Critical review of J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad 2002;14(1)

Dear Editor

Thank you very much for sending me a complimentary copy of JAMC. As desired by you, I have critically gone through the journal and am pointing out some of the deficiencies.

Article 1: Clinical versus CT scan diagnosis in stroke- A comparative study of 50 cases: This study design suggests use of screening tests. However, those were not used. The paper has laid more emphasis on establishing relation between hypertension and stroke.

Article2: Presentation of pulmonary tuberculosis at Ayub Teaching Hospital Abbottabad: Table 1-3 could be adjusted in a single table. Table 6 line 6 gives standard deviation of 0.00 for 8 subjects. That is not possible. Reference 2: Place of publication is missing. Reference 7: Abbreviated name of journal is not used.

Article 3: Amoebic liver abscess: A comparative study of needle aspiration versus conservative treatment. Abstract says that it is a prospective study, while actually it is a clinical trial. Prospective study design in epidemiological terms implies a non-intervention study. Results line 6: Mean without SD does not carry any weight. Table 1: What does Hepar mean? Most of the references are not in Vancouver style.

Article 4: Sensitivity and resistance of antibiotics in common infections of male and female: Table 1: The total number of patients from this table adds to 103 while under “ methods” it has been mentioned that 100 patients were studied. Table 1 suggests total 21 pus samples while table 2 gives Staph. aureus in 45 pus samples. References are not in Vancouver style.

Article 5: Comparison of population survey of Multan about cigarette smoking with survey of Abbottabad. Questionnaires cannot be a part of article. Comparison of age of study population is not given anywhere. “Physical responses to quitting” are not related to study. Table 1 has duplication of information in columns 3 and 4.

Article 6: Effect of examination stress on blood cell parameters of students in a Pakistani medical college: Methods suggest that sample was taken randomly, while actually it is non-probability convenience sample. Table 1 gives same SEM in columns 2, 3 and 4, which is not possible.

P values given in line 3 of Table 1 cannot be <0.0001. Two of the three bars in the graph are similar in pattern.

Article 7: Role of Islam in prevention of smoking: Questionnaire cannot be part of article. Results: What is a posh family? What is good religious status? Where has the drivers group come from. None of this is mentioned in methods. Table 7: Total in column 2 is 100 while there were 675 non-smokers and not 100. References are not in Vancouver style.

Article 8: Serum vitamin A levels in children under five years old: Tables 2 column 5 gives values of high socioeconomic group lower than group 1, while the last paragraph of discussion suggests otherwise.

Article 9: Awareness about balanced food among unskilled human resource: Introduction para 4 line 1, Rehman A and Ghafran S et al, should have been written as Rehman and Ghafran. Since reference 4 gives just 2 names, there is no need of et al. Reference 3 has not given title of article. All the references are not in Vancouver style.

Article 10: Schwann cells: Leaders of Nervenkitt: References are not in Vancouver style

General Suggestions:

Header: J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad font Size is not uniform in all the pages.

Your journal is using gridlines in tables that is not recommended by ICMJE. Kindly see “Uniform requirements for manuscript submitted to biomedical journals”.

References section needs a lot of improvement.

With best regards.


Dr. N. Rehan

Director Research

PMRC Research Centre

Fatima Jinnah Medical College



A comment on article by Khurshid et al (J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad 2002;14(1):13-15.

Dear Editor,

Thanks for sending me JAMC Jan-March 2002 issue. While reading the paper by R.Khurshid et al. entitled, "Sensitivity and Resistance of Antibiotics..." (JAMC 2002:14(1):13-15) I thought it constructive to forward the following observations. Apparently it was not subjected to peer review before acceptance or being printed, a necessary requirement to ensure acceptable standard of a journal. Thus:

1.        The paper had poor grammar (including the title!) and numerous spelling mistakes: these included "Zenacef" "Zenocef" "Mexaquin" "Tetracyclin" "Amoxacillin" "Erythrocine" etc - besides, generic names are compulsory in journals, and trade names avoided. Other spelling mistakes, among others, included "Stpah" "psedomonas" & "pseudmonas" (Table-3).

2.        There is no such specie as "Pseudomonas pyrogenosa" repeated several times, or "Ps.pyrogen"(in Table-2)! It is amazing that none of the 5 co-authors were aware of this blunder. Also, Proteus spp is never referred to as “proteases" which was also repeated several times.

3.        Gram staining was carried out "using crystal violet & iodine!" The gram stain is well known, not needing elaboration, but if mentioned, what about decolorizer & counter-stain? Antibiotic sensitivity was done in 2% "nutrient agar," which was against the rules, because nutrient agar contains constituents which interfere with the diffusion of some drugs."Sensitivity agars" are available & employed for this purpose.

4.        Ceporex was reported as effective on the Pseudomonas isolates (Table-3)! This is rubbish:the organism is universally resistant to all 1st & 2nd generation Cephalosporins, and to even the two oral 3rd generation Cephs (Cefixime & Cefpodoxime).

5.        Parts of "Discussion" were out of context, and "References" contained not a single indication of similar work reported in Pakistan and which have appeared, for example, in JPMA.

Once again, I hope my comments will be constructive towards maintaining an acceptable standard of journal.

Prof Essa M.Abdulla

Essa’s Lab, D-16, Block-H, Main Road, North Nazimabad, Karachi. Pakistan