The editorial board of PJO makes recommendations on all editorial policy decisions. The editor-in-chief is the chairperson in all editorial board meetings and is responsible for implementation of policy decisions taken by the editorial board. The editorial board meetings are held quarterly.
PJO adopts the ICMJE (http://www.icmje.org) and the ‘World Association of Medical Editors’ (https://www.wame.org) definition of editorial freedom which delineates that editors-in-chief holds full authority over the entire editorial content of their journal and the timing of publication of that content. Journal owners do not have the right to interfere in the articles selection, editing and time of publishing, either, directly or by indirectly influencing the decisions. Editor’s decisions must be based on the quality of work and its importance to the readers and not on the commercial interests. Editors are free to express critical without fear of retribution, but with full responsibility.
POLICY OF SELECTION OF EDITORS, REVIEWERS, OTHER EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS
Human Resource policies in relation to selection of editors, reviewers, other editorial board members are based upon vision and mission of Ophthalmological society of Pakistan (OSP). Decisions are taken by Central Council, which is an elected body of OSP. The performance of editorial board is assessed using mutually agreed-upon measures and various journal metrics.
PROCESSING OF MANUSCRIPT
Initial Assessment: On receiving an article for publication, an acknowledgement letter is sent to the author. After that, the submitted article is initially assessed by a staff editor. It is ensured that manuscript is prepared in accordance with the uniform requirements submitted to bio-medical journal as approved by ICMJE guidelines. It is also evaluated that the article is in accordance with the PJO format, technically correct and falls under the aims and scope of the journal. The staff bibliographer also examines and authenticates the references and checks for plagiarism using “Turnitin”. The manuscript is also assessed for statistical analysis by the Journal’s statistician. Deficiencies found by the editor and statistician are communicated to author for redressing the article at the initial stage.
Peer Review: After initial assessment and receiving of the redressed article, the selected papers are sent to two reviewers for peer review. PJO follows double blind peer-review procedure. Two weeks' time is given to reviewers for reviewing the manuscript. If reviewers fail to send back their feedback in the stipulated time, reminders are sent. Comments from two reviewers are mandatory for review of a manuscript. Once the reviewed manuscript is received from both the reviewers, their comments/suggestions are communicated to the author for revision. Revisions must be returned to the PJO within two weeks. The Corresponding Author must reply to each point made in the revision request and may state points of disagreement with the reviewer's comments. In case of conflict or disputed articles, the matter is discussed with the Chief Editor and finally to a third reviewer as nominated by him.
Editing and proof reading: After receiving the revised article, it is sent for editing and proofreading of text for correct grammar, spelling and medical terminology, ensuring incorporation of all the necessary/relevant minutest details in the article. The final proofs are sent to the corresponding authors for approval of the corrected manuscript. Three days are given to author to return their feedback failing which the manuscript is processed as final. The Managing Editor checks final proofs at the dummy stage before sending them for printing.
PJO observes/follows the ICMJE (http://www.icmje.org), and Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan guidelines/criteria for all types of plagiarism. https://hec.gov.pk/english/services/faculty/Plagiarism/Pages/default.aspx). It is the authors' responsibility to apprise themselves of plagiarism in any form including paraphrasing and self – plagiarism. Manuscripts submitted to PJO can be sent to HEC, other medical journals' editors and international agencies for authentication of originality. The disciplinary committee of PJO would deal with cases of plagiarism and comprise of the staff, editors and the Chief Editor or his representative.
For a plagiarized article in processing, the identification of act will lead to dropping of article from further processing/consideration of publication. The author will be required to give an explanation on demand. In case of an unsatisfactory reply, the matter will be referred to the disciplinary committee that may decide the course of action. For a published article, the allegedly plagiarized article will be temporarily retracted from publication and a notice to the effect will be published in the PJO. The author will be served an explanation demand. In case of non response in the stipulated time or unsatisfactory explanation, the article will be permanently retracted and the author will be on watch. HEC and author's institute will also be informed. The author(s) will have to provide documentary proof of retraction from publication, if such a defense is pleaded. Those claiming intellectual / idea or data theft of an article must provide documentary proof in their claim.
The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal.
POLICY ON REJECTED ARTICLES
When a manuscript is rejected, the rejected material is deleted from the editorial systems of PJO after one year. When a manuscript is published, PJO keeps copies of the original submission, reviews, revisions, and correspondence for at three years.
POLICY ON PUBLICATION MISCONDUCT
According to the ICMJE recommendations, scientific misconduct in research and non-research publications includes but is not necessarily limited to data fabrication; data falsification, including deceptive manipulation of images; purposeful failure to disclose conflicts of interest; and plagiarism.
PJO deals with such situations by first asking the corresponding author an explanation in view of the available evidence. If the authors does not respond or is unable to satisfy the editorial board, the manuscript is dropped from consideration if unpublished and retracted if published. Notice of retraction will be given in print and on the website (as described in the retraction policy of the PJO). The authors will be blacklisted for further submissions and considerations at the journal. The authors' institutional Head will also be informed of the action.
POLICY OF DISCLOSURE AND CONFLICTS OF INTEREST OF EDITORS, REVIEWERS AND AUTHORS
The potential for conflict of interest and bias exists when professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as patients’ welfare or the validity of research) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain).
- Editors will not be involved in editorial processing of the manuscripts, in which they have any conflict of interest with any of the authors or institutions related with manuscript. That manuscript will be handled by some other member of the editorial board.
- Editors and editorial board members will not use unpublished information from manuscripts submitted in Pakistan Journal of Ophthalmology for their own research work/paper without the authors’ written consent.
- The invited reviewers will notify the editors about any conflict of interest, which might result from competitive, collaborative or any relationship with the authors of a manuscript and their work. The reviewer will decline to review such a manuscript.
- The reviewers will not use or disclose the unpublished material or information acquired through the peer review process.
- Authors must state all possible conflicts of interest, including financial, consultant, institutional and other relationships that might lead to bias or conflicts of interest. If this is not applicable, this should be explicitly stated as none declared. A ‘conflict of interests’ statement should be included at the end of the manuscript submitted to Pakistan Journal of Ophthalmology. The Editor may ask for further information or documents relating to conflict of interests.
- Financial relationships (such as employment, consultancies, stock ownership or options, honoraria, patents, and paid expert testimony) are potential conflicts of interest. Other interests may also represent or be perceived as conflicts, such as personal relationships or rivalries, academic competition, and intellectual beliefs.
Few examples are:
- Receiving reimbursements, fees, funding, or salary from an organization that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of the manuscript, either now or in the future.
- Holding stocks or shares in an organization that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of the manuscript, either now or in the future.
- Holding, or currently applying for, patents relating to the content of the manuscript.
- Authors from pharmaceutical companies, or other commercial organizations that sponsor clinical trials, should declare these as conflict of interests on submission and should be produced in a responsible and ethical manner.
- The policies also apply to any company or individuals that work on industry-sponsored publications, such as freelance writers, contract research organizations and communications companies.
If any already published tables, illustrations or photographs, are included in the manuscript, a letter of permission for re-publication obtained from author and the editor of the journal (where it was previously published) must be provided. If the participant has died, the consent for publication must be sought from the next of kin of the participant. This documentation must be made available to the Editor if requested, and will be treated confidentially.
STATEMENTS OF PRIORITY POLICY
The statements of priority (such as "we are the first to report...") should be avoided in the manuscripts because of the inability to be familiar with all published works or presentations on a subject. If ever, it is needed, the statement should be "we are unaware of previous reports of this finding and could find no reference to it in a computerized search (include the name of the database, such as PubMed)."
ETHICAL POLICIES ON RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMANS
PJO strictly adheres to the ethical principles outlined by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) available at: http://publicationethics.org/ and Declaration of Helsinki (https://www.wma.net/what-we-do/medical-ethics/declaration-of-helsinki/).
Research involving human subjects, human material, or human data, must be approved by an appropriate ethics committee. Such manuscript should include a statement referring to the name of the ethics committee and the reference number must be given.
If the study is granted an exemption from ethics approval letter/statement, this should also be mentioned in the manuscript (the name of the ethics committee that granted the exemption must also be mentioned). The editor may ask for further information and documentation to support this. Editor has the right to reject the manuscripts if he finds out that the research has not been carried out within an appropriate ethical framework.
Ethical approval for new clinical technique/tools or in a new clinical settings must be provided. Authors should obtain informed patient consent for any experimental use of a novel procedure or tool.
For datasets containing clinical data, authors have an ethical and legal responsibility to respect participants’ rights to privacy and to protect their identity. Authors should gain informed consent for publication of the dataset from participants at the point of recruitment to the trial. Authors must demonstrate that publication of patients’ data does not compromise anonymity or confidentiality or breach local data protection laws, for the dataset to be considered for publication.
Research involving humans in special situations requires informed consent (to participate in the study) by the participants or their parent or legal guardian in the case of children. Special consent should be sought for vulnerable populations like prisoners, insane, internally displaced persons (IDP) from the legal custodians or the state.
Clinical Trials Registration must comply with institutional, national, or international guidelines, and should be approved by an appropriate ethics committee. This Policy follows International Committee of Medical Journals Editors (ICMJE) criteria. ICMJE defines a clinical trial as any research project that prospectively assigns human subjects to intervention or comparison groups to study the cause-and-effect relationship between a medical intervention and a health outcome. Studies designed for other purposes, such as to study pharmacokinetics or major toxicity (e.g., phase 1 trials), would be exempted. A trial registration number must be included in the manuscript and Authorship form.
An acceptable registry must include at minimum the following information: a unique identifying number, a statement of the intervention (or interventions) and comparison (or comparisons) studied, a statement of the study hypothesis, definitions of the primary and secondary outcome measures, eligibility criteria, key trial dates (registration date, anticipated or actual start date, anticipated or actual date of last follow-up, planned or actual date of closure to data entry, and date trial data considered complete), target number of subjects, funding source, and contact information for the principal investigator. Further guidelines can be accessed at: http://www.icmje.org/
ETHICAL POLICIES ON RESEARCH INVOLVING ANIMALS
The ethical approval (including the name of the ethics committee and the reference number where appropriate) must be included in the manuscript where animal studies are involved. If a study has been granted an exemption from requiring ethics approval, this should also be detailed in the manuscript (including the name of the ethics committee that granted the exemption and the reasons for the exemption). The Editor reserves the right to reject a manuscript, if the research involves protocols that are inconsistent with commonly accepted norms of animal research. The Editor may contact the ethics committee for further information, if he thinks necessary.
Research on endangered species of animals must comply with institutional, national, or international guidelines, and where available should have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. A statement detailing compliance with relevant guidelines and/or appropriate permissions or license must be included in the manuscript. Further details regarding use of animal in research can be found at https://arriveguidelines.org/ and https://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/lab_animals/legislation_en.htm.
POLICY REGARDING STANDARDS OF REPORTING
Pakistan Journal of Ophthalmology advocates complete and transparent reporting of biomedical and biological research according to the standards. Examples of study designs, include:
- Randomized controlled trials (CONSORT) and protocols (SPIRIT)
- Systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) and protocols (PRISMA-P)
- Observational studies (STROBE)
- Case reports (CARE)
- Qualitative research (COREQ) Diagnostic/prognostic studies (STARDand TRIPOD)
- Pre-clinical animal studies (ARRIVE)
POLICY ON ARTICLE CORRECTIONS, ARTICLE WITHDRAWAL, RETRACTION, REMOVAL AND REPLACEMENT
Corrections: If a correction is needed, PJO publishes a correction notice as soon as possible with detailed changes. The correction is on a numbered print page that is included in Table of Contents. The journal may, if necessary, also post a new article version with details of the changes from the original version and the date(s) on which the changes were made.
Article withdrawal: If the authors want to withdraw the manuscript during its processing, they should send an email notifying as to their intention with the signatures of all the authors. The withdrawal request must be complete, scanned and sent to the editor. A final letter from the editorial office for withdrawal of the manuscript will then be dispatched. Electronic signatures are not accepted. Without a formal letter of withdrawal, a manuscript is not considered withdrawn and use of such a manuscript elsewhere will be considered as an ethical misconduct.
Article retraction: If an article needs to be retracted because of multiple submissions, bogus claims of authorship, plagiarism, fraudulent use of data, a retraction note titled “Retraction: [article title]” signed by the editor is published in the subsequent issue of the journal and listed in the contents list.
Article removal (legal limitations): In a case, if an article is clearly defamatory, or infringes others’ legal rights, or where the article is, or we have good reason to expect it will be, the subject of a court order, or where the article, if acted upon, might pose a serious health risk, the metadata (Title and Authors) will be retained. The text will be replaced with a screen indicating the article has been removed for legal reasons.
Article replacement: In cases where the authors of the original article may wish to retract the flawed original and replace it with a corrected version, the procedures for retraction will be followed and retraction notice will publish a link to the corrected re-published article.
POLICY ON AUTHOR COMPLAINTS: Pakistan Journal of Ophthalmology follows COPE flowcharts regarding author complaints. (https://doi.org/10.24318/cope.2019.2.26)
PJO provides an esteemed and distinguished forum for advertising ethical products. However, the editors of PJO hold themselves to high standards and the journal is not dominated by advertisements and advertising agencies. Advertisers are not allowed at any cost to influence editorial decisions. Advertisements are clearly identifiable as advertisements. Editors of PJO have full and final authority for approving print and online advertisements and for enforcing advertising policy. All advertising should be related to the practice of ophthalmology. PJO also does not advertise the products which are harmful to health.
Pakistan Journal of Ophthalmology under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License allows to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material as long as the user gives appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, indicate if changes were made and do not use the material for commercial purposes.
Authors retain copyrights without restrictions and give non-exclusive publication rights to the publisher.
Authors from Pakistan are charged Pak rupees 10,000/ for original articles/clinical practice articles/review articles (Non-refundable) and 5000/ (Non-refundable) for case reports/brief communication/Commentary, after the manuscript is accepted for publication. There are no initial processing charges.
Payment mode & Process: Authors can pay the publication fee by online Bank Transfer. Processing fee is not accepted through cheque or Bank Draft. The relevant bank account details are as under:
Title of Account- Pakistan Journal of Ophthalmology
Account Number- 17074001412711
Name of Bank and branch : National bank of Pakistan (Sheikh Zayed hospital branch)
Once you have made a transaction, send a screenshot or copy of the transaction by email. The publication details (Issue Number and date) will be communicated to you as soon as publication charges have been received.
There are no charges other than the publication fee (stated above), which is received only after acceptance of manuscript.
Waiver requests: There is no waiver or discount on publication fee
Long term journal archiving is through internet.