Maqbool Jafary Training Scholarship for Junior Editors


 Maqbool Jafary Training Scholarship for Junior Editors

Learning the Art of Medical Editing
and Science of Scientific Publishing

Dr. Mehwash Kashif FCPS, BDS,
Assistant Professor,
Karachi Medical and Dental College,

I was privileged to be the first recipient of Dr. Maqbool H. Jafary Training Scholarship in medical journalism started by Pakistan journal of Medical sciences (PJMS). Late Dr. Maqbool H. Jafary was an eminent physician with special interest in cardiology. He also served as president of Pakistan Society of Physician and Vice President of Asia Pacific Society of Cardiology. He was also the founder member of Eastern Mediterranean Association of Medical Editors (EMAME) and served as its president from 2010 – 2012. He was also the founder Chief Editor of Pakistan Journal of Medical sciences. In order to recognize his services and to promote the art and science of medical journalism and scientific publishing Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences management has started this scholarship in his memory. The scholarship amount is Rest. 25000/- (Rupees twenty five thousand only).

Dr. Mehwash Kashif

I am affiliated with Annals of Abbasi Shaheed and Karachi Medical and Dental College and working as Assistant Editor in the journal.  Announcement of this scholarship was circulated on PAME LISTSERVE and after fulfilling the requirements, my name was recommended by Prof. Sina Aziz, the Chief Editor of Annals of Abbasi Shaheed and Karachi Medical and Dental College. 

During these six days training I had the opportunity to observe and learn various aspects of medical journal publishing. It included determining scope and contents of the journal, editor’s triage leading to initial screening and internal review. I was also exposed to E Journal System which is used by PJMS for processing the manuscripts. Plagiarism check using iThenticate software, how to generate DOI numbers were also discussed. Copy editing of manuscripts is yet another important aspect. I also got an opportunity to look at quite a few manuscripts after copy editing. Even after peer review there is a chance that some mistakes were left which are corrected during copy editing which also involves careful look at figures and tables. Some of them may need some modifications. Repetition and duplication of information appearing in tables, figures and text is also eliminated during copy editing.

Different types of peer review system i.e.  Single blind, double blind and open peer review system with their advantages and disadvantages were also discussed. Every journal can adopt a peer review system which suits them. Establishing a reviewers’ data base, How to send manuscripts for external peer review through E Journal System were also demonstrated. The E Journal system offers numerous benefits which accelerates the whole process. How to do page make up and to generate PDF file, sending the PDF files to authors for correction and How to do the correction was also part of training course. Publication on journal’s website, ahead of print provide another opportunity to the authors  to point out mistakes if they are not corrected earlier so  that necessary corrections to are carried out in the manuscripts before it is sent for printing. Screening for plagiarism and analysis of similarity index score were also discussed. It was demonstrated by using iThenticate software which provides plagiarized content in different colors along with the percentage of plagiarized content along with its source. Retraction of published paper was also discussed and demonstrated.

The reading material provided during the course gave useful information regarding importance and relevance of impact factor, the problems faced by the editors and how to resolve them, the importance of editorial independence and How to grow and retain good reviewers. Visit to the printing press was informative to know different segments i.e. plate making, printing and binding. The course also provided an insight into the journalology which has now emerged as an important discipline with different subspecialties like peer review, publication ethics and scientific misconduct etc. In short, publication of a good quality peer reviewed scientific journal is a team work which requires minimum dedicated staff, support staff and a proper office premises. To ensure sustainability in the long run, proper funding is extremely important.

I intends to prepare a short term and long-term plans to implement some o f the things learnt during the course while strategy to implement long-term plans will be discussed with the management of the journal.   In the end I would like to thank Mr. Shaukat Ali Jawaid, Chief Editor of Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences who has taken this initiative of starting this training course for the junior editors.