The IAMJE aims to promote cooperation among editors of Indian medical journals. The text below is a write up on the history of IAMJE by Late Prof. S.R. Naik, one of the founders of the Association.
Indian Association of Medical Journal Editors
(How it was born and how it has grown)
It was sometime in 1990 that some of us like Drs Samiran Nundy, Mahendra Bhandari and I thought of the concept of bringing together those interested in the field of biomedical journalology. The purpose was to standardize journal publishing and improving these standards in India. Following several sessions of my personal discussions with interested persons including Dr G V Satyavathy, the editor-in-chief of the Indian Journal of Medical Research, we finally had an open meeting of about sixty interested members in Lucknow in March 1991. The members entrusted the job of drafting the constitution and byelaws to Dr Mahendra Bhandari and me. Dr Vinay Kapoor helped us in the task. We sent a letter to the editors of all the Indian journals requesting their views and suggestions for drafting the constitution. Many editors welcomed the idea and pledged support, but no concrete suggestions were made. There was an objection from Calcutta that the idea for a similar association was already mooted there in 1988. Since there was no concrete action visible there, we decided to go ahead with our plans. Subsequently, drafted the constitution and byelaws and circulated to all the editors. One bone of contention was whether to open it to individual members or to the journals. Our constitution opted for the second option, with the provisio that all the editorial board members of the journal will be entitled to membership. The response to the circular was enthusiastic and about thirty editors wished to be founder members and promised to nominate members of their editorial board to be the ordinary members of the Association. Eventually the draft was modified to incorporate different suggestions. It was decided to limit the scope of the Association to medical journals, whose problems were considered somewhat different from other biomedical journals. Thus the Indian Association of Medical Journal Editors (IAMJE) was born. The first meeting after the formation of the Association could only be held in March 1994 in Lucknow.
Each annual meeting held thereafter has been accompanied with workshops in the field of communication, an activity that has been quite popular in the country. Regrettably, the main objectives of the Association, those of providing a wide forum for discussion among medical journal editors to identify and solve their common problems and of improving standards of journal publishing have not succeeded. The reasons for these are multiple and need to be discussed by the members if the Association wishes to derive satisfaction from the efforts put in so far and take pride in its existence.
Let me hope more concrete action from the younger members.
S R Naik