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).





All manuscripts are subject to a strict peer review process (double blind peer review) 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).





The Annals of Saudi Medicine is a peer-reviewed and subsidized open-access journal by King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre (KFSH&RC). All expenses of submission, processing, and publication are covered by KFSH&RC. Authors are not required to pay any fee with regards to their submission.





The Annals of Saudi Medicine's published articles are ditributed to the public free of charge, readers can read, download, and distribute the articles under the ASM's permitted liscence notice (please see Liscence Notice section below). 


Once article is submitted to the Annals of Saudi Medicine ScholarOne Submission System, author transfers the copyright to the journal by signing a copyright trasnfer form (please visit: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/asm)






Creative Commons License


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 ASM. 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. 


The process of selecting the Editorial Board Members of the Annals of Saudi Medicine (ASM) goes through the following stages as explained below: 

First Stage: Official invitation letters are sent to KFSHRC's/other hospitals' database of consultants and excellent reviewers of the ASM with a score of 2-3 out of 3 under the online submission system (ScholarOne). 

Second Stage: Received scientific submissions (CVs) are analyzed and categorized based on the highest number of submissions in each category such as Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, Infectious Diseases, Adult Cardiology, etc. The selection of the Editorial Board Members is based on the most prevalent categories of manuscripts sent to the Annals.

Third Stage: A scoring system is followed to select the new Editorial Board Members based on the following criteria:
1. A medical board degree, master-level degree, or doctoral-level degree.
2. A strong background in evaluating research methods and latest advances in the various medical fields. 
3. Experience in the conduction and production of scientific articles.
4. Published a minimum of 5 original articles in medical journals.
5. Past experience in other medical journals as a reviewing editor or reviewer.
6. Have the time and dedication on a weekly basis to the role of a reviewing editor.
7. High evaluation score in the peer review process (if applicable).
8. The specialty expertise of the candidate matches the need of the ASM. 

Fourth Stage: Form a Scientific Selection Committee of leading experts in the medical and publishing field to select the Editorial Board Members based on the need of the Annals guided by the categories of submission and the score of the candidates. 

Fifth Stage: Accepted candidates are enrolled in a workshop to teach them about the review process and the use of the online submission system (ScholarOne). In addition, a legal agreement (based on COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) manual of ethical guidelines) is signed between the Annals and the Editorial Board Members to protect the confidentiality of submitted articles and copyright of the journal.


Simultaneous submission and duplicate publication are problems for medical journals throughout the world,1,2 maybe more so now than in the past.3 A related problem is fragmented publication, the publication of several shorter reports when one longer one would suffice.4 One study estimated that eight percent of its articles were duplicated or fragmented.5 Simultaneous submission to two or more journals at once is an obvious strategy from the standpoint of the author, who wishes to have his or her material published as rapidly as possible, and many ignore or are unaware of the universal provision among journals that a manuscript not be under consideration elsewhere. If the article is accepted and published in two different journals, it may be published in slightly different form and possibly in quite different form, if the peer review process has resulted in different revisions. Not only does duplicate publication misguide the reader in this way, but it also wastes the time of editorial boards and reviewers and may complicate the process of meta-analysis.

On this and other matters of scientific misconduct, we follow the guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (https://publicationethics.org/). In addition, the Editorial Board of the ASM has a policy that any author(s) who submits a manuscript that has already been published electronically and/or in print will be subject to a 5-year ban on submitting manuscripts to the ASM.

If we discover a case of duplicate publication involving the ASM and another journal(s), we will ban the author from further submission to the ASM and report the instance to the author’s institution and any other appropriate authorities. We will also contact the other journal where the article was published in duplicate. We may also issue a notice of improper duplicate publication that will appear on PubMed. Articles that appear to be fragments of a larger study more properly published as a single article may be rejected.


1. Mojon-Azzi SM, Jiang X, Wagner U, Mojon DS. Redundant publications in scientific ophthalmologic journals: the tip of the iceberg? Ophthalmology 2004;111:863-6.

2. Simultanous submissions to two journals. World Association of Medical Editors Listserv. Email string initiated 21 June 2005.

3. Anonymous. The publishing game: getting more for less. Science 1981;211:1137-9.

4. Susser M, Yankauer A. Prior, Duplicate, Repetitive, Fragmented, and Redundant Publication and Editorial Decisions. Am J Public Health 1993;83:792-3.

5. Gwilym SE, Swan MC, Giele H. One in 13 ‘original’ articles in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery are duplicate or fragmented publications. J Bone Joint Surg Br 2004;86:743-5. 

The ASM uses iThenticate plagiarism detection system to screen submitted papers for originality. The ASM does not relay entirely on the similarity score; however, the whole content of the article is being screened, read, and compared to other matching sources by a team of professional scientists and physicians.


The ASM is indexed in the following databases:



Web of Science



Google Scholar


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


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