Article Submission Guidelines

Information For Authors

All authors are advised to read first following policies before submitting article to journal and agree to it-Copyright and Licensing Policy
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:-
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication
Authors continue to retain publishing rights to the article without restrictions.

Articles in Indian Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology journal are Open Access articles which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work and source is properly cited.

Submission Guidelines

Authors are kindly urged to adhere to the following submission guidelines:

  1. Signed Cover Letter: Please submit a cover letter adhering to the specified format. Your signature is required for validation Format here
  2. Anonymized Manuscript: Ensure your manuscript is anonymized to maintain a double-blind review process. Remove any author-identifying information from the document.
  3. Copyright Licensing: Format here

Authors are encouraged to thoroughly review this document. In case of any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us. Manuscripts lacking either the cover letter or copyright licensing form will not be considered for review

Definition of authorship as per our journal

We define authorship as per COPE guidelines. The minimum requirements for authorship, common to all definitions, are

  1. substantial contribution to the work and
  2. accountability for the work that was done and its presentation in a publication

By submitting your manuscript to this journal, you affirm that both you and the other authors linked to the manuscript adhere to the criteria for authorship

Conflicts of Interest Statement

A conflict of interest arises in a manuscript when the author is associated with activities that might unduly influence their judgment, regardless of whether this influence occurs. Financial connections with industry, such as employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, grants, or expert testimony, either personally or through immediate family, are typically regarded as significant competing interests. Should such conflicts exist, authors are required to disclose them during manuscript submission

Statement on the Incorporation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Scientific Writing

The utilization of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, specifically Large Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT, is allowed solely for the enhancement of language and not for deriving insights and/or commentary. This usage must be thoroughly documented in the methods section. It is imperative that AI is not credited or listed as an author.

Ethical Clearance

  • All studies involving human and animal subjects must address ethical considerations.
  • When reporting research on human subjects, authors must specify whether the procedures align with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional or regional) and comply with the Helsinki Declaration of 1964, as revised in 2013.
  • Ethical clearance, obtained in writing from a formally constituted Institutional Ethics Committee, is mandatory for all research studies.
  • The cover letter should explicitly state the name of the ethics committee clearing the study, along with the date and number in the cover letter
  • IJFMT reserves the right to request a copy of the relevant document as needed.
  • Even if a study has been approved by a Research Ethics Committee, editors may express concerns about the ethical aspects of the work during the review process.
  • When describing animal experiments, authors should specify adherence to institutional and national standards for the ethical care and use of laboratory animals. We endorse the NACLAR guidelines, emphasizing humane and responsible treatment of animals for scientific purposes and offering practical advice. This includes:
    • Replacement: If a research question can be addressed without using animals, authors should opt for methodologies like cell studies or computer modeling, thus avoiding animal use. When possible, consider using morally "lower" species in place of "higher" ones.
    • Reduction: Employ a smaller number of animals when feasible to answer research questions.
    • Refinement: Continuously refine research methods, techniques, concepts, and tools to minimize the necessity for animals in research and mitigate potential harms.
  • Authors may be asked to provide more detailed information and justify the ethical and moral aspects of the research.
  • Editors may request contact details of the research ethics committee for further inquiry.
  • IJFMT editors may consult with editorial colleagues, the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE, WAME or ICMJE), or Ethical advisors to assess the ethical aspects of an article and retain the right to reject a manuscript on ethical grounds, irrespective of institutional ethics committee approval.
  • In addition to manuscript rejection, the journal reserves the right to communicate ethical concerns to the head of the author's institution or the medical council to prevent unethical practices and safeguard patients.
  • Consent of human Research Subjects: In case of identifiable photographs and/or medical data of research subjects particularly minors and deceased, informed consent should be obtained from the subject themselves, legal guardians or next of kin respectively. Please visit journal website for consent form. The identity of the patient in clinical photographs should be masked by suitable methods and any sensitive medical data should be anonymized

Ethical Guidelines for submitting original research and/or case studies conducted on the deceased-cadavers, corpse, remains and/or autopsy specimens through postmortem, autopsies or other methods

  1. Informed Consent and Consent of the Deceased: Ensure that proper consent was obtained, either from the deceased prior to their death (if applicable) or from their next of kin or legal representatives. In the case of unclaimed deceased persons, consent to be obtained from state institutions and/or local police. The consent process should be transparent and comprehensive, detailing how the remains will be used for research.
  2. Anonymity and Confidentiality: Ensure that data shared is anonymized to protect the identity and privacy of the deceased and their families. Remove any personal identifiers and use data aggregation methods whenever possible to prevent re-identification. Specifically:
    • Cover Faces and Personal Images: When sharing images or visual data that include the deceased, ensure that faces and any identifiable features are covered or obscured. Use techniques such as blurring, cropping, or masking to prevent recognition.
    • Avoid Personal Identifiers: Refrain from sharing any data that could directly identify the deceased, such as names, addresses, or unique personal characteristics.
  3. Respect for the Deceased: Treat the bodies with dignity and respect throughout the research process. This includes maintaining confidentiality and privacy regarding the identity and personal details of the deceased.
  4. Legal and Institutional Compliance: Adhere to all relevant laws and regulations governing the use of human bodies in research. This includes compliance with institutional review board (IRB) guidelines, local, national, and international laws, and any other applicable regulations.
  5. Purpose and Scientific Value: Ensure that the research has a clear and valuable scientific purpose. The potential benefits of the research should justify the use of human bodies. Research should aim to advance knowledge or improve medical practices in a meaningful way.
  6. Transparency and Honesty: Be transparent in the research methodology and the origins of the specimens used. Accurately report how the bodies were obtained, the consent process followed, and any ethical approvals secured.
  7. Minimizing Harm: Although the subjects are deceased, researchers should aim to minimize any form of distress or harm to the families of the deceased. This includes being sensitive to cultural and religious beliefs regarding the handling of dead bodies

The editorial board retains the authority to review and question researchers on any of these ethical aspects. Manuscripts found to be unethical may be subject to rejection

Funding Sources

Authors must disclose all financial and material support received for the research, providing details such as grant number and funding agency.

Type of article and manuscript format

Submitted manuscript can be original research, case reports or review articles. For guidelines on the type of articles please see  here

Recommended format for manuscript can be accessed here

Enhancing Research Impact : Key Considerations for IJFMT Submissions

Given the extensive reach of IJFMT, it is recommended that authors thoroughly address the following questions to ensure their research resonates with a diverse audience, including forensic medicine professionals, toxicologists, medico-legal experts, and policymakers. Having clear takeaways from the research will improve its relevance and citeability. Authors are requested to address and summarize each of these in the Discussion/Conclusion section.

  • Research Question/Hypothesis:
    What is the central research question or hypothesis of your study, and how does your research address it?
  • Existing Work and Methodology:
    What existing work has been done on this topic, and how has it informed your hypothesis and research methodology?
  • Novel Contributions:
    What are the new aspects of your research? How does your study add to the current discourse on this topic?
  • Relevance to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology:
    How is your research relevant to the forensic medicine and toxicology community, specifically forensic medicine professionals, toxicologists, medico-legal experts, and policymakers?
  • Future Research Directions:
    What could be potential future research topics and areas stemming from your study?

By addressing these key points, authors can significantly enhance the impact and clarity of their research, making it more valuable to the forensic medicine and toxicology community and beyond.

Publication process and criteria for acceptance

A manuscript will be reviewed for possible publication with the understanding that it is being submitted exclusively to IJFMT and has not been published, simultaneously submitted, or accepted for publication elsewhere. The journal requires that authors authorize one among them (the corresponding author) to communicate with the journal regarding all matters related to the manuscript. All received manuscripts are duly acknowledged.

Upon submission, editors initially review all manuscripts for suitability for formal review.Manuscripts may be rejected at this stage if they lack originality, have serious scientific or technical flaws, fail to convey a significant message, are out of scope, or do not conform to the journal's guidelines. The initial screening decision will typically be communicated within one week of submission completion.

We are dedicated to upholding elevated editorial standards and maintaining the integrity of our journal. Our commitment to quality is reflected in our rigorous peer review process, which typically takes 4-5 weeks. Here is an overview of the evaluation process your manuscript will undergo post- submission:

  • Submitting the manuscript: We encourage you to submit the manuscript through the OJS platform as it maintains transparency and visibility of the publication process. You can submit here- In case you are unable to submit on OJS, you can email us your manuscripts at [email protected]
  • Relevance to the Aim and Scope: If your article aligns with the journal's scope, it will proceed; otherwise, the editor may suggest incorporating a relevant lens or may reject your article
  • Rejection Reasons:
    1. Out-of-scope submissions
    2. Lack of novelty in research subject
    3. Insufficient inclusion of necessary elements, such as research methods
    4. Evidence of research misconduct
    5. >10% Plagiarism (we use paid Similarity Check/iThenticate services and will check each manuscript )
    6. Inability to provide necessary ethical clearances and consent from research subjects
  • Peer Review Process: Upon the editor's approval, a double-blind peer review will be initiated, involving subject matter experts. Following the review, your manuscript will be returned with comments.
  • Author Addresses Comments: Implement necessary revisions based on peer review comments and resubmit the revised manuscript to the editor.
  • Intimation of Acceptance: If the editor is satisfied, you will be informed of your manuscript's acceptance, along with details about the publication timeline. Manuscript handling charges will be required, and an acceptance letter will be issued.
  • Pre-Release: Before publication, you will receive a pre-release version of your article. Please review it thoroughly and communicate any essential changes to us

Double Blind Peer Review Guidelines

We require an anonymized manuscript for our double-blind peer review process, meaning that author information will be concealed from peer reviewers. When submitting your manuscript, please eliminate any identifying details, such as authors; names or affiliations. Additionally, ensure that the manuscript is appropriately prepared for double-blind review by following these guidelines:

  • Utilize the third person to reference previously published work by the authors, for instance, write 'Sharma and Iyer (2015) have demonstrated' rather than 'we/the authors have previously demonstrated (Sharma & Iyer, 2015)'.
  • Ensure figures and tables do not include any references to author affiliations.
  • Omit acknowledgments and any mentions of funding sources.
  • Provide these details, including declarations of potential conflicts of interest, on the title page, which is not shared with reviewers. The format for the same is available on the journal website
  • Exercise caution in choosing file names, and anonymize the file's 'Properties'. If using Office 2007 or later, consider employing the Document Inspector Tool before submission.
  • Be vigilant to avoid inadvertently including identifying information within the manuscript as it will be shared with the reviewers.

Change in authorship or contributorship

Once an article has been submitted into our system and the review process is underway, modifications to authorship cannot be accommodated. However, if there arises a necessity to alter authors or adjust the order of contributorship pre-publication, we require explicit consent from all the authors. This consent should be provided either through official email addresses or by submitting a no-objection certificate on their institution's letterhead.

If there is a change in authorship or contributorship post-publication, we will follow the same process of needing explicit consent from all authors. We can make the authorship and contributorship changes on platforms controlled by us primarily journal website and OJS but cannot guarantee that the changes will be reflected in third party platforms and databases that index the journal.

Article withdrawal process

You can withdraw your article at any time pre-publication. However, we may not be able to issue you a full refund especially if your article has been through the review process since we have invested resources in the review process. We will evaluate refunds on a case-by-case basis and may issue refunds to authors under financial duress. We recommend you inform us about your intention to withdraw as soon as possible

Publication Charges Policy

We operate Open Access publications, implying that we do not charge for online subscriptions to our journal. Our primary goal is to establish high-quality multidisciplinary research platforms. The deliberate choice of adopting an open-access model is driven by the intention to eliminate cost barriers for researchers, especially those based in developing countries, enabling unrestricted access to top-tier research.

To sustain the quality of our journal, nominal publication fees are charged to authors. These fees contribute to covering essential costs associated with maintaining a high-standard publication. Key expense areas include:

  1. Host and server maintenance for our online platforms, such as website and OJS.
  2. Crossref fees for generating Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs).
  3. Paid plagiarism checks through Similarity Check/iThenticate.
  4. Editorial office and staff.

While we typically do not offer fee waivers or discounts due to these operational costs, we recognize that researchers, particularly in developing countries, may face financial constraints. In light of this,we are open to considering waivers and discounts on a case-by-case basis.

If you are in a situation where financial considerations may pose challenges, we encourage you to reach out to us, explaining your circumstances. We have previously granted fee waivers to researchers facing conditions such as:

  • Being based in countries experiencing war and/or economic crises.
  • Conducting exceptional research recognized with multiple awards.
  • Facing exceptional financial strain, particularly those from families classified under the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category.