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Instructions to Authors

Instructions to Authors Contributions: Unpublished original manuscripts, written in English should be sent to:

Dr. R.K. Gorea, Editor In chief, # 4, Charan Bagh,
Patiala 147001 Punjab India or email at
gorea_r@yahoo.com (Cell +919872020840)

The Publication Particulars: The JPAFMAT is the official publication of the Punjab Academy of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology, published annually since 2001.

The Contents of the Journal: The journal accepts a range of articles of interest, under several feature sections as follows:

  • Original Papers: Includes conventional observational and experimental research.
  • Commentary: Intended for Reviews, Case Reports, Preliminary Report and Scientific Correspondences.

Letter to the Editor: Designed to be an avenue for dialogue between the authors of the papers published in the journal and the readers restricted to the options expressing reviews, criticisms etc. It could also publish letters on behalf of the current affairs in the field of Forensic medicine in the country.

Editorial: Intended as a platform for the Editor-in-Chief and for others with a keen interest in forensic medicine that wished to comment on the current affairs.

Special Features: In the History of Indian Forensic Medicine, Book Review, Abstracts, Announcement etc, which appear frequently, but not necessarily in every issue.

News and Notes: Intended for providing information of members and activities of the Academy and its Chapters of State level / other such other organizations affiliated to the Academy. May appear frequently and not in every issue.

Preparing a Manuscript for Submission to a Biomedical Journal:

General Principles: The text of observational and experimental articles is divided into sections with the headings Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. This so-called “IMRAD” structure is not simply an arbitrary publication format, but rather a direct reflection of the process of scientific discovery. Other types of articles, such as case reports, reviews, and editorials, are likely to need other formats. Double spacing of all portions of the manuscript - including the Title Page, Abstract, Key Words, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussions, Conclusion, Acknowledgements, References, Tables, Figures and Legends - and generous margins with numbering all of the pages of the manuscript consecutively, beginning with the title page. Limits specified are Original Papers and Review Papers: 3000 words. Special Features and News & Notes 500 words. All other sections 1500 words. Submit ONE Original Typed copy in 8” x 11” Bond paper and TWO carbon copies on typing paper along with THREE sets of illustrations / Figures and Tables.

Title Page: The title page should carry the following information:

  1. The Title of the Paper.
  2. Authors’ names and institutional affiliations with each author’s highest academic degree.
  3. The name of the department(s) and institution(s) to which the work should be attributed.
  4. Disclaimers, if any and any details about the grants for the research.
  5. Corresponding authors. The name, mailing address, telephone numbers, and e-mail address of the author responsible for correspondence about the manuscript.
  6. The number of figures and tables.

Mention dearly to which feature section the manuscript is sent for.

Abstract and Key Words: An abstract not exceeding 100 words should follow the title page. The abstract should provide the context or background for the study and should state the study’s purposes, basic procedures (selection of study subjects or laboratory animals, observational and analytical methods), main findings (giving specific effect sizes and their statistical significance, if possible), and principal conclusions. It should emphasize new and important aspects of the study or observations. Following the abstract, 3 to 10 key words or short phrases that capture the main topics of the article, will assist indexers in cross-indexing the article and may be published with the abstract. Terms from the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) list of Index Medicus should be used.

Introduction: Provide a context or background for the study (i.e., the nature of the problem and its significance). State the specific purpose or research objective of, or hypothesis tested by, the study or observation; the research objective is often more sharply focused when stated as a question. Both the main and secondary objectives should be made clear, and any pre-specified subgroup analyses should be described. Give only strictly pertinent references and do not include data or conclusions from the work being reported.

Methods: The Methods section should include only information that was available at the time the plan or protocol for the study was written; all information obtained during the conduct of the study belongs in the Results section. Describe your selection of the observational or experimental participants (patients or laboratory animals, including controls) clearly, including eligibility and exclusion criteria and a description of the source population. Identify the methods, apparatus (give the manufacturer’s name and address in parentheses), and procedures in sufficient detail to allow other workers to reproduce the results. Give references to established methods, including statistical methods; provide references and brief descriptions for methods that have been published but are not well known; describe new or substantially modified methods, give reasons for using them, and evaluate their limitations. Identify precisely all drugs and chemicals used.

Statistics: Describe statistical methods with enough detail to enable a knowledgeable reader with access to the original data to verify the reported results. When possible, quantify findings and present them with appropriate indicators of measurement error or uncertainty (such as confidence intervals). Avoid relying solely on statistical hypothesis testing, such as the use of P values, which fails to convey important information about effect size. Define statistical terms, abbreviations, and most symbols. Specify the computer software used.

Results: Present your results in logical sequence in the text, tables, and illustrations, giving the main or most important findings first. Do not repeat in the text all the data in the tables or illustrations; emphasize or summarize only important observations. When data are summarized in the Results section, give numeric results not only as derivatives (for example, percentages) but also as the absolute numbers from which the derivatives were calculated, and specify the statistical methods used to analyze them. Use graphs as an alternative to tables with many entries; do not duplicate data in graphs and tables. Avoid non-technical uses of technical terms in statistics, such as “random”, “normal”, “significant”, “correlations”, and “sample”.

Discussion: Emphasize the new and important aspects of the study and the conclusions that follow from them. Do not repeat in detail data or other material given in the Introduction or the Results section. For experimental studies it is useful to begin the discussion by summarizing briefly the main findings, then explore possible mechanisms or explanations for these findings, compare and contrast the results with other relevant studies, state the limitations of the study, and explore the implications of the findings for future research and for clinical practice. Link the conclusions with the goals of the study but avoid unqualified statements and conclusions not adequately supported by the data. In particular, authors should avoid making statements on economic benefits and costs unless their manuscript includes the appropriate economic data and analyses. Avoid claiming priority and alluding to work that has not been completed. State new hypotheses when warranted, but clearly label them as such.

References: References to review articles can be an efficient way of guiding readers to a body of literature; review articles do not always reflect original work accurately. Small numbers of references to key original papers will often serve as well as more exhaustive lists. Avoid using abstracts as references. For the reference style and format the uniform requirements of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors are used. Should be numbered singly in the order in which they are cited (using numerical in square brackets in the text and listed in numerical sequence on a separate sheet. Reference to journals, book and multi author volumes should accord with following examples.

  1. Sivaloganathan S and Butt WP. A foot in the Yard. Med. Sci. Law, 1988; 28: 150-155.
  2. Mukherji JB. Forensic Medicine and Toxicology. 1st Ed. Calcutta: Academic Publishers; 1981. p.72.

Personal Communications, Unpublished Papers etc. are not allowed as references.

Tables: 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. Type or print each table with double spacing on a separate sheet of paper. Number tables consecutively in the order of their first citation in the text and supply a brief title for each. Do not use internal horizontal or vertical lines. Authors should place explanatory matter in footnotes, not in the heading. Identify statistical measures of variations, such as standard deviation and standard error of the mean. Be sure that each table is cited in the text.

Illustrations (Figures): Figures should be either professionally drawn and photographed, or submitted as photographic quality prints. In addition electronic files of figures in a format (e.g., JPEG or GIF) will produce high quality images. For x-ray films, scans, and other diagnostic images, as well as pictures of pathology specimens or photomicrographs, send sharp, glossy, black-and-white or colour photographic prints, usually 127 x 173 mm (5 x 7 inches). Letters, numbers, and symbols on Figures should therefore be clear and even throughout, and of sufficient size that when reduced for publication each item will still be legible. Titles and detailed explanations belong in the legends, however, not on the illustrations themselves. Photomicrographs should have internal scale markers. Symbols, arrows, or letters used in photomicrographs should contrast with the background. If photographs of people are used, either the subjects must not be identifiable or whenever possible permission for publication should be obtained. Figures should be numbered consecutively according to the order in which they have been first cited in the text. Type or print out legends for illustrations using double spacing, starting 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. Explain the internal scale and identify the method of staining in photomicrographs. Indicate Figure Number and an arrow pointing the top, on the backside of each photograph with a pencil lightly.

Units of Measurement: Measurements of length, height, weight, and volume should be reported in metric units (meter, kilogram, or litre) or their decimal multiples. Temperatures should be in degrees Celsius. Blood pressures should be in millimetres of mercury, unless other units are specifically required by the journal. Report laboratory information in both the local and International System of Units (SI).

Abbreviations and Symbols: Use only standard abbreviations; the use of non-standard abbreviations can be extremely confusing to readers. Avoid abbreviations in the title. The full term for which an abbreviation stands should precede its first use in the text unless it is a standard unit of measurement.

Sending the Manuscript to the Journal: Journal now accepts electronic submission of manuscripts, either on disk, as attachments to electronic mail (editor’s email). Electronic submission saves time as well as postage costs, and allows the manuscript to be handled in electronic form throughout the editorial process. If a paper version of the manuscript is submitted, send the required number of copies of the manuscript and figures. The letter should give any additional information that may be helpful to the editor, such as the type or format of article. If the manuscript has been submitted previously to another journal, it is helpful to include the comments. The ICMJE has neither endorsed nor approved the contents of this reprint. The ICMJE periodically updates the Uniform Requirements, so this reprint prepared on may not accurately represent the current official version at http://www.icmje.org/

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