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University of Ottawa Medical Journal Workshop Feb 11, 2014 Diane Kelsall MD MEd Deputy Editor, CMAJ and Editor, CMAJ Open.

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Presentation on theme: "University of Ottawa Medical Journal Workshop Feb 11, 2014 Diane Kelsall MD MEd Deputy Editor, CMAJ and Editor, CMAJ Open."— Presentation transcript:

1 University of Ottawa Medical Journal Workshop Feb 11, 2014 Diane Kelsall MD MEd Deputy Editor, CMAJ and Editor, CMAJ Open

2 CMAJ Medical knowledge that matters

3 CMAJ Open Medical research for all

4 1.Circulation over 80,000 in print 2.Over 2.2 million unique users at annually 3.Impact factor of 6.5 4.1882 articles submitted in 2013 5.Overall 17% accept rate (5% in some sections) 5 things to know about CMAJ

5 How do we choose articles for publication? Multi-step process Implications for authors Implications for editors

6 Manuscript submission system + 1 manuscript coordinator + 2 editors + 2 peer reviewers

7  Reject most (“red flags”)  Peer review some  Revision letters for a few  Bring the best through to publication How can we do this quickly?

8 RIOT Relevant Important/Interesting (Original) True

9 We don’t want papers that will require a lot of work Editors are human…

10  Use of acceptable file formats?  All required components included? Initial evaluation by submission coordinator

11 Instructions for authors

12 Typical manuscript file

13 Cover letter Correct journal? Commissioned? Previous author correspondence? Any issues raised? Language skills? Author title and position included? First look

14 Article type Title Author list Questions: Are we interested in this topic? Is this the right article type for this topic? Are the authors right for the topic? First look

15 Custom” questions for red flags Requirements re: word count/tables/figures Competing interests Ethics approval Trial registration Patient consent First look…

16  Study type we publish?  Good research question? [RIO]  Formatted for CMAJ?  Language skills? Read the abstract (for research)

17 For research: Methods first for “T” in RIOT Use of appropriate reporting guideline Confirmation of RIO Read the article

18 For other article types: RI(O)T Use of appropriate template For all articles: Adherence to template* Writing style and language skills Look for plagiarism, misconduct Read the article

19  Authors  Topic  Clinical trials registration  Run text through for plagiarism Quick searches

20 Time to first decision?

21 5 minutes

22 All papers get a second read And some get a third…

23  Immediate intercept (about 600/1000 in research)  Send for review (about 400) Make decision

24  Reviewers do NOT make the decision  Instructions for reviewers  Select reviewers:  Subject matter experts  Methodologists  Target audience Send for review

25  Decision after review  Reject (2 editors agree; ~200 in research)  Revision/overhaul (2 editors agree)  Bring to manuscript meeting for discussion (~ 200)  Revision/overhaul/reject  70 will move forward Make decision

26  Pick the right journal  Consider more than impact factor  Decide on your audience  What is the journal looking for?  Read author instructions  Write to fit the journal requirements  Don’t think that your paper should be the exception to the rule How to maximize your chances

27  Decide what your message is.  Choose your title carefully  Use clear, understandable language  Eliminate acronyms  Edit your paper carefully  Get someone to review it for you  Don’t fuss too much with the cover letter How to maximize your chances…

28  Difficult to figure out research question  Multiple research questions  Authors seem unsure of the study type  Methods are vague or confusing  Multiple designs Common problems in research papers

29  Underpowered  Low response rate  Too much data and results not clear  Poor structure (e.g., results in discussion or conclusion)  Conclusions poorly linked to results or question  Unrepresentative Common problems in research papers II

30  The topic and article type don’t match  Author groups don’t have appropriate expertise  A similar paper recently published in journal  Authors have their own agenda  Focus is on very rare conditions  Article doesn’t conform to template  Rambling writing and disorganization Common problems in nonresearch papers

31  Submit the article according to the protocol of the journal  Include all relevant components in proper format  If you have had contact with the Editorial team, it’s ok to drop a line saying that the article is coming  It’s not ok to call/e-mail repeatedly about your paper. Submitting your article

32  Respond in a timely fashion.  Address each revision carefully.  Follow instructions for resubmission.  If you have concerns about the requested revisions, contact the appropriate person. If revisions are requested

33  Respond promptly to communications from the journal.  If leaving town for a long time, make sure you are reachable or designate someone. Let the journal know.  Be prepared to review proofs quickly (within a few days).  Be prepared for media involvement. If your paper is accepted

34  Read the letter from the journal carefully. There may be an opportunity to resubmit.  Be pleasant in your correspondence. If you have the opportunity to appeal, do so with grace.  Admit that your paper can be improved  Offer to revise in accordance with editor and reviewer comments  Clearly address the reasons for rejection If your paper is rejected

35  International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (  World Association of Medical Editors (  Council of Science Editors (  Committee on Publication Ethics (  The Equator Network (  Journal websites (including Cochrane, GRADE, AGREE) Resources

36  Electives (available at most medical journals)  Fellowships (CMAJ, BMJ, NEJM, JAMA, CFP)  Council of Science Editors courses Formal training options

37  Partner with faculty member on peer review  Submit a paper to a journal  Sign up to be a peer reviewer Informal training

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