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 Table of Contents    
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 319-320
Indian Journal of Psychiatry: Changes in instructions to contributors

1 Department of Psychiatry, JSS University, JSS Medical College and Hospital, Mysore, India
2 Department of Psychopharmacology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

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Date of Web Publication8-Dec-2014

How to cite this article:
Sathyanarayana Rao T S, Andrade C. Indian Journal of Psychiatry: Changes in instructions to contributors. Indian J Psychiatry 2014;56:319-20

How to cite this URL:
Sathyanarayana Rao T S, Andrade C. Indian Journal of Psychiatry: Changes in instructions to contributors. Indian J Psychiatry [serial online] 2014 [cited 2022 Dec 2];56:319-20. Available from:

The attention of authors and readers is drawn to two small but important changes that the Indian Journal of Psychiatry is implementing with immediate effect. The first change is that case reports will continue to be accepted for consideration by the Journal but, if accepted for publication, will appear only as letters to the editor; exceptions will be made only for reports that have high citation-worthiness. The second is that authors will be required to provide a complete declaration about their contributions to their submitted manuscript; this declaration will appear in the printed article.

What do these changes mean and why are they necessary? With regard to the publication of case reports, the Indian Journal of Psychiatry is seeking its first impact factor rating, and this is expected in the next 1-2 years. The impact factor is calculated by dividing the number of citations to articles published in the journal (numerator] by the number of articles published in the journal (denominator) during a specified period of time, such as the past 2 years. The impact factor is a putative measure of the quality of the journal. [1],[2]

Case reports are rarely cited and hence seldom contribute to the numerator. However, case reports are counted among the articles published by the journal and therefore swell the denominator. Thus, case reports pull down the impact factor of the journal. [3] Authors aspire to be published in journals with high impact factors; therefore, journals with low impact factors do not attract good manuscripts and consequently do not command much respect. Journals with low impact factors are also less likely to be read or purchased by libraries. [1]

Case reports that are published as letters to the editor do not compromise the impact factor because, whereas citations to these reports may be included in the numerator for impact factor calculation, they are not counted in the denominator. This is a win-win situation for authors and the journal editors and owners.

It must also be recognized that case reports convey messages that, usually, cannot be generalized to populations of patients. By very virtue of their unusual nature, they do not usually advance knowledge in the field by much, nor do they usually carry much relevance to ordinary clinical practice. Case reports, therefore, do not justify being accorded the same space as regular studies, especially when, because of space restrictions, the publication of a case report would delay the publication of an important study to a later issue of the journal.

For these reasons, all high-ranking medical journals either do not publish case reports at all or publish these only as letters to the editor. Some journals, in fact, publish case reports only in their online edition and not in the print edition. Given that the Indian Journal of Psychiatry is the longest-existing and the most prominent journal in the field of psychiatry in this country, and given that efforts are being made to secure a good impact factor, the Journal will no longer publish case reports as full papers. Rather, case reports will only be published as letters. Exceptions will be made only for reports that have high citation-worthiness as judged by the reviewers of the manuscripts and members of the editorial board.

With regard to the declaration about author roles, an earlier editorial reviewed the policy of the journal on plagiarism and announced "The Journal will also require the authors to state, on the title page, the contributions of each author to the submitted work, so that the responsibility for writing the sections of the manuscript is identified." [4] This requirement will be taken a step further. Authors, identifying themselves by their initials, will be required to declare how each contributed to the submitted work and to the manuscript. This statement will appear in an Author Roles section at the end of the manuscript, after the Acknowledgements section.

Two examples follow:

  • AB conceived the idea for the study, AB and CD designed the study, EF was responsible for recruitment and ratings, CD performed the statistical analysis, AB and GH performed the literature review, and GH and PQ wrote the paper (For an original study)
  • AB treated the patient, CD performed the literature review, and CD and EF wrote the paper (For a case report).

Unless otherwise stated in the Author Roles section, the Journal will assume that the person(s) responsible for the integrity of the data are those named for data collection and statistical analysis; and that the person(s) responsible for the integrity of the manuscript are the corresponding author and those named for having participated in the writing of the manuscript.

Such a statement of roles provides credit to the authors for the specific parts that they played. It discourages guest authorships. Finally, if there is scientific misconduct, such as data falsification or plagiarism, it allows the identification of the persons responsible; otherwise, the corresponding author, and sometimes the entire authorship of the manuscript, would be targetted by default. This is a timely change, given the recent recommendations of the University Grants Commission on tackling plagiarism in Indian academia. [5]

The changes that are described in this editorial will apply to future manuscripts; those that have already been accepted and those that are currently under review will be processed as before.

   References Top

Saha S, Saint S, Christakis DA. Impact factor: A valid measure of journal quality? J Med Libr Assoc 2003;91:42-6.  Back to cited text no. 1
Dong P, Loh M, Mondry A. The "impact factor" revisited. Biomed Digit Libr 2005;2:7.  Back to cited text no. 2
Kianifar H, Sadeghi R, Zarifmahmoudi L. Comparison between impact factor, Eigenfactor metrics, and Scimago journal rank indicator of pediatric neurology journals. Acta Inform Med 2014;22:103-6.  Back to cited text no. 3
Sathyanarayana Rao TS, Andrade C. Policy of the Indian journal of psychiatry on the problem of plagiarism. Indian J Psychiatry 2014;56:211-2.  Back to cited text no. 4
Anon. Serious Penalties for Plagiarism in Research. Deccan Herald. Available from: [Last accessed on 2014 Oct 19].  Back to cited text no. 5

Correspondence Address:
T S Sathyanarayana Rao
Department of Psychiatry, JSS Medical College and Hospital, M. G. Road, Mysore - 570 004, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.146508

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