Education for Health

: 2014  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 68-

Student medical journalism: The JPMS experience

Subhankar Chatterjee1, Haris Riaz2,  
1 7th Semester MBBS Student, R.G. Kar Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, India
2 Dow Univeristy of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan

Correspondence Address:
Subhankar Chatterjee
Shantiniketan, Apartment, Nabapally, Barasat, N-24 Paragans, Kolkata- 700126, West Bengal

How to cite this article:
Chatterjee S, Riaz H. Student medical journalism: The JPMS experience.Educ Health 2014;27:68-68

How to cite this URL:
Chatterjee S, Riaz H. Student medical journalism: The JPMS experience. Educ Health [serial online] 2014 [cited 2021 Oct 21 ];27:68-68
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Full Text

Dear Editor,

The article "From the editors of a student journal" [1] by Thawani et al. highlighting the necessity of student journals, threats on their survival and the personal experiences of authors being affiliated with Asian Student Medical Journal is a laudable effort. Here we are sharing our experience of being associated with Journal of Pakistan Medical Students, renamed as Journal of Pioneering Medical Sciences (JPMS) [2] to reflect pertinent issues. We disagree with the authors proposing that student journals are of lesser tier and hence do not compete with the traditional mainstream journals. Surely, as Thawani et al. states, a manuscript rejection demotivates student-authors, but this does not mean that journals of "low quality" should be launched to get these authors published. Publishing a poor quality article also sets precedence for other authors to submit rubbish manuscripts and for editors to accept them. The strength of any journal depends on the rigor of peer review. To maintain a high standard within student journals, senior editors well versed with journal publication should review the work of junior editors. This serves two purposes: It provides a learning platform for the junior editors and maintains journal quality.

Although the editorial board of JPMS is headed by two students and most of its editors are students, every article is reviewed by a specialist researcher from the relevant field. [3] From its beginning, JPMS has not struggled in getting strong manuscripts from the international medical community, including faculty, even with the tag "student" in its name. In fact, JPMS rejects most of its submitted manuscripts-78% in 2012-which happens whenever the editors find that a manuscript is not likely to add anything new to its field. The impact of the JPMS is reflected by the number of its citations by articles in other journals. [4]

Students from developing countries pursue research not only because of their interest in research but also to increase their chances of acquiring a residency in the USA and UK. While this trend of pursuing research activities to boost one's curriculum vitae is healthy and offers scholarly stimulation to students, it can create problems too. Some students become editors of student journals solely to enhance their resumes. In this case, the student-editors can lose commitment to their role once they have met their objective. This in part explains why many student journals have already closed their operations and some appear to be on the verge of collapse. Being in the field of medical publication for more than three years, we have come across many such student journals that started with good intent but became defunct due to issues with their editors. The solution is to plan up-front for a constant in and out-flow of editorial board members by continually recruiting and training junior students so that they can receive the baton of leadership when seniors move on in their careers. JPMS has maintained this policy since its inception.


1Thawani R, Kaur G, Chatterjee P, Biswas T. From the editors of a student journal. Educ Health 2013;26:115-6.
2Qayyum R, Riaz H, Rehman A, Ahmed B, Tahir F, Kazi AN. Towards a global appeal: JPMS to revamp title. J Pioneer Med Sci 2013;3:159.
3Riaz H, Rehman A. Inception of Journal of Pakistan Medical Students (JPMS): From a Dream to Reality. J Pak Med Stud 2010;1:1-2.
4JPMS Achieves Unofficial Impact Factor (IF) of 1.00. JPMS blog, December 30, 2012. Available from: [Last accessed on 2013 Nov 03].