ISC Database at present has 3042 Journals from 48 countries- M. Javed Dehghani

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EMMJ6 Medial Journals Conference Proceedings-IV

ISC Database at present has 3042 Journals
from 48 countries - M. Javed Dehghani

EMAME has accomplished a lot since its inception- Jane Nicholson

We need an action plan with dates and Road Map- Behrooz Astaneh

SHIRAZ (IRAN): On second day of the EMMJ6 Medical Journals conference held here from February 18-20, 2015, the afternoon session was jointly chaired by Karen Shashok and Mr. Farrokh Saidi. Mohammad Javed Dehghani from ISC was the first speaker who in his presentation disclosed that at present the number of journals in ISC database was 3042. It includes 39% in English, 20% in Arabic and the rest 41% are in other languages.  In all forty eight countries have sent their journals for coverage in ISC and the number of journals from Pakistan was twenty one. ISC issues the JCR with ranking of journals and Islamic countries universities ranking.  ISC, he stated, was ready to help, cooperate and collaborate with every one. We have recently introduced Masters’ programme in Scientometrics, he added.

Mr. Shaukat Ali Jawaid General Secretary EMAME along with
Bibi Sedigheh Fazli Bazzaz from Mashad Iran chairing one of the
scientific sessions during the EMMJ6 Medical Journals
Conference held at Shiraz from February 18-20, 2015.

 Dr. Muhammad Irfan from Pakistan made a presentation on mutual cooperation among journals, which he opined, was effective in preventing publication misconduct. This was followed by an excellent presentation by Parham Habibzadeh from Iran. His title was “To cite or not to cite websites: An ongoing dilemma”.  His presentation was based on a study of trend of citation to URLs in five general medical journals from 2006-2013. The journals included were Lancet, BMJ, Archives of Iranian Medicine, Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal, Journal of Postgraduate Medical Institute. They looked at original and review articles, total references and the number of references to URLs. Lancet had 2.9% URL references, BMJ 4.9%, EMHJ 3.7%, AIM 1.4%, and JPMI 1.1%.  While 61. 4% websites quoted by Lancet and BMJ was accessible only 42.3% of websites quoted by other journals were accessible.  Sometimes if you go to the websites, the referred pages are not found. The solution, he offered was either discourages authors from citing URLs, or archive the cited URLs contents on the journals servers, use only persistent URLs or have some system of internet archiving. He concluded his presentation by stating that there is no universal consensus on preserving the cited URLs though the number of URLs cited is increasing. Only few journals have mentioned in instructions for authors asking authors for archiving the cited URLs.

General Body Meeting

During the GB meeting Dr.M. B. Rokni said that the Executive Committee of the EMAME needs to be more active but it also depends on situation in the region Prof. Farhad Handjani said that our problems were growing  hence we must do something. He suggested that all countries in the region must take up their responsibilities. Iran and Pakistan are doing a lot since we have a will and motivation behind it.

Dr. Behrooz Astaneh from Shiraz was of the view that it was a matter of leadership which also matters. We must find out what support the editors need from EMAME and whether they were getting it? We need an action plan with dates and Road Map. Gen.Aslam from Pakistan felt that we need to improve our communication between EMAME and other top bodies in the region and they should be part of our team.

Participating in the discussion Dr. Farrokh Habibzadeh opined that performance of EMAME was not so good and our performance was not satisfactory. We need a clear strategic plan with smart objectives which are achievable and then we must stick to these objectives. We need some direction and then we must work according to that plan and accomplish that in well defined time. Dr. Akhtar Sherin from Pakistan said let us make EMAME more active. Despite the fact that there are 22 countries in EMAME but in fact it is only two countries Pakistan and Iran which were running the show. We must find out why we are not attracting people from other countries and how many other countries in the EMR region have editor’s societies, he asked. Dr. Irfan said that sub-committees should be more pro active. We must have more actives using information technology, have online discussions, use Webinars and involve others. Dr. Saeed El-Morsy that we must look at our objectives and then see how we can promote our activities in future.

Ms Jane Nicholson pointed out that there was no need to be too much pessimistic. We have achieved a lot ever since the EMAME was founded. We need to be more active and think of some changes. EMAME website is visited quite frequently. WHO EMRO will continue to support the medical journals in the region through different ways. I cannot assure any financial support but we must stay positive, come up with a plan and good proposals which can be looked into.

The first session on Day 3 of the conference was chaired by Mr. Shaukat Ali Jawaid from Pakistan along with   Bibi Sedigheh Fazli Bazzaz from Mashad Iran. Prof. M.B. Rokni from Tehran was the first speaker who discussed the new challenges in indexing journals in international databases. Prof. Rokni pointed out that in the past inclusion in DOAJ used to take just three four days but now it takes almost nine months. In 2002 he forwarded ten journals cases to ISI of which nine were accepted. During the last four five years the situation has changed a lot. We have to improve our contents and get our journals indexed in one of the important databases of the world. To achieve that one has to follow the criteria they have laid down for indexing. In some journals self citation goes too far which is not advisable. Some journals try to artificially boost their Impact Factor. Our goal is to improve our visibility but we must be careful about the factious Impact Factor.  Referring to Scopus, Dr. Rokni said that if your journal is rarely cited, it is a problem. They check the journal editorial board, H. Index and if 30% of the Editorial Board Members have an H. Index of more than three, it is helpful. At least 30% of EDB members should be from overseas. It is also important to add Ethics, malpractice and scientific misconduct statement in the instructions.

Prof. Farhad Handjani discussed the ethical issues and conflict of interest as regards sources of revenue for medical journals. Some journals, he said, sell supplements to the Pharma industry to generate revenue.  Sale of reprints of published manuscripts is yet another source of revenue for some journals. Advertisements, processing and publication charges is important source of revenue. He was of the view that we must follow the WAME, ICMJE guidelines on advertising. Pippa Smart discussed the new journals model i.e. Recorded CD and Video Journals.

Prof.Major Gen. Aslam VC UHS Lahore from Pakistan talked about the attitude towards publications in electronic journals and how the decision makers in the universities look at it. His presentation was based on response received from 290 decision makers from eleven universities in the EMR who were sent a questionnaire. The questionnaire was sent to people in universities in Pakistan, Iran, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and UAE. Their findings were that at present there is significant prejudice amongst the decision makers in universities in the EMR about articles published in electronic journals. This was mainly due to the lack of knowledge about the quality indicators of electronic publications and results in un-necessary delay in decision making.

Prof. Maj. Gen. M. Aslam from Pakistan along with Elise Langdon-Neuner chaired the next session. Mary Ellen Kerans from Spain spoke about what motivates bilingual journal publishing while Elise Langdon made her presentation on “Is there a chance for eloquence in medical articles. During the discussion it was stated that we need well done research which should be well presented.  At times the authors are not in a position to convey their message; hence we have to work on the writing side as well. Dr. Behrooz Astaneh opined that not many editors will try to improve the bad English as they are too busy. Mr.Shuakat Ali Jawaid said that though at times we try to help the authors but it is not possible to read the mind of the authors as to what they wish to say and communicate. The authors should be advised to use plain simple English which the readers can easily understand.

In the next session chaired by Ahmad Said El-Morsy along with F. Sharif, Ms Karen Shashok from Spain spoke about Editors expectations for Good English.  She also highlighted the honorary work she has been doing through Author Aid in Eastern Mediterranean Region. Letters to the Editor, she opined, is post publication review. She also talked about retraction, editorial process to investigate. The journals should clearly define their policy on these issues, she added. Dr. Fatema Jawad in her presentation stated that workshops are beneficial in faculty development which was the outcome of two workshops held in Pakistan. Dr. Ahmad Said El-Morsy speaking about the art of reviewing emphasized on polite, friendly attitude. Reviewers must devote some time for the job, focus on contents and give suggestions which help the authors to improve their manuscripts.

Dr. M.B.Rokni along with Prof. Sina Aziz chaired the last session. Mr. Shaukat Ali Jawaid from Pakistan gave details of a case history related to Citation Amnesia.   In his presentation, he also suggested how to face such a situation and highlighted the fact that Editors must be fully aware of their rights as well along with their responsibilities. Giving details of the accomplishments of Author Aid in Eastern Mediterranean Region, Karen Shashok pointed out that with the help of her colleagues they edited 376 manuscripts of which 250 were published in 2014. She emphasized that we do not rewrite the manuscripts as we want authors to learn. We cannot check for plagiarism as we do not have the software. We do not check the references as we wish the authors to learn this. We have different levels of expertise, people are working in different areas of research and then there is the question of their availability. Capacity of AuthorAid in editing varies.  We provide guidance and advice on specific cases and ask the users to find their own solutions.

The conference concluded with two workshops one conducted by Prof. M.B.Rokni on How to Index your Journal in international indexing systems while the facilitators for the other workshop on Common mistakes in English were Karan Shashok.

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