Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement


PJR supports giving credit for contributions to a research study even when authorship may not be appropriate. Individuals who don’t fit the requirements for authorship should be assigned. This category may include people who provide writing help, technical support, or general assistance in easing the research process. For more details, follow the guidelines of ICMJE.

Authorship Numbers and Sequence:

The number of authors should be commensurate with the depth of their contributions, though there is no hard cap on the number. Each author’s contribution to the work should be reflected in the authorship order. Mutual agreement among all contributors should be used to reach a consensus on the number and order of authors.

Principal and Corresponding Author:

The lead author, or principal investigator, should have made the most significant contribution. Subject to the agreement of all contributing authors, the principal author may designate themselves as the corresponding author, or they may assign another author for this role.

Informed Consent Policy for Pakistan Journal of Rehabilitation:

Pakistan Journal of Rehabilitation recognises the importance of securing informed consent from research study participants. The informed consent process must encompass the following elements:

1. Clarity of Research Purpose: The objectives, anticipated outcomes, and purpose must be transparently communicated to the individuals involved.

2. Risks and Benefits Disclosure: Before participation, subjects must be informed about any potential risks associated with the research activities. Additionally, the benefits derived from the participation must be clearly articulated to encourage enrollment.

3. Alternatives Explanation: Any available alternatives or substitutes in the research process and their associated risks and benefits should be discussed.

4. Voluntary Participation: Participants must be assured that their involvement is entirely voluntary and that they can withdraw from the research without facing any financial repercussions.

5. Confidentiality Assurance: Participants must be informed about the confidentiality and privacy measures for the collected data. Personal information will be safeguarded and utilised solely for educational purposes or the improvement of the well-being of the population.

6. Contact Information Provision: Subjects should be provided with the researcher’s contact details to address any queries or concerns during the research activities.

7. Acknowledgment through Signature or Thumbprint: The consent must be acknowledged formally through signature or thumbprint to signify understanding and agreement to participate.

NOTE: If obtaining informed consent is impossible, state the reason in the manuscript and obtain approval from the Ethical Review Committee, referencing the Helsinki Declaration.

Conflicts of interest/ Grant support and financial disclosure:

1.      Any financial or personal relationships that might influence an author’s work or conflicts of interest must be disclosed.

2.      The following are examples of financial conflicts: work, consulting, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patents, and grants for travel within the last three years, and honoraria.

3.      The authors must declare whether ‘there is a conflict of interest’ or ‘no conflict of interest.’

4.      All published content is accompanied by financial disclosures, grant support, and conflicts of interest published by the journal.

Authors are required to specify adherence to the latest Helsinki Declaration and ethical guidelines set forth by the Independent Data and Safety Monitoring Committee (IDMC) overseeing human experimentation. Avoiding patient identifiers in text or illustrations is considered an appropriate protocol.

The relevant organisation’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Ethical Review Committee (ERC) must grant ethical approval for any manuscript submitted to PJR. The committee chairperson should stamp and sign the approval statement on official letterhead. Studies that do not involve direct human contact must obtain an exemption letter from the ERC/IRB and prospective approval.

Without an institutional ERC, approval should be sought from another institution committed to ethical standards. Case reports necessitate department head approval on institutional letterhead, including a statement confirming informed consent from participants before study inclusion or case report publication.

Human Participant Studies:

Authors must strictly avoid disclosing information that could identify human subjects. Experiment reports must specify adherence to institutional or national standards. Ethical clearance is obligatory, obtained from the relevant review board (institutional/provincial/national bioethics committee). Manuscripts must include details of the ethical Review Committee, including its name and approval/certificate number. It’s important to note that the editorial board and reviewers may assess articles for ethical compliance, even with approvals from Ethical Review Committees. Authors must confirm adherence to the highest ethical standards per the Declaration of Helsinki and the Independent Data and Safety Monitoring Committee (IDMC).

Animal Participant Studies:

Research involving animals, whether lab-reared or non-lab-reared, vertebrates or invertebrates, must comply with established global animal care and welfare standards. Approval from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) or equivalent is mandatory, with details in the methodology section specifying the approving body’s name, certificate number, and issuance date. The journal may request additional information on animal experiments. Manuscripts will be rejected if there’s reason to believe animals endured unnecessary pain or distress. Animal use must be essential, with no viable alternatives. For more details, refer to the International Association of Veterinary Editors’ Consensus Author Guidelines on Animal Ethics and Welfare.

Publication Misconduct:

This section addresses publication ethics, excluding plagiarism, which is discussed separately. Cases of publication misconduct will be handled following the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines. The corresponding author will be contacted for an explanation, and corrective actions, including correction or retraction, will be determined based on the severity of the misconduct. If authors provide no or unsatisfactory response, unpublished manuscripts may be dropped from consideration and published ones retracted. Retraction notices will be issued in print and online. Authors may face a potential lifetime ban from submitting to the journal, and their institutional head could be informed. Strict measures apply to plagiarism, fabrication, falsification, duplicate submissions, redundant publication, selective and misleading reporting, and referencing.


Plagiarism Policy:

The Pakistan Journal of Rehabilitation (PJR) holds steadfast to the principle that plagiarism is not only unlawful but also an unethical practice with significant repercussions.

In scholarly work, plagiarism manifests when an author utilises another’s work without appropriate permission or acknowledgement. It comes in various forms, such as direct replication, paraphrasing, or reproduction without crediting the original source. Verbatim replication without acknowledgement is a clear indicator of plagiarism and can be easily identified by comparing submitted material with previously published papers. Paraphrasing, which involves reproducing content from the original work without using the exact words, presents a more challenging form of plagiarism detection.

To uphold ethics in research and publishing, PJR is committed to safeguarding the integrity of scholarly manuscripts in every aspect. Evaluating copied content, assessing its quantity and quality concerning the original source, is an integral part of this commitment.

PJR’s Quality Control Department rigorously identifies and assesses instances of plagiarism. Leveraging Turnitin software, submitted manuscripts undergo thorough scrutiny. Upon detection at any stage of the publication process—whether before acceptance, during editing, or at proofreading—authors receive prompt notification to rectify the content and cite original sources appropriately.

Instances of plagiarism often manifest in these ways:

  1. Directly appropriating someone else’s work and presenting it as one’s own.
  2. Self-plagiarism, where authors recycle their previously published material.
  3. Exclusions during plagiarism checks should be limited to:
  • Quotations
  • Bibliographic references
  • Phrases
  • Mathematical / Statistical formulas
  • Institutional names or departments

Guidelines for Authors Regarding Plagiarism:

  1. Plagiarism Identification and Correction: If plagiarism is identified during manuscript submission or any processing phase, authors receive alerts and are requested to rework the content or cite references properly. Manuscripts found with 16% or above plagiarism risk rejection and necessitate revision and resubmission.
  2. Reporting Plagiarism Instances: Scholars can contribute to the scientific community by reporting instances of plagiarism in any journal, providing comprehensive details for appropriate action by the involved editorial offices.
  3. Post-Publication Plagiarism Investigation: In cases of post-publication plagiarism detection, PJR conducts a comprehensive investigation. Authors are contacted, and the plagiarised content is marked in the PDF. Depending on the severity, a formal retraction of the paper may occur.
  4. Handling Publications in Other Languages: Authors must disclose original publication details and secure copyright permissions for publications in another language. Translations may be accepted with proper citation or if the content is entirely rephrased.
  5. Self-Plagiarism Guidelines: Self-plagiarism, reproducing significant sections of copyrighted work without citation, is not permissible. However, referencing prior copyrighted work is an exception.
  6. Impact on Research Ethics: Plagiarism significantly undermines research ethics and devalues scholarly work.
  7. PJR’s Appeal to Authors: PJR earnestly calls upon scholars to prioritise integrity and accountability in producing plagiarism-free manuscripts.