Medical Experts attending the 2nd National Conference, held recently on – “Challenges and Opportunities in Scientific Publishing” held extensive discussions to reach the conclusion that; A dire need exists for improving the; networking, understanding and learning for medical editors and reviewers in Pakistan. This will ensure standardization of research and quality of publications.
Pakistan Association of Medical Editors (PAME) organized this conference, held in collaboration with the Eastern Mediterranean Association of Medical Editors (EMAME) and the Health Research Advisory Board.
The inaugural session was addressed by the former Principal of King Edward Medical College – Professor Khwaja Sadiq Hussain, who stressed the need for the inclusion of subjects like; Medical Editing and Research Methodology in the undergraduate Medical curriculum. He also suggested the offering of training courses and seminars for the authors, reviewers and editors. He commented that; Medical Journalism needs close coordination and teamwork between editors, writers, reviewers and referees. The medical editors carry the responsibility to protect the integrity of scientific records, by utilizing their knowledge, fairness and objectivity.
A member of the Board of Governors at University of Health Sciences (UHS) in Lahore – Justice Retd. Amer Raza Khan stated that; a high level of ethics drives medical practice and the Government is making extensive efforts to standardize health care delivery services.
The Vice Chancellor of UHS – Major General (Retd.) Prof. Mohammad Aslam suggested the conceptualization of South Asian Association of Medical Editors (SAAME), which could be a forum for training medical editors in Pakistan and India. The idea has already been discussed between experts in India and Pakistan.
The conference was designed to promote collaboration and exchange between authors, researchers, librarians and publishers of medical journals. It will help in enhancing the quality of scholarly publications covering the advancements in medicine and health sciences. The first Journal launched by the UHS – “Biomedica” was also unveiled during the conference.
The speakers at the conference included the Secretary General of EMAME – Shaukat Ali Jawaid, the President of EMAME – Dr. Maqbool H. Jafary and the President of PAME – Dr. Akhter Sherin. The experts stated that; Different publishers in Pakistan are currently rolling out 68 Bio-medical journals, while the number of journals being published in Iran exceed 315, and the number of such publications in Egypt is 130. Among the 68 journals published in Pakistan, only three publications are globally acclaimed as prestigious evaluation tools.
It was stated that; Better representation of national and regional journal in the International Indexing Services is critical for encouraging this sector. The conference also included special sessions on quality publications, the rights and responsibilities of authors and publishers and medical journalism. Topics like; Conflict resolution, indexing issues and Open Access Policy were also discussed.
The conference featured internationally renowned guest speakers like; Dr. Behrooz Astaneh – Editor of Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences from the University of Medical Sciences in Shiraz, Iran and Mr. M.B. Rokni – Editor of Iranian Journal of Public Health and Iranian Journal of Parasitology, published by the Tehran University of Health Sciences.