Guidelines for Authors

Published on behalf of the Romanian Society of Legal Medicine as its official Journal

ISSN 1221-8618 (print)
ISSN 1844-8585 (online)


Guidelines for Authors

The Romanian Journal of Legal Medicine, the official publication of the Romanian Legal Medicine Society, is devoted to the publication of the original investigations, observations, scholarly inquiries and reviews in the various branches of the forensic sciences. The language of the Journal is English.

Preparation of Manuscripts

Pre-submission English-Language Editing

Authors for whom English is a second language may choose to have their manuscript professionally edited before submission to improve the English. English-language editing will (a) improve grammar, spelling and punctuation, (b) improve clarity and resolve any ambiguity caused by poor phrasing, and (c) improve word choice and ensure that the tone of the language is appropriate for an academic journal. A list of independent suppliers of editing services can be found online. All services are paid for and arrranged by the author, and use of one of these services does not guarantee acceptance or preference for publication. Authors are responsible for the linguistic accuracy of their papers. Corrections other than typographical errors will be charged to the authors. Exceptionally, the Editorial Board would accept papers in Romanian, provided that a substantial English abstract accompanies the text.

Ethical considerations

If the scientific project involves human subjects or experimental animals, authors must state in the manuscript that the protocol has been approved by the Ethics Committee of the institution within which the research work was undertaken. Experiments on live vertebrates or higher invertebrates must be demonstrated to be ethically acceptable and in accordance with institutional and national guidelines or regulations for laboratory animals. Any form of registration that may identify a patient must be excluded from the content of the paper. When clinical photographs of patients are submitted, consent by the patient must be obtained prior to submission of the article and is the responsibility of the author. If the manuscripts are reporting medical research involving human subjects, authors must include a statement confirming that informed consent was obtained from all subjects, according to the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki. The Editors reserve the right to reject a paper on ethical grounds. All authors are responsible for adhering to guidelines on good publication practice.

Plagiarism detection and prevention

Authors should keep in mind that the Romanian Journal of Legal Medicine participates in the “CrossCheck initiative” for plagiarism detection and prevention. All manuscripts submitted for publication, will be compared to the CrossCheck database using "iThenticate".
    iThenticate will generate an overall similarity score and provide a detailed report that highlights sections of duplicated text in the submitted manuscript and links back to the original source(s). The editor checks each ‘hit’ in the report to determine its significance. Large sections, or multiple smaller sections, of highly similar text are an immediate red flag; if such sections are a clear indication of deliberate plagiarism or if the duplicated text cannot be removed by careful revision by the author (for example, by extensive rewriting or appropriate referencing) the manuscript will be rejected.
If self-plagiarism is detected before a manuscript is accepted for publication, the author is made aware of the offending sections and asked to either cite the original source or to rewrite the duplicated text.
Duplicate submissions will be rejected automatically upon detection.


Arrangement of Papers

You should arrange your paper in the following order:
1.Title page, including article title (less than 80 characters), author(s) name, academic degrees of the authors, institutional affiliations, name of the department(s) and institution(s) to which the work should be attributed.
2. The author responsible for correspondence will be marked by an asterisk, and their full address, including scientific titles, telephone/fax numbers, and e-mail address will be indicated.
3. An abstract must accompany each paper (150-250 words). The abstract should follow the title page, and the authors need to be careful that it reflects the content of the article accurately. The abstract must clearly provide the background for the study and should state the study's objectives, methods used, main results, and principal conclusions. It should be easily understood without reference to the text.Define abbreviations and acronyms the first time they are used in the text, even after they have been defined in the abstract. Do not use abbreviations in the title or heads unless they are unavoidable.
Following the abstract, a list of 3-10 keywords (selected according to the Medical Subject Headings) is essential for indexing purposes. In addition, please add for Reviews, a list of the main topics. Structured abstracts are welcomed.
4. The text should use symbols of the SI units - Système Internationale d'Unités - and their abbreviation. Alternative or non-SI units physical units may be used, but these must be defined at their first occurrence in the text. Chemical and biochemical nomenclature should follow the Recommendations of the IUPAC-IUB Commission on Nomenclature. Avoid footnotes. When essential, they are indicated in the text by symbols, typed at the foot of the appropriate page, e.g. the address of the author for correspondence (*), on the title page, or explanatory notes for tables.
5. Acknowledgments (if any). This section, placed after the Discussion, contains one or more statements that specify: contributions that need acknowledgment, but do not justify authorship; acknowledgment of technical help or of financial material support (specify the nature of the support); financial relationships that may pose a conflict of interest.
6. Reference citations should follow the Vancouver style described in the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals, as stated by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. They 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 square brackets (e.g. [1], [2-6], etc.).
The reference list is a separate section at the end of the manuscript. Type each reference single-spaced, with one line space between references. All authors cited and only these must be indicated in the list. Use exactly the reference style and format as shown below. Each reference should contain names and initials of all authors. The titles of journals (font style italic) should be abbreviated according to Index Medicus or by analogy. Inaccurate referencing may delay publication. Multiple authors, however many there are, must never be reduced to "et al." in the list of references, even though they were in the body of the text.

(a) Standard journal article:
Bolliger SA, Thali MJ, Ross S, Buck U, Naether S, Vock P. Virtual autopsy using imaging: bridging radiologic and forensic sciences. A review of the Virtopsy and similar projects. Eur Radiol. 2008 Feb;18(2):273-82.
(b) Books and Monographs:
Murray PR, Rosenthal KS, Kobayashi GS, Pfaller MA. Medical microbiology. 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby; 2002.
(c) Chapter in a book:
Meltzer PS, Kallioniemi A, Trent JM. Chromosome alterations in human solid tumors. In: Vogelstein B, Kinzler KW, editors. The genetic basis of human cancer. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2002. p. 93-113.
To avoid possible ambiguity, do not abbreviate page ranges, i.e. please write "234-239" rather than "234-9". This has become more relevant with the rise of electronic journals which sometimes have unusual ways of indicating 'page' numbers.

If the name/date system is used for text citations, the reference list should be in alphabetical order and not numbered. Multiple papers by the same author(s) in the same year must be distinguished by the addition of "a, b, c," etc. to the year of publication in the list. If reference numbers are used for the text citations the list of references at the end of the text must be numbered, either in alphabetical order or in order of citation. In the text only, these numbers appear in square brackets on the line.
All references must be complete and accurate. Where possible the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) for the reference should be included at the end of the reference. Online citations should include date of access.
We recommend the use of a tool such as EndNote or Reference Manager for reference management and formatting (http://www.endnote.com/support/enstyles.asp; http://www.refman.com/support/rmstyles.asp).
7. Tables (they must have a title). Include tables in the file for sending. Use the table function of a word processor rather than tab and space. For postal submission type each table, double-spaced on a separate page. Do not submit tables as photographs. Number tables consecutively with arabic numerals and give each a short, descriptive heading. Give each column a short or abbreviated heading. Place explanatory matter in footnotes to the table, not in the heading. Explain in the footnotes all non-standard abbreviations used in the table. Omit internal horizontal and vertical lines. If data from another published or unpublished source are used, obtain permission and acknowledge fully. Tables should be self-explanatory and understandable without reference to the text of the article.
8. Each figure should have a legend containing sufficient information to make the figure intelligible without reference to the text. Figure legends should be included in the file to be sent. All images should have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi. Using a lowerthan-recommended resolution setting may result in degradation of the printed image. Images prepared for Web use with low resolution will not reproduce correctly. Conversely, saving an image at a resolution higher than the recommended settings will not improve the image quality. Image quality is very important to how yours graphics will reproduce. Although we can accept graphics in many formats, we cannot improve the quality of your graphics if the source files are poor.
9. Number tables consecutively throughout the paper (with Arabic numerals) referring to them in the text as table 1, table 2, etc. Charts - the minimum amount of description text should be used for charts.
10. Color figures. The Journal encourages the publication of color figures. The first two color figures will be produced free of charge, and additional color figures may be free to authors where the Editor and the Reviewer are of the view that it is essential. In all other instances, extra color illustrations are reproduced at the author's expense (aprox. 350 euro/page). RJLM is pleased to allow authors to publish figures in color free of charge in the online edition.

The Editor will not return manuscripts. If the author(s) wishes to have the figure(s) from a rejected article returned, a self-addressed, stamped envelope must be provided. Photographs are returned only at the express request of the author.

Manuscripts should be typewritten on A4 format (210x297 mm), with double spacing, margins of 25 mm, on one side only, consecutively numbered. Times New Roman font, 12-point size, is required.

All materials should comply with the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals, prepared by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (http://www.icmje.org).

As a rule, a paper of about 5000 words, plus figures and tables, should not exceed 12 pages. Section titles should be typed capitalized. Each heading for subdivisions of the text should be clearly identified using different font types (e.g. bold, underlined). Use standard abbreviations. Any non-standard abbreviations (to be avoided if possible) should be explained in the text the first time they are used. Avoid abbreviations in the title. No other references are allowed. If necessary, include only few important values. Avoid reporting detailed statistics and using abbreviations.

Technical instructions for manuscripts submitted in electronic format

Submission of a paper in electronic format represents a considerable reduction of publishing delays, but only if a few basic rules are observed in preparing the text:
1. Send us only the final updated version of your paper!
2. Follow the instructions for the appropriate structuring the material
3. The text should be in one of the following formats: RTF (Microsoft Rich Text format), DCA/RFT, DCA/FFT, ASCII (or in any other Word for Windows compatible programs)
4. Use as few formatting commands as possible:
- input your text continuously;
- do not use different types of fonts, bold or italic fonts to highlight your text;
- use only the Return key to indicate the end of paragraphs, headings, lists etc.;
- do not use the space bar to indicate paragraphs, but only the Tab key;
- do not insert page numbers manually;
- any word or phrase that you would like to emphasize should be indicated throughout the text by underlining
- do not insert footers or headers;
5. Charts and tables should be Excel compatible. Please place all tables at the end of your file, or better, in a separate file - indicate in the text the place of your table or photo
6. You can scan photographs (using Adobe-Photoshop or any other compatible programs) and save them as .tif or .jpg files. Please place all photos at the end of your file, or better, in a separate file - indicate in the text the place of your photo.
7. You may use a common compression program: ARJ, RAR, ZIP, ACE.
8. Make sure that the text file and the print-out correspond exactly.
9. Sizing figures, tables and/or charts: 1 column width - 87mm or 20.5 picas or 3.42 inches; 2 columns width - 180mm or 42.5 picas or 7.1 inches; Please size your attachments accordingly.

Patient confidentiality

Our policy is based on the principle of confidentiality, and the traditions of medical ethics.
1. Any article that contains personal medical information about an identifiable living individual should be accompanied by the patient’s explicit consent before publication.
Patient consent form
1. If consent cannot be obtained, the publication will be possible only if the information can be sufficiently anonymised. In such cases the following note should be inserted at the end of the paper: Detail has been removed from this case description/these case descriptions to ensure anonymity. The editors and reviewers have seen the detailed information available and are satisfied that the information backs up the case the authors are making.
2. If the patient is dead the Data Protection Act does not apply, but the authors should seek permission from a relative (as a matter of courtesy and medical ethics)
Images of patients
1. Our policy on obtaining consent for publication of pictures of patients is a subset of our general policy on patient confidentiality. If there is any chance that a patient may be identified from a photograph or other image or from its legend or accompanying text we need the patient’s written consent to publication in the RJLM.
2. Images – such as x rays, laparoscopic images, ultrasound images, pathology slides, or images of undistinctive parts of the body – may be used without consent as long as they are anonymised.
3. An exception to this policy of needing consent for recognisable photographs of individuals is when we use photographs from picture agencies.
Patient consent form
Please use our consent form for any image or description that needs consent to publication. If the patient is a minor please obtain a signed form from both the patient and his or her parent or guardian. All submissions must be accompanied by a Copyright Transfer Agreement / Declaration of Interest Statement transferring copyright in the article from the author to the publisher and declaring any competing interests and Patient confidentiality.

© Copyright

All submissions must be accompanied by a Copyright Transfer Agreement / Declaration of Interest Statement transferring copyright in the article from the author to the publisher and declaring any competing interests. Without this we are legally unable to publish the article. This can be a Cover Letter from the author stating:
a. That the manuscript has been approved by all authors,
b. The permission (when required) from the organization / institution to reproduce published material,
c. That the manuscript has not been submitted to another journal at the same time or has not already been accepted or published elsewhere.
The authors are responsible for recognizing and disclosing financial and other conflicts of interest related to their study or to the subject of their paper. The authors have to acknowledge in the manuscript all financial support for the research work and other financial or personal connections to the work.
Once complete, the Copyright Transfer Agreement should be sent to the Editorial Office along with the rest of the manuscript materials at the time of acceptance or as soon as possible after that (preferably within 24 hours to avoid any delays in processing the manuscript).
Once accepted for publication, the papers may not be published elsewhere. Upon acceptance of an article by the Journal, the author (s) implicitly transfer the copyright of the article to the Publisher. The copyright covers the exclusive and unlimited rights to reproduce and distribute the article in any form of reproduction (including electronic media); it also covers translations for all languages and countries. This transfer ensure the widest possible dissemination of information.


Further information

If necessary, proofs will be sent to the author for checking. This stage is to be used only to correct errors that may have been introduced during the production process. Prompt return of the corrected proofs, preferably within two days of receipt, will minimise the risk of the paper being held over to a later issue. Complimentary offprints will be provided to the author who checked the proofs, unless otherwise indicated. Further offprints and copies of the journal may be ordered. There is no page charge to authors.

Author Material Archive Policy

Please note that unless specifically requested, the Romanian Society of Legal Medicine will dispose of all hardcopy or electronic material submitted, three months after publication. If you require the return of any material submitted, please inform the editorial office or production editor as soon as possible if you have not yet done so.

 

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