Professionalism, Role of Editors, Regional Editors Organizations, Predatory Journals, Publishers and Indexing highlighted at WAME Conference in India


 South Asian Association of Medical Editors to become a reality

Professionalism, Role of Editors, Regional Editors
Organizations, Predatory Journals, Publishers and
Indexing highlighted at WAME Conference in India

Conference held for the first time outside USA
attracts over two hundred delegates from 22 countries

Five member PAME delegation actively
participates in scientific deliberations

From Shaukat Ali Jawaid
and Dr. Akhtar Sherin

NEW DELHI (INDIA):  World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) held its conference for the first time outside United States in India at New Delhi from October 2-4th 2015. It attracted over two hundred delegates from twenty two countries. It was organized by Indian Association of Medical Journal Editors (IAMJA) in collaboration with National Journal of India and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).  A five member delegation from Pakistan Association of Medical Editors (PAME) some of which were lucky to get the Indian Visa few hours before flight attended the meeting and actively participated in the conference deliberations.

Scientific highlights of the conference included pre-Conference Workshops on October 1st held at AIIMS, Professionalism, Role of Medical Editors, Role of Regional Association of Medical Editors and Global Health.  Some of the important issues faced in the field of Medical Journalism these days i.e. predatory journals, predatory publishers and predatory indexing services also figured in the discussion and all concerned were cautioned to be careful not to be be fooled, cheated and trapped by these  fraudulent elements, organizations and institutions.

A five member delegation of Pakistan Association of Medical Editors
participated in the WAME conference held at New Delhi India from
October 1-4th 2015. Photographed after the preconference workshops
at AIIMS from (L to R) are Dr. M. Irfan, Mr. Shaukat Ali Jawaid,
Dr. Fatema Jawad, Dr. Fouzia Gul and Dr. Akhtar Sherin.

One of the pre conference workshops was for Medical Editors and the Journal Editor’s Took Kit.  This workshop was moderated by Rod J. Rohich Editor-in-Chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and PRS Global Open from United States. The panelists for this workshop included Aaron Weinstei and Anita Jain, Ian Burgess, Duncan Mac Rae and Abraham Haileamlak. Lorraine Ferris President WAME moderated the workshop on Detecting and Responding to Research Misconduct and the moderators included Charlotte Haug, Christine Laine, Darren Taichman, and M. Irfan. Mr. Tom Lang from United States moderated the workshop on Peer Review for Editors, Reviewers and Authors and the speakers in this workshop included Trish Groves from BMJ, Ana Marusic from Croatia.

Prof. George Lundberg former Chief Editor of JAMA and one of the founding members of WAME was invited to be the Keynote Speaker in the inaugural session which was moderated by Prof. Peush Sahni the chief organizer of the conference. Prof. Lundberg dealt at length on  the tasks of a journal editor, Peer Review, evaluating the  contents of articles,  requesting for revision, training other editors, establishing journal policy, providing vision, ensuring good health of the journal. He also talked about how the Editors can ensure that they understand the important issues facing medical journal editing and research, learn about and respond to new developments. The panelists in this session which included Trish Groves, Prof. Farhad Handjani, and CharlotteHaug also discussed the key tasks of editing a journal and what developments have taken place during the last twenty years. Professionalism and the role of Medical Editors figured in the small group discussions followed by group presentations. Another small group discussion featured Research Integrity, Research Misconduct.

Robert Fletcher another founder member of WAME moderated the session dealing with conflict of interest and the panelists in this session included Christine Laine, Suzanne Fletcher, John Fletcher, Jose Florencio Lapena, Jr from Philippineswhile Rod Rohrich moderated the session on Publisher’s perspective wherein the panel of experts included Duncan Macrae, Ian Burgess, and Caroline Black.

On the second day of the conference the topics which came under discussion included Journal Administration: What works? It was moderated by Ana Marusic and the panelists included Fatema Jawad, Marcus Heinemann, and Aaron Weinstein. Rod Rohrich was the moderator and facilitator in the panel discussion on Where is Medial Publishing Going wherein Rajeev Kumar, Darren Taichman, Jocalyn Clark also contributed. This was followed by a panel discussion on Publishing in a Digital World.

Dr. Hooman Momen delivered the Keynote Address on Global Health while role of Regional Medial Editor Organizations also came up for discussion in the last session. Business meeting of WAME was held in the afternoon on October 3rd wherein membership fee structure for WAME for various regions was discussed in detail to ensure sustainability of the organization. Mr.  Rod J. Rohrich who moderated this session assured that membership fee will never be an excuse to keep people out of this organization but we do need some structure to generate funding to carry on our unfinished agenda, future programs and ensuring sustainability of the WAME in the long run.

Indian Association of Medical Journal Editors also had their meeting during the conference to discuss the recent policy statement of Medical Council of India which has said it will not recognize any online only journal. Asia Pacific Association of Medical Editors (APAME) also held its meeting and discussed it future programme.

Yet another important development during the conference was that the idea of forming the South Asian Association of Medical Editors (SAAME) was formally materialized. Discussion on forming SAAME were initiated by Prof. Major Gen. Muhammad Aslam VC University of Health Sciences and former President of PAME along with Dr. Akhtar Sherin the then President of PAME during the peer review conference held in United States last year when they met Prof. Peush Sahni and  Rakesh Aggarwal from India.  This time the delegates from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan attend this preliminary meeting. Finally it was decided to form this group SAAME but keep it like that without any office bearers. Instead it will have a central coordinator which will rotate between different countries of the region. Prof. Peush Sahni was requested to lead this group and accept the responsibilities of being the first Central Coordinator but he was reluctant saying that he was too busy and he does not want to take the blame of this group not taking off. At this Mr. Shaukat Ali Jawaid from Pakistan volunteered to take up this responsibility for a limited period to set the ball rolling. It was decided that this group will have one representative from each country which will be elected by the National Association of Medical Editors of that respective country. If no such organization exists, then one of the representatives from that country will be inducted. Afghanistan and Maldives were the only two countries from South Asia which were absent from this preliminary meeting. The main objective of this group is to help each other, share their knowledge and experience in the region to promote the art of medical writing and scientific publishing. It was further emphasized that we should not look towards the developed world all the time, we in this region have peculiar problems for which we need to find some indigenous solution. Let us help each other and utilize the talent available within South Asia. It was further stated that the national medical editors associations while selecting the country representative for this group must keep in mind that the individual elected or selected must be interested, willing, have time and was also able to spend some money of his own to travel to other countries in this region.

Participants from Pakistan to the WAME Conference included  Dr. Fatema Jawad Chief Editor of JPMA, Shaukat Ali Jawaid Chief Editor Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences,Dr. Akhtar Sherin Editor Khyber University Medical Journal and his wife Dr. Fouzia Gul, Dr. Muhammad Irfan Editor of Journal of Postgraduate Medical Institute Peshawar. Detailed reports on scientific deliberations during workshops and the conference to follow in the subsequent issues.

Prof.  Peush Sahni and his colleagues had made excellent arrangement for the workshop held at All India Institute of Medical Sciences as well as during the conference. They tried their best to look after the delegates to make their stay comfortable besides providing an interesting scientific programme which offered something to every one which made it a memorable event.

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