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Table of Contents
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-3
Editor's importunate role towards medical journalism in 2016-way to go!

Professor, Department of Cardiac Anaesthesia, CNC, AIIMS, New Delhi, India

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Date of Web Publication31-Dec-2015

How to cite this article:
Kapoor PM. Editor's importunate role towards medical journalism in 2016-way to go!. Ann Card Anaesth 2016;19:1-3

How to cite this URL:
Kapoor PM. Editor's importunate role towards medical journalism in 2016-way to go!. Ann Card Anaesth [serial online] 2016 [cited 2020 Sep 23];19:1-3. Available from:

"Man needs his difficulties because they are necessary to enjoy success"

-APJ Abdul Kalam
"As an editor you know your heart and soul are stapled to that manuscript but what we see are the words on the paper" - all needing to be given a framework. A medical journal provides a gist of recent advances of medical science in that branch of medicine. Through its contents, it provides a status of local health needs/problems and issues; it encourages to do research; it creates a platform for dialogue and prepares future researchers, editors and academicians. These duties of a journal are given a shape by the editor. How does he perform this formidable a task?

   Salient Features of an Editor's Responsibility Top

The most daunting task is to create an informative and attractive website along with a full proof, smooth system of online submissions and their management. The next is creating a robust editorial board with faculty of more than a decade of editing experience! This is the one work of the editor, wherein friends become foes and vice versa. It is imperative at all times to keep a double blind peer review system in place. Rejected articles of other journals, being taken on your journal are not a bane - as they come after a revision of comments for rejection and undergo a double blind peer review, which accepts it. Unfortunately, though we have highend plagiarism softwares, we do not yet have one for detecting a rejected article being submitting at your journal end! Is it a boon or a bane? Only time will tell!!

As all eyes remain glued to you performances, an editor is at his wits end to maintain an ahead of print of contents; have submissions sent with revisions to the publisher on time; have hard - hitting editorials on board in their journal [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Responsibility of an Editor in a nutshell

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   Manuscript submission Top

From among the faculty and postgraduates of our association and of other related departments, the teachers of medical colleges are contacted. They submit the manuscript online as per the guidelines of the journal and the manuscripts are accepted after peer review process is complete in a double blind manner. However, the hunch here is to be aware of weak manuscript! This is the Editors prime responsibility. Very often in haste to publish, weak manuscript without a clear message, get published, adding to the costs [Figure 2].
Figure 2: Weak Manuscript woes

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An editor should be able to discern a good versus bad manuscript. The criteria of a good manuscript are shown in [Table 1].{Table 1}

   Manuscript processing Top

Editor checks the validity of methods and statistical power and send for peer review. Hundred percent of the content is peer reviewed. Original articles, case reports, letter to editors and video commentaries are scrutinized by reviewers. A database of reviewers is maintained. New reviewers are identified using PubMed. Plagiarism double check is done for all manuscripts.

   Effective Review - Best Practices Top

At least three peer reviewers are chosen for each manuscript. The technical errors in writing are discerned; a decision made with the comments in consideration are corrected; it is imperative to probe - why the topic is important and what is already known, and what still has to be answered and to check for adequacy of discussion and validity of conclusion and lastly to correct the technical errors in writing. It is important to keep the authors informed in case of delay in review process. In addition, a formidable duty as an editor is to inform the author that it may require multiple alterations before publishing.

   Problems faced by editors Top

The concept of plagiarism checking, whether in place or not is a disconcerting task. For this, it is important to ensure that the COPE guidelines are followed for authors to prevent plagiarism. The same article is submitted more than once unintentionally or sometimes intentionally. These duplicate and multiple submissions are to be crosschecked. Fundraising, difficult author's apprehension of the authorities for adopting technical softwares to make the journal more visible, indexing and indifference of some association members remain a quandary before the editor.

   Criticism, Concern, and Hope Top

"Criticism even when you try to ignore it can hurt. I have cried over many articles written about me, but I move on and I don't hold on to that" are the words of Diana Ross, a famous singer, actor, and producer. Like her, as an editor, I too believe that CRITICISM should be taken in a constructive manner. The editor is the evocative face of the journal. Vindication is vacuous to a peace-loving editor. There is HOPE as a rainbow in the form of grants of research based on local needs, hope in preparing a vision document for the development of the journal before the association with members of the editorial board; seeking governance from the World Association of Medical Editors leaders in case of a bottleneck in manuscripts and hope in a making dialog with the medical institutions to extend geographical reader base and continuously envisage to increase readership and impact factor are the new pathways available to all of us, today; timelines and discipline are the key ingredients to exalt the editor's and journal position, which if not adhered to can be a nebulous black hole to the journals demise. To write is human and to edit is divine.

Editors need to perform constant bibliometric analyses of their journals in order to pick up trends and to balance the content, as well as to cultivate relations with the reviewers and editorial board. Careful and detailed observation may warrant the development of new publishing strategies. The number of manuscripts in this journal have seen an increase in numbers. Now, a daunting task is getting them good citations!

The journal is an examination and an editor is akin to its examiner. Being in the horns of a dilemma with his responsibilities, an editor may sometimes be in the quandary and remain solitary. In the words of Socrates (469-399 BC) "The unexamined life is not worth living." Hence, the editor with his multiple responsibilities must live on with HOPE and HAPPINESS in his heart.

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony"

-Mahatma Gandhi

Correspondence Address:
Poonam Malhotra Kapoor
Professor, Department of Cardiac Anaesthesia, CNC, AIIMS, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-9784.173012

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  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]