Monday, September 01, 2008

Where to publish?

One of my consultants used to tell me, if I have an article to publish, I better choose the most appropriate scientific journal to publish. This is because, if I have a very good article, I should publish it in the international journals that are well-read by many people in the world.

Unfortunately, the well-read and renowned journals all require subscription, which could be quite expensive. It is also most frustrating when one searches the PubMed for related articles, most of time, we can only get the abstract. Many articles require subscription or need to be purchased for a price.

I strongly believe that medical education should be shared and easily accessed freely. It therefore makes more sense that if I have an interesting case or study to publish, I would want it be made available to all people to read.

Advance in internet and information technology has made information especially medical related researches be obtained within seconds with the click of the mouse. We therefore see thousand of articles been uploaded every minute.

With the concept of 'free access' in mind, many authorities have turned their publications into 'open access', which could be read freely by anybody who has internet connection.

I feel, this concept should be the objective in mind when we want to disseminate information.

Talking about free access, let us see what our neighboring countries have adopted when come to publishing their researches or scientific reports in medical journal. The Singapore Medical Journal and Journal of The Medical Association of Thailand are available freely online and are downloadable in PDF format.

I am rather disappointed that in the era of global competitiveness, our own Malaysian Medical Journal is only circulated among members, while the online version is only available in the abstract form.

Another point to note, while the Singapore Medical Journal and Journal of The Association of Thailand are publishing their journals monthly, our Malaysian Medical Journal is still making its appearance quarterly. What more disturbing is, I usually receive my copy after few months by postage.

No wonder, we are loosing many of our good writings to the foreign journals.

Take a look at the latest publication of Singapore Medical Journal (August 2008). Our own Dr. Ong HT from Penang has a good review article on "Cardiovascular outcomes in the comparative hypertensive drug trials: more consensus than controversy".

I wonder, in Bolehland everything is 'boleh', but why Malaysian Medical Journal 'tak boleh'?

Therefore, if you have a good article to publish, which journal would you choose to publish?

For me, I would go for those with 'open access'.

Here are the LIST of open access journals from BioMed Central (BMC).

Good place to publish your case reports:
Cases Journal.
Journal of Medical Case Reports.

1 comment:

vagus said...

last i checked the msian medical journal does not accept electronic submissions (but this was 2 years ago). this is probably a big factor- i mean, in a globalized world, how can one expect a medical journal to take only paper submissions?
also, things to consider- the impact factor of the journal of interest. start with a higher IF journal, and if rejected work your ways down. "aim high".
good luck!