HOME              PRINT  ISSN 2412-6373  | ONLINE ISSN 2413-3892

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The ALBANIAN JOURNAL of MEDICAL
and HEALTH SCIENCES

The Official Journal of the University of Medicine, Tirana
Formerly "Bulletin of Medical Sciences"

AJMHS is based on independent and unbiased double-blind and peer-reviewing principles. Only unpublished papers that are not under review for publication elsewhere can be submitted. The authors are responsible for the scientific content and the ethical compliance of the material to be published. AJMHS reserves the right to request any research materials on which the paper is based. It is highly recommended that all manuscript must be checked from a native English speaker with experience in Scientific English writing. The executive editorial board is committed to a rapid publishing process. The authors will be kept informed about all the stages of the reviewing process.

 

Manuscript formatting

Manuscript format must follow the guidelines described below that are in accordance with the ICMJE (Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals - updated in August 2013 - http://www.icmje.org/icmje-recommendations.pdf). The manuscript must be submitted to the following address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Papers that do not comply with the format of the Journal and submission requirements will be returned to the author for correction without further review.

 

General Format

The manuscript should be typed in a Microsoft Word™ file, single-column format, double-spaced with 2.5 cm margins on each side, and 11-point type in Times New Roman font.

All abbreviations must be defined the first time they are used and should be displayed in parentheses after the definition. Abbreviations should be limited to those defined in the AMA Manual of Style, current edition. Authors should avoid abbreviations in the title and abstract and limit their use in the main text.

Decimal points should be used in decimals throughout the manuscript. Measurements should be reported using the metric system according to the International System of Units (SI). Consult the SI Unit Conversion Guide (New England Journal of Medicine Books, 1992). An extensive list of conversion factors can be found at: http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/units. For more details, see:

http://www.amamanualofstyle.com/oso/public/jama/si_conversion_table.html.

When a drug, product, hardware, or software is mentioned within the main text product information, it should include the name of the product, the producer of the product and the city or the country of the company .It should be provided in parenthesis in the following example format: “Examination BIO-AUTO analyzer (Beckman-Coulter, New Jersey, NJ, USA)”.

Identification of the article type is the first step of manuscript preparation and submission. The article type dictates the rules that should be followed, including formatting and word limits of the manuscript. The main categories of article types are outlined below:

 

Original Article: Original contributions are manuscripts containing substantial novel research. These articles can include randomized controlled trials, observational (cohort, case-control or cross-sectional) studies, diagnostic accuracy studies, systematic reviews and meta-analyses, non-randomized behavioral and public health intervention trials, experimental animal trials, or any other clinical or experimental studies. Abstracts must begin on a separate page and should not exceed 400 words. Abstracts should be structured with the following subheadings: Background, Aims, Study Design (case control study, cross-sectional study, cohort study, randomized controlled trial, diagnostic accuracy study, meta-analysis and systemic review, animal and in vitro experimentation, non-randomized study in behavioral sciences and public health, etc.), Methods, Results and Conclusion. The main text should be structured with the following subheadings: Introduction, Material and Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions, Acknowledgments, Conflict of Interest statement, Authorship contribution, References, Tables, and Figure Legends. The main text should not exceed 3500 words, excluding the abstract, references, tables, and figure legends. There should be a maximum of 40 references.

 

Short Report: Short reports or short communications are short versions of research, applications or work in progress limited to 1500 words. These articles can include clinical or laboratory work, collected case reports of scientific significance etc. Abstracts must begin on a separate page and should not exceed 250 words. Abstracts should be structured with the following subheadings: Background, Aims, Study, Methods, Results and Conclusion. The main text should be structured with the following subheadings: Introduction, Material and Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions, Acknowledgments, References, Tables, and Figure Legends. The main text should not exceed 1500 words, excluding the abstract, references, tables, and figure legends. There should be a maximum of 4 tables and/or figures and 15 references.

 

Invited Review or Medical education articles: Invited review and Medical education articles are comprehensive analyses of specific topics in medicine, which are written upon invitation due to the extensive experience and publications of authors on the review subjects. They can also be articles focused on clinical teaching and guidelines. All invited review articles will also undergo peer reviewing prior to acceptance. Review articles must not exceed 5000 words for the main text (excluding references, tables, and figure legends) and 400 words for the unstructured abstract. A review article can be signed by no more than 5 authors and can have no more than 60 references.

 

Case Report: Interesting cases demonstrating new findings can be reported. Cases should be unique, representing a diagnostic or therapeutic challenge and having a learning point for the readers. Abstracts of case reports should mainly include information about the case and should be limited to a maximum of 250 words. The abstract must begin on a separate page and should be structured with the following subheadings: Background, Case Report and Conclusion. The main text of case reports should be structured with the following subheadings: Introduction, Case Report, Discussion, Acknowledgments and References. Case reports must not exceed 1200 words (excluding references, tables, and figure legends). Case reports can be signed by no more than 5 authors and can have no more than 10 references and 3 figures or tables. It is highly recommended that the Case reporting must follow the CARE (Case Report) guidelines.

 

Clinical Reasoning: Clinical reasoning represents a rational thinking through the various aspects of patient care to better define the medical strategy regarding the diagnosis and/or treatment of a clinical problem in a specific patient. Conducting a physical exam, taking a medical history, ordering complementary exams and describing safe and effective treatment are necessary steps in gathering clinical data from a patient before engaging in the process of clinical reasoning. The latter represents a critical thinking process about all the important clinical information using personal skills and abilities often achieved from the experience. This article type is intended to help clinicians think differentially and take the next step which determines the best course of action to take based on what is known or what can reasonably be hypothesized from clinical data. The authors are encouraged to present clinical cases from their experience which has generated a real diagnostic dilemma. The first section, case presentation, should include the patient’s complaints as well as historical and clinical data enough to present an initial differential diagnosis. The second section, complementary exams, is dedicated to pertinent and necessary complimentary examinations according to previous topographic and clinical differential diagnosis. In the third section, the authors should present all steps (surgery, biopsy, pathological exam) needed in defining the final diagnosis. A supplementary section should include an overview of the final diagnosis. The maximum lengths of the text and the references should not exceed 2000 words and 20 references, respectively. No abstract is required.

 

Clinical Image: The journal publishes original, interesting, and high quality clinical images having a brief explanation (maximum 500 words excluding references but including figure legends) and of educational significance. The figure legend should contain no more than 100 words. It can be signed by no more than 5 authors and can have no more than 5 references and 1 figure or table. Any information that might identify the patient or hospital, including the date, should be removed from the image. An abstract is not required with this type of manuscripts. The main text of clinical images should be structured with the following subheadings: Case, and References.

Letter to the Editor: Letters in reference to a journal article must not exceed 500 words (excluding references). Letters not related to a journal article must also not exceed 500 words (excluding references). An abstract is not required with this type of manuscripts. A letter can be signed by no more than 4 authors and can have no more than 5 references and 1 figure or table.

 

Other: Editorials, reviewer commentaries, book reviews, reports on publication and research ethics, Opinions and View-Points are requested by the Editorial Board.

A summary of the article type’s characteristics is given in the table below.

Article Type

Word Limit
Abstract word Limit

Reference Limit

Author Limit

Tables/figures Limit

Original Article

35001

4004

40

None

6

Invited Review

50001

400

60

5

6

Case Report

12001

2505

10

5

3

Clinical Image

5002

N/A

5

5

1

Letter to the editor

5003

N/A

5

4

1

Clinical reasoning

20003

N/A

20

5

3

Short report

1500

2504

15

10

4

1 This should not include the abstract, references, tables or figure legends.

2 This should include the figure legends.

3 This should not include the references.

4 Should be structured with the following subheadings: Background, Aims, Study Design, Methods, Results, and Conclusion.

5 Should be structured with the following subheadings: Background, Case Report and Conclusion.

 

Preparation and submission of a manuscript

All manuscripts should be submitted via email to the following address:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The submission should be divided into SEPARATE files in the following order:

Cover Letter (separate file).
Authorship Contributions, Copyright Transfer and Conflict of Interest Statement Form (separate signed file).
Manuscript (Title page, Abstract page, main text, references, tables, and figure legends).
Figures (if applicable).
1 - Cover Letter

The cover letter, addressed to the Editor In Chief from the corresponding author, should include: the article title and type of article he/she is submitting (for example: original article, case report, review article or clinical image). The corresponding author should briefly summarize why their work is a valuable addition to the scientific literature. Furthermore, there should be a statement that the manuscript has not already been published, accepted or under simultaneous review for publication elsewhere. AJMHSdoes not accept multiple submission and duplicate submission. For manuscripts that have been presented orally or as a poster, this must be stated on the title page with the date and the place of the presentation. An example of a cover letter can be found on the journal’s webpage (AJMHS Cover Letter).

2 - Authorship Contributions, Copyright Transfer and Conflict of Interest Statement Form

This is a statement of scientific contributions and responsibilities of all authors. The form is available for download at the the journal’s webpage. The ICMJE recommends that authorship has to be based on the following 4 criteria:

1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work. 2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content. 3. Final approval of the version to be published. 4. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

A contributor should meet all four criteria to be identified as an author. If a contributor does not meet all four criteria, he/she should be acknowledged in the acknowledgements section of the manuscript. All authors must sign the corresponding declaration.

For more details please refer to the ICMJE’s definition of the role of authors and contributors at:

http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/roles-and-responsibilities/defining-the-role-of-authors-and-contributors.html.

AJMHS recommends that the author ranking in the authorship list has to follow the importance of the contribution of the individual co-authors in the study, with the exception of the last author who is generally the author group coordinator or leader and whose contribution is comparable with the first author. The authors must state in the section dedicated to the Author Contribution Form and in the main text (before the Reference section), if they have agreed for another ranking order (for example: authors A.B and C.D. have an equal contribution to this study, etc). The specific contribution of each author must be stated at the end of the manuscript, before the references.

All contributing authors must sign the Authorship Contributions, Copyright Transfer and Conflict of Interest Statement Form and submit it through the submission system during submission. Please see Authorship Contributions, Conflict of Interest Statement and Copyright form for detailed information regarding “Acknowledgement of Authorship, Exclusive Publication Statement, Conflict of Interest Statement, and Transfer of Copyright Agreement”.

Please refer to “conflict of interest policy” for more information.

3 - Manuscript must contain:

Title Page (separate page)

This should include:

a - The complete manuscript title (no more than 150 characters).

b - The running head (no more than 50 characters).

c - Word counts for the abstract and text (the text word count does not include references, tables, and figure legends).

d - The number of references and the number of figures and/or tables.

e - All authors' full names.

f - Detailed affiliations and e-mail addresses (all authors should meet the ICMJE’s requirements for authorship – see details at “author contribution form”).

g - The name, address, telephone and fax numbers and email address of the corresponding author.

h - Key-words: (3 to 6 key-words) from the list provided in Index Medicus under “Medical Subject Heading (MeSH)”.

e - Information about where and when the study has previously been presented.

Abstract Page (separate page)

Original articles, invited review articles and case reports should include an abstract in a separate page. Abstracts for original articles and short reports should be structured with the following subheadings: Background, Aims, Study design, Methods, Results, and Conclusion. Abstracts for case reports should be structured with the following subheadings: Background, Case Report, and Conclusion. Abstracts for review articles should not be structured. Clinical images, clinical reasoning, Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and Commentaries or Opinions/Viewpoints should not contain an abstract.

Main document

The main document should include the main text, acknowledgements, conflict of interest disclosure, authorship contribution description, references, tables, and figure legends, in that order.

Main text

The main text should be structured according to the article type, as described in the Article Type section above.

Acknowledgements

All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship (ICMJE: authorship and contributorship: http://www.icmje.org/ethical_1author.html) should be mentioned in this subheading.

Conflict of interest disclosure: The authors should disclose any potential conflict of interest.

Statement about specific author contribution at the study (including concept, design, supervision, resource, materials, data collection and/or processing, analysis and/or interpretation, literature search, writing and critical reviewing).For example: A.B (concept, design, data collection etc); B.C. (data collection, analysis, writing, reviewing etc). They should comply with ICMJE recommendations that authorship be based on the following 4 criteria: 1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work. 2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content. 3. Final approval of the version to be published. 4. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

A contributor should meet all four criteria to be identified as an author. If a contributor does not meet all four criteria he/she should be acknowledged in the acknowledgements section of the manuscript.

References

Authors are encouraged to cite primary literature rather than review articles in order to give credit to those who have performed the original work. Reference listings must be in accordance with ICMJE standards and numbered consecutively at the end of the manuscript in the order in which they are mentioned in the text. While citing publications, preference should be given to the latest, most up to date publications. Full papers must be clearly differentiated from abstracts presented in scientific meetings and published as supplements in scientific journals (see below: Abstract example). If an ahead of print publication is being cited the DOI number should be provided. Authors are responsible for the accuracy of references. Journal titles should be abbreviated in accordance with the journal abbreviations in Index Medicus/ Medline/Pub Med (for journal abbreviations consult the List of Journals indexed for MEDLINE, published annually by NLM). When there are 6 or less authors, all authors should be listed. If there are 7 or more authors, the first 6 authors should be listed followed by “et al”. In the main text of the manuscript, references should be cited using Arabic numbers in parentheses. The reference styles for different types of publications are presented in the following examples:

Journal article: Korini G, Kocova O, Abani L, Vikani E, Vini T. Polymorphisms of cytochrome P464 genes in three ethnic groups from Albania. Albanian J Med Health Sci 2012;29:252-60.

Book: Benon M. Ocular manipulation. 1st ed. Stuttgart-New York: Georg Thieme Verlag; 2009.

Book chapter: Tos M, Stangerup SE. The relationship between secretory diarrhea and nutrition. In: Mos F, Thompton J, Peitersen E, editors. Nutrition and medical treatment. Amsterdam: Kugler & Ghedini; 1989:325-30.

Abstract: Gurakar A, Elsahwi K, Akdogan M, Wright H, Nour, B, Sebastian T, et al. Asplenia and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC): A mere coincidence? Hepatology 2002;36:673a (abstract).

Article in electronic format:Morse SS. Factors in the emergence of infectious diseases. Emerg Infect Dis (serial online) 1995 Jan-Mar (cited 1996 June 5): 1(1): (24 screens). Available from:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2626828/pdf/8903148.pdf.

For other reference style, please refer to “ICMJE Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Sample References”.

Tables

Tables should be presented within the main document and after the reference list. All tables should be referred to within the main text and they should be numbered consecutively in the order they are referred to within the main text. A descriptive title should be provided for all tables and the titles should be placed above the tables. Abbreviations used in the tables should be defined below the tables (even if they are defined within the main text). Tables should be created using the “insert table” command of the word processing software and they should be arranged clearly to provide an easy reading.

Figures and Figure Legends

Figures, graphics and photographs should be submitted as separate files (in TIFF or JPEG format). They should not be embedded in a Word document. When there are figure subunits, the subunits should be labeled in small letters (a, b, c, etc.). Thick and thin arrows, arrowheads, stars, asterisks and similar marks can be used on the images to support figure legends. Like the rest of the submission, the figures should be blind too. Any information within the images that may indicate an individual or institution should be blinded. The minimum resolution of each submitted figure should be 300 DPI. To prevent delays in the evaluation process all submitted figures should be clear in resolution and large in size (minimum dimensions 100x100 mm).

Figure legends should be listed at the end of the main document. When there are figure subunits, the figure legends should be structured in the following format.

Example: Figure 1. a-c. Primary culture of choroid plexuses on day 2 after seeding of dissociated cells (×400). Nesting staining in green (a). GFAP staining in red (b). Nuclear labeling in blue and merged images (c).

Checklist

Before submission, the corresponding author should ensure that all files mentioned below meet the journal requirements:

1. A cover letter containing

- The article title and type

- A brief statement describing the novelty and importance of the work

- A statement declaring the absence or presence of a conflict of interest

- A statement that the manuscript has not been previously published or accepted for publication and is not submitted or under simultaneous review for publication elsewhere.

2. The author contribution, Transfer of Copyright Agreement and Conflict of Interest Statement Form (all in a separate signed file)is included and signed from all the authors.

3. A title page including

- Title (less than 150 characters), running title (less than 50 characters)

- Authors’ affiliations and e-mail addresses, including the name of the corresponding author

- Key words: 3 to 6 key-words

- Word count for the abstract and main text

- A statement of the date and place of the meeting where the manuscript was presented orally or as a poster, if occurred.

4. Structured Abstract (on a separate page-see above)

5. Structured Main text (see above)

- Ethical approval and/or informed consent has to be mentioned in the text (Methods)

- References are in the correct format and cited sequentially in the text

- All Tables and Figures have been included and appear correctly

6. Permission for reprinted figures, tables, materials or photographs has been obtained (if available)

REVIEWING PROCESS

Revisions

When submitting a revised version of a paper, the author must submit a detailed “Response to reviewers” reporting in great detail how each issue raised by the reviewers was covered.

Revised manuscripts must be submitted within 30 days from the date of the decision letter. If the revised version of the manuscript is not submitted within the allocated time, the revision option will be automatically cancelled. If the submitting author(s) believe that additional time is required, they should request a 2-week-extension before the initial 30 day period is over.

Change of authorship and withdrawal request

Any request to change the author list after submission, such as a change in the order of the authors or the deletion or addition of author names, is subject to the Editorial Board’s approval. In order to obtain this approval, please include in a letter to the editor the following information: 1 - The reason for the change of authorship. 2 - Signatures of all authors (including the new and/or removed author).

Please note, if you are adding or removing author/authors, a new copyright transfer form signed by all authors should also be sent to the editorial office after the Editorial Board approves the change of authorship.

All withdrawal requests at any stage after submission are evaluated by the Editorial Board. The Albanian Journal of Medical and Health Scienceshas the right to not accept a withdrawal request. The authors should explain their reason to withdraw the paper by a detailed letter. If the reason of withdrawal is not justified by the Editorial Board, the authors of the paper can be banned for up to 1 (one) year from submitting a new paper to the Journal.

Ethical guidelines

AJMHS is committed to the highest standards of research and publication ethics. If ethical misconduct is suspected, the Editorial Board will act in accordance with the relevant international rules of publication ethics (i.e. COPE guidelines, WAME resources, WMA policies and ORI).

An approval of research protocols by an ethics committee in accordance with international agreements (“WMA Declaration of Helsinki - Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects, October 2013, Fortaleza, Brazil”, "Guide for the care and use of laboratory animals, 8th edition, 2011" and/or “International Guiding Principles for Biomedical Research Involving Animals, 2012”) is required for all experimental and clinical and drug trial studies. For articles concerning experimental research on humans, a statement should be included that shows informed consent of patients and volunteers was obtained following a detailed explanation of the procedures that they may undergo. Informed consent must also be obtained for case reports. All recognizable photographs of a patient must be accompanied by written permission from the patient for reproduction. Procedures that were performed to eliminate any pain, harm and distress in subjects/animals should clearly be stated. The authors should clearly state their compliance with internationally accepted guidelines and the guidelines issued by the relevant authority of their country. The journal requests a copy of the Ethics Committee Approval received from the relevant authority.

All authors should meet the ICMJE’s authorship criteria outlined at the “authorship contribution form” section. AJMHS does not accept gift, guest, or ghost authorship, and will act according to the COPE guidelines and flowcharts when faced with cases of suspected misconduct.

Plagiarism Detection

AJMHS does not allow any form of plagiarism. In accordance with our journal policy, submitted manuscripts are screened with plagiarism software to detect instances of overlapping and similar text at least two times (during the evaluation process and after acceptance).

Appeals and complaints

Appeal and complaint cases are handled within the scope of COPE guidelines by the Editorial Board of the journal. Appeals should be based on the scientific content of the manuscript. The final decision on the appeal and complaint is made by the Editor in Chief. An executive Editor or the Ethical Committee of the University is assigned to resolve cases that cannot be resolved internally. Authors should get in contact with the Editor in Chief regarding their appeals and complaints via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Proofs and DOI number

Manuscripts accepted for publication are provided with a DOI number immediately after acceptance. Accepted manuscripts are copy-edited for grammar, punctuation, and format. Once the publication process of a manuscript is completed, it is published online on the journal’s webpage as an ahead of print publication before it is included in its scheduled issue. A PDF proof of the accepted manuscript is sent to the corresponding author and their publication approval is requested within 2 days of their receipt of the proof.

Presubmission inquires and rapid evaluation requests

Presubmission inquires and rapid evaluation requests can be sent to the AJMHS.

Presubmission inquiries are usually sent by the authors to determine if a possible submission of their current work to AJMHS would receive a high enough priority for publication. These inquiries are handled by the Editor in Chief and the Editorial Board and a positive feedback from the Editor in Chief does not guarantee the publication of the work in question as all manuscripts submitted to AJMHS must be peer reviewed. Presubmission inquiries should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. via e-mail and should include a shorter version of the cover letter accompanied by the title and the abstract of the manuscript.

Rapid evaluation requests are usually sent by the authors to state a particular importance of their current work which requires the manuscript to be evaluated as quickly as possible. These requests are handled by the Editor in Chief of the journal; should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and should include a shorter version of the cover letter explaining the importance of the manuscript accompanied by the title and the abstract of the manuscript.

Non-scientific reasons, such as academic career needs, will not be considered and may result immediate reject of a manuscript. Authors are not allowed to contact reviewers for their manuscripts. This is an unacceptable behavior and may lead to the rejection of the manuscript and the author/s may be banned for further submissions to the journal. Any question related to the editorial process should be forwarded to the secretariat, managing editor or the editor-in-chief.