Ethics
Author Guidelines

The Sudan Journal of Medical Sciences (SJMS) is a project of the Continuous Medical Education program and an official scientific journal of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences – Omdurman Islamic University. The SJMS is a regional, English-language journal with only the abstract translated and published in Arabic. The SJMS is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal publishing four issues per year since 2006. High-quality papers dealing with all aspects of medical sciences are welcomed. The main interest of the journal lies in articles that can improve clinical care or guide further research in Sudan and help in fighting and solving the health challenges that face Sudan and the regional area. A manuscript will be considered only with the understanding that it is an original contribution. The scientific and ethical liability of the manuscripts belongs to the authors, and the copyright of the manuscripts belongs to the SJMS.

Ethics

The SJMS endorses the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) Policy Statement on Geopolitical Intrusion on Editorial Decisions and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals. It adheres to the principles of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). The SJMS also endorses the Editorial Policy Statements approved by the Council of Science Editors Board of Directors at www.councilscienceeditors.org.

  • Conflict-of-interest statement: A conflict of interest (COI) is a situation in which a person or organization is involved in multiple interests, financial or otherwise, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation of the individual or organization. The presence of a conflict of interest is independent of the occurrence of impropriety. “A competing interest is anything that interferes with or could reasonably be perceived as interfering with, the full and objective presentation, peer review, editorial decision-making, or publication of research or non-research articles submitted to a journal. Competing interests can be financial or nonfinancial, professional, or personal. Competing interests can arise in relation to an organization or another person.” The Wiley definition is noted here.  If there are any conflicts of interest, authors should disclose them in the manuscript. It is important to provide a disclosure statement in the manuscript.
  • Informed consent & Ethical committee approval: For the studies involving human or human subjects, informed consent of the participants and an approval of the concerned ethical committee is needed. Medical research is subject to ethical standards that promote and ensure respect for all human subjects and protect their health and rights. Experimental, clinical, and drug studies requiring approval by an ethics committee must be submitted to the journal with an ethics committee approval report confirming that the research was conducted in accordance with international agreements and The Declaration of Helsinki, articles failing to adhere to this will not be considered for publication. Any clinical trial should be registered at a national clinical trial registration office. The study should follow the standard reporting guidelines available at EQUATOR Network and NLM
  • Statement of animal rights: For animal subjects, appropriate training for all research personnel should be prescribed, and adequate veterinary care should be available. Experiments must comply with any rules or regulations promulgated to govern the humane handling, housing, care, treatment, and transportation of animals by National or Institutional Guide.
  • Authorship: The definition of authorship is based on contributions as follows:
    • Concepts, Literature search
    • Clinical studies, Experimental studies
    • Data acquisition, Data analysis, Statistical analysis
    • Manuscript preparation, Manuscript editing, Manuscript review
    • Final Approval of the version to be published
    Each author's role should be indicated. Other participants to the study, who are not authors, should be listed in the Acknowledgements section.
  • Plagiarism: All papers published in KnE Publishing will be screened for plagiarism using the Crossref Similarity Check, powered by iThenticate. The SJMS editorial office will take appropriate action as directed by the standards set forth by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) if a high similarity rate is discovered. All Knowledge E published content is permanently archived in Portico, a not-for-profit organization with a mission and singular focus to provide a permanent archive of electronic scholarly content.
  • Data sharing statement: The SJMS endorses the ICMJE Recommendations for data sharing statement policy; especially the clinical trial results should submit a data-sharing statement following the ICMJE guidelines.
  • Post-publication: The Editorial Board may consider erratum, corrigendum, or a retraction. If there are any revisions to the article, there will be a CrossMark description to announce the final draft. If there is a reader’s opinion on the published article, it will be forwarded to the authors. The authors can reply to the reader’s letter. Letter to the editor and the author’s reply may also be published.
  • Publication misconduct: When the Journal faces suspected cases of research misconduct such as a redundant (duplicate) publication, plagiarism, fabricated data, changes in authorship, undisclosed conflicts of interest, an ethical problem discovered within the submitted manuscript, a reviewer who has appropriated an author’s idea or data, complaints against editors, and other issues, the resolving process will follow the flowchart provided by the Committee on Publication Ethics. The Editorial Board of SJMS will discuss the suspected cases and reach a decision. The journal will not hesitate to publish errata, corrigenda, clarifications, retractions, and apologies when needed. Any article that does not comply with the SJMS publication policies or any unethical behaviour or serious errors in results on in conclusions may be “Withdrawn” or “retracted.” Article replacement (retraction with republication) can be considered in cases where honest error occurred.
  • Appeals and complaints: The journal stands by the COPE guidelines regarding revisiting editorial decisions and complaints.

For more details on ethics, please, visit https://publicationethics.org/.

Author Guidelines

  • Editorial policy: All manuscripts submitted for publication must be accompanied by the Copyright Transfer Form. Once this form, signed by all the authors, has been submitted, it is understood that neither the manuscript nor the data it contains have been submitted elsewhere or previously published and authors declare the statement of scientific contributions and responsibilities of all authors. The secondary publication can be done if the article meets the criteria of the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals at www.icmje.org/.

    Information regarding reviewers will not be revealed. SJMS follows a double-blind peer-review system. Changing the authors' names, adding or deleting them is the responsibility of the corresponding author in agreement with the editorial office.

    The journal does not charge for the submission or processing of articles, however, for hard copies, a fee shall be payable by the author.

    All published manuscripts belong to the Sudan Journal of Medical Sciences (SJMS) and are prohibited from being published elsewhere without written permission.
  • General information: The journal focuses on clinical research, case reports, reviews, letter to the editor, short communications, and editorials. All accepted manuscripts are requested to be proofread by the corresponding author. Researchers from Sudan and throughout the Middle East and Africa region can submit a manuscript if it falls within the scope of the journal.

    Submissions can be made through the online manuscript submission system, Authors, reviewers, and editors can correspond directly with each other through this system.
  • Peer-review process: The manuscript is assigned to the Editor-in-Chief, who reviews the manuscript and makes an initial decision based on the manuscript quality and editorial priorities. Manuscripts that pass initial evaluation are sent for peer-review process, and the Editor-in-Chief assigns an Associate Editor. The Associate Editor sends the manuscript to two reviewers (internal and/or external reviewers). Manuscripts will be reviewed by experts in the corresponding field of the manuscript. The reviewers must review the manuscript within 30 days. The Associate Editor recommends a decision based on the reviewers’ recommendations and returns the manuscript to the Editor-in-Chief. The Editor-in-Chief makes a final decision based on editorial priorities, manuscript quality, and reviewer recommendations. If there are any conflicting recommendations from reviewers, the Editor-in-Chief can assign a new reviewer. Information reading reviewer will not be revealed, it is a double-blind process. According to the reviewer's opinion, the accepted manuscript may be sent back to the author to adjust some details. The author should upload the revised files with a reply to each query of the reviewer. The author's revisions should be completed within 10 days after the request. If it is not received by the due date, there may be delays or rejection. The revision period can be extended after the submission of a request. The author may request another reviewer's opinion, and the editorial board has the right to approve or reject it. The Editorial Board has the full final decision on approval and rejection and might request further corrections if required. Statistical editing is also performed if needed by a biostatistician. The Editor-in-Chief, Associate Editors, biostatistics expert, and English language consultant may make minor corrections to accepted manuscripts that do not change the main text of the paper.

  • Copyrights: Copyrights of all published materials are owned by the SJMS. On behalf of the co-author(s), the corresponding author must complete and submit the journal's copyright transfer agreement which is based on the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. A copy of the form is available online at the SJMS website.

  • Open Access: The SJMS is an open-access journal. All published articles are freely available on the journal website without any charge. Articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License that permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium provided the original work is properly cited. To use the tables or figures of SJMS for scholarly, educational purposes, the process of permission requests to the publisher of SJMS is not necessary. All the content of the journal is available immediately upon publication.

  • Disclosure/Acknowledgement: Authors must provide disclosure/acknowledgement of the financial or material support, if any was received, for the current study. If the article includes any direct or indirect commercial links or if any institution provided material support to the study, authors must state in the cover letter that they have no relationship with the commercial product, drug, pharmaceutical company, etc., concerned; or specify the type of relationship (consultant, other agreements), if any.

  • Manuscript preparation:
    • The Editorial Policies and General Guidelines for manuscript preparation specified below are based on the “Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals (ICMJE Recommendations)” by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (2013, archived at http://www.icmje.org/). The format of SJMS complies with the “Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals,” as published by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1979 (the widely accepted “Vancouver style“), as described in the Annals of Internal Medicine (1982,96 [pt 1] 114–29) for guidance. Manuscripts, including tables, references, and figure legends, must be typewritten, double spaced, on 8 ½  x 11 inch (21.5 x 28 cm) on A4-size paper, with margins of at least one inch (2.5 cm). Times New Roman is the preferred font type with font size 12. Pages should be numbered consecutively, beginning with the title page, and continuing through the last page of typewritten material. All numbers should be written in Arabic numerals throughout the manuscripts and must be written in good English.

      Our preferred file format is DOCX or DOC. A single PDF file containing all materials in the manuscript including figures and figure legends should also be provided. Abbreviations should be avoided as much as possible. When used, the full expression of the abbreviations following the abbreviated word in parentheses should be given at the first use. Common abbreviations, however, may be used, such as DNA. Abbreviation can be used if it is listed as a MeSH subject heading. Authors should conform to the most recent edition of the American Medical Association Manual of Style.

      The sequence of the files should be as follows: cover letter (a must), title page file, manuscript (abstract and keywords, introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion, references, tables, and figures, other submission elements). Each section title should begin on a new page.

    • Cover letter: The covering letter must be addressed to the Sudan Journal of Medical Sciences (SJMS) demonstrating that the submitted work is original, important, not under consideration for publication elsewhere, transfer of copyrights to the journal signed by all the authors. The cover letter should include (1) statements about manuscript type, (2) single-journal submission affirmation, (3) conflict of interest statement, (4) sources of outside funding, (5) equipment (if applicable), and (6) approval of language for articles in English and approval of statistical analysis for original research articles.

    • Title page: The title page must contain: (1) the title of the article, (2) the correct names, official academic and/or clinical title, and email address of each author and the name and address of the institution(s), (3) the name and address of author to whom correspondence should be sent and his phone number, (4) any disclaimers (an example of a disclaimer is an author's statement that the views expressed in the submitted article are their own and not an official position of the institution or funder), (5) the clinical trial registration number, if applicable, and finally, (6) Each author's contributions should be stated as follows: (a) study concept and design or acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data, (b) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, (c) final approval of the version to be published, and (d) agreement to be Accountable for the Accuracy and Integrity of all aspects of the work.

    • Abstract: An abstract of no more than 250 words should be submitted. It should be structured into the following four subsections: Background, Methods, Results, and Conclusions.

    • Keywords: 5–10 keywords may be provided.

    • Introduction

    • Materials and Methods: Authors should describe the objective of the study and hypothesis appropriately in the methodology section. The primary/secondary endpoints are predetermined sensibly according to the objective of the study.

    • Results: In the results sections, describe the statistical tests used in the study in detail so that the readers can get the same results if the original data are available. The name and version of the statistical package should be provided. The characteristics of measured variables should determine the use of a parametric or nonparametric statistical method. For an analysis of a continuous variable, the normality of data should be examined. The “P” value defined as the limit of significance along with appropriate indicators of measurement error and uncertainty (confidence interval, etc.) should be specified. Statistical terminology (random, significant, correlation, etc.) should not be used in non-statistical contexts. Designate the name and result of the method to test normality. When analyzing a categorical variable, if the number of events and samples is small, the exact test or asymptotic method with appropriate adjustments should be used. The standard chi-squared test or difference-in-proportions test may be performed only when the sample size and number of events are sufficiently large. A prior sample size calculation should be described in detail. The sample size calculation must aim at preventing false-negative results pertaining to the primary, instead of secondary, endpoint. Usually, the mean difference and standard deviation (SD) are typical parameters in estimating the effect size. The power must be equal to or greater than 80 percent. In the case of multiple comparisons, an adjusted level of significance is acceptable.

    • Discussion: The conclusion should be included in the discussion section.

    • Declaration section:

      • Acknowledgements: Contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should not be listed as authors, but they should be acknowledged under this section.
      • Ethical approval: For human or animal research, the consent to participate or publication in case reports should be taken. Besides, the approval of the Ethical Committee should also be obtained.
      • Competing interests: Authors should disclose clearly: (1) any funding information or any relationship or activity that interferes with the study. Click here for more details.
      • Availability of data and material
      • Funding
      • Abbreviations and Symbols: It is recommended to use only standard abbreviations; the use of nonstandard abbreviations can be confusing to readers. Avoid abbreviations in the title of the manuscript. The spelled-out abbreviation followed by the abbreviation in parenthesis should be used on the first mention unless the abbreviation is a standard unit of measurement.
    • References: References are to be listed, double-spaced, in consecutive numerical order according to the order of citation in the manuscript. Once a reference is cited, all subsequent citations should be to the original number. All references must be cited in the text or tables and appear as superscript numbers between two square brackets. Unpublished data and personal communications will not be accepted as references. References (Vancouver style) to journal articles should follow this order: (1) authors, (2) title, (3) journal name (as abbreviated in Index Medicus), (4) year of publication, (5) volume and issue number, and (6) inclusive page numbers. References to books should include (1) authors, (2) chapter title (if any), (3) editor's names (if any), (4) title of the book, (5) city of publication, (6) publisher name, and (7) year of publication. Volume and edition numbers and specific page numbers should be included when appropriate. The authors are responsible for the correct textual citation.  The use of citation managers is encouraged.

    • Tables: Each table should be typed double-spaced, including all headings. Verify tabular statistics to make sure they match the data cited in the text. Tables should be placed after the Results section. Tables capture information concisely and display it efficiently; they also provide information at any desired level of detail and precision. Including data in tables rather than text frequently makes it possible to reduce the length of the text. Number tables consecutively in the order of their first citation in the text and supply a title for each. Titles in tables should be short but self-explanatory, containing information that allows readers to understand the table's content without having to go back to the text. Be sure that each table is cited in the text. Give each column a short or an abbreviated heading. Authors should place explanatory matter in footnotes, not in the heading. Explain all nonstandard abbreviations in footnotes and use symbols to explain information if needed. If you use data from another published or unpublished source, obtain permission and acknowledge that source fully. Additional tables containing backup data too extensive to publish in print may be appropriate for publication in the electronic version of the journal, deposited with an archival service, or made available to readers directly by the authors. An appropriate statement should be added to the text to inform readers that this additional information is available and where it is located.

    • Figures: The captions for the figures must be typed, double-spaced, and must not appear on the figures.  For X-ray films, scans, and other diagnostic images, as well as pictures of pathology specimens or photomicrographs, high-resolution photographic image files should be provided. Photomicrographs should have internal scale markers. Symbols, arrows, or letters used in photomicrographs should contrast with the background. Explain the internal scale and identify the method of staining in photomicrographs. Figures should be numbered consecutively according to the order in which they have been cited in the text. If a figure has been published previously, acknowledge the original source and submit written permission from the copyright holder to reproduce it. Permission is required irrespective of authorship or publisher except for documents in the public domain. In the manuscript, the legends for illustrations should be on a separate page, with Arabic numerals corresponding 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 and send it in separate files. 

  • Types of manuscript and guidelines
    • Systemic review: Systematic reviews, as the name implies, typically involve a detailed and comprehensive plan and search strategy derived a priori, with the goal of reducing bias by identifying, appraising, and synthesizing all relevant studies on a particular topic. Systematic Reviews should address a specific question or issue that is relevant for clinical practice and provide an evidence-based, balanced, patient-oriented review on a focused topic. PRISMA statement of preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (Moher D, Liberati A, Tetzlaff J, Altman DG, The PRISMA Group. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses: The PRISMA Statement. PLoS Med 2009; 6(7): e1000097.) (http://www.prisma-statement.org/ ).

      MOOSE guidelines for meta-analysis and systemic reviews of observational studies (Stroup DF, Berlin JA, Morton SC, et al. Meta-analysis of observational studies in epidemiology: a proposal for reporting Meta-analysis of observational Studies in Epidemiology (MOOSE) group. JAMA 2000; 283: 2008-12).

    • Trials: CONSORT statement for randomized controlled trials (Moher D, Schultz KF, Altman D, for the CONSORT Group. The CONSORT statement revised recommendations for improving the quality of reports of parallel group randomized trials. JAMA 2001; 285: 1987-91) (http://www.consort-statement.org/)
    • Original research article: Research articles should report on original primary research. SJMS encourages that all datasets on which the conclusions of the paper rely should be available to readers. We encourage authors to ensure that their datasets are presented in the main manuscript or additional supporting files whenever possible.

      STARD checklist for the reporting of studies of diagnostic accuracy (Bossuyt PM, Reitsma JB, Bruns DE, Gatsonis CA, Glasziou PP, Irwig LM, et al., for the STARD Group. Towards complete and accurate reporting of studies of diagnostic accuracy: the STARD initiative. Ann Intern Med 2003;138:40-4.) (http://www.stard-statement.org/);

      STROBE statement, a checklist of items that should be included in reports of observational studies (http://www.strobe-statement.org/)

    • Case report: Please ensure that all patient data have been de-identified and that necessary approval has been obtained, if necessary, from an ethics commission or an institutional review board. These guidelines are based on the CARE guidance.

    • Letter to the Editor: The Letters to the Editor should be short commentaries related to current developments in the medical field and their scientific and social aspects, they may be submitted to ask questions or offer further contributions in response to work that has been published in the Journal. Letters do not include a title or an abstract; they should not exceed 1,000 words and can have up to 5 references. The references in the letters should not exceed 15 words, figures, not more than two, and tables should not exceed two. The subdivisions of sections are encouraged to help orient the reader but should be general, such as “The Study” and “Conclusions.” Letters to the editor are generally updates on recent infectious disease trends and research but may also respond to recent articles published in SJMS.

    • Short  communications or commentaries

These policies were revised and updated by the SJMS editorial board in December 2019.