Author Instruction

Instruction to the authors BSMMU Journal is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), Dhaka, Bangladesh. The journal follows the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors’ recommendations for the conduct, reporting, editing and publication of scholarly work in medical journals (https://www.icmje.org/recommendations/).

Publication schedule Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Journal publishes one volume each year. Each volume consists of four issues which are published every three months. The issues are published quarterly in March, June, September and December of every calendar year.

Submission of manuscripts All manuscripts need to be submitted online through the below link: https://www.banglajol.info/index.php/BSMMUJ/about/submissions along with the completed submission checklist.

Manuscript submission requirements

  1. Online Submission
  2. Cover letter (see template)
  3. Manuscript (see template below in summary table)
  4. EQUATOR checklist

A manuscript will be reviewed for possible publication with the understanding that it is being submitted to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Journal alone at that point in time and has not been published anywhere, simultaneously submitted, or already accepted for publication elsewhere partly or wholly.

The submitted manuscripts that are not as per the "Instructions to Authors" would be returned to the authors for technical correction, before they undergo editorial/ peer-review.

Generally, the manuscript should be submitted in the form of two separate files:

A. Title Page/First Page File: This file should provide the following.

B. Article file: The main text of the article, beginning from Abstract till References (including tables and figures) should be in this file. Manuscripts not in compliance with the Journal's policy will be returned to the corresponding author. Please use doc files. Do not zip the files. Do not incorporate images in the file. If file size is large, graphs can be submitted as images separately without incorporating them in the article file to reduce the size of the file. The pages should be numbered consecutively, beginning with the first page of the article file. Continuous line numbers should also be included in the manuscript.

Summary table

Category Word limit Abstract Key words Main text Reference Tables/figures Reporting checklist Template
Original article Abstract:250 Main text:3000 Background,
Methods,
Results,
Conclusion
5 IMRAD 40 6 STROBE, CONSORT for RCT,STARD for Diagnostic studies Download
Brief article Abstract:200 Main text:1500 Background,
Methods,
Results,
Conclusion
4 IMRAD 20 3 STROBE, CONSORT for RCT,STARD for Diagnostic studies Download
Research letter Main text:750 - 3 IMRD
(without heading)
10 1 STROBE, CONSORT for RCT,STARD for Diagnostic studies Download
Case report Main text:750 - 3 Introduction,
Case description, Case management, Discussion
10 1 CARE Download
Review article Abstract:300 Main text:5000 Background,
Methods,
Results,
Conclusion
6 IMRAD 300 6 PRISMA Download
Letter to Editor Main text:400 - 3 - 6 - NA NA
Commentary Main text:600 - 3 - 6 - NA Download
Editorial Abstract:80 Main text:500 Unstructured 3 Unstructured 6 - NA NA

Preparation of manuscripts Manuscripts should be prepared following the guidelines set out in the "Uniform requirements for Manuscripts submitted to Biomedical Journals" by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (October 2008). Both the uniform requirements and the specific guidelines of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Journal are outlined below. Prior to submission, contributors are urged to verify the most up-to-date instructions. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Journal accepts manuscripts written in British English.

Types of manuscripts The authors are required to mention the type of manuscript (original article, brief article, case report, review article, research letter, letter to editor). The reporting guidelines checklist for each type of article is provided in the discussions below.

Original articles The eligible study types encompass randomized controlled trials, intervention studies, evaluations of screening and diagnostic tests, outcome studies, cost-effectiveness analyses, case-control series, and surveys with high response rates. The text of original articles amounting up to 3000 words (excluding abstract, references and tables) should be divided into sections with the headings Abstract, Keywords, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, References, Tables and Figures. Original articles can have up to six tables or figures.

Brief articles Shorter in length compared to original articles, brief articles encompass a variety of study types, such as randomized controlled trials, intervention studies, screening and diagnostic test evaluations, outcome studies, cost-effectiveness analyses, case-control series, and surveys with high response rates. The text of brief articles amounting up to 1500 words (excluding abstract, references and tables) should be divided into sections with the headings Abstract, Keywords, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, References, Tables and Figures. Abstracts should be within 200 words having background, methods, results, and conclusion sub-headings along with a maximum of five keywords. Up to four highlights of the article needs to be given in bullet points. Original articles can have up to three tables or figures.

Case reports Unique, intriguing, and infrequent cases are eligible for reporting. Such cases should present exceptional diagnostic or therapeutic challenges, offering valuable learning opportunities for the readers. Priority will be given to cases with notable clinical significance or implications. These communications could be of up to 1000 words (excluding abstract and references) and abstracts within 150 words. Case reports should have the following headings: Abstract, Keywords, Introduction, Case description, Case management, Discussion, Reference, and Tables order. Up to three learning points of the report needs to be given in bullet points. The manuscript could be supported with up to 10 references. Case Reports could be authored by up to five authors.

Review articles Review articles are anticipated to be authored by individuals who possess extensive expertise and have conducted substantial research on the subject matter. The manuscript should be accompanied by a brief summary of the contributor(s)' work in the specific area of review.

The prescribed word count is up to 5000 words excluding tables, references and abstract. The manuscript may have any number of references as required. However, we prefer limiting the article within 80 references. The manuscript should have an unstructured abstract (up to 300 words) representing an accurate summary of the article. Up to six highlights of the article needs to be given in bullet points. The section titles would depend upon the topic reviewed. Authors submitting review article should include a section describing the methods used for locating, selecting, extracting, and synthesizing data. These methods should also be summarized in the abstract.

The journal requires the contributors to provide post-publication updates on the reviewed subject. These updates should be concise and highlight any significant advancements in the field that have occurred after the publication of the article. Contributors should submit these updates as letters to the editor whenever major developments arise.

The journal prefers systematic reviews that have been registered in PROSPERO https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/. The PROSPERO registry number should be provided in the review article under the "methodology" section.

Research letter Research letters are peer-reviewed concise and focused scientific articles that communicate the key findings of a research study. They are shorter in length compared to full research papers and provide a succinct overview of the research process, results, and implications. These communications could be of up to 600 words. Abstracts within 80 words without any structure needs to be submitted. Abstracts will not be published but are required for DOI purposes. Up to two highlights of the letter needs to be given in bullet points. Research letters can have one table or figure, and 6 references. It could be usually authored by not more than five authors.

Letter to the Editor These should be short and decisive observations on articles published in the immediate previous issue of the BSMMU Journal. The letter could have up to 400 words and 5 references. Abstracts within 80 words without any structure needs to be submitted. Abstracts will not be published but are required for DOI purposes. Letters are not peer-reviewed. All accepted letters are edited, and proofs will be sent out to authors before publication. It could be usually authored by not more than three authors.

Perspectives These are peer-reviewed views, hypotheses or discussions with a clear message surrounding an issue of public health interest. Perspectives could have up to 600 words and 10 references. Abstracts within 80 words without any structure needs to be submitted. Abstracts will not be published but are required for DOI purposes. Up to three highlights needs to be given in bullet points. Perspectives can have up to two tables or figures. It could be usually authored by not more than five authors. Other Editorials and Guest Editorial are solicited by the editorial board.

References

References for BSMMU Journal should be provided in Vancouver-style. DOIs for journals and URLs for websites needs to be given. References should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text (not in alphabetic order). All authors should be listed.

Identify references in text, tables, and legends by Arabic numerals in superscript with square bracket after the punctuation marks. References cited only in tables or figure legends should be numbered in accordance with the sequence established by the first identification in the text of the particular table or figure. Use the style of the examples below, which are based on the formats used by the NLM in Index Medicus.

The titles of journals should be abbreviated according to the style used in Index Medicus. Use complete name of the journal for non-indexed journals. Avoid using abstracts as references. Information from manuscripts submitted but not accepted should be cited in the text as "unpublished observations" with written permission from the source. Avoid citing a "personal communication" unless it provides essential information not available from a public source, in which case the name of the person and date of communication should be cited in parentheses in the text.

The commonly cited types of references are shown here, for other types of references such as newspaper items please refer to ICMJE Guidelines (http://www.icmje.org or http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/uniform_requirements.html).

Tables

Illustrations (Figures)

Acknowledgements For contributions made by individuals who are not authors, one or more statements should be included to address the following aspects: 1) Contributions that warrant acknowledgment but do not meet the criteria for authorship, such as general support from a departmental chair; 2) Recognition of technical assistance provided; and 3) Acknowledgment of financial and material support, with a clear indication of the nature of the support received. The specific details of these non-author contributions can be cited individually or collectively, along with a clear specification of their precise involvement.

The corresponding author holds the responsibility of obtaining written permission from all individuals acknowledged in the manuscript. This ensures that they have granted consent to be acknowledged for their respective contributions.

Author contributions Authorship credit should be based only on substantial contributions to each of components mentioned below:

Participating solely in obtaining funding or gathering data does not meet the criteria for authorship. Merely overseeing the research group in a general capacity is insufficient for being listed as an author. Each contributor should have actively and significantly engaged in the work to the extent that they can publicly assume responsibility for relevant portions of the manuscript's content. The sequence of contributors' names should reflect their relative contributions to both the study and the writing of the manuscript. Once the manuscript is submitted, the order of authorship cannot be altered without obtaining written consent from all the contributors involved.

Authors' contributions will be printed along with the article. One or more author should take responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole from inception to published article. Contribution in “c” and “d” for all authors is obligatory, while the other credits are case based. The ‘author contributions’ section is not required when there is only one.

Funding Manuscripts must provide comprehensive information about the funding agency or sponsors, including the grant number, as well as a clear description of the role played by the funders in the study. In cases where the funders had no involvement or the study received no funding, a statement explicitly stating this should be included in the manuscript.

Conflict of interest For all types of manuscripts submitted to the journal, including articles, original research reports, editorials, comments, reviews, book reviews, and letters, it is mandatory to include a statement disclosing any potential conflicts of interest. Alternatively, authors should declare if they have no conflicts of interest to disclose. All authors of an article must disclose any and all conflicts of interest they may have with publication of the manuscript or an institution or product that is mentioned in the manuscript and/or is important to the outcome of the study presented. Authors should also disclose conflict of interest with products that compete with those mentioned in their manuscript.

Ethical approval For studies involving human participants, it is essential to specify whether the procedures adhered to the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional or regional) and the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000 (accessible at https://www.wma.net/policies-post/wma-declaration-of-helsinki-ethical-principles-for-medical-research-involving-human-subjects/). In prospective studies with human participants, authors are expected to mention approval obtained from the appropriate Ethics Committee or Review Board (regional, national, institutional, or independent), along with obtaining informed consent from adult research participants and assent from children aged over 7 years participating in the trial. The age at which assent is required may vary based on regional and/or national guidelines. Participants' confidentiality must be maintained, avoiding the use of names, initials, or hospital numbers, especially in illustrative material.

In the case of experiments involving animals, authors should indicate whether they followed the institution's or a national research council's guidelines on the care and use of laboratory animals, or any applicable national laws. On demand, authors should provide evidence of approval from a local Ethics Committee for both human and animal studies. Animal experimental procedures should be conducted with humane practices, and authors must clearly state the details of anaesthetics and analgesics used. The ethical standards of experiments must align with the guidelines provided by the CPCSEA (for studies involving experimental animals) and the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki on Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Humans (for studies involving human participants). The journal will not consider any paper that is deemed ethically unacceptable. A section titled 'Ethical Approval' should be included in all research articles, providing a statement on ethics committee permission and adherence to ethical practices.

ORCID iDs The ORCID iDs of the authors needs to be given. Providing the iD of at least the first and corresponding author is mandatory.

List of acronyms Include a list of acronyms along with its description used in the manuscript. This will not be published but required for the review process.

Data Availability statement All manuscripts should include a statement about where data supporting the results reported in a published article can be found.

Protection of patients' rights to privacy Identifying information should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, sonograms, CT scans, etc., and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian, wherever applicable) gives informed consent for publication. Authors should remove patients' names from figures even if they have obtained informed consent from the patients in order to protect patient privacy. The journal abides by ICMJE guidelines:

Sending a revised manuscript The revised version of the manuscript should be submitted online in a manner similar to that used for submission of the manuscript for the first time. However, there is no need to submit the "First Page" or "Covering Letter" file while submitting a revised version. In addition, they are expected to mark the changes as underlined or coloured text in the article.

The Editorial Process When submitting a manuscript to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Journal, authors must understand that it is exclusively being considered for publication by this journal at that particular moment. The manuscript should not have been previously published, concurrently submitted elsewhere, or already accepted for publication in part or in its entirety. Authors are expected to designate one of them as the main point of contact with the Journal for all matters related to the manuscript. Upon receipt, all manuscripts are promptly acknowledged.

During the initial editorial review, submitted manuscripts are assessed for their suitability for formal peer-review. Manuscripts lacking originality, having serious scientific or technical flaws, or lacking a significant message are rejected before proceeding to the formal peer-review process. Additionally, manuscripts that are unlikely to be of interest to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Journal readers may be rejected at this preliminary stage.

Manuscripts received from Editorial Board members will be screened by the Editor in Chief and sent to external peer reviewers. The editorial board members who are authors of a submitted manuscript will be excluded from publication decisions.

Manuscripts that are found suitable for publication in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Journal are sent to two or more expert reviewers. During submission, the contributor is requested to provide names of two or three qualified reviewers who have had experience in the subject of the submitted manuscript, but this is not mandatory. The reviewers should not be affiliated with the same institutes as the contributor/s. However, the selection of these reviewers is at the sole discretion of the editor. Every manuscript is also assigned to a member of the editorial team, who based on the comments from the reviewers takes a final decision on the manuscript. The comments and suggestions (acceptance/ rejection/ amendments in manuscript) received from reviewers are conveyed to the corresponding author. If required, the author is requested to provide a point by point response to reviewers' comments and submit a revised version of the manuscript. This process is repeated till reviewers and editors are satisfied with the manuscript. Manuscripts accepted for publication are copy edited for grammar, punctuation, print style, and format. Page proofs are sent to the corresponding author. The corresponding author is expected to return the corrected proofs within three days. It may not be possible to incorporate corrections received after that period. The whole process of submission of the manuscript to final decision and sending and receiving proofs is completed online. To achieve faster and greater dissemination of knowledge and information, the journal publishes articles online as 'Ahead of Print'.

Processes for appeals Authors have the right to lodge an appeal if they genuinely believe that the editorial board has mistakenly rejected their paper. To initiate the appeal process, authors should send an email to the editorial office (email: journal.executiveeditor@bsmmu.edu.bd) providing a comprehensive explanation for the appeal. The editorial office will acknowledge the appeal and conduct an impartial investigation. The entire appeal process is expected to be completed within 6-8 weeks. During the appeal process, the manuscript in question should not be submitted to any other journals. The ultimate decision lies with the Editor in Chief of the journal, and second appeals will not be entertained.

Anti-plagiarism policy Plagiarism encompasses the act of presenting one's own work, in part or whole, without proper citation or misrepresenting others' ideas, words, and creative expressions as their own. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Journal strictly adheres to an anti-plagiarism policy. Upon submission, all manuscripts undergo plagiarism checks using commercially available software. Should any minor duplication or similarity with previously published work be identified, authors may be asked to address it accordingly.

In the event of plagiarism being detected after publication, the Journal will initiate an investigation. If plagiarism is confirmed, the authors' institution and funding bodies will be informed, and the plagiarized article will be retracted. To report cases of plagiarism, individuals may contact the journal office through email at journal.executiveeditor@bsmmu.edu.bd.

Clinical trial registry Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Journal would publish clinical trials that have been registered with a clinical trial registry that allows free online access to public. Registration in the following trial registers is acceptable: http://www.ctri.nic.in/; https://www.anzctr.org.au/; http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/; http://isrctn.org/; http://www.trialregister.nl/trialreg/index.asp; http://www.umin.ac.jp/ctr. This is applicable to clinical trials that have begun enrolment of subjects in or after June 2008. Clinical trials that have commenced enrolment of subjects prior to June 2008 would be considered for publication in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Journal only if they have been registered retrospectively with clinical trial registry that allows unhindered online access to public without charging any fees.

Copies of any permission(s) Authors/contributors are accountable for securing permissions to reproduce any copyrighted material. Alongside the manuscript submission, authors must provide a copy of the obtained permission. Additionally, they should include copies of all published articles or other manuscripts related to the submitted work, whether in preparation or submitted elsewhere.