
Any sort of plagiarism will not be tolerated by the journal regarding submitted manuscripts. Non-identifiable quoted segments of articles or close paraphrases from other author/s or even submitting the author’s previously published work are known as the act of plagiarism by this journal unless proper use of quotations or paraphrasing with decent citation or referencing are in place. Heavy use of one or a couple of articles is discouraged, even if paraphrased fully. Advertent practice of plagiarism will abort reviewing process or later submission to this journal.

 

Copyright policy

Journal of Iranian Medical Council (JIMC) reserve all its rights and copyrights to the published material. Despite its adoption of a free access policy for its online version of the journal, users of parts or all of articles are persuaded to properly reference or e-link the Journal and the authors.