About the Journal

The Borneo Journal of Medical Sciences (BJMS) is open access, double-blind peer-reviewed medical e-journal is under the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sabah. This Journal was launched in 2007 and is published regularly three times (January, May, and September) per year since 2017. There is no publication fee.  BJMS editorial board consists of prominent researchers from different countries who are experts in their own fields.


BJMS, an internationally-disseminated biomedical publication, provides scientific media for communication research throughout the world. The Journal welcomes manuscripts on basic and clinical research on medical and health-related issues, publishes original research articles, review articles, case reports, editorials, concept papers, short communications, clinical quizzes, and letters to the Editor. We maintain a high standard with a rejection rate of more than 30%.

Editorial process flow chart:

Publishing Ethics (Adapted from www.Elsevier.com/Publishingethics)

The Editorial Board of the Borneo Journal of Medical Sciences and the Publisher adheres to the principles of the International Council of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), the Council of Science Editors (CSE), the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the World Medical Association (WMA), and the International Society of Managing and Technical Editors (ISMTE).

For Editors

Publication Decisions

  • The editorial board of BJMS is solely and independently responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the journal should be published.
  • “The validation of the work in question and its importance to researchers and readers must always underwrite such decisions”.

Peer review

  • The editor shall ensure that the peer-review process is double-blinded (fair, unbiased), and timely. Research articles should typically be reviewed by independent reviewers, and where necessary the editor should seek additional opinions from another reviewer.
  • The editor selects “reviewers who have suitable expertise in the relevant field, taking account of the need for appropriate, inclusive, and diverse representation”.
  • The editor follows “best practices in avoiding the selection of fraudulent peer reviewers”.
  • The editor reviews “all disclosures of potential conflicts of interest and suggestions for self-citation made by reviewers to determine whether there is any potential for bias.”

Fair play

  • The editor evaluates “manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors.
  • The editor takes “account of the need for appropriate, inclusive, and diverse representation while nominating potential editorial board members.”
  • The editorial policies of the journal “encourage transparency and complete, honest reporting, and the editor should ensure that peer reviewers and authors have a clear understanding of what is expected of them”.
  • The editor uses “the journal’s standard electronic submission system for all journal communications.”
  • The editor “establishes, along with the publisher, a transparent mechanism for appeal against editorial decisions.”

Journal metrics

  • The editors do not “attempt to influence the journal’s ranking by artificially increasing any journal metric”.
  • “In particular, the editor shall not require that references to that (or any other) journal’s articles be included except for genuine scholarly reasons and authors should not be required to include references to the editor’s articles or products and services in which the editor has an interest.”


  • The editor ensures to “protect the confidentiality of all material submitted to the journal and all communications with reviewers unless otherwise agreed with the relevant authors and reviewers. In exceptional circumstances and consultation with the publisher, the editor may share limited information with editors of other journals where deemed necessary to investigate suspected research misconduct”.
  • “Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript shall not be used in an editor’s research without the express written consent of the author”.
  • “Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review shall be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage.”

Declaration of Competing Interests

  • “Any potential editorial conflicts of interest shall be declared to the publisher in writing before the appointment of the editor, and then updated if and when new conflicts arise.”
  • “The editor shall not be involved in decisions about papers which s/he has written him/herself or have been written by family members or colleagues or which relate to products or services in which the editor has an interest. Further, any such submission must be subject to all of the journal’s usual procedures, peer review shall be handled independently of the relevant author/editor and their research groups, and there must be a clear statement to this effect on any such paper that is published.”

Vigilance over the Published Record

  • The editor “shall work to safeguard the integrity of the published record by reviewing and assessing reported or suspected misconduct (research, publication, reviewer, and editorial), in conjunction with the publisher. Such measures will generally include contacting the author of the manuscript or paper and giving due consideration to the respective complaint or claims made but may also include further communications to the relevant institutions and research bodies.”
  • The editor “shall further make appropriate use of the publisher’s systems for the detection of misconduct, such as plagiarism.”
  • The editor presented with convincing evidence of misconduct shall coordinate with the editorial board and the publisher “to arrange the prompt publication of a correction, retraction, expression of concern, or other correction to the record, as may be relevant”.

For Reviewers

Contribution to Editorial Decisions

  • “Any selected referee who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should notify the editor and decline to participate in the review process.”


  • “Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents.”
  • “Reviewers shall not share the review or information about the paper with anyone or contact the authors directly without permission from the editor.”
  • “Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript shall not be used in a reviewer’s research without the express written consent of the author”.
  • “Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review shall be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage.”

Alertness to Ethical Issues

  • The reviewer will be “alert to potential ethical issues in the paper and should bring these to the attention of the editor, including any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which the reviewer has personal knowledge.”
  • “Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation.”

Standards of Objectivity & Competing Interests

  • “Reviews should be conducted objectively. Reviewers should be aware of any personal bias they may have and take this into account when reviewing a paper. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.”
  • “Reviewers should consult the editor before agreeing to review a paper where they have potential conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.”
  • “If a reviewer suggests that an author includes citations to the reviewer’s (or their associates’) work, this must be for genuine scientific reasons and not to increase the reviewer’s citation count or enhance the visibility of their work (or that of their associates).”

Duties of Authors

Reporting Standards

  • “Authors of reports of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the paper. A paper should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behaviour and are unacceptable.
  • Review and professional publication articles should also be accurate and objective, and editorial ‘opinion’ works should be clearly identified as such.”

Data Access and Retention

  • Authors may be asked to provide the research data supporting their paper for editorial review and/or to comply with the open data requirements of the journal.
  • Authors should be prepared to provide public access to such data, if practicable, and should be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable number of years after publication. Authors may refer to their journal’s Guide for Authors for further details.

Originality and Acknowledgement of Sources

  • The authors should ensure that they have written entirely original works, and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others, that this has been appropriately cited or quoted and permission has been obtained where necessary.
  • Proper acknowledgment of the work of others must always be given. Authors should cite publications that have influenced the reported work and that give the work appropriate context within the larger scholarly record. Information obtained privately, as in conversation, correspondence, or discussion with third parties, must not be used or reported without explicit, written permission from the source.
  • Plagiarism takes many forms, from ‘passing off’ another’s paper as the author’s own paper, to copying or paraphrasing substantial parts of another’s paper (without attribution), to claiming results from research conducted by others. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical behaviour and is unacceptable.

Multiple, Redundant, or Concurrent Publication

  • An author should not, in general, publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal or primary publication. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical behaviour and is unacceptable.
  • In general, an author should not submit for consideration in another journal a paper that has been published previously, except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture or academic thesis or as an electronic preprint.
  • Publication of some kinds of articles (e.g. clinical guidelines, translations) in more than one journal is sometimes justifiable, provided certain conditions are met. The authors and editors of the journals concerned must agree to the secondary publication, which must reflect the same data and interpretation of the primary document. The primary reference must be cited in the secondary publication.


  • Information obtained in the course of confidential services, such as refereeing manuscripts or grant applications, must not be used without the explicit written permission of the author of the work involved in these services.

Authorship of the Paper

  • Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study. All those who have made substantial contributions should be listed as co-authors.
  • Where there are others who have participated in certain substantive aspects of the paper (e.g. language editing or medical writing), they should be recognized in the acknowledgments section.
  • The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included on the paper and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication.
  • Authors are expected to consider carefully the list and order of authors before submitting their manuscript and provide the definitive list of authors at the time of the original submission. Only in exceptional circumstances will the Editor consider (at their discretion) the addition, deletion, or rearrangement of authors after the manuscript has been submitted and the author must clearly flag any such request to the Editor. All authors must agree with any such addition, removal, or rearrangement.
  • Authors take collective responsibility for the work. Each individual author is accountable for ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
  • Authors should ensure that they comply with the policies of the relevant journal.

Hazards and Human or Animal Subjects

  • If the work involves chemicals, procedures, or equipment that have any unusual hazards inherent in their use, the author must clearly identify these in the manuscript.
  • If the work involves the use of animal or human subjects, the author should ensure that the manuscript contains a statement that all procedures were performed in compliance with relevant laws and institutional guidelines and that the appropriate institutional committee(s) has approved them. Authors should include a statement in the manuscript that informed consent was obtained for experimentation with human subjects. The privacy rights of human subjects must always be observed.
  • For human subjects, the author should ensure that the work described has been carried out in accordance with The Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association (Declaration of Helsinki) for experiments involving humans. All animal experiments should comply with the ARRIVE guidelines and should be carried out in accordance with the U.K. Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and associated guidelines, or  EU Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes, or the U.S. Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and, as applicable, the Animal Welfare Act.
  • Appropriate consents, permissions, and releases must be obtained where an author wishes to include case details or other personal information or images of patients and any other individuals in the publication. Written consents must be retained by the author and copies of the consents or evidence that such consents have been obtained must be provided to the Journal.

Declaration of Competing Interests

  • WAME defines conflict of interest as “a divergence between an individual’s private interests (competing interests) and his or her responsibilities to scientific and publishing activities, such that a reasonable observer might wonder if the individual’s behavior or judgment was motivated by considerations of his or her competing interests”. All authors should disclose in their manuscript any financial and personal relationships with other people or organisations that could be viewed as inappropriately influencing (bias) their work.
  • All sources of financial support for the conduct of the research and/or preparation of the article should be disclosed, as should the role of the sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement then this should be stated.
  • Examples of potential conflicts of interest which should be disclosed include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding. Potential conflicts of interest should be disclosed at the earliest possible stage.

Notification of Fundamental Errors

  • When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in their own published work, the author must promptly notify the journal editor or publisher and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper if deemed necessary by the editor. If the editor or the publisher learns from a third party that a published work contains an error, the author must cooperate with the editor, including providing evidence to the editor where requested.

Image Integrity

  • It is not acceptable to enhance, obscure, move, remove, or introduce a specific feature within an image. Adjustments of brightness, contrast, or color balance are acceptable if and as long as they do not obscure or eliminate any information present in the original. Manipulating images for improved clarity is accepted, but manipulation for other purposes could be seen as scientific ethical abuse and will be dealt with accordingly.
  • Authors should comply with any specific policy for graphical images applied by the relevant journal, e.g. providing the original images as supplementary material with the article, or depositing these in a suitable repository

Clinical Trial Transparency

  • “This Journal supports clinical trial transparency. For relevant journals, authors are expected to conform to industry best standards in clinical trial registration and presentation, for example, the CONSORT guidelines as further set out in the policies of the relevant journal” [1, 2CONSORT standards for randomized trials http://www.consort-statement.org/].

Revenue sources

This Journal is supported by Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS).


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