How Training Effects Editor’s Career Growth

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 How Training Effects Editor’s Career Growth

Rehan Ahsan Malik
Manager and Assistant Editor , Life & Science Journal
National University of Medical Sciences, Rawalpindi 
 

Now a days in the field of medical journalism especially in developing countries most of the editors are not well trained. They learn on the job and come to know their responsibilities and also come in contact with the new technology. This is because lack of resources and opportunities. Similarly many journal editors have limited knowledge related to publication ethics. This can have its effects leading to a negative impact on publication as well as on their professional career. To overcome some of these problems, there is a need for some training programme for the editors particularly so for those who are new entrants in this field.

 

Mr. Rehan Ahsan Malik
Manager,
Life & Science Journal, (NUMS).

A good initiative was taken in this regard by the management of Professional Medical Publications, publishers of Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences to pay homage and in recognition of the services rendered by their founder chief editor late Dr. Maqbool H Jafary. They instituted a Maqbool Jafary memorial scholarship for training of junior medical editors. I was lucky for have been selected for this week long training course under the supervision of Mr. Shaukat Ali Jawaid who is the chief editor of Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences.

The training covered the following topics in details:

  1. Direct Submission on the Journal website
  2. Editors Triage, Initial Internal Review, Copy Editing
  3. Setting up peer review system
  4. How to grow and maintain the reviewers database
  5. Screening for Plagiarism using iThenticate software
  6. Publication ethics, how to take care of authorship issues
  7. Acquaintance with Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
  8. Corrections and Publications of manuscripts
  9. Different business models and Funding Sources
  10. Page make up
  11. Generating PDF files
  12. Functioning of the Open Journal System (OJS)
  13. Grammar and English check using Grammarly software
  14. Visit to the printing press to observe plate making, printing gathering, folding and binding works

We were asked to prepare the short term and long term goals to implement some of the things that we had learnt during the training. It was emphasized that it is important to have a proper office with at least one full time trained person who will be responsible for all corresponding work of the journal. When direct submissions are started on the website, editor should know how to deal with manuscripts. Editor must know about the initial screening which includes checking of specimen title page, number of words count in abstract with proper headings according to journal policy, authors contribution, letter of undertaking (LOU), conflict of interest, institutional review committee certificate, processing charges (if applicable) and plagiarism test report etc. To save time it is necessary to complete an initial review on your own and do copy editing to save time of external reviewer.

After completing the initial review the editor will assign at least two external reviewers. It is also important and one should learn how to grow and retain the good reviewers, how to set up peer review system, and establish a reviewers database. Different avenues to find good reviewers were also discussed. Reviewers can also be selected from the best authors contribution to the journal. Different ways of recognizing and rewarding the reviewers were also highlighted, this of course depends on the resources and policy of the journal. One should give them due respect and different ways of recognizing their contributions i.e. appreciation letters, CME Credits, accelerated processing and publication of their own manuscripts besides publishing their name in acknowledgment in the journal at the end of the year were some of the measures which can be undertaken.

During the training we also learnt about digital objective identifier (DOI) and its importance. We observed page make up on the computer, generation of pdf files. I was facing some problems with the handling of open journal system (OJS) and this problem was also resolved by Dr. Masood Jawaid Associate Editor at Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences. We were also introduced to software known as “Grammarly.com” for corrections of English grammar mistakes.
A Visit to the printing press was organized to observe plate making, printing gathering, folding and binding works by using the latest technology which was very helpful.

Acknowledgment: I would like to thank Maj. Gen. (R) Prof Muhammad Aslam, Pro Vice Chancellor, National University of Medical Sciences, Rawalpindi, Prof. Dr K.H Mujtaba Qaudri Dean, Research and Academic Development, National University of Medical Sciences, Rawalpindi, Lt Col (R) Dr. Iftikhar Ahmed, Deputy Director ORIC, National University of Medical Sciences, Rawalpindi, Dr. Rehma Gilani, Assistant Director Content Development and Managing Editor, Life & Science, National University of Medical Sciences, Rawalpindi who nominated, encouraged and recommended my name for this training. I would like to thank management of Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences and particularly Dr. Masood Javaid for helping me in functioning of Open Journal System (OJS).

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