Instructions to author

Authors will greatly assist the editors if the instructions below are followed.

A. Submissions (Author Guidelines, Copyright, Indexing)

a) Type of Article:

  1. Original research article
    The maximum length of an Original Article should not exceed 7000 words, with up to five figures or tables and a maximum of 50 references.
  2. Short communication
    Original research findings that do not require a full paper, but are completed studies, may be submitted as a Short Communication. The maximum length of a Short Communication is 3000 words, a structured abstract and 3-6 keywords and a maximum of one figure and two tables.
  3. Letter
    We welcome correspondence on content published in Malaysian Journal of Pharmacy or on other topics of interest to our readers. Letters for publication must reach us within 4 weeks of publication of the original item and should be no longer than 400 words. Letters of general interest, unlinked to items published in the journal, can be up to 1000 words long. Correspondence letters (we rarely publish original research or Case Reports in this section), but the journal might invite replies from the authors of the original publication, or pass on letters to these authors. Only one table or figure is permitted, and there should be no more than five references and five authors.

    All accepted letters are edited, and proofs will be sent out to authors before publication
  4. Review
    Authors of review manuscripts need to describe the methods used for locating, selecting, extracting, and synthesizing data; this is mandatory for systematic reviews.
  5. Case study
    This can be clinical, management or teaching pharmacy case study. Case study is intended to inform, entertain, and inspire. Present a diagnostic/management conundrum, and explain how you solved it. Tell us about the presentation, history, examination, investigations, management, and outcome. In your discussion, educate the reader. Case studies should tell readers about a condition or presentation that they might encounter—so novelty, rarity, and overspecialization are not what we are looking for. Aim at the generalist: the senior pharmacist, house pharmacist or the well informed pharmacy student. Use no more than 3000 words and 5 references. Explanatory and graphic pictures (up to a maximum of two) can be helpful. Consent for publication in print and electronically must be obtained from the patient or, if this is not possible, the next of kin before submission.

b) Preparation of manuscripts

  • Articles in English will be given priority over those in Bahasa Malaysia. However, article in Bahasa Malaysia article need to have an English title, keyword and abstract.
  • Type papers double spaced, using Arial font size 12 throughout the text, legends, tables and references, on A4 sized paper.
  • Generic names (International Nonproprietary Names [INN]) must be used. In review papers, brand names or trade names can be used in selected instances, e.g. when use of the generic name would be impractical or ambiguous. In original research of a therapeutic intervention should be named by both its generic name and trade name (along with the manufacturer and location) in the methods section in order to precisely identify the product investigated.
  • The text of articles reporting original research should be divided into Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion and Conclusion sections. This so-called “IMRAD” structure is not an arbitrary publication format but a reflection of the process of scientific discovery. Articles often need subheadings within these sections to further organize their content.
  • Authors are asked to follow the international reporting guidelines for their specific study design i.e. CONSORT for randomized trials, STROBE for observational studies, PRISMA for systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and STARD for studies of diagnostic accuracy.
  • For letters and case study, please follow the specific instruction in this guideline.
  • Number all pages.
  • Arrange and submit these sections separately (as different file) in this order:
    • Cover Letter, Title page;Abstract;
    • Main text without author’s name (Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusion for research papers, Acknowledgements; References)
  • All documents need to be submitted in MS Word format.
    1. Title Page
      General information about an article and its authors is presented on a manuscript title page and should includes the article title, author information, any disclaimers, sources of support, word count, and the number of tables and figures.

      Article title. The title provides a brief description of the complete article and should include information that, along with the Abstract, will make electronic retrieval of the article sensitive and specific. Please include a short title, no more than 40 characters (including letters and spaces) on the title page or as a separate entry in an electronic submission system.

      Author information: Each author’s highest academic degrees should be listed. The name of the department(s) and institution(s) or organizations where the work should be attributed should be specified. The title page should list the corresponding authors’ telephone and fax numbers and e-mail address.

      Disclaimers. An example of a disclaimer is an author’s statement that the views expressed in the submitted article are his or her own and not an official position of the institution or funder.

      Source(s) of support. These include grants, equipment, drugs, and/or other support that facilitated conduct of the work described in the article or the writing of the article itself.

      Word count. A word count for the paper’s text, excluding its abstract, acknowledgments, tables, figure legends, and references, allows editors and reviewers to assess whether the information contained in the paper warrants the paper’s length, and whether the submitted manuscript fits within the journal’s formats and word limits. Please also insert a separate word count for the Abstract. The maximum word count for original research article is 5000 words, and abstract is 300 words.

      Number of figures and tables. These numbers allow editorial staff and reviewers to confirm that all figures and tables were actually included with the manuscript and, because Tables and Figures occupy space, to assess if the information provided by the figures and tables warrants the paper’s length and if the manuscript fits within Malaysian J Pharm’s space limits.

      Conflict of Interest declaration. Conflict of interest should be declared on the manuscript title page in addition to filling the form obtainable from http://www.icmje.org/conflicts-of-interest/
    2. Abstract
      Original research, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses require structured abstracts. The abstract should provide the context or background for the study and should state the study’s purpose, basic procedures (selection of study participants, settings, measurements, analytical methods), main findings (giving specific effect sizes and their statistical and clinical significance, if possible), and principal conclusions. It should emphasize new and important aspects of the study or observations, note important limitations, and not overinterpret findings. Clinical trial abstracts should include items that the CONSORT group has identified as essential.

      Because abstracts are the only substantive portion of the article indexed in many electronic databases, and the only portion many readers read, authors need to ensure that they accurately reflect the content of the article. Unfortunately, information in abstracts often differs from that in the text. Please refer to the article type for the specific format required for structured abstract.

c) Manuscript Sections (general requirements for reporting within sections of all study designs and manuscript formats)

  1. Introduction
    Provide a context or background for the study (that is, the nature of the problem and its significance). State the specific purpose or research objective of, or hypothesis tested by, the study or observation. Cite only directly pertinent references, and do not include data or conclusions from the work being reported.
  2. Methods
    The guiding principle of the Methods section should be clarity about how and why a study was done in a particular way. The section should include only information that was available at the time the plan or protocol for the study was being written; all information obtained during the study belongs in the Results section.
    1. Selection and Description of Participants
      Clearly describe the selection of observational or experimental participants (healthy individuals or patients, including controls), including eligibility and exclusion criteria and a description of the source population. Because the relevance of such variables as age, sex, or ethnicity is not always known at the time of study design, researchers should aim for inclusion of representative populations into all study types and at a minimum provide descriptive data for these and other relevant demographic variables. If the study was done involving an exclusive population, for example in only one sex, authors should justify why, except in obvious cases (e.g., prostate cancer).” Authors should define how they measured race or ethnicity and justify their relevance.
    2. Technical Information
      Specify the study’s main and secondary objectives–usually identified as primary and secondary outcomes. Identify methods, equipment (give the manufacturer’s name and address in parentheses), and procedures in sufficient detail to allow others to reproduce the results. Give references to established methods, including statistical methods (see below); provide references and brief descriptions for methods that have been published but are not well-known; describe new or substantially modified methods, give the reasons for using them, and evaluate their limitations. Identify precisely all drugs and chemicals used, including generic name(s), dose(s), and route(s) of administration. Identify appropriate scientific names and gene names.
    3. Statistics
      Describe statistical methods with enough detail to enable a knowledgeable reader with access to the original data to judge its appropriateness for the study and 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 P values, which fail to convey important information about effect size and precision of estimates. References for the design of the study and statistical methods should be to standard works when possible (with pages stated). Define statistical terms, abbreviations, and most symbols. Specify the statistical software package(s) and versions used. Distinguish prespecified from exploratory analyses, including subgroup analyses.
  3. Results
    Present your results in logical sequence in the text, tables, and figures, giving the main or most important findings first. Do not repeat all the data in the tables or figures in the text; emphasize or summarize only the most important observations. Provide data on all primary and secondary outcomes identified in the Methods Section. Extra or supplementary materials and technical details can be placed in an appendix where they will be accessible but will not interrupt the flow of the text, or they can be published solely in the electronic version of the journal.

    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 significance attached to them, if any. Restrict tables and figures to those needed to explain the argument of the paper and to assess supporting data. Use graphs as an alternative to tables with many entries; do not duplicate data in graphs and tables. Avoid nontechnical uses of technical terms in statistics, such as “random” (which implies a randomizing device), “normal,” “significant,” “correlations,” and “sample.”

    Separate reporting of data by demographic variables, such as age and sex, facilitate pooling of data for subgroups across studies and should be routine, unless there are compelling reasons not to stratify reporting, which should be explained.
  4. Discussion
    Emphasize the new and important aspects of the study and the conclusions that follow from them in the context of the totality of the best available evidence. Do not repeat in detail data or other information given in other parts of the manuscript, such as in the Introduction or the Results section. For experimental studies, it is useful to begin the discussion by briefly summarizing 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, distinguish between clinical and statistical significance, and avoid making statements on economic benefits and costs unless the manuscript includes the appropriate economic data and analyses. Avoid claiming priority or alluding to work that has not been completed. State new hypotheses when warranted, but label them clearly.
  5. References
    1. General Considerations Related to References
      Authors should provide direct references to original research sources whenever possible. Although references to review articles can be an efficient way to guide readers to a body of literature, review articles do not always reflect original work accurately. On the other hand, extensive lists of references to original work on a topic can use excessive space. Fewer references to key original papers often serve as well as more exhaustive lists, particularly since references can now be added to the electronic version of published papers, and since electronic literature searching allows readers to retrieve published literature efficiently.

      Do not use conference abstracts as references: they can be cited in the text, in parentheses, but not as page footnotes. References to papers accepted but not yet published should be designated as “in press”. 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. For scientific articles, obtain written permission and confirmation of accuracy from the source of a personal communication.

      Authors are responsible for checking that none of the references cite retracted articles except in the context of referring to the retraction. For articles published in journals indexed in MEDLINE, the ICMJE considers PubMed the authoritative source for information about retractions. Authors can identify retracted articles in MEDLINE by searching PubMed for “Retracted publication [pt]”, where the term “pt” in square brackets stands for publication type, or by going directly to the PubMed’s list of retracted publications.

      References should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text. Identify references in text, tables, and legends by Arabic numerals in parentheses.

      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. The titles of journals should be abbreviated according to the style used for MEDLINE (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nlmcatalog/journals).
    2. Reference Style and Format
      References should follow the standards summarized in the NLM’s International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals: Sample References webpage and detailed in the NLM’s Citing Medicine, 2nd edition. These resources are regularly updated as new media develop, and currently include guidance for print documents; unpublished material; audio and visual media; material on CD-ROM, DVD, or disk; and material on the Internet. Endnote style template is available from http://endnote.com/downloads/style/uniform-requirements.
  6. 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.

    Number tables consecutively in the order of their first citation in the text and supply a title for each. Number tables with Roman numerals (I, II, etc.) and provide a heading for each. Please put each table on a separate page.

    Titles in tables should be short but self-explanatory, containing information that allows readers to understand the table’s content without having to go back to the text. Be sure that each table is cited in the text.

    Give each column a short or an abbreviated heading. Authors should place explanatory matter in footnotes, not in the heading. Explain all nonstandard abbreviations in footnotes, and use symbols to explain information if needed. Identify statistical measures of variations, such as standard deviation and standard error of the mean.

    If you use data from another published or unpublished source, obtain permission and acknowledge that source fully.

    Additional tables containing backup data too extensive to publish in print may be appropriate for publication in the electronic version of the journal, deposited with an archival service, or made available to readers directly by the authors. An appropriate statement should be added to the text to inform readers that this additional information is available and where it is located. Submit such tables for consideration with the paper so that they will be available to the peer reviewers.
  7. Illustrations (Figures)
    Digital images of manuscript illustrations should be submitted in a suitable format for print publication. For print submissions, figures should be either professionally drawn and photographed, or submitted as photographic-quality digital prints.

    For X-ray films, scans, and other diagnostic images, as well as pictures of pathology specimens or photomicrographs, send high-resolution photographic image files.

    Letters, numbers, and symbols on figures should therefore be clear and consistent throughout, and large enough to remain legible when the figure is reduced for publication. Figures should be made as self-explanatory as possible, since many will be used directly in slide presentations. Titles and detailed explanations belong in the legends—not on the illustrations themselves.

    Photomicrographs should have internal scale markers. Symbols, arrows, or letters used in photomicrographs should contrast with the background. Explain the internal scale and identify the method of staining in photomicrographs.

    Figures should be numbered consecutively according to the order in which they have been cited in the text. If a figure has been published previously, acknowledge the original source and submit written permission from the copyright holder to reproduce it. Permission is required irrespective of authorship or publisher except for documents in the public domain.

    In the manuscript, legends for illustrations should be 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.
  8. Units of Measurement
    Measurements of length, height, weight, and volume should be reported in metric units (meter, kilogram, or liter) or their decimal multiples.

    Temperatures should be in degrees Celsius. Blood pressures should be in millimeters of mercury.

    Hematologic, clinical chemistry, and other laboratory measurements should be reported in International System of Units (SI).
  9. Abbreviations and Symbols
    Use only standard abbreviations; use of nonstandard abbreviations can be confusing to readers. Avoid abbreviations in the title of the manuscript. The spelled-out abbreviation followed by the abbreviation in parenthesis should be used on first mention unless the abbreviation is a standard unit of measurement.

d) Cover Letter

Manuscripts should be accompanied by a cover letter or a completed journal submission form, which should include the  following information:

  • A full statement to the editor about all submissions and previous reports that might be regarded as redundant publication of the same or very similar work. Any such work should be referred to specifically and referenced in the new paper. Copies of such material should be included with the submitted paper to help the editor address the situation.
  • A statement on authorship. A statement that the manuscript has been read and approved by all the authors, that the requirements for authorship as stated earlier in this document have been met, and that each author believes that the manuscript represents honest work if that information is not provided in another form See also Section II.A.
  • Contact information for the author responsible for communicating with other authors about revisions and final approval of the proofs, if that information is not included in the manuscript itself.
  • The letter or form should give any additional information that may be helpful to the editor, such as the type or format of article in the particular journal that the manuscript represents. If the manuscript has been submitted previously to another journal, it is helpful to include the previous editor’s and reviewers’ comments with the submitted manuscript, along with the authors’ responses to those comments. Editors encourage authors to submit these previous communications. Doing so may expedite the review process and encourages transparency and sharing of expertise.
  • The manuscript must be accompanied by permission to reproduce previously published material, use previously published illustrations, report information about identifiable persons, or to acknowledge people for their contributions.