Journal Information

Academic Forensic Pathology: The Official Publication of the National Association of Medical Examiners is published by Academic Forensic Pathology Incorporated (  This peer-reviewed Journal is published electronically four times each year, and once annually in paper format as a hard-cover, full-color archival reference book.

Editor-In-Chief  J. Keith Pinckard MD PhD
Publisher  Emma O. Lew MD
Founder and Executive Director  Evan W. Matshes MD FRCPC
Director of Operations  Lori Selanders BSc MSc 
 Director of Education  Don Cavadini
Production Manager  Don Downey BA PMT
Research Associate  Cecilia Wu MD
Anatomic Illustrator-In-Residence  Carrie Allen
Cardiovascular Pathology Illustrator-In-Residence  Gemma Price

Executive Offices
Suite 200, 6927 48th Street SE
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
T2C 5A4
Business hours are Monday to Friday 8AM to 4PM MST

Academic Forensic Pathology: The Official Publication of the National Association of Medical Examiners (ISSN 1925-3621)
Copyright © 2014 Academic Forensic Pathology Incorporated

Click HERE to download a PDF version of the Journal Information.

The Journal subscribes to the principles of the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals (available at

Journal Philosophy
Editorial Board
Editorial Process
Editorial Decisions
Instructions for Authors
Types of Manuscripts Accepted
Material Presented at NAME Meetings
Conflict-of-Interest Statement
Statement of Informed Consent
Statement of Human and Animal Rights
Prior/Duplicate Publication
Article Correction and Retraction Policy
Publication Schedule


The reputation of our (and any) medical specialty is in large part a function of the scholarly literature it produces.  The vision of the Editor-In-Chief and the Publisher is for a forensic pathology journal that is worthy of representing our field.  High quality, timely, and relevant are the descriptors we promote.  As the quality of our literature directly reflects the reputation of our field, we can only afford to publish high quality manuscripts which demonstrate that we forensic pathologists understand the basic principles of science, and that we understand and utilize the basic principles of evidence-based medicine.  To accomplish this, we must take an innovative and visionary approach to publishing.  Our profession is very small, and for decades has been built around countless fascinating stories. This leads to an (over) abundance of single case reports and small case series.  Despite the fact that data, tissue and new (scholarly) ideas are plentiful, the lack of a single full-time researcher in the field combined with severe limitations of funding (within individual offices, from grant-conferring agencies, and within the field on the whole), the generalized understaffed and overworked nature of most offices, complicated ethical considerations around human tissue retention and research, and other issues, all contribute toward making it a challenge to have successful academic ventures.

Between 1999 and 2008, the number of scholarly forensic pathology articles published world-wide increased by nearly 30%, but many of those articles were accepted into higher impact clinical medical, non-forensic pathology focused journals.  We are striving for an excellent periodical that will stand toe-to-toe with the top clinical journals of other medical specialties.  To strive for less does not make sense, and further promotes the misconception that forensic pathologists are not “real” doctors, do not really practice medicine, and are somehow less valuable to our communities than our clinical colleagues.  The Editor-In-Chief is personally committed to directing relevant articles into our Journal.

Success starts with recognition that our field is different, and that academically speaking, we are in our infancy. It is truly a fascinating and wonderful time to be a forensic pathologist – the dawn of the evidence-based era in our specialty.  Each issue of our Journal will highlight specific, pre-determined topics, thus allowing one-half or more of any issue to focus on relevant critical reviews, written by invited experts from both within and outside our field (all solicited manuscripts are peer- reviewed).  By decreasing the Journal’s reliance on unsolicited manuscripts, the Journal can more stringently scrutinize original article submissions and focus on publishing only the best of the best. We believe that by setting a very high standard for acceptance into publication, our journal will promote a higher quality of research in the field as a whole, and will thereby improve our visibility and reputation amongst our clinical colleagues.


The Editor-In-Chief of the Journal is Dr. J. Keith Pinckard. He will work not only to promote academic excellence in the Journal, but will also ensure that the needs of the NAME membership are being met, as guided by the NAME Journal Committee, the NAME Executive Committee and Board of Directors, and others. The Editor-In-Chief position is unpaid.


Andrew M. Baker MD, Chief Medical Examiner, Hennepin County Medical Examiners Office, Minneapolis MN
Nicholas I. Batalis MD, Forensic Pathologist, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston SC
Michael D. Bell MD, Chief Medical Examiner, Palm Beach County Medical Examiners Office, West Palm Beach, FL
Stephen J. Cina MD, Chief Medical Examiner, Cook County Medical Examiners Office, Chicago, IL
Gregory G. Davis MD MSPH, Associate Coroner/Medical Examiner, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Gregory J. Davis MD, Assistant State Medical Examiner, University of Kentucky, College of Medicine Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Lexington, KY
J.C. Upshaw Downs MD, First Regional Medical Examiner, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Savannah, GA
Michael A. Graham MD, Chief Medical Examiner, Saint Louis University Medical Center, St. Louis, MO
Randy Hanzlick MD, Chief Medical Examiner, Fulton County ME Office, Atlanta, GA
John C. Hunsaker III MD JD, Associate Chief Medical Examiner, University of Kentucky College of Medicine Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Lexington, KY
Craig T. Mallak MD, Chief Medical Examiner, Broward County Office of Medical Examiner and Trauma Services, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Marcus Nashelsky MD, Deputy Medical Examiner, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA
Kurt B. Nolte MD, Assistant Chief Medical Investigator, Office of the Medical Investigator, Albuquerque, NM
William R. Oliver MD MS MPA, Director of Autopsy & Forensic Services, Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Jacqueline L. Parai MD, Director of Eastern Ontario Regional Forensic Pathology Unit, The Ottawa Hospital Division of Anatomical Pathology, Ottawa, ON
R Ross Reichard MD, Senior Associate Consultant, Mayo Clinic, Division of Anatomic Pathology, Rochester, MN
Barbara A. Sampson MD PhD, First Deputy Chief Medical Examiner, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, New York, NY
Marianna Sandomirsky MD, Medical Examiner, Jefferson Parish Forensic Center, Harvey, LA
Gregory A. Schmunk MD, Chief Medical Examiner, Polk County Medical Examiner, Des Moines, IA
Victor W. Weedn MD JD, Professor and Chair of the George Washington University Department of Forensic Sciences, Washington, DC



Many journals utilize a single-blinded peer review process, whereby the authors of the submitted manuscript are blind to the identity of the reviewers.  However, in this model, the reviewers and the Editor(s) know the identities of the authors during the review process.  Academic Forensic Pathology utilizes a triple-blinded peer review process, meaning that not only are the authors blind to the identities of the reviewers, but that the reviewers and the Editor-In-Chief are blind to the identity of the authors; the Editor-In-Chief does not even know the identity of the authors until a manuscript has been accepted for publication.  When a manuscript is submitted, Journal staff strip identifying information such as author names and institutional affiliations before the manuscript is sent to the Editor-In-Chief for review and triage.  

To facilitate this anonymity, authors should avoid including potentially identifying information within the text wherever possible in the original submission.  For example, rather than state, “We have shown in previous studies (reference cited) that…”, structure the sentence more like, “It has been shown previously (reference cited) that…”.  In the first example, the identity of the authors would be immediately known simply by looking at the cited reference.  Another place to be cognizant of self-referential giveaways is in the Methods section.  If the Methods section includes a sentence such as, “Cases from the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office were examined prospectively for a six-month period…”, the authorship anonymity may become compromised.

After a manuscript has been accepted for publication, the identifying information (including changes in desired sentence structure) can be added back in to the manuscript prior to publication.


It is the reviewer’s responsibility to maintain confidentiality regarding the manuscripts he/she reviews.  It is a violation of the terms of practice for a reviewer to contact the author(s) of a manuscript they are reviewing or have reviewed, or communicate with any other individual regarding the content of the submitted manuscript, their review, or any related communications between themselves and the EIC or Publisher.

Editorial Decisions:

(descriptions of the decisions taken directly from Provenzale JM, Stanley RJ. A systematic guide to reviewing a manuscript. AJR Am J Roentgenol 2005 Oct;185(4):848-54).

:  The global rating of Accept is clear-cut and unambiguous; this rating implies that the reviewer does not see any need for revision of the manuscript and that it is suitable for publication “as is.” In fact, because most reviewers (with good reason) suggest changes to any manuscript, the Accept rating is granted to few manuscripts on initial review. Given that it is a rare manuscript that cannot be improved in some way, sometimes the Accept rating is an indication that the reviewer has not looked at the manuscript with an eye toward improvement. When revisions are suggested, the decision category always should be Accept Pending Revisions rather than Accept.

Accept Pending Revisions
:  The Accept Pending Revisions rating indicates that the reviewer finds some ways in which the manuscript should be changed before final acceptance. The suggested changes may include items such as a request for clarification of the methods. However, it is implied in this rating that the authors can reasonably make these changes and that doing so will more or less result in publication of the revised version of the original manuscript.

Reconsider After Major Revisions
:  A rating of Reconsider After Major Revisions indicates that the reviewer believes that considerable changes are needed but that a reasonable possibility exists for the manuscript to proceed to publication. Examples of indications for providing this rating include a belief that, first, the reported data need to be analyzed in a different manner; second, additional data are needed; third, the authors have failed to appropriately take certain study factors into account; or fourth, the authors have not appropriately discussed their results against the background of previous studies. Most manuscripts that receive a Reconsider After Major Revisions recommendation are ultimately published. 

A NAME member who submits an article to the Journal for review, and ultimately receives a judgment of “Reconsider After Major Revisions”, will have the option to access our special NAME-member-only Research Enhancement Program. This unique program will be supported infrastructurally and financially by the Publisher. In this program, authors will have access to expert research assistance from our network of volunteer pathologists and basic/translational research scientists, and from Publisher-funded access to professional third-party research assistants.  Authors who choose to access this service will receive valuable mentorship which will ultimately enhance current and future scholarly projects.

:  The Reject rating is provided when the reviewer is of the opinion that no amount of revision will make the manuscript suitable for the journal to which it was submitted. It is worth emphasizing that, in some cases, the rating is based not on the opinion that the manuscript is poorly written or an inadequate study. Instead, sometimes a reviewer recommends rejection on the belief that the manuscript was submitted to the inappropriate journal.


Click HERE to download a PDF version of the Submission Guidelines. 

Manuscript Types:

Consistency & Cognition:  One of the goals of Academic Forensic Pathology is to promote manuscripts that evaluate and promote consistency and an evidence-based approach to the practice of forensic pathology and the concepts that we embrace.  This manuscript type applies to those papers that embody this principle.  Manuscripts in this category may be review articles or original research. 

Review Article: 
Most review articles will be solicited; however, unsolicited review articles are also welcome.  A review article should be a balanced review of a particular topic.  Review Articles may come to conclusions regarding proposed changes with respect to classification, daily practice, or other conventions in forensic pathology.

Original Article:  This is the typical unsolicited manuscript.  Most consist of reports of original research and analysis of scientific observations.  These may be based around short case reports or case series, provided they are accompanied by a thoughtful and critical review of the relevant literature.

Methods and Procedures:
  This type of manuscript describes the results of new technical advances or refinements of existing techniques in the practice of forensic pathology.  It may be based around short case reports or case series.

Case of the Month:
  In the interest of shifting the primary focus of the Journal away from case reports and toward more novel, original research and critical appraisals of the relevant basic science, medical and pathology literature, the Journal will publish one Case of the Month each month of the year (3 per issue, 12 per year).  Priority consideration will be given to reports written by pathology residents and forensic pathology fellows.  Each case should be presented in detail, be illustrated adequately (if appropriate), and include a thoughtful review of the relevant literature.

Images in Forensic Pathology:
  Forensic pathology is a visual profession that lends itself brilliantly toward the creation of high quality, informative images.  Sometimes, those images might even be considered artistic.  The Journal will publish one Image of the Month each month of the year (3 per issue, 12 per year).  The image (scene, macro-, micro-, or other photograph) must be accompanied by a short description of the case, the illustrated finding(s), and their significance.  The image and text will be published as one page in the Journal.

Editorial: Editorials are accepted by invitations only, and will generally be centered on the theme of a particular issue. They represent an opinion rather than a presentation or review of scientific data, and as such are not peer reviewed.

Letter to the Editor:
  Letters to the Editor should address a previously published article. The paper being discussed should be identified and cited within the text, with the reference to the original paper included at the end of the letter.  Letters to the Editor are not the appropriate format to present new scientific data; these should be submitted as manuscripts.  Letters should begin with the text, “To the Editor:”.


General: The style of writing should be American English, with American spelling (e.g., “center” and “esophagus”, not “centre” and “oesophagus”).  If preparing the manuscript in a country that primarily uses a language other than English, it might be useful to utilize a professional translation service to ensure that the manuscript makes use of appropriate style and diction.  All units of measurement should be expressed in metric system units, including body measurements (height and weight) and temperature.  All symbols and abbreviations should conform to IUPAC or ISI standards.

Title:  The title should accurately and completely summarize the work.  Keep in mind that the title is the first thing a reader sees and is usually the deciding factor on whether the reader continues into the abstract.  While no specific rules will be enforced, it is generally more effective for the title to simply state the findings rather than pose a question or use flowery references.

Running Title:  This is a shortened version of the title which may be used for quick reference during the review process, and which will be printed on alternate pages of the journal article when published.  The running title must be no longer than 32 characters, including spaces.

Key Words:  The selection of appropriate key words is important to facilitate appropriate cataloguing of the manuscript and enabling ease of literature searches.

Abstract:  The abstract may be structured or unstructured.  It must summarize the rationale for the study, the design, the findings, and the conclusion(s).  Statements such as “the findings will be discussed…” are not appropriate.  The abstract must be able to stand on its own, and enable a reader to obtain a complete understanding of the findings and conclusions of the work.  In order to comply with indexing standards of the National Library of Medicine, abstracts must be no longer than 250 words.

Introduction:  The most important function of the introduction is to explain the purpose of the study.  It sets up the problem and justifies why there is a need for the study.  It provides a historical background of the problem and summarizes the current state of knowledge in that particular area. 

Methods:  Describe how the research was done.  This may be as simple as stating that records were retrospectively reviewed for certain criteria during a certain time period, or describing the search strategy used for an Internet search.  This section may also be quite complicated, especially if it involves laboratory procedures or advanced statistics.  The most important criterion for this section is that it should be complete enough to allow a reader to be able to independently reproduce the study.  It is acceptable to use subheadings within this section to organize different topics within the manuscript.  Depending on the nature of the article, a Methods section may not be necessary.  

Results:  The results section should summarize the findings of the study.  It should reference and compliment data represented in the figures and tables.  This section should be limited to an objective description of the findings, without stating opinions or coming to any conclusions. It is acceptable to use subheadings within this section to organize different topics within the manuscript.  Depending on the nature of the article, a Results section may not be necessary.

Discussion:  The discussion should briefly summarize the findings of the study and then to draw appropriate conclusions and sometimes, give opinions.  Two of the most common reasons a manuscript is rejected for publication are 1) that the conclusions are inappropriately drawn from the data presented and 2) that there are other reasonable but differing conclusions that could also be drawn but are either not discussed at all, or that the authors do not argue why their conclusions are more appropriate.  It is acceptable to use subheadings within this section to organize different topics within the manuscript.

References:  It is important to cite the appropriate source (cite the actual paper rather than a review article that references it.  Use the National Library of Medicine style of formatting references (this is one of the options in Endnote).  See also

Examples include:

Journal article:

Moritz AR. Classical mistakes in forensic pathology. Am J Clin Pathol 1956 Dec;26(12):1383-97.

Dolinak D, Matshes E, Lew E. Forensic Pathology: Principles & Practice. 1 ed. San Diego:  Academic Press; 2005.

Chapter in a book:
Matshes E, Lew E. Forensic Osteology. In: Dolinak D, Matshes E, Lew E, editors. Forensic Pathology: Principles and Practice. 1 ed. San Diego: Academic Press; 2005.

Legends:  Legends must be included for each drawing or diagram (figures), photograph (images) and table.  Include all legends in the manuscript main document, immediately preceding the References section.

Figures:  A figure is a drawing or schematic diagram.  These will be printed in brilliant full color.  

Images:  An image is a scene or autopsy photograph, or a photomicrograph.  These will also be printed in brilliant full color.  High resolution, non-formatted TIFF or JPEG files must be uploaded at the time of submission.  Identifying features should be removed prior to upload through ScholarOne.  Low quality scanned photos or photomicrographs can be improved by submitting original materials directly to the Publisher for scanning.  A fee will apply.  Such a service is only available (and only offered) after your manuscript has been accepted for publication. 

Tables:  Submit tables in any format desired.  If accepted for publication, the data in the table will be redesigned during layout design in a standard format to ensure the consistent appearance of tables throughout the Journal.  Upon acceptance of a manuscript, authors may be asked to provide raw data in order to reproduce tables and/or figures in a uniform style.

Material Presented at NAME Meetings:

As the official publication of the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME), Academic Forensic Pathology has the right of first refusal for the publication of any manuscripts based on platform or poster presentations from the NAME Annual and Interim meetings.  If an author wishes to publish in a journal other than Academic Forensic Pathology, he/she may discuss the matter with the Editor-In-Chief, and it is possible that an exception might be made in certain situations.  Presentation at a NAME meeting does not guarantee publication in the Journal, as all manuscripts must go through the peer review process.  Abstracts from oral and poster presentations at NAME meetings will be published, however these will not be indexed.


Authorship is not to be taken lightly.  It is not acceptable to include individuals as authors who do not have meaningful contributions to the work.  This means, for example, that the Chief Medical Examiner should not be a de facto author on any paper originating in his/her office simply because that person is the chief and allowed the work to take place, using case material from the office.

The Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals has concise criteria for what constitutes authorship.  The following is taken directly from that document (available at

1.  Substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data

2. Drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content

3. Final approval of the version to be published

To qualify for authorship, an individual must meet ALL three of these conditions.  Furthermore,

       - acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship.  

- all persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed.  

- each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content. 

All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an acknowledgements section.  Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, writing assistance, or a department chairperson [or Chief Medical Examiner] who provided only general support.

Because readers may infer their endorsement of the data and conclusions, these persons must give written permission to be acknowledged.  Once the manuscript has been submitted, the corresponding author will be contacted and asked for email addresses for each person listed in the Acknowledgement section so that the Publisher may contact them.

Conflict-of-Interest Statement:

Conflict-of-interest is a complex issue.  As such, it is not possible to list all of the possible types of conflict that may occur during the creation of a scholarly article.  Authors are asked to carefully review their own situation, determine whether or not perceived or actual conflict-of-interest have occurred, and to communicate such conflicts to the Publisher and the Editor-In-Chief.  Conflict disclosure is to occur during initial submission of the manuscript on ScholarOne Manuscripts, but authors should feel free to declare potential or actual conflicts at any other time by contacting the Publisher (   Examples of potential and actual conflict of interest include, but are not limited to: 

       - receiving payment for writing or reviewing the manuscript,

       - receiving payment for committee work related to the production of the manuscript

       - receiving payment for expert testimony specifically related to the manuscript, and

       - receiving payment, royalties, stock options, etc. in return for featuring a commercial product in a manuscript.

The Editor-In-Chief, Guest Editors, Editorial Board Members, ad hoc reviewers and Publishing staff are required to disclose relationships that may be real or perceived conflicts of interest, and to excuse themselves when necessary from the editorial process. 

Our journal subscribes to the principles outlined by the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals, as defined by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).  Additional information about Conflict-of-Interest can be obtained from the ICMJE website (

Statement of Informed Consent:

As per the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals, patients have a right to privacy that should not be violated without informed consent. Identifying information, including names, initials, hospital numbers and autopsy numbers should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, or pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the living patient (or parent or guardian), or decedent’s legal next of kin provide written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that an identifiable patient (or the next of kin of the decedent) be shown the manuscript to be published. Authors should disclose to these patients / next of kin whether any potential identifiable material might be available via the Internet as well as in print after publication. Nonessential identifying details should be omitted. Informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt that anonymity can be maintained. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients may be inadequate protection of anonymity. Photographs depicting living or deceased individuals may be edited by journal staff and/or the editor as needed to further protect the identity of subjects; the author(s) will be notified of such changes and allowed to view and approve the updated photographs prior to publication. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic pedigrees, authors should provide assurance, and the editor will note, that such alterations do not distort scientific meaning.

Consent must be written and archived with the author and be made available upon request by the journal.  When informed consent has been obtained, it will be indicated in the published article.  Our journal subscribes to the principles outlined by the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals, as defined by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).  Additional considerations about Informed Consent can be obtained from the ICMJE website (

Statement of Human and Animal Rights:

As per the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals, when reporting experiments on human subjects, authors should indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2008. If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether the institutional and national guide for the care and use of laboratory animals was followed.

Our journal subscribes to the principles outlined by the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals, as defined by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).  Additional considerations about human and animal rights can be obtained from the ICMJE website (

Prior/Duplicate Publication:

It is actually possible to plagiarize oneself.  Once a journal publishes a manuscript, the copyright assignment is generally (see below) transferred from the authors to the publisher.  With rare exception, it is not permissible to publish the same work in more than one journal, even if it would be beneficial to have the work available to two vastly different readerships.  There are certain exceptions, for example, republishing seminal papers or guideline papers, providing the appropriate permissions from the original publisher is obtained.  Publishing similar papers in two different journals, even if the two manuscripts are not verbatim copies, using the same data or research material, is also unethical, may constitute plagiarism, and would likely violate copyright law.

Article Correction and Retraction Policy:

AFPi subscribes to the principles outlined by the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals, as defined by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE; AFPi also adheres to The National Library of Medicine (NLM) definitions for standard literature correction terminology. These definitions can be found in the NLM Fact Sheet at as well as in the Council of Science Editors White Paper on Promoting Integrity in Scientific Journal Publications (

Errata:  Errata are published changes or emendations to an earlier article, also referred to as corrections or corrigenda, which originate either in the publication process or from errors of scientific logic or methodology. Errata identify an important error made by the journal. They involve a correction to a small, isolated portion of an otherwise reliable article; errata are generally not published for simple, obvious typographical errors, but corrections are published when an apparently simple error is significant or if the publication record is seriously affected, for example with regard to the scientific accuracy of published information, or the reputation of the authors, or the reputation of the journal. Corrigendum make note of an important error made by the author(s) that affects the publication record or the scientific integrity of the paper, or the reputation of the authors or the journal. All authors must sign corrigenda submitted for publication. In cases where coauthors disagree, the editors will take advice from independent peer-reviewers and impose the appropriate amendment, noting the dissenting author(s) in the text of the published version.

When such an amendment is published, the corrections will appear on a numbered page, be listed in the Table of Contents, include the complete original citation and be linked bi-directionally to and from the article being corrected. A PDF version of the correction is added to the original article PDF so that the original article PDF will remain the same as the printed page and readers downloading the PDF will receive the original article plus amendment.

Retractions:  Retractions identify an article that was previously published and is now retracted or withdrawn through a formal issuance from the author, editor, publisher, or other authorized agent such as the academic or institutional sponsor. Articles can be retracted because of pervasive error, unsubstantiated or irreproducible data, scientific misconduct, or duplicate publication. AFPi adheres to the Retraction Guidelines published by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), which can be accessed at

When a retraction is published it will appear on a numbered page in a prominent section of the online and print edition of the journal, be listed in the Table of Contents page, and include in its heading the title of the original article. Ideally, the first author of the retraction should be the same as that of the article, however, depending on the circumstances the editor may accept retractions by other responsible persons. The retraction should not simply be a letter to the editor, rather the text of the retraction should explain why the article is being retracted and include a complete citation reference to that article.

Partial Retractions:  A “retraction in part” or a “partial retraction” is just that, only a portion of the article is being retracted. It is more significant than an erratum. Partial retractions are usually the result of an incorrect section or a particular portion of an article that is incorrect, leaving the majority of the information and the article’s stated conclusions uncompromised by the removal of that portion of the content.

Partial retractions will be published similar to a full retraction and will explicitly state that a single statement or specified text, graph, figure or data is being retracted so that it is abundantly clear and unambiguous that only a portion of the article is being retracted, not the full article.

Corrected and Republished Articles:  If the journal decides to correct or amplify a previously published article by republishing the article in its entirety, often to rectify an editorial or printing error in the original article, it will be referred to as a Corrected and Republished Article. A link will be created between the original PDF article and the corrected and republished PDF article.

Duplicate Publication:  If an article is found to substantially duplicate another article without acknowledgement a notice of duplicate publication will be published within the journal upon discovery.


Upon submission of a manuscript for editorial review, the corresponding author (with permission of all individuals claiming authorship) must complete an on-line Manuscript Submission agreement in order to transfer copyright from the author to Academic Forensic Pathology Incorporated.  There are certain situations in which copyright transfer may be retained, the most notable of which is when the authors are employees of the United States Federal Government.  

Publication Schedule:

All manuscripts will be published in the next online issue of the journal if:

- at least 14 calendar days separate the acceptance date from the date of next issue, and

- if the authors comply with the timelines of the publisher as they pertain to the production process.

An exception to the rule of publishing in the next online issue will include cases published in the category Case of the Month or Images in Forensic Pathology.  For example, the Case of the Month for April might have a publication delay if accepted for publication in December (but is not published until the April issue).

At the time a new manuscript is submitted, authors whose works meet specific criteria can request a fast- track review; in these circumstances, the time between manuscript submission and final decision will be seven calendar days. In the absence of an author-based request for fast-track review, the EIC may select this option if his initial review suggests the contents of the manuscript are of sufficient magnitude.  Criteria for fast-track review are: 

- the results of the research are of significant magnitude as to have an immediate impact on the practice of forensic pathology, or

- a delay in publication could result in a negative impact to the forensic pathology and criminal justice communities, or to members of the general public.

A request for fast-track review should be made in writing in the cover letter you upload with your manuscript via ScholarOne.

Presubmission inquiries are accepted.  You may choose to contact the Editor-In-Chief director ( or in the interest of maintaining anonymity, you may contact the Publisher ( who will anonymize your query and send it along to the Editor-In-Chief. 

Memorandum of Understanding


All content of this website, and of the Journal itself are © Academic Forensic Pathology Incorporated.  All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means now or hereafter known, electronic or mechanical, without permission from Academic Forensic Pathology Incorporated.

All persons, group and/or institutions interested in reproducing text, tables and figures (photographs, photomicrographs, etc.) from the Journal must first obtain written permission from Academic Forensic Pathology Incorporated.  All requests should be directed to


The Publisher (Academic Forensic Pathology Incorporated), The Editor-In-Chief (Dr. Keith Pinckard) and the sponsoring society (National Association of Medical Examiners) are committed to the publication of high quality, timely and relevant scholarly forensic pathology materials, and take every effort to ensure that the information presented within the Journal are precise and accurate.  However, errors can occur and readers must carefully evaluate the literature and decide how to best integrate it into their own practice.  Please report any errors directly to the Publisher ( or the Editor-In-Chief (

The Publisher shall not be liable or responsible for any direct or indirect losses or damages of any kind whatsoever, whether based in contract, tort, strict liability, or otherwise, arising out of or in any way connected with: your use of or inability to use this website; the provision of or failure to provide services; any information, products, services, software or graphics obtained through this site. The Editor-In-Chief and the Publisher do not assume any responsibility for any injury and/or damage to persons or property related to any use of the content contained herein.

Publication of an advertisement or other product mention in Academic Forensic Pathology: The Official Publication of the National Association of Medical Examiners is not an endorsement of either the product or the manufacturer's claims and should not be construed as such.


Academic Forensic Pathology: The Official Publication of the National Association of Medical Examiners - ISSN 1925-3621

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