Publication Ethics, Publication Processes & Peer Review

Pakistan Journal of Neurological Surgery (PJNS) is a multidisciplinary, double-blind peer-reviewed, open-access, quarterly journal, published in both printed and online versions by the Pakistan Society of Neurosurgeons (PSN), and Department of Neurosurgery, Punjab Institute of Neurosciences (PINS), Lahore Pakistan. The journal articles are published following the “Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals” as approved by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) in May 2023. See details here:

Publication Ethics:

  Pakistan Journal of Neurological Sciences (PJNS) and its Publisher (PSN-Pakistan Society of Neurosurgeons) are not as yet members of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) but we fully subscribe to COPE policies. As such, this journal follows the COPE and the (

PJNS encourages the submission of unique material that has not previously been published in its entirety or part. It is best to avoid publishing content that considerably overlaps with material that has previously been published in print or online.

For complaints and appeals, we follow COPE guidelines. Consult the link:

Ethics Of Publication & Misconduct:
     Misconduct in Publication: PJNS takes all claims of academic misconduct extremely seriously. Plagiarism, figure manipulation, duplication, and repetitive publishing are all examples of academic misconduct. PJNS follows the recommendations of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors when responding to an allegation (ICMJE).

   Neither the journal's rules nor its editors promote such misconduct. If the editors or publisher of a journal are made aware of any accusation of research misconduct involving a submitted or published article in their journal, the editor or publisher should follow COPE's recommendations (or similar) in dealing with complaints.

Responsibility of Editor(s): Editors evaluate submitted manuscripts solely on academic merit (importance, originality, study validity, clarity) and relevance to the journal's scope, without regard to the author's race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, citizenship, religious belief, political philosophy, or institutional affiliation. Decisions to edit and publish are not influenced by policies of governments or other organizations other than the magazine itself. 

The editor in chief has a duty to support the author by appointing impartial reviewers and guaranteeing that submissions will be chosen for publication exclusively on the basis of their scientific merit. It is the duty of our editors to reach conclusions at a fair pace and to convey them in an understandable and helpful way. The editors have an ethical obligation to make sure that the content being published is legitimate and correct. The impartiality, promptness, thoroughness, and politeness of the peer-review editing process are under the editors' vigilant scrutiny. It is the duty of editors to assign papers for review that are relevant to the areas of interest and experience of each reviewer.

Responsibility of Reviewers: Reviewers assess papers based only on their substance, regardless of the authors' color, age, gender, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, handicap, religious belief, citizenship, political inclination, or socioeconomic status. Reviewers should not evaluate articles in which they have competing, collaborating, or other ties or links with any of the authors, corporations, or institutions associated with the publications. During the review process, peer reviewers are required to keep secrecy of review content.

Responsibility of authors: The author(s) must confirm that the submitted article is their original work and is not plagiarized in whole or in part. They must also ensure that the submitted article is original, not a re-publication of the author's previous work, and does not contain any fake data.

Authors bear the responsibility of conducting thorough preparation before to starting a study and of protecting patients' rights while the study is being conducted. Because the content reported will be utilized in patient care, the author must make sure it is valid, strive for correctness, and thoroughly study all mentioned sources.

The PJNS publisher and editors will take reasonable steps to identify and prevent the publishing of papers containing research misconduct, such as plagiarism, citation manipulation, and data falsification/fabrication, among other things.

If a publisher or editorial staff becomes aware of a claim of research misconduct involving a published paper in the journal, they will follow COPE's standards as a consequence: 

For more information on publication ethics & malpractice, visit the COPE link:

Rights of Editors: Journal editors evaluate all manuscripts that are submitted to their journal, select those that they consider to be suitable for the journal to send for peer review, and consider peer reviewers' advice to make a final decision about what gets published. Editors have proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling, as well as appropriate reading matter. To make content simpler for readers to grasp, they can rewrite it. They are able to confirm information mentioned in published literature. They can review the author’s submissions to determine what should be published.

Rights of Reviewers: Regarding the submissions they evaluated for the Journal, reviewers ought to anticipate hearing from the Editor with their conclusion. Reviewers could anticipate getting other reviewers' remarks for their own education. Thank you notes will be sent to reviewers for their time spent reviewing papers. Each issue of the Journal will include a list of the Editorial Board members.

Rights of Author: Authors are encouraged to keep all rights necessary to fulfill their academic and professional objectives. Authors may produce instructional versions of their work, such as class notes, or instructional materials. They can distribute copies of their work to coworkers. They can present the work at a conference or meeting and distribute copies to participants. Post the work on a restricted network or a publicly accessible network on a laboratory or institutional website.


     The contents of submitted articles and any internal conversations and documents created throughout the peer review process are treated as confidential. Authors' names are known to PJNS Editors, Reviewers, and Staff, but they cannot be exposed to the public before publication. The identities of Reviewers evaluating individual manuscripts are protected and may not be disclosed to authors or the general public at any time.

Conflicts of interest and disclosure:

      Without the authors' clear written authorization, editors and editorial board members will not exploit unpublished information revealed in a submitted paper for their research objectives. Editors' privileged knowledge or ideas received as a consequence of handling the manuscript will be kept secret and will not be utilized for their gain. Editors will recuse themselves from considering manuscripts in which they have competing, collaborative, or other relationships/connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions associated with the papers; instead, they will delegate the manuscript to another member of the editorial board.

Ethical Oversight:

    PJNS's responsible oversight includes procedures on permission to publish, publication on vulnerable populations, ethical animal research, ethical human research, managing sensitive data, and ethical business/marketing activities.
PJNS follows COPE guidelines for ethics. See the link for details:

Studies Involving Humans:
     For manuscripts to include information on studies involving patients or healthy subjects, the studies must adhere to the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki ( The patient(s) data will be collected with informed and written consents from them or their attendants. Relevant permission & ethical statements will be required to be mentioned in the methods section involving the data of participants.

Patient Identity Confidentiality:
      In general, no photographs, names, code letters/numbers, or detailed data that can be used to identify patients or healthy volunteers are included in PJNS articles or material submitted for auxiliary online publishing. Occasionally, recognized photographs or other identifying data are used as part of an article. To publish personal information in such instances, written permission must be sought from the research participant or, in the event of a minor or deceased participant, from the parent, guardian, or next of kin, respectively. The authors will keep the confidentiality of all the included subjects and present them as anonymous. 

Data and resource sharing:
      Authors must agree to provide the methodology and materials needed to replicate laboratory experiments and clinical investigations described in PJNS publications as a condition of publication. Data exchange is also essential to validate and expand on the findings of these investigations. Free access to techniques, materials, code, and data must be provided to interested parties who seek to utilize them for academic, noncommercial study as much as practicable.

Submission of Articles in OJS:
      Authors are welcome to submit their scholarly work related to all neurological areas and/or some fields of allied health sciences, in the form of original research, review, case report, short report, mini-review, or opinions. OJS (open journal system) registration and logins. OJS platform has its article submission, processing, editorial reviewing, and peer-reviewing systems.  Each of the publication steps (submission, editorial evaluations, peer review, revision, galley proofs, etc.) is handled via OJS. A manuscript number will be assigned to the submitted article. Authors are required to quote the manuscript number whenever they want to enquire about the manuscript update. Otherwise, OJS will automatically show the status of the manuscript.

Authors' Forms and Ethical Approval:
      Authors are required to submit an MS Word copy of the manuscript, all figures in good resolution (300dpi), tables, supplementary information (if required), a letter of study/research approval letter from the governing institutional ethical review board, proof of APC (article processing charges), author declaration and checklist forms on OJS. Authors are required to carefully read the editorial policies and guidelines. Articles should be aligned with the journal format and style. Only those articles will be processed who will meet the criteria of required authorship and align with the aims and scope of the journal.

Plagiarism Checking:
    Turnitin software will check every article for similarity index (SI) and plagiarism. The reports will be shared with the authors in case of high SI. All articles will be immediately rejected if they are found plagiarized.

Editorial Corrections:
    The editorial staff will assess the submitted article for initial general corrections before sending it to the independent peer reviewers. All those points will be initially checked, which are mentioned in the checklist form (see author guidelines section).

Assigned to Editor:
    Initially, the editors will read the submitted manuscripts for pre-evaluations including potential interest to the global readership. They will judge the article for its strength and suitability. Editors will select suitable peer reviewers matching the topic of the article.

Peer Review (double-blinded) Policy:
      We ensure an unbiased, transparent, and fair review of all articles. Editors can ask to mention the peer reviewers from the authors, but they will not be bound to select the potential reviewers mentioned by the authors. Reviewers’ identification will not be revealed to the authors. Once editorial corrections are done, the paper will be processed further to assign the section editor, who will forward the manuscript to the relevant peer review (double-blinded) for feedback comments for improvements and required corrections. Peer reviewers will submit review proforma indicating the quality of the research (Excellent, Good, Fair, or Poor) along with their detailed comments on each section of the article. 

            We consider strict compliance with the editorial and peer review revisions. The editor can send the article to more than two peer reviewers. The comments of the review will be communicated to the authors through the OJS platform. Authors are required to submit the revised version through OJS as well. The revised manuscript will be sent to the reviewer to check if the revision is properly incorporated or if any additional changes are required. The chief editor can reject the article if it has not been appropriately revised. 

      After successful revision of the article, the final copy will be sent to the editorial board and editor-in-chief. Acceptance/rejection of the manuscript will only be decided by the editor-in-chief. The decision of the editor-in-chief will be final and will be communicated to the authors.

Response Sheet:
       Authors are required to submit the revised manuscript along with the response sheet, where they will write the response(s) to the reviewer’s every query. The authors will submit the revised paper with a tracked-change version of the file. They can also highlight the corrections in different colors of the text. Authors can provide their rebuttal statement in case they do not wish to revise the paper according to the comment(s).

Typeset and Proofs:
      After acceptance, authors will receive the PDF typeset proof before publishing. They are required to check their names and affiliations. Minor corrections will be possible at this stage, but in the case of major corrections, they may be extra charged. One printed hard copy will be available to the corresponding author.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest: (for Authors):

    Authors should declare any conflicts of interest that may be understood to affect the results or their interpretation of the paper as soon as feasible (by completing a disclosure form at the time of submission and including a statement in the manuscript). Financial conflicts of interest, such as honoraria, educational grants or other funding, participation in speakers' bureaus, membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership or other equity interest, and paid expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements, should be disclosed, as non-financial conflicts of interest, such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs in the subject matter or materials d All financial backing for the project should be declared (including the grant number or another reference number).

Funding Sources: All financial and in-kind funding for research, as well as study reporting, must be reported by responding to the applicable fee question on the submission site. The authors must have complete access to the study data as well as complete independence in data analysis and dissemination of the findings.
Conflict of Interest: Any possible or perceived conflict of interest must be disclosed by all authors. The corresponding author and co-authors will be asked to sign the author form, which includes conflict of interest statements and a financial disclosure form.

     The author may withdraw a work before publication at any time and for any reason. It may also be retracted at the Editor-in-request Chief's if duplicate publishing, plagiarism, or scientific fraud is discovered and validated before publication.

Guidelines For Reviewers:
  Peer reviewers must fill out a review proforma, write some confidential comments to the editor-in-chief, and write some corrections and improvement comments to the authors. Reviewers can suggest minor or major revisions. They are required to upload the review form on OJS. Reviewers are required to keep the confidentiality of the article’s contents and authors’ names. They will not be provided with the author's names and affiliations. Reviewers will check the article for the study’s significance, validity, key findings, data, methods, statistical analysis, clarity of the text, study design, reference citations, rationale of the study, etc. They will rate the article based on the checklist provided to the reviewers. 

PJNS Policy on data sharing and reproducibility:

Data sharing improves academic communication transparency, promotes the repeatability of experimental results, and accelerates the speed of key discoveries. When data created by academic research is adequately managed and widely shared, it helps ideas to grow and allows for more robust, rigorous academic discussion. PJNS encourages the exchange of data collected during a research project, independent of discipline, content, or publishing type.

PJNS Policy on Post-Publication Discussions & Corrections:

PJNS allows post-publication debate, through emails or letters to the editor. Authors can contact the editorial team via. email ( for minor article corrections, amendments, typographical mistakes, or relevance modifications. Major changes are now allowed. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Utilization:

The use of chatbots, large language models (LLM), chatGPT, and other AI and machine learning techniques should be disclosed by authors. PJNS advises authors to testify to the use of AI at the time of first submission and modification, and to explain its use in the author declaration form.  When authors employ artificial intelligence (AI) and AI-assisted writing tools, they should do so solely to enhance the work's readability and linguistic quality. They should not take the place of important authoring tasks like formulating scientific, educational, or medical insights, coming to scientific conclusions, or offering clinical advice.

Pakistan Journal of Neurological Surgery

Chief Editor
Prof. Dr. Muhammad Anwar Chaudary
Professor (Neurosurgery)-Department of Neurosurgery, Punjab Insitute of Neurosciences (PINS), Lahore Pakistan.
Pakistan Journal of Neurological Surgery (