off record
Shaukat Ali Jawaid


Peanuts will be picked
up only by Monkeys
and not Lions



Pakistan Association of Medical Editors (PAME) in collaboration with Eastern Mediterranean Association of Medical Editors (EMAME) organized a training course for Editors on Medical Journal Publishing at Khyber Medical University Peshawar on Sunday September 16th 2012. During this interactive session, lot of discussion took place on various issues including Peer Review system and non-availability of good reviewers.

One of the participants opined that the journals should pay some honorarium to the Reviewers while others felt that it was not feasible since most of the medical journals were faced with financial constraints and publication of a good quality peer reviewed biomedical journal is not yet economically feasible in Pakistan for various reasons including least support from the pharmaceutical industry. Only those journals which are owned by some institutions that have no financial problems or government institutions can afford to pay the reviewers. When the gentleman who had suggested payment of some honorarium to the reviewers insisted that it can be even peanuts, Prof. Shad Mohammad remarked that “peanuts will be picked up only by the Monkeys and not Lions”. Those who work for money for such academic activity won’t be competent and intelligent enough to do a good job. In academics, Prof. Shad said, money matters least.
There is no denying the fact that to be on the reviewers database of good peer reviewed biomedical journal itself is an honour which cannot be equated with any monetary gains. It is a privilege which only those who know the importance of scientific publishing can realize and appreciate. However, it is important for the journal editors to retain the good reviewers. This can be accomplished through different ways, i.e. recognition, acknowledgement by publishing their names in each issue or at the end of the year, subsidy in publication charges for their own submissions, waiver of processing fees for the manuscripts they or their colleagues submit to the journal, sending a letter of thanks at the end of the year, providing the reviewers some reading material which is helpful for their continuous professional development, sharing with them the comments of other reviewers, providing them feed back on the manuscripts they had reviewed, providing them printed copy of the journal on complimentary basis. The journals can also identify the distinguished reviewers by presenting them some mementoes and above all some of these good reviewers can also be invited to join the Advisory Board or Editorial Board of the Journal. All these things are much more valuable than any financial incentives. Even otherwise, a time comes when in the life of a professional; money is no more a motivating factor. On the contrary it is respect, recognition, appreciation and the professional satisfaction of having contributed something which keeps them going. Of course, there are and will always remain few exceptions.{jcomments on}

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