About The Journal
The Annals of Saudi Medicine (ASM) is published bimonthly by King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. We publish scientific reports of clinical interest in English. All submissions are subject to peer review by the editorial board and by reviewers in appropriate specialties. The journal will consider for publication manuscripts from any part of the world, but particularly reports that would be of interest to readers in the Middle East or other parts of Asia and Africa. Please go to the Author Resource Center for additional information.
ASM conforms with the guidelines and best practices of the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals (http://www.icmje.org/icmje-recommendations.pdf) from ICMJE and Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing (joint statement by COPE, DOAJ, WAME, and OASPA; (http://doaj.org/bestpractice).
PEER REVIEW PROCESS
All manuscripts are subject to a strict peer review process involving members of the editorial board and external reviewers with expertise in the subject matter. The process starts with an initial review by the editor-in-chief or associate editor-in-chief who makes an initial assessment of suitability for the Annals. If the manuscript is deemed of interest, it is then assigned to a member of the editorial board who serves as the principal reviewing editor. The reviewing editor invites external reviewers who are blinded to the manuscript author(s) to further assess the manuscript, recommend any revisions, and offer their opinion on acceptability. We encourage a systematic approach to manuscript review and provide reviewers with the "COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers" (http://goo.gl/VSDNFx).
ABOUT THE EDITORIAL BOARD
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
The Annals of Saudi Medicine (ASM) is an open access medical journal; users are free to copy and redistribute the article in any medium or format with the proper citation of the original work under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. However, no article can be used for commercial purposes (commercial advantage or monetary compensation). The ASM does not permit distribution of modified materials (edited or changed) for any purpose, and users must give appropriate credit to the name of the creator and attribution to appropriate parties, a copyright notice, a license notice, a disclaimer notice, and a link to the material. The ASM allows authors/users to link directly to the article on the ASM website. For more information, please visit: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ and https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode
All articles published represent the opinions of the authors and do not reflect official policy of the Annals. King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre does not endorse, warrant, recommend, approve, or guarantee any product or company advertised in the journal and expressly disclaims all liability for damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to, or reliance on any information contained within the advertisement.
MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
In this issue of the Annals of Saudi Medicine, major changes have been undertaken to enrich the experience for the reader and the author. A 5-stage review process is now standard for all submissions. The first step includes a detailed plagiarism check. The second step includes the usual peer-review process. The third step includes a detailed statistical review for those manuscripts that receive a preliminary decision for publication. The fourth step is a scientific manuscript edit and a copyedit by a native English speaker. The final step includes a detailed assessment of compliance to the new format for reporting. There have been huge efforts on the back-end to achieve these changes, which included modification of the online submission system and utilization of skilled experts for each phase of the review process.
The Annals of Saudi Medicine has never branded itself. In this issue, a logo for the Annals is introduced with the abbreviation: “ASM” as an acronym. The aim is to impart a distinctive character on the Annals, and create a legal entity for it. This will help the Annals to help it generate its own revenue to sustain its scientific activities.
The reader will notice that this issue has changed its cover and color palette. The cover has been rendered to a simple and appealing white. The inside color palette has been changed to be less striking yet more appealing. The design of the tables and graphics has undergone major changes to help the reader grasp the facts at a simple glance.
The abstract has undergone also major changes. The new format introduced new entries. It is important now to mention the type of study design, which will help the reader scrutinize the conclusions. The setting where the study was conducted is very important; whether it was a single center or a multi-center trial makes a huge difference. Limitations of the study from the viewpoint of the the author are of prime importance. The conclusions, accompanied by limitations, help alert the reader to needs and opportunities for more studies in the same field.
There will be more changes to come. The website will undergo a major overhaul to meet the requirements of total digitalization of the whole publication process. It is an ambitious goal that will be accomplished hopefully in 2016. The paper-format of all the scientific journals is struggling for its existence. The huge costs entailed in the production of the paper-format coupled with the less revenue it brings has pushed many journals toward full digitalization. The Annals of Saudi Medicine will not be immune to this transformation and aims to be ahead of these major changes in the world of scientific publication.
The Annals is now catering to a growing new generation of readers. Many were born in the era of the Internet and hardly used hard copy books during their medical school years. They are computer savvy and they share ideas among themselves using the social networking tools. The Annals must cater to this population. Its soft-format must be compliant with the social networking protocols. It must allow for discussion over the content of the published articles coupled with much needed input from the authors. Social networking interaction will eventually replace invited comments and letters to the editors.
These are exciting times for the Annals of Saudi Medicine and we hope it will reflect positively on the experience of our readers and authors.
Nasser Al-Sanea, MD