The PAMJ Blog

The Official blog of the Pan African Medical Journal

Safeguarding research integrity in the Pan African Medical Journal: a personal reflection from an author

11 Jan 2022 / Article

Safeguarding research integrity in the Pan African Medical Journal: a personal reflection from an author

Safeguarding research integrity is a hot topic in the global publication space. I am a dental professional from India and I had shared my personal reflections on medical publishing more recently as a corresponding author in a medical journal [2]. I highlight my personal experience with the Pan African Medical Journal (PAMJ) to safeguard research integrity in medical publishing.  I submitted a manuscript entitled Bibliometric analysis of dental specialty articles related to Homeopathy published in PUBMED indexed journals from 2001 to 2016 over a 16 year in January 2018. A recommendation for a major revision from the editorial board was received on the 15th March 2021. I found through pure serendipity a similar study was published in the same subject in another journal (systematic review on the use of homeopathy in dentistry with the Critical Analysis of clinical trials published from Brazil) [3]. I therefore requested a withdrawal of the article. The editorial board appreciated this standard of research integrity and invited me to attend a webinar on research ethics and research integrity on 7th October 2021. I recommend double-checking of published literature through routine simple searches around topics of interest before commencing the writing of a paper, as well as throughout the editorial process, in order to avoid wasted effort that could arise from duplicate publication. 

I hope this action may be an eye-opener for researchers around the globe, not to blindly follow the “publish or perish” agenda, but to be cautious of publishing on issues that advanced science, as well as the negative impact of publishing what is known could have on the reputation of a scientist. Routine checking of published literature on subjects we work on, before and during the publication process, can be a good simple starting point to avoid scholarly pollution.



  1. Rohwer A, Wager E, Young T. Advancing research integrity: a programme to embed good practice in Africa. Pan Afr Med J. 2019 Aug 13;33:298. doi: 10.11604/pamj.2019.33.298.17008.
  2. Shamim T. A dental professional's personal experience as an author: Innovational and educational approach. Mustansiriya Med J 2021;20:23-24.doi: 10.4103/MJ.MJ_10_20
  3. Amaral TG, Zina LG, Paula JS. Systematic Review on the Use of Homeopathy in Dentistry: Critical Analysis of Clinical Trials. J Altern Complement Med. 2021 Mar;27(3):214-224. doi: 10.1089/acm.2020.0271.

Thorakkal Shamim BDS, MDS (Oral Pathology and Microbiology)

Department of Dentistry, Government Taluk Head Quarters Hospital, Malappuram - 676519, India (INDIA)


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