About the Journal


Aims and Scope

Zanco Journal of Medical Sciences (Zanco J Med Sci) is published by Hawler Medical University. Zanco J Med Sci is a peer-reviewed, open access journal with eISSN: 1995-5596, pISSN:1995-5588 and DOI: 10.15218/zjms. The journal is published three times per year in both hard and electronic copies.

Zanco J Med Sci aims to publish peer-reviewed and original scientific research of Iraqi, regional and international interest. Submissions of manuscripts in the clinical and basic medical sciences come within the scope of its publication. Original articles, review articles, case reports, brief communications, insights, and letters to the editor are all considered.


Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), Crossref, WHO/Hinari, Iraqi Academic and Scientific Journals (IASJ), Google Schoolar, and Index Medicus for the Eastern Mediterranean (WHO/EMRO).

Peer Review Process

The editorial office of Zanco J Med Sci and the subject editors check each submitted manuscript for general quality, suitability and whether it conforms to the journal guidelines. Submissions that do not comply with the journal guidelines will be returned to the author for correction before being considered for publication. The editorial office checks all manuscripts for plagiarism using the iThenticate through the Crossref Similarity Check service. If plagiarism is detected, the author(s) will be notified and requested to either rewrite the text or quote the text exactly and to cite the original source. Zanco J Med Sci has the right to reject the manuscript if a considerable part of the original submission is plagiarized.

If the manuscript is found suitable and acceptable in principle, it will be sent out for double-blind review by at leat two referees. Authors will be asked to recommend three expert reviewers, but the Editor will have the right to select the reviewers. Authors also have the right to name particular reviewers that they do not wish them to review their manuscript due to potential conflicts of interest. Invited reviewers will be asked to declare any conflicts of interest with the authors. All efforts are made to avoid reviewers from the same institution or the governorate of the authors. 

All reviewers treat the manuscript with the strictest confidentiality and must declare any conflicts of interest. Comments and suggestions from the reviewers are conveyed to the authors. Revised manuscripts are subject to further review by the original reviewers and the responsible subject editors. The final decision as to acceptance or rejection lies with the Editor, with advice from the journal editorial board and recommendations of peer reviewers. The corresponding author will be advised of the final decision, acceptance or rejection of the manuscript, in a formal letter. No manuscript is rejected without having negative comments from at least two reviewers and without providing detailed comments to the authors explaining the decision.

For more details see the Journal Workflow Chart

Misconduct, Appeals and compalints

Zanco J Med Sci will take seriously all allegations of potential misconduct. The journal will follow the COPE guidelines outlining how to deal with cases of suspected misconduct. In cases of suspected research or publication misconduct, the Editor might need to contact and share manuscripts with third parties, for example, author(s)’ institution(s).

If the author(s) wishing to ask to reconsider a rejection of a manuscript should contact the Editor if can demonstrate that an error that determined the final decision has been made. Final decisions on appeals will be made by the Editorial Board Member handling the paper or the Editor.

Complaints about the journal’s processes or about publication ethics will be handled by the Editor. If the complaint is about the Editor, the editorial and university management team should be approached by email to [email protected]

Open Access Policy

Zanco J Med Sci provides immediate open access to its contents on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

Zanco J Med Sci is an open access journal, which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution following the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) definition of open access. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author(s).


The copyright on any article published in Zanco J Med Sci is retained by the author(s) in agreement with the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial ShareAlike License (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). Author(s) need to grant Zanco J Med Sci a license to publish the article and identify the journal as the original publisher. Author(s) can grant any third party the right to use the article freely subjected to the maintenance of its integrity and the identification of its original authors, citation details, and the journal. 

Ethical Considerations

For prospective studies involving human investigations or animal experiments, authors are expected to have obtained the approval of regional, national, institutional or independent Ethics Committee, in addition to obtaining the consent of the participants or their parent or legal guardian (for example, children). For vulnerable groups (for example, unconscious patients) or where consent might not be fully informed, considering the manuscripts will be decided by the editor or an internal editorial group. 

All studies involving human experiments should be performed only in accordance with the ethical standards provided by the responsible committee of the institution and in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki for Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subject (revised in 2013). Studies related to animal experiments should follow the institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals. A relevant statement on ethics committee permission and ethical practices must be included in all research articles under Subjects and Methods section. The journal will not consider any paper which is ethically unacceptable. The journal might ask for a copy of ethics approval and/or a copy of the consent form, if relevant.

Conflicts of Interest

Authors mush declare all conflicts of interest related to their work. If authors have no conflicts of interest to report, this must be explicitly stated.

Editors and reviewers must also declare any conflicts of interest and they might be excluded from the peer review process in case of having any conflicts of interest.


Authorship must be based on having substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, drafting the article or revising it critically, and final approval of the version to be published. All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an acknowledgments section at the end of the article. All authors must give their signed consent for publication after reading and agreeing to the contents of the paper. The authors will be accountable for the accuracy and integrity of the paper according to the ICMJE guidelines. Please see the ICMJE Recommendations for authorship and contributorship.


The editorial office edits the papers selected for publication for brevity, clarity, grammar, spelling, and style. When the editing is extensive, with the possibility of altered meaning, queries are sent to the corresponding author by email. A galley proof will be forwarded to the corresponding author before publication of accepted papers which must be returned to the journal office with specific comments if any. Corrections on the galley proof, in case any, must be limited to typographical errors, or missing contents only.

Article Processing Charge

Zanco J Med Sci is an open access journal, so there are no subscription fees. The journal imposes a non-refundable article-processing charge of 150,000 Iraqi Dinars (US$125) for each manuscript accepted for publication. There are no submission charges.

Correction and Retraction Policy

Zanco J Med Sci is committed to correcting errors in published articles. Corrections to minor errors that do not affect the conclusion will be posted online and linked to the published article. In case of research misconduct, articles will be retracted in accordance with COPE guidelines.

Archive policy

Zanco J Med Sci is an open journal, which allows to access to all published papers with no charges. The published papers of Zanco J Med Sci are archived in the following archive system:

PKP Preservation Network (PKP PN)

Iraqi Academic Scientific Journals

Repository of Hawler Medical University

These systems help to create an advance searchable index of journal archive and to keep a record of all the open access archives of the journal. This should help in facilitating efficient dissemination of content and increasing the availability of scholarly communication.