The Arab Journal of Forensic Sciences & Forensic Medicine (AJFSFM) is a peer-reviewed, open access (CC BY-NC), an international journal for publishing original contributions in various fields of forensic science. These fields include, but are not limited to forensic pathology and histochemistry, toxicology (drugs, alcohol, etc.), forensic biology (serology, human DNA profiling, entomology, population genetics), forensic chemistry (inks, paints, dyes, explosives, fire accelerants), psychiatry and hypnotics, forensic anthropology and archeology, forensic odontology, fingerprints and impressions, firearms and tool marks, white collar crimes (counterfeit and forgery; questioned documents), digital forensics; cyber-crimes, criminal justice and crime scene investigation, as well as many other disciplines where science and medicine interact with the law.
2- Article Types:
- Original Research Paper: A full-length research reports. Such submissions considering the following factors:
- A clear stated hypothesis.
- Quality of the literature review and clear statement of the novelty and value of the work in this context.
- Strength of the experimental design, e.g., clear description of sample size and experimental controls.
- Sufficient method validation and figures of merit.
- Reasonable, defensible, and data-based interpretation and conclusions.
- Potential of the paper to strengthen the scientific foundation of forensic science in legal and regulatory communities around the world.
- Review Article: Detailed review of specific subject, backed up by full reference list and exploring all aspects of subject.
- Letter to the editor: Comment or useful critique on material published in the journal. The decision to publish submitted letters rests purely with the Editor-in-Chief. The answer to the letter is given by the editor or the corresponding author of the manuscript and is published in the journal.
- Book Review: A review of a book or other publication of interest to the forensic science community or closely related fields and not more than 2 years old. Unsolicited reviews will not usually be accepted, but suggestions for appropriate books for review should be sent to the Editor-in-Chief.
- Conference Proceedings: Conference Proceedings are a compilation of research papers presented at a scientific meeting, symposium, or conference and are produced from the manuscripts received from authors.
- Case Reports: This is a brief description or analysis of one or more cases related to forensic science or forensic medicine.
- Technical Notes: A description of a technical aspect of a field or issue, a report on a procedure or method, or a validation of techniques or methodologies. Technical Notes are usually shorter than Original Articles.
- Editorial or Invited Commentary: This is a commentary on a specific topic or issue written by the Editor-in-Chief (EIC) or by someone else upon the special invitation of the EIC. Book Reviews: Review of a book or other publication of interest to the scientific community in the fields of forensic science, forensic medicine, and criminalistics. These articles provide a description of the book being reviewed, the strengths and weaknesses of the book, and the intended audience.
3- Terms and Conditions of Publishing in the AJFSFM:
The journal welcomes original contributions from scholars, researchers, academics, and forensic science practitioners from all over the world, under the following terms and conditions:
- Papers must be written in Arabic or English.
- Papers written in Arabic should also have an abstract in English.
- Similarly, manuscripts prepared in English must also have an Arabic abstract.
- Authors who cannot provide abstract in the Arabic language should submit a written request to the Editor-in-Chief (EIC) at the time of manuscript submission for the Arabic translation of the abstract written in English.
- Each manuscript must be accompanied by a statement that the manuscript has not been submitted for publication elsewhere in Arabic or English unless it was a conference paper.If it was a conference paper, then this should be noted together with a statement that the paper has been completely re-written and that either: It was not originally copyrighted or That the author has cleared any necessary permission with the copyright owner if it has been previously copyrighted.Previous publication in another language should also be disclosed.
- All papers are refereed, and the Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to refuse any manuscript, whether on the invitation or otherwise, and to make suggestions and/or modifications before publication.
- AJFSFM place great emphasis on the originality and quality of the papers published in this journal.Submitted manuscripts are first reviewed by the EIC who has the authority to reject the paper or he can refer to one of the Associate Editors (AE) for further review.The AE evaluates the paper and decides whether it describes a sufficient body of work to support a major advance in a particular field.If the AE does not judge the manuscript suitable for the journal, alone or in consultation with other AEs, the manuscript may be rejected outright, without external peer review, with the reasons outlined in the decision letter sent to the author.If the AE does judge the manuscript suitable for the journal, it will then be subjected to external peer review with the consent of EIC.
4- Peer-Review Process
A full double-blind refereeing process is applied in which papers are sent to 3-4 experts for their peer review. The opinions of up to three experts are sought to evaluate the manuscript fully with respect to its significance, relevance, quality, and clarity. On receipt of all reviewer comments, and potentially further consultation amongst other editors, a decision is rendered by the AE and co-signed by the EIC, who will send the decision to the corresponding author. The whole process may take 2-3 months.
Possible decisions include:
- Accept with minor revision
- Accept with major revision
For papers, which require changes, the same reviewers will be used to ensure that the quality of the revised paper is acceptable.
5- Revisions deadline
- Please note that articles that are sent back to the author for revision need to be returned within 60 days (and within 20 days for subsequent revisions). A reminder will be sent in the second month. Any articles that are received after the two-month period of revision will be considered a re-submission.
- AJFSFM shall furnish authors of accepted papers with proofs for the correction of printing errors. The proofs shall be returned within 14 calendar days of submittal. Reviewers and the AJFSFM shall not be held responsible for errors, which are the result of author’s oversight.
Manuscripts which have been accepted for publication will be freely available online. AJFSFM is an Open Access (OA) journal and strictly adhere to this policy (CC BY-NC) as per the terms and conditions laid down in Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.
- Use for commercial purposes of the article is strictly prohibited. For detailed instructions regarding the preparation of manuscripts, an online submission, and author/publishing guidelines, kindly visit:
6- Manuscript Preparation
The AJFSFM requirements for manuscript publication are generally in accordance with the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals (http://www.icmje.org). These requirements may also be found in the introductory issue of the AJFSFM, the Journal of Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapeutics (http://www.jpharmacol.com), Saudi Medical Journal (http://www.smj.org.sa), and many other journals. The AJFSFM guidelines integrate the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals, and are intended to help authors prepare their papers to meet the specific requirements of the AJFSFM so that their work may proceed smoothly through the publication process. Manuscripts may be written in English or Arabic and submitted online:
7- Text Formatting
Manuscript, including title page, abstract, the main text, conclusion, acknowledgments, references, individual tables and legends, must be typewritten (Times New Roman) with a font size of 12, on 8 1/2 x 11 inch (21.5 x 28 cm) or size A4 paper, with margins of at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) and double spacing. Insert page numbers consecutively, beginning with the title page. Put the page number in the upper right-hand corner of each page.
Tables, figures and figure legends are uploaded as separate files on the manuscript submission website. Figure legends should be included on a separate page from the figures themselves. If the abstract is not typed directly into Manuscript Central, please submit that as a separate upload. Manuscripts must be accompanied by a covering letter signed by the author and all co-authors. The AJFSFM recommends that authors should consider having their manuscripts professionally edited prior to submission; even more so for authors for whom English is a second language.
8- Word Limits
- Original articles should be up to 5000 words, (excluding abstract and references), and have no more than six figures and tables.
- Review articles should have a maximum length up to 6000 words, (excluding abstract and references), plus 4-5 tables or figures. Subheadings should be used within the article to highlight the content of different sections.
- Case reports should be prepared in a narrative style and comprise an abstract; a short introduction stating the reasons for reporting the case; the case report including history, investigations and outcomes; and a discussion referring to the relevant literature. Maximum length 2000 words with no more than two figures and tables.
- Letters to the Editor may deal with comments on recently published papers in the journal or other observations that the authors may feel warrants publication.These are usually up to 800 words.
- Shot communications are limited to 3000 words and are not subdivided. The paper should contain an abstract, main body and references, and contain no more than 6 figures or tables, combined.
- Images in Forensics should include a brief description, no longer than 1200 words, of a particular finding in a “Case Report” format with high quality images, followed by a separate discussion of the features of the lesion/injury/finding
- Editorials referring to research published elsewhere in that issue of the journal, or to important events in the specialty. Editorials are usually commissioned. Maximum length 1600 words.
9- Title Page Information
- Titles are often used in information-retrieval systems and, therefore, the title of the submitted work should be concise, informative and both in Arabic and English. Avoid abbreviations and formulae where possible.
- Author names and affiliations. Please clearly indicate the given name(s) and family name(s) of each author and check that all names are accurately spelled. Present the authors' affiliation addresses (where the actual work was done) below the names. Indicate all affiliations with a lower-case superscript letter immediately after the author's name and in front of the appropriate address. Provide the full postal address of each affiliation, including the country name and, if available, the e-mail address of each author.
- Corresponding author. Clearly indicate who will handle correspondence at all stages of refereeing and publishing, also post-publication. Ensure that the e-mail address is given and that contact details are kept up to date by the corresponding author.
- Present/permanent address. If an author has moved since the work described in the article was done, or was visiting at the time, a 'Present address' (or 'Permanent address') may be indicated as a footnote to that author's name. The address at which the author actually did the work must be retained as the main, affiliation address. Superscript Arabic numerals are used for such footnotes.
Abstract : Abstract should be bilingual (English & Arabic). Authors who cannot provide abstract in Arabic language should submit a written request to the Editor-in-Chief at the time of manuscript submission for the Arabic translation of the abstract written in English. Each abstracts should be no more than 200 words. Although the AJFSFM uses unstructured abstracts; however, the abstract should include the following – background, brief description of methods and results (give specific data and their statistical significance, if possible), and conclusion. Emphasize new and important aspects of the study or observations. The word “Abstract” should be in Title case and bolded.
Authors should write their Arabic summaries using terms according to the Unified Medical Dictionary (Council of Arab Ministers of Health/WHO/Arab Medical Union ALESCO, 3rd ed.). Important observations and findings must be made clear.
Keywords :Immediately after the abstract, provide a maximum of 5 keywords, that will aid in cross-indexing the article. The first keyword must be forensic science; other keywords must enable abstracters to properly categorize the manuscript so interested researchers can easily find it in journal article data bases.
Use terms from the medical subject headings (MeSH) list of Index Medicus; recent terms may be used if not on the list. Frequently, the second keyword is a subfield of forensic science, e.g. forensic anthropology, forensic pathology, or DNA typing. Be sparing with abbreviations: only abbreviations firmly established in the field may be eligible.
Text Structure : The text of observational and experimental articles is usually – but not necessarily – divided into sections with headings. AJFSFM make use of headings which include Introduction, Methods (or Materials and Methods), Results, Discussion and Conclusion.
Long articles may need subheadings within the sections to clarify their content, especially the Results and Discussion sections. Other types of articles, such as Case Reports are likely to need different headings and subheadings. Generally, avoid overuse of subheadings, especially in the Methods section. Headings should be numbered, bolded and subheadings italicized.
This must include the adequate background and objectives of the work, avoiding a detailed literature surveys or lengthy result summaries of previously published relevant studies.
Materials and Methods : Experimental methods must be presented in a concise and informative way with enough detail to enable the work to be reproduced. Any published methods must have references and modifications should be described. In studies of diagnostic accuracy, the methods section should mention the inclusion and exclusion criteria of patients or healthy subjects involved in the study together with information on patient recruitment. Textual re-use of portions of an author’s previous work in the methods section will be considered, providing that an explanatory note is included with appropriate referencing: “The methods are exactly as published in the previous publication....”.
Statistical Analysis : Any calculation sections must clarify a practical development taken from a theoretical basis. The author(s) should adequately describe or reference all statistical procedures used in the current study in a paragraph at the end of the methods section. It is expected that the statistical tests used are appropriately selected and applied, with an indication of the related assumptions and how they have been tested. The ambiguous use of statistical terms should be avoided such as random with the meaning of haphazard, correlation instead of association, etc. In presenting results, all the participants in the study must be accounted for. Exact p-values and confidence intervals are to be used.
Results: Present results in a logical sequence according to the flow of information in the text, tables and illustrations. Do not repeat all the data in the tables or illustrations. Emphasize or summarize only important observation and avoid repetition of all of the data.
Discussion : Highlight new and important aspects of the study and any conclusions based on them. Be concise and avoid repetition of any data and material given in the Introduction or the Results section. Mention the implications of the findings and any limitations, and state possible implications for future research. Other relevant studies should be linked to the observations.
Conclusion : Conclusions must be linked to the aims of the research and must be supported by the data. Any new hypotheses may be stated, but must be highlighted as new. Authors are free to include recommendations based on their work.
In shorter manuscripts, such as those intended to be Technical Notes or Case Reports, the Results and Discussion sections should be combined.
Acknowledgments : The Acknowledgements section immediately precedes the Reference list. Acknowledgment should conform to the Uniform Requirements for Biomedical Journals which states:
List all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship, such as a person who provided purely technical help, writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support. Financial and material support should also be acknowledged. Groups of persons who have contributed materially to the paper but whose contributions do not justify authorship may be listed under a heading such as “clinical investigators” or “participating investigators,” and their function or contribution should be described, for example, “served as scientific advisors,” “critically reviewed the study proposal,” “collected data,” or “provided and cared for study patients.” Because readers may infer their endorsement of the data and conclusions, all persons must have given written permission to be acknowledged.
References :The heading of the reference list should be 'References,' and it should contain only published or in-press references cited by number (s) in the text. The References header should be bolded. Published abstracts, printed manufacturer’s protocols or instructions, and World Wide Web (WWW) site URLs may be validly cited as references. However, when citing the WWW as a reference, mention the date and time of accessing the website.
Personal communications and submitted manuscripts are not valid references. Personal communications should be cited in the text, in parentheses, at the appropriate location.
Number references consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text. Identify references in tables, and legends by Arabic numerals. References cited only in tables or legends should be numbered in accordance with a sequence established by the first identification in the text of the particular table or figure.
Text: Indicate references by number(s) in square brackets in line with the text. The actual authors can be referred to, but the reference number(s) must always be given.
Example: '.... as demonstrated [3,6]. Barnaby and Jones  obtained a different result ....'
List: Within the reference list, number the references 1., 2., 3., etc., in the order in which they appear in the text.
Reference Style : References should be in the Vancouver style. Further details of Vancouver style of references can be found at the following website:
Examples of correct forms of references are given below.
Surname Initial(s). Title of article. Journal title/or title abbreviation. Year;volume(issue):page(s). DOI - if available
Kwan I, Mapstone J. Visibility aids for pedestrians and cyclists: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Accid Anal Prev. 2004;36(3):305-12. DOI: 10.1016/S0001-4575(03)00008-3.
Kwan I, Mapstone J. Visibility aids for pedestrians and cyclists: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials. Accid Anal Prev [Internet]. 2004 [cited 2004 Mar 30];36(3):305-12. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com
Unpublished paper: Surname Initial(s). Paper title. Paper presented at Name of conference; Date; Place.
Published paper : Surname author Initial(s). Paper title. In: Surname editor Initial(s), editor(s). Conference title. Place of publication: Publisher; Year. page(s).
Nørvåg K. Space-Efficient Support for Temporal Text Indexing in a Document Archive Context. In: Koch T, Sølvberg I, editors. Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries. 7th European Conference, ECDL; 2003 Aug 17-22; Trondheim, Norway. Berlin: Springer; 2003. p. 511-22.
Surname Initial(s). Book title. Edition - if available. Place of publication: Publisher; Year. Dybvig DD, Dybvig M. Det tenkende mennesket. Filosofi- og vitenskapshistorie med vitenskapsteori. 2nd ed. Trondheim: Tapir akademisk forlag; 2003.
Bick J. 101 Thing You Need to Know about Internet Law [Internet]. New York: Three Rivers Press; 2000 [cited 2004 Mar 30]. Available from: http://site.ebrary.com
Anthology (book with articles)
An anthology is a book with one editor, but where the chapters are written by several different authors.
Surname author Initial(s). Chapter title. In: Surname editor Initial(s), editor(s). Book title. Place of publication: Publisher; Year. page(s).
Beizer JL, Timiras ML. Pharmacology and drug management in the elderly. In: Timiras PS, editor. Physiological basis of aging and geriatrics. 2nd ed. Boca Raton: CRC Press; 1994. p. 279-84.
Fermann G, editor. International politics of climate change: key issues and critical actors. Oslo: Scandinavian University Press; 1997.
Newspapers and Magazines
Surname Initial(s). Article title. Newspaper title. Date:page.
Ringen S. La ikke Erna Solberg rasere det lokale folkestyre. Aftenposten. 2004 March 25:10.
Grosh A, Graff J. A strike at Europe’s heart. Time Magazine. 2004 March 22:22.
Dissertation and Master thesis
Surname Initial(s). Title [type of publication]. Place: Publisher; Year.
Hasund IK. The discourse markers like in English and liksom in Norwegian teenage language: a corpus-based, cross-linguistic study [dissertation]. Bergen: Universitetet i Bergen; 2003.
Author/editor. Title. Place: Publisher; Year. Title of report series.
Arbeids- og administrasjonsdepartementet. Arbeidslivsutvalget. Et arbeidsliv for trygghet, inkludering og vekst. Oslo: Statens forvaltningstjeneste; 2004. NOU 2004:5.
Author. Title [Internet]. Place: Publisher; Date of publication [date updated; cited date]. Available from: http://...
Examples: Reference list
- Kwan I, Mapstone J. Visibility aids for pedestrians and cyclists: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Accid Anal Prev. 2004;36(3):305-12. DOI: 10.1016/S0001-4575(03)00008-3
- Dybvig DD, Dybvig M. Det tenkende mennesket. Filosofi- og vitenskapshistorie med vitenskapsteori. 2nd ed. Trondheim: Tapir akademisk forlag; 2003.
- Beizer JL, Timiras ML. Pharmacology and drug management in the elderly. In: Timiras PS, editor. Physiological basis of aging and geriatrics. 2nd ed. Boca Raton: CRC Press; 1994. p. 279-84.
- Fermann G, editor. International politics of climate change: key issues and critical actors. Oslo: Scandinavian University Press; 1997.
10- Additional Information
- Tables must have a title and be ordered consecutively according to their citations in the text. Columns must contain a heading and explanations may only be placed in footnotes.
- Non-standard abbreviations must be clarified in footnotes and the following symbols must be used in this sequence: *, †, ‡, §, **, ††, ‡‡, §§
- Bar graphs and pie charts should not be used unless absolutely necessary.
Legends for Tables : The AJFSFM has a slightly modified pattern of legends for tables and figures. Table legends should follow the pattern: [Table 2- Average height and weight of patient…….”]. In-text: [Table-2 indicates the average height and……”.]
Figures/Illustrations : Figures must be submitted in a neutral data format (Encapsulated PostScript (EPS), Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) or Portable Network Graphics (PNG)) with a resolution of 300 dpi. Do not use Power Point, Harvard Graphics, or PC Paint and do not import illustrations into Microsoft Word. Scanned figures must have a resolution of 300 dpi (halftone) or 600 to 1200 dpi (line drawings) relative to the reproduction size.
Figures should be numbered consecutively (in Arabic numerals) in the order in they are cited in the text. If a figure has been previously published, acknowledge the original source and submit written permission from the copyright holder to reproduce previously published material. Please contact the Editor-in-Chief if any changes are made to figures after submission.
Legends for Illustrations : Legends must be submitted as a separate file, double-spaced, and numbered according to the illustrations, e.g., [Figure 1- Effect of temperature on DNA concentration]. In-text: [Figure-1 shows the effect of ………]. Symbols, arrows, numbers or letters used must be clearly identified and explained in the legend. The internal scale and method of staining in photomicrographs must be explained.
Units of Measurement : Measurements of volume, height, length, and weight must be reported in metric units or their decimal multiples. Temperatures must be represented in degrees Celsius. Blood pressures must be represented in millimeters of mercury. The International System of Units (SI) must be used to report all hematologic and clinical chemistry measurements. Non-metric units are only permitted if commonly used in a specialist field.
Abbreviations and Symbols : Terms and nomenclature must adhere to standards and lists used by appropriate international committees or organizations (the International Anatomical Nomenclature Committee, I.U.P.A.C., I.U.B., the Enzyme Commission, the Committee on International Standardization of Gene Nomenclature (ISGN)). The full term for an abbreviation must precede its first use in the text. Standard units of measurement may be abbreviated e.g., Liter(s) L, Micro µ etc.
Electronic submission of Manuscripts : Manuscripts can be sent by e-mail or submitted electronically via the AJFSFM website:http://journals.nauss.edu.sa .Submissions by first registering to the website and then submitting your manuscript by signing in using your username and password. Upon acceptance of the manuscript for publication, authors are required to provide the original copy of the assignment of copyright dully signed by all authors.
A cover letter and permissions to reproduce previously published material or to use illustrations identifying human subjects must be submitted with the manuscript. The EIC reserves the right to publish the manuscript in a different category than specified by the author.
Possible duplicate publication issues, or financial or other factors that may cause conflicts of interest, should be stated in the cover letter along with any other information the EIC may need in making a decision in such cases. Permission to include sensitive personal information about identifiable persons, or to name persons for their contributions must be included.
For manuscript publication, a Copyright Assignment Form must be signed by all authors and submitted. This demonstrates that all required approvals and/or reviews have been obtained. The EIC reserve the right to request a written clarification of individual author’s roles in the manuscript content. Submission of manuscripts from third parties without the explicit, written permission of the author(s) will not be accepted.
11- Submission checklist
You can use this list to carry out a final check of your submission before you send it to the journal for review. Please check the relevant section in the AJFSFM Authors Guidelines for more details.
Ensure that the following items are present before uploading your manuscript:
- Title page along with required information
- One author has been designated as the corresponding author with contact details (E-mail and full postal address).
- Key words
- All figures (include relevant captions)
- All tables (including titles, description, footnotes)
- Ensure all figure and table citations in the text match the files provided.