Focus and Scope

The Bulletin of Legal Medicine is an open access scientific journal, which aims to publish original contributions in many different scientific disciplines pertaining to forensic medicine and other fields of forensic sciences. It is the official publication of the Association of Forensic Medicine Specialists in Turkey, being published three times a year and it is internationally peer-reviewed. The official languages of the journal are Turkish and English.

The Bulletin of Legal Medicine publishes:

  • Original Research Papers
  • Case Reports
  • Review Articles
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Editorials

Subject areas include, but are not restricted to the following fields:

  • Clinical Forensic Medicine
  • Postmortem Forensic Medicine
  • Forensic Pathology and Histochemistry
  • Forensic Toxicology & Poisoning
  • Forensic Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Forensic Biology and Serology
  • Forensic Genetics and DNA Studies
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Forensic Odontology
  • Forensic Entomology
  • Forensic Psychiatry
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Forensic Radiology
  • Forensic Art
  • Forensic Ballistics
  • Forensic Document Examination
  • Fingerprints and Identification
  • Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
  • Firearms, Projectiles and Wounds
  • Disaster Victim Identification
  • Crime Scene Investigation
  • Criminal Profiling
  • Bite-mark evidence
  • Torture
  • Child Abuse and Neglect
  • Death Investigations
  • Suicidal Behaviours
  • Interpersonal Violence
  • Elder Abuse
  • Domestic Violence
  • Rape and Sexual Violence
  • Malpractice
  • Human Rights, and Public Health
  • Medical Law and any topic that science and medicine interact with the law.

The journal covers all legal aspects of disciplines mentioned above besides the specialist topics of forensic interest that are included in or related to these disciplines.

Journal's History

After the establishment of the Association of Forensic Medicine Specialists in Turkey (ATUD) in 1992; a need for an on-going scientific publication was aroused in order to provide cooperation between the forensic specialists and the assistants, to be able to see intra- and inter-national scientific studies in forensic sciences and to share information and experiences between associated professional scientists. Aiming to share the information and experiences gained in Forensic Medicine and Forensic Sciences and to publish scientific studies in these fields, an editorial board was established by the Association of Forensic Medicine Specialists in Turkey and the first edition of the journal was published where Prof. Serpil Salaçin was the editor-in-chief in 1996.

After publishing the first edition of the journal, a reputation was gained and it was accepted to be indexed in TUBİTAK Turkish Medicine Index in 1997.  Shortly, it was in the 43 journals out of 300 ones that were being published in Turkey in 1998 in the field of forensics and also being indexed by TUBİTAK Turkish Medicine Index and it gained a reputation for this achievement in such a short period of time throughout Turkey.

Later on, Prof. Şebnem Korur Fincancı took over and became the editor-in-chief in 2000 and during this period, even though there were some delays in publication, the journal was being published uninterrupted.  However, the economic and the social troubles in the country also affected the journal in such a bad way that these late delays lead to the journal to be taken out of Turkish Medicine Index in 2004.

On the 12th year of the Bulletin of Legal Medicine publishing its first edition; Assoc. Prof. Nadir Arıcan became the editor-in-chief and the journal continued to hold an important part of the scientific developments and to share information flow among the fields of Forensic Medicine and Forensic Sciences as it has initially aimed for, even though there were again few delays in publishing.

After the internet became widespread, studies were done to publish the journal in an online system as well and in 2007. For this reason, besides being published as hard copy, the journal is started to be published electronically as well in the official website of ATUD.

The journal continued its publications with the philosophy of being open minded in sciences without ignoring past experiences the traditions by having Prof. Halis Dokgöz as the new editor-in-chief and with a completely new editorial board in 2013. In order to have the latest technological opportunities, necessary steps were taken and with the decision taken by the administrative committee of ATUD; the journal reached the format it has aimed for by having its own website with an Open Journal System. The articles are started to be published both in hard copy and in electronic versions as pdf files in order to open up the scientific content to the public.

With “Open Journal System” it is now possible to do variety of processes online more easily which includes submitting articles, doing the reviewing process by the peer-reviewers and publishing the articles as well.

Each article is given a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) which is a unique numbering and access system enabling easy access to the journal contents.  By this way, journal is once again included in TUBİTAK Turkish Medicine Index and also it is indexed in more international contents. By using DOIs, now it is possible for the journal’s attributions to be visible and to be interpreted even more. Besides, using DOIs will make it much easier for the journal to be included in more international indexes as well in the future.

Today, the Bulletin of Legal Medicine is being accessed and attributed by the scientists all over the world and by the first edition of 2015; the journal has a new view and a design now. The important part here to enable it being indexed more in the international databases is that, it has to be published non-stop without having any delays or interruptions and also increasing the number of the articles even more by making them easily accessible online for the scientists.

Review Policy

Initial Manuscript Evaluation
For consideration, all manuscripts should be submitted by online system of The Journal at www.adlitipbulteni.com. The whole editorial process of The Journal is done via online submission system, and can be documented in case of a conflict or objection.
The suitability of papers for publication in The Journal is decided by the editorial policy of the editorial board.
Editor-in-Chief is fully authorized for reviewing process, which is processed in the order of submission to The Journal.
Editor-in-Chief assigns either one of the Co-Editors or himself in order to perform initial assessment. Then, the assignee conducts initial pre-refereeing checks to ensure the article is legible, complete, correctly formatted, original, within the scope of The Journal, in the style of a scientific article and written in clear language.

Check for Plagiarism
The Journal is a member of Crosscheck, and all manuscripts are screened by Crosscheck in terms of originality. If serious issues are identified concerning the manuscript, the assignee will notify the corresponding author as part of our standard procedure. No action is required from you unless specifically requested for very serious concerns.
Any article that has problems with any of the above criteria may be rejected at this stage. Manuscripts rejected at this stage typically are not in line with the focus and scopes of the journal. Essays that pass through this stage are then entered into the peer review process.
This journal follows a double-blind reviewing procedure. Authors are therefore requested to submit:
1. A blinded manuscript file without any author names and affiliations in the text. Self-identifying citations and references in the article text should be avoided.
2. A separate title page file, containing title, all author names, affiliations, and the contact information of the corresponding author. Any acknowledgements, disclosures, or funding information should also be included on this page.
Editorial Assistants at The Journal facilitate the peer review process by assisting with blinding manuscripts and corresponding with potential peer reviewers.
The Journal adheres to a strict policy of double-blind, peer-review to ensure best practices in scholarly research and publication. In Double-blind model, the reviewers do not know the names of the authors, and the authors do not know who reviewed their manuscript. To ensure anonymity in the double-blind refereeing process, the author's name should not appear anywhere on the manuscript. If using Microsoft Word the manuscript 'Summary', under the menu 'File/Properties/Summary', should also be erased. Once blinded, the assignee selects at least two members of the advisory board, and manuscripts are shared with these experts within the field for double-blind peer review, in which both the Reviewer and the Author remain anonymous throughout the process. A reviewer may not belong to the same institution as authors.
After assigned, the reviewers are invited to participate the review process via a notification email. The email invitation to reviewers will contain all necessary information about the manuscript. The reviewers are asked to log into the journal web site to indicate whether they will undertake the review or not, as well as to access the submission and to record their review and recommendation.
Automated email reminders are sent to the reviewer when the reviewer do not respond to a review request within 7 days. The typical period of time allowed for reviews is 4 weeks but note that it can be modified during the editorial process.

Peer Review Reports
Reviewers make one of the following recommendations to the Editors: accept submission, revisions required, resubmit for review, resubmit elsewhere, decline submission. Additionally, reviewers are asked to provide significant commentary for authors and are also provided space to make comments intended solely for the editors. Reviewers are not asked or expected to make any copyediting comments.
If both reviewers agree on acceptance or rejection, the decision stands.
Occasionally, we receive contradicting Reviewers' reports and need to ask for a third reviewer, which does delay the process. When their opinions are poles apart, then the Associate Editor takes a further process to decide acceptance or rejection of that paper. For the further process, Associate Editors request an emergency review by another advisory board member. Associate Editors may take a further process for the manuscript of which reviewing process is overdue.
If a paper is not suitable for publication it will be returned to the author with a statement of reasons for rejection. The author may appeal if he or she believes an erroneous or unfair judgment has been made. A letter to the Editor-in-Chief presenting reasons why the decision should be reconsidered will be subjected to due consideration.
After review, the author is notified by email for revision in accord with suggestions made by the reviewers and the Editor.
At the completion of each round of the peer review process, the submitter receives a formal letter from the Editor that includes notes from the Peer Reviewers.
When authors make revisions to their article in response to the referees' comments they are asked to submit a list of changes and any replies for transmission to the referees. The author must upload the revised manuscript to the online system within 4 weeks; otherwise the author will be notified that the paper will be considered withdrawn.
The revised version is usually returned to at least one of the original referees who is then asked whether the revisions are satisfactory. If the referees remain dissatisfied, the paper can be referred to the advisory board of the journal for further consideration.
The assignee then, will check if the manuscript is revised as suggested by editorial members and proceed to the next step. If the assignee finds the revisions satisfying, then he or she will record the decision to accomplish the review process and reach final decision.

Decision Making Process
Based upon two or more reviewers' reports, the Co-Editors are responsible for making the decision regarding acceptance or rejection each essay and for communicating this decision to the submitter. At the completion of the peer review process, each submitter receives a formal letter from the Editors that includes notes from the Peer Reviewers.
The final decision by Editor-in-Chief is usually completed within 2 months from the time of the paper submission.
Authors are notified by e-mail when a manuscript has or has not been accepted for publication. Proofs of accepted manuscripts are sent to the author for correction within 4 weeks after acceptance. They should be proofread carefully according to the instructions attached and returned within the considered period. Authors will be charged for major corrections to their proofs.
For 2016, average days required to complete the review process is 62 days, whereas average days that pass till publication is 173 days.

Publication Frequency

The Bulletin of Legal Medicine publishes three issues per year both  press printed and online. The official languages of the journal are Turkish and English.

Open Access Policy

The Bulletin of Legal Medicine is an open access scientific journal. Open access means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. The Journal and content of this website is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) License. This is in accordance with the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) definition of open access.

The Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) allows users to copy, distribute and transmit an article, adapt the article and make commercial use of the article. The CC BY license permits commercial and non-commercial re-use of an open access article, as long as the author is properly attributed.

In general, you may visit the BLM Journal website and reach full text of any publised article without identifying yourself or revealing any personal information.

The Bulletin of Legal Medicine requires the author as the rights holder to sign and submit the journal's agreement form prior to acceptance. The authors retain copyright of their work and grant The Association for its publication. This ensures both that The Journal has the right to publish the article and that the author has confirmed various things including that it is their original work and that it is based on valid research.

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.

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 and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.

Self-Archiving Policy

The Bulletin of Legal Medicine is an open access scientific journal, officially published by the Association of Forensic Medicine Specialists in Turkey.

The Journal and content of its website is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) License.

The Journal allows authors to self-archive their articles in an open access repository. The Journal considers publishing material where a pre-print or working paper has been previously mounted online. The Journal does not consider this an exception to our policy regarding the originality of the paper (not to be published elsewhere), since the open access repository doesn't have a publisher character, but an archiving system for the benefit of the public.

The Journal's policy regarding the accepted articles requires authors not to mention, in the archived articles in an open access repository, their acceptance for publication in the journal until the article is final and no modifications can be made. Authors are not allowed to submit the paper to another publisher while is still being evaluated for the Journal or is in the process of revision after the peer review decision.
The Journal does allow the authors to archive the final published article, often a pdf file, in an open access repository, after authors inform the editorial office. The final version of the article and its internet page contains information about copyright and how to cite the article. Only this final version of the article is uploaded online, on the Journal's official website, and only this version should be used for self-archiving and should replace the previous versions uploaded by authors in the open access repository.

Abstracting and Indexing

The Bulletin of Legal Medicine is indexed by;

Article Processing Charge (APC)

All articles published in our journal are open access and freely available online. Currently, the Bulletin of Legal Medicine charges no fee from the authors neither for the review of manuscripts nor publication. This is made possible by the financial support of The Turkish Society of Forensic Medicine Specialists. The association does not have a commercial income, and covers expenses from member's contributions. The journal is intended to charge no publication fee as long as possible. However, the authors need to declare and undertake to pay a reasonable fee to support the publication, DOI registration and other relevant costs if the article is accepted for publication.