Regional Associations of Medical Journal Editors: Moving from Rhetoric to Reality

By Habibzadeh, Farrokh | Bulletin of the World Health Organization, June 2005 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Regional Associations of Medical Journal Editors: Moving from Rhetoric to Reality


Habibzadeh, Farrokh, Bulletin of the World Health Organization


In the era of evidence-based policy and practice, the importance of using research for decision-making in health systems has been increasingly recognized (W1). Numerous strategies to take research knowledge into action and policy (i.e. "knowledge translation") are sought (W2). These strategies are of particular importance for developing countries, where health research can bring tangible benefits to the health status of their people.

Researchers, practitioners and policy-makers in developing countries are faced with situations very different from those encountered by practitioners in industrialized countries. The so-called 10/90 gap includes lack of access to information and lack of investment in research. The concept of evidence-based decision-making has contributed to gains, but it has also decontextualized knowledge: often we need answers to our local problems, and the existing evidence established at the global level may not be exactly what is needed to solve them. It is essential, therefore, for developing countries to conduct research on their own problems and to be able to make use of the global knowledge in the local context. This in turn necessitates the publication of their own biomedical journals.

Journals--either traditional paper ones or in electronic form--are one of the major media for dissemination of information. Editors need specific skills to acknowledge their readers' needs, be familiar with publication practices, and exercise editorship. Many editors of biomedical journals published in developing countries, however, do not have any formal training for their craft and may do their job out of interest or simply because they have been assigned to the position. Almost all of them find their way through trial and error among the various pushes and pulls to which their information products are subjected.

To help editors in need of a forum or network for exchange of ideas, several associations have been established. They have all provided valuable services in educating medical journal editors, but none was solely directed to the problems facing editors of small journals, which are completely different from those dealt with by editors of mainstream journals (3). While the mainstream journals primarily have problems with authorship vs contributorship, conflict of interests, or ethical issues in conducting research and publication, editors of small medical journals have more fundamental problems including lack of an infrastructure for running a journal, insufficient funding, lack of expertise in desktop publishing, low visibility, and problems with absorbing high-quality research articles. Editors in developing countries reasonably require their own specific training courses and associations responsible for catering to their different needs.

In 2003, a group of editors of biomedical journals published in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region met at a conference held in Cairo, Egypt, to assess the status of medical research and journals in the region (3). One outcome was the recognition that editors working in other countries in the region, regardless of the social, cultural, political and economic status of their countries, face similar problems--to which they once had to find solutions through trial and error.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Regional Associations of Medical Journal Editors: Moving from Rhetoric to Reality
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?