Focus and Scope

Journal of Medical Biochemistry (J Med Biochem) is the official journal of the Society of Medical Biochemists of Serbia with international peer-review.

The Journal publishes original scientific and specialized articles on all aspects of

  • clinical and medical biochemistry,
  • molecular medicine,
  • clinical hematology and coagulation,
  • clinical immunology and autoimmunity,
  • clinical genomics and molecular biology,
  • genetic epidemiology,
  • drug measurement,
  • evaluation of diagnostic markers,
  • new reagents and laboratory equipment,
  • reference materials and methods,
  • reference values,
  • laboratory organization,
  • automation,
  • quality control,
  • clinical metrology,
  • all related scientific disciplines where chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology and immunochemistry deal with the study of normal and pathologic processes in human beings.

All manuscripts are reviewed and, after final decision, are classified in the following categories: a) personal view, b) review articles, c) original papers, d) professional papers, e) preliminary reports, and f) reviews of scientific meetings. There are also different reports and news, book reviews, reports on the activity of the Society of Medical Biochemists of Serbia and IFCC and other related organizations, letters to the editor, and information about innovations, new reagents and instruments in the field of clinical chemistry.

Journal of Medical Biochemistry articles appear in English on Open Access model. All its content is available free of charge. Users can read, download, copy, distribute, print, search the full text of articles, as well as to establish HTML links to them, without having to seek the consent of the author or publisher.

Submission of a manuscript to Journal of Medical Biochemistry implies that the work described has not been published before, except in the form of an abstract, thesis or lecture, and is not under consideration for publicatio nelsewhere. It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to ensure that all authors see and approve the manuscript before its submission to Journal of Medical Biochemistry. Once the manuscript is accepted, it must not be published elsewhere without the consent of the copyright holders. Authors retain copyright of the published papers and grant to the publisher the non-exclusive right to publish the article, to be cited as its original publisher in case of reuse, and to distribute it in all forms and media.

The published articles will be distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY). It is allowed to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, and remix, transform, and build upon it for any purpose, even commercially, as long as appropriate credit is given to the original author(s), a link to the license is provided and it is indicated if changes were made. Users are required to provide full bibliographic description of the original publication (authors, article title, journal title, volume, issue, pages), as well as its DOI code. In electronic publishing, users are also required to link the content with both the original article published in Journal of Medical Biochemistry and the licence used.

Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal. Authors are permitted to deposit author's pre-print, author's post-print (accepted version) and publisher's version (PDF) of their work in an institutional repository, subject-based repository, author's personal website (including social networking sites, such as ResearchGate, Academia.edu, etc.), and/or departmental website at any time after the acceptance of the manuscript and at any time after publication.

Full bibliographic information (authors, article title, journal title, volume, issue, pages) about the original publication must be provided and links must be made to the article's DOI and the license.

After acceptance of the manuscript, and prior to publication, the authors are required to pay Article Processing Charges (APCs), which cover the expences of publication od accepted manuscript (proofreading, paging, copy editing, etc.) and its acceptance in open access. The APCs is a fee which is charged to authors to allow for immediate, unrestricted access to the full version of the article. Please note that the payment of this charge does not guarantee acceptance of the manuscript for publication and does not influence the outcome of the review procedure. After the positive review and the final decision of the Editor in Chief about the acceptance of the manuscript, the authors receive the invoice with the amount of the charges to be payed by bank transfer. The total charges are 360 EUR from abroad and for authors from Serbia the equvalent amount in RSD on the day of payment. The authors from abroad need to cover the bank transfer expences, the amount of which depends on the country and the local bank where the payment is made.

The journal conforms to the »Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals« (http://www.icmje.org/urm_full.pdf).

Peer Review Process

Papers are independently reviewed by at least two reviewers selected by the Editors as double-blind peer review. Reviews and original manuscripts are judged by the Editor-in-Chief who decides either to accept (without or with minor modifications), to return to the author for revision, or to reject the manuscript. If reviewers disagree, the Editor-in-Chief may ask for a third independent judgment. After completion of the reviewing process, the Editorial Office sends an appropriate letter to the authors together with the anonymized reviews and editorial comments for the author’s consideration. Usually, decisions are reached within four weeks from the submission date. When papers are accepted subject to revision, the revised manuscript must be returned within approx. one month. Revised articles are re-evaluated by the Editor-in-Chief who decides to accept or to submit to a second review. It is the aim of the Journal to publish papers within six months after their receipt by the Editor-in-Chief.

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

Statistical Guidelines

These guidelines are designed to help authors prepare statistical data for publication and are not a substitute for the detailed guidance required to design a study or perform a statistical analysis. Each section of a scienti fic paper is addressed separately.

Summary

The number and source of data must be stated and conclusions which have a statistical basis must be substantiated by inclusion of pertinent descriptive statistics [mean or median, standard deviation (SD) or interquartile range, percentage coefficient of variation (%CV), 95% confidence limits, regression equations, etc.].

Methods

Experimental design, subject selection and randomization procedures should be described and analytical precision quoted when appropriate. The hypotheses to be tested by a statistical procedure must be stated and where appropriate power calculations for the sample size used should be given (it is recommended that the power is <80%). In case-control studies, clearly define how cases and controls were selected and what matching has taken place.

Statistical tests should be described but need not be referenced unless they are unusual or are applied in a non-standard way. Computer software used should be refe renced.

If the paper is reporting the results of a diagnostic trial read the STARD statement (1) and for a clinical trial read the CONSORT statement (2) to improve the quality of your report.

Results

Unnecessary precision, particularly in tables, should be avoided. Rounded figures are easier to compare and extra decimal places are rarely important. Descriptive statistics require an additional digit to those used for the raw data. Percentages should not be expressed to more than one decimal place and not be used at all for small samples.

Normally distributed data should be described using a mean, SD and/or %CV and expressed as »mean (SD)« not »mean ± SD«. When data are not normally distri bu - ted, following demonstration by tests such as the Shapiro-Wilk test (3), then medians and interquartile ran ges should be used in place of mean and SD. Skewed data can often be normalized by logarithmic transformation or a power transformation. The statistical ana lysis and calculation of summary statistics should be carried out on the transformed data and the summary statistics tran sfor med back to the original scale for presentation. If a logarithmic scale is used, then graphs should display non-transformed data on a logarithmic scale.

Graphs showing data of comparable magnitude should be of similar size and design. All individual points should be displayed where possible by displacing overlapping points. Error bars showing the standard error of the mean (SEM) or interquartile range, as appropriate, can be used to aid the interpretation of data.

The results of significance tests such as Student’s and chi-squared should be presented with descriptive statistics, degrees of freedom (if appropriate) and probability P. The validity of any assumptions should be checked (e.g. conventional t-tests assume a normal distribution and equal variance for each set of data). For 2 × 2 contingency table analysis by the chi-squared test the continuity correction must be applied, and for small expec ted frequencies Fisher’s Exact Test used.

P values should be reported in full in 1 or 2 significant figures. Describing P values as > 0.05 or NS (not significant) should be avoided. If the results are highly signi - ficant and the calculated P value from the computer is e.g. 0.000, then the use of P < 0.0005 is acceptable. Confidence intervals should be stated, particularly for non-significant results.

The conventional use of statistical significance is P ≤ 0.005. If a different significance level needs to be used, then the reasons for this must be clearly stated in the statistical method section.

Discussion

Statistical significance should not be equated to importance and P values should not be compared between different statistical tests. Association should not be interpreted as causation without additional evidence.

Problem Areas

Multiple comparisons can produce spurious and misleading significance values. The primary hypothesis should always be clearly stated, and associations detected by retrospective analysis should be interpreted with caution. Whenever possible a single overall statistical test should be applied first e.g. ANOVA. If this is not significant, then multiple comparisons must not be applied. If it is significant then some form of multiple range test can be applied. If a single overall test is not possible, then multiple comparisons must use a Bonferroni type significance level.

With paired data the differences between individual pairs of data and the variability of the differences are more important than the individual values. Graphical representation should also show the difference between individual pairs, e.g. by plotted lines joining the paired data points.

Standard regression analysis requires data points to be independent (repeated measurements are not independent). The independent variable should be measurements without significant error, e.g. age or time, and the points should be evenly distributed over the range and have no outliers (this can be easily examined with a scatter plot). These requirements are rarely satisfied with bio logical data.

Method comparison using regression and correlation coefficients is inappropriate and should be performed using Altman and Bland difference plots (4). If a standard scatter plot and regression line are thought to be useful they can be given along with the Altman – Bland plot. Remember, if two methods are supposed to be measuring the same thing, then it is extremely likely they will be correlated so that a statistical tool correlation not tell you anything new. If you are carrying out complicated statistical analyses, e.g. multivariate analysis, ROC analysis etc., then it is recommended that you seek advice from a statistician.

References

1. Bossuyt PM, Reitsma JB, Bruns DE, et al., for the STARD Group. Towards complete and accurate reporting of stu - dies of diagnostic accuracy: the STARD initiative. Ann Clin Biochem 2003; 40: 357–63.

2. Moher D, Schultz KF, Altman DG, for the CONSORT Group. The CONSORT statement: revised recommendations for improving the quality of reports of parallelgroup randomization trials. Lancet 2001; 357: 1191–4.

3. Altman DG. Practical Statistics for Medical Research. London: Chapman & Hall, 1991: 132–12.

4. Bland JM, Altman DG. Statistical methods for assessing agreement between two methods of clinical measurement. Lancet 1986; 1 (8476): 307–10.