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Respected Sir,

This review was targeted to investigate the anatomy education research articles most commonly published in Pakistan Armed Forces medical Journal. The PAFMJ database was searched through retrospective survey for all Anatomy published articles between January 2008 and December 2015. Anatomy articles listed as either original and review articles were included in the inquiry. Frequencies of article prevalence were tallied after categorizing articles according to their title objectives, introduction material and methods, discussion and study aims. Out the 29 articles analyzed, 95% had a focus on interventions and only (2%) were from institutions outside of the army medical college.

Gross anatomy, being an already explored and well documented area of research, has compelled many scientists to believe that there is no opportunity of further and distinct research in gross anatomy1. The skills developed by successful researchers to counter such problems consist of creating and framing a manuscript encompassing an important topic, incorporating previous literature through a laconic and relevant way and communicating the academic and pragmatic implications of the research2. PAFMJ aims to impart a platform or forum where exchange of opinions, research, innovations and findings on subject matter pertaining to education in the anatomical sciences of gross anatomy, embryology, histology and neurosciences at undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels3.

One of the other reasons why the significance of new research in anatomy is undermined is because many people think that their knowledge of human anatomy is sufficient. But that is not so true since a recent example of last year shows us that Belgian scientists rediscovered the anterolateral ligament of the human knee, that had been overlooked since 1879 and their description of how important it is for our knee function, in detail, drew considerable attention to the realization that we still do not have full knowledge of our own bodies4.

To elaborate the significance and use of technology, one example of such which is Digital technology such as three-dimensional imaging combined with computer graphics which allows researchers to look at body parts in new ways5.

The sciences of publishing skills consist of organizing the manuscript, presenting a logical flow of ideas and providing a format expected by reviewers and editors in a given field. Even promising articles due to their inappropriate structure, ill-communication or poor composition are often rejected because reviewers and editors find it difficult to evaluate the merits of the study6. A research paper can also be a different inference of the data which is its premise and the introduction may be described in a different empirical and theoretical context. Sometimes, additional data or somewhat different analyses of the same, previously published data are reported in the redundant paper7.

Interventional studies were the main focus of the research areas, with divergence towards the histopathology rather than the normal anatomy. Most of the research areas were focused on the interventional animal studies, with diverging towards the pathology rather than the normal anatomy. Resulting from this there is a need arises for new research areas to be defined and explored in the field of gross and developmental anatomy. Researchers rely on mice and rats for several reasons; with one being that rodents are small, maintainable, easily accomodatable and also adapt well to new surroundings along with quick reproduction and a short life span of two to three years which enables several generation of mice to be observed in a relatively short period of time. The mild-temperedness and compliance of the rats also makes their handling easy by researchers, although some can be difficult to restrain than others.

An advantage of rats to exploration in developmental anatomy is that rats and mice, used in medical trials, are inbred so that besides gender all genetic features are the same. The primary aim of the research should be to develop an important relationship of funding to yield fundamental knowledge, which will then improve the fields of anatomy research.This important description given and presented both in tables and text should correspond to what is expected8,9.

In the development of a manuscript, choosing a vivid and captivating title can sometimes be the most difficult task. The published articles are supposed to represent the portion of the dissertation or thesis of the author. Whereas all the titles in published articles studies in this research were descriptive and reflecting the broader aspects of the study. Extremely long titles, such as in these published articles, are unwieldy and suggest a lack of grasp of the true structure of the research. Ideally, the randomized control trials with independent and dependent variables provide a good opening point for developing the article's title and are a good alternative to the mundane titles. The study design of all the articles were well describing the nature of the study (e.g., experimental, randomized or observational and the type of data used.Most of the articles were abstracted from randomized control trials few gross anatomy studies were submitted.

It was observed that maximum number of studies was comparative and animal model based. No effort was published regarding the data on any of the human or cadaveric studies. Considering the aforementioned factors, gross anatomy studies can be an addition for the literature already available on the subject matter. As for the research itself it could be inexpensive as it can be studied on cadavers and from x-rays, angiograms of current patients. The reason could be the lack of availability of the cadavers and human models for the gross studies and the Length of the study could extend to months due to un availability of cadavers for a single source.

Most of the studies presented two to three sets of data leading to multivariate mapping. They were comparing the data among number of group with little justification of the methods and sampling techniques. Interventional randomized control studies are good and convenient but fail to demonstrate gold standards in sampling, grouping and interventional technique due to poor standards of the animal lab facilities in our setup10. The results were depicting the histopathology and true histology components were not addressed in all of the published articles.

Adequate description of the methods with suboptimal reporting of the results was reflected in most of the articles. A common author mistake that can unfavorably influence reviewers and editors is to slip interpretive comments into the results section of the manuscript. Serious discrepancies between the abstract and the body of the paper-such as data presented in the abstract that do not appear in the results, or data that are at variance from what is reported in the results-are surprisingly common in published articles11. The abstract should be written last, after all the other sections of the manuscript are complete. It should be based entirely on what is in the text and must include no new material12.

It is important to first warn your students not to aim for the currently accepted style of scientific writing. They should not just study the leading journal in their specialty and attempt to imitate the writing it contains. Researchers, being the authors and reviewers of scientific papers which are the sources that feed the channels of science communication, are responsible for quality13. A section should also be developed that addresses how the overall findings of the study affect decision makers in health organizations. These concluding paragraphs should convey how you believe your results affects managers or other stakeholders14. Most of the researchers consider that there is no scope for research in gross anatomy as it's an already explored and documented area of research. However there are additional fields which are emerging such as vascular anatomy and developmental anatomy which can be explored in osteology, morphometry, genetics, and histology with special staining techniques.

Human embryology offers a wide field of research, which explains the variations that exist in the adult. In the field of neuroanatomy itself, anatomy is an ocean to be searched. There are many possible pedagogical studies that focus on the optimization of anatomy education as well.


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Publication:Pakistan Armed Forces Medical Journal
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Jun 30, 2016

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