Education for Health

: 2020  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 24--25

Reply to article “Where do medical student authors submit their work?”

Ahmed Abu-Zaid 
 College of Medicine, Alfaisal University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; College of Graduate Health Sciences, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee, United States

Correspondence Address:
Ahmed Abu-Zaid
College of Graduate Health Sciences, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee 38163

How to cite this article:
Abu-Zaid A. Reply to article “Where do medical student authors submit their work?”.Educ Health 2020;33:24-25

How to cite this URL:
Abu-Zaid A. Reply to article “Where do medical student authors submit their work?”. Educ Health [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Mar 7 ];33:24-25
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Full Text

Dear Editor,

I read the Letter by Alamri titled “where do medical student authors submit their work?”[1] and I would like to share my inputs as a medical graduate. First, I corroborate the substantial attention that Alamri[1] and De Kempeneer et al.[2] bring to the subject of medical student research and publishing. Indeed, today's medical students should be satisfactorily equipped to critically analyze research reports, synthesize new knowledge, and publish their research findings in scholarly journals.[3]

Alamri highlighted the medical student journals (MSJs) as possible avenues for the dissemination of medical student research, and specifically pinpointed the poor visibility of research work published in MSJs as a considerable limitation.[1] I second the author's viewpoint. Moreover, I articulate that the scholarly community is less likely to opt for reading research reports published in the less professional journals, i.e., the MSJs. Most importantly, I would like to append an additional warning note that should deter student–authors from publishing in MSJs, i.e., the shady quality of peer-review employed by MSJs.[4] To elaborate more, a recently published analysis of 23 MSJs revealed their relative lack in the transparency of the peer-review policies and practices, particularly in terms of the acceptance criteria and research-specific qualifications of the peer-reviewers.[4] A palpable consequence of such feeble peer-review is the propagation of below-standard, low-quality, and detrimental science. Ends do not justify means in science; therefore, medical students should not undertake any roles in contributing to such disapproved vehicles of science dissemination.[5]

I strongly believe MSJs should never be an option for medical students to publish their research work,[5] until at least the peer-review process of such journals is certainly declared to be conforming to the highest standards of peer-review. Until then, medical students should utilize the opportunities already in place offered by the professional journals in broadcasting their scholarly work. Such opportunities include the “student corners” within the mainstream journals, as pinpointed by Alamri;[1] the Education for Health is a prominent one example of such journals. Also, while almost all mainstream journals welcome research submissions from all authors, medical students should neutralize their antagonized fear of the rigorous peer-review and trial submitting their research work to these reputable journals. I encourage such submission trials, because medical students, indeed, do generate methodically sound pieces of literature that can attainably find paths—as valued publications—in the mainstream journals.

Extracurricular measures to promote valued student-authored publications in PUBMED- and MEDLINE-indexed journals are warranted. The well-crafted footsteps of the Network: Towards Unity for Health and the Student Network Organization are applauded[2], and should be followed in this regard. Being considered for inclusion for MEDLINE bibliographic database, Education for Health journal has earned an emblem of credibility in science, in terms of research content, editorial work, production, and audience. Education for Health has been always a reputable and welcoming avenue for publishing medical student research, while maintaining the known rigorous peer-review practice and scientific integrity. Other mainstream journals should follow the same and contribute to encouraging the publication of medical student research work.

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Conflicts of interest

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1Alamri Y. Where do medical student authors submit their work? Educ Health (Abingdon) 2018;31:191-2.
2De Kempeneer A, Márquez Sierra AA, Woollard RF. Comment on article “where do medical student authors submit their work?” Educ Health (Abingdon) 2018;31:193-4.
3Abu-Zaid A, Alkattan K. Integration of scientific research training into undergraduate medical education: A reminder call. Med Educ Online 2013;18:22832.
4Al-Busaidi IS, Alamri Y. Peer review policies in medical student journals. Postgrad Med J 2018;94:362-3.
5Abu-Zaid A. A graduate's perspective on medical student journals. J Postgrad Med 2019;65:169-70.