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Bahrain Medical Bulletin - Survival Issues

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  • 1. Bahrain Medical Bulletin - Survival Issues
    • Jaffar M Al Bareeq
    • Chief Editor,
    • Bahrain Medical Bulletin
    • Fayek A. Al Hilli
    • Assistant Chief Editor,
    • Bahrain Medical Bulletin
  • 2. The single greatest aim of writing is
    • “ The spoken word is often buried with one’s bones – it is the written word that lives long after.
    • Shakespeare
  • 3. BMB Editors’ Aims
    • The BMB editors' aims are to maintain reasonable quality and standard, provide a podium for local publishable work, and attempts to gain entrance into the international network.
  • 4. Bahrain Medical Bulletin (BMB) was established in 1979. BMB is a local journal, published by an independent board.
  • 5.
    • BMB is edited by a group of voluntary dedicated physicians who have received their postgraduate medical training and qualifications in Europe and North America .
  • 6.
    • Through the efforts of these editors, BMB became the second medical journal - after Kuwait - to be published in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries.
  • 7. Petro-dollars
    • Those scientists/physicians, at the time of their postgraduate training, were under the impression that part of the petro-dollars will be channeled to research in science and medicine. Sooner than later, they discovered that they were marginalized with other intellectuals.
  • 8. Petro-dollar period
    • Many uneducated, incompetent and greedy became the advisors in every aspect including medicine.
  • 9.
    • BMB publishes four issues per year, it is currently indexed in:
    • 1.WHO Index Medicus for Eastern Mediterranean Region (IMEMR).
    • 2. Extramed of UK.
    • 3. International Serial Data System of France.
    • 4. Recognized and accredited by a number of regional and overseas universities.
  • 10.
    • BMB conducts a workshop twice a year on scientific writing, editing and research.
    • Conducts yearly seminar debate on a community related subject of national interest.
  • 11.
    • BMB has its own Research Advisory Panel to help researchers plan their study and obtain funds for their work.
  • 12. International Corporation of Research Editing and design (ICRED) P O Box 30880
    • Objectives 1. The corporation performs research in all fields of medicine including medico-legal cases. 2. It provides research service for science researchers and writers. 3.Works with researcher to develop specific aim for his research study. 4. Design research protocol 5. Edits research at all stages. Helps the researcher to prepare preliminary results. 6. Publishes research studies in medical/science journals and books.
  • 13. International Corporation of Research Editing and design (ICRED) P O Box 30880
    • 7. Helps the researchers through grant applications and approval. 8. Helps the researcher to prepare research budget. 9. Helps researcher to describe the resources, facilities, and support available. 10. Helps the formation of National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects and vertebrate animals in Biomedical and Behavioral Research. 11. Helps researcher adhere and abide by ethical principles and guidelines for the protection of human subjects of research. Scientific research has produced substantial health benefits. It has also produced some troubling ethical problems. The public is concerned about the abuses of human subjects and animals in biomedical research. To avoid such abuses we will work closely with the researcher to adhere to the basic principles of ethics in research, which are specified in the corporation manual.
  • 14.
    • For over 20 years, BMB is a member of European Association of Science Editors (EASE) and International Federation of Science Editors (IFSE).
  • 15.
    • BMB participated in the formation of Middle East Association of Science Editors (MEASE).
    • The President of MEASE is the assistant chief editor of BMB, Dr. F Hilli.
  • 16. Dedication and Independence
    • Over the last 25 years, the Bulletin had faced many obstacles that threaten its survival.
    • The Bulletin survived because of dedication, neutrality and independence of all local influences in order to maintain scientific and ethical publication.
  • 17. Survival Against Five Odds
    • 1. Editors.
    • 2. Reviewers.
    • 3. Finance.
    • 4. Conspiracy.
    • 5. Local recognition.
  • 18. 1.The Editors I
    • No payment or remuneration.
    • Their positions as editors are not considered in their job promotion or recognized by the local academic and service institutions.
  • 19. 1.The Editors II
    • They frequently shoulder other time-consuming duties such as proofreading, office management, advertisement, etc.
    • Actually, the editors are persecuted for their intellectual work. They are considered to be "wasting time".
  • 20.
    • The editors' crime is being creative and productive in a society based on loyalty.
    • Non-professionals who praise the system daily are recognized, and are rewarded lavishly, while medical editors never been recognized.
  • 21.
    • It is safe to say that “science is not on the agenda.”
    • Despite all the frustrations, some of the editors continued and never gave up.
  • 22. Adult learning
    • For many adults, facing the fact they ‘don’t know’ is disturbing. As result they tend to avoid such situations.
    • If you only stay safely in areas that are completely known to you, and always avoid those that are not, what will you ever learn? Nothing!
  • 23. 2. Reviewers I
    • All our reviewers are consultants and professors in their field of medicine.
    • Many of them have poor English. Therefore, their reviews are worthless.
    • Some delegate the assigned paper to their juniors.
    • Some lack the basic skills of reviewing.
    • Few are capable and dependable.
  • 24. 2. Reviewers II
    • 75% are not able to check the reference sequence and the relevance of the reference to the subject.
    • No clue how to check the references in any international database index or online search.
    • Reviewers' bias is unlimited.
  • 25. 2. Reviewers III
    • To avoid all the mishaps, each paper is assessed by three independent reviewers and a fourth from our board of editors and the chief editor reviewing them all.
    • For further scrutiny, we had engaged the late Professor Bill Whimster of King's College Hospital, London to review all the papers that received unsatisfactory reviews.
  • 26. Editorial Team Author  Chief editor  Other editors and reviewers  Technical editors, responsible for fonts and layout  Printer  Proof editor + Chief Editor  Publication
  • 27. 3. Finances
    • Eight times we have been evicted from the office donated to us because we cannot afford renting our own.
    • The main income is from the annual grants given by three government organizations, it hardly covers our annual expenses.
    • Negligible income from advertisements.
    • The international pharmaceutical organizations complain that their research funds are depleted in other countries. Unqualified people, to whom research means nothing more than waste of time and money, own most of the pharmaceutical agencies in our area.
  • 28.
    • A major dilemma of local journals such as the BMB is the lack of financial support, thus, restricting their development and circulation.
  • 29. Conspiracy
    • An approval of financial remuneration for the editors of BMB by the cabinet as “medical journalists” was blocked by one minister
    • Another tried unsuccessfully to award the Bulletin to a local medical society.
    • The third refused to provide BMB with a temporary refuge at times of office eviction.
  • 30. Local Recognition
    • The BMB is recognized publication locally and internationally, but the editors have been denied recognition locally by our own academic and service institutions.
  • 31. Local Journal Reflection
    • Few research studies are done locally due to lack of research budget and grants. Most of the research done in this region is a personal endeavor rather than institutional.
    • The availability of local journals of diverse specialties in any country would also mean a growing and active interest in research.
  • 32.
    • The progress of science in any country is measured by the number and quality of published works, reflecting the degree of activity and interest in research carried out in the country.
  • 33. What to Do?
    • How could an intellectual endeavor to survive in such surroundings and by what means?
    • How can we overcome such obstacles and survive the future hurdles that may be encountered?
  • 34. Sad A study of the number of MEDLINE-indexed publications in the Arab countries indicated that these countries produce less than 1% of the biomedical citations in the world and less than what is produced by Israel.
  • 35. Concluding with Somewhat Happy Note
    • The BDF hospital had agreed to resume, in 2005, its subsidy after a stoppage of two years. The ministry of information threatened to stop its subsidy, but the new minister agreed to resume it.
    • Amid all the frustration and bad news, a magic moment is revealed by the appointment of the new minister of health and because of her understanding of the importance of medical research and publications agreed to double the BMB subsidy.
  • 36. More Optimistic Note
    • The new Young King is very much interested in promoting research.
    • When he was the crown prince he was the head of the research center in Bahrain.
  • 37. Thank You