Researchers and editors were at the Taal Vista Hotel, Tagaytay City last January 23-24, 2014 for the 5th National Medical Writing and Peer Review Workshop.
The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (PCHRD-DOST) in cooperation with the Health Research and Development Consortium Region IV-A (HRDCR IV-A) and the Philippine Association of Medical Journal Editors (PAMJE) conducted the workshop to help and guide health researchers in writing articles for medical journals. It was attended by 44 researchers from Region IV-A and Department of Health (DOH) and 11 editors of different associations, colleges and institutions in the Philippines.
The workshop included lectures by Professor Dr. Wilfred CG Peh, Executive Vice-President of Asia Pacific Association of Medical Journal Editors (APAME) and President of Singapore Association of Medical Journal Editors (SAMJE), Professor Dr. Jose Florencio Fabella Lapeña, Jr., Secretary-General of APAME, President of PAMJE and Editor-in-Chief of the Philippine Journal of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery and Professor Dr. Cecilia C. Maramba – Lazarte, Member of APAME and PAMJE and Editor-in-chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society of the Philippines Journal.
“We want to have research articles that are worthy for publication and peer reviewed journals… and that’s actually our goal for 2 days so that you will learn exactly from the experts how to write papers and articles.” said Dr. Melchor Victor G. Frias, IV, Convenor of HRDCR IV-A when he formally opened the event.
At the start of the session, Dr. Lapeṅa said that while “doing” the research is important, “writing” about why and how it was done, what was found, and what it means is far more important as it serves as a permanent record of scientific work that has been completed and accepted by peers. In short, research, no matter how good, is incomplete, until it has been published.* If it is not written, it is not done, he further added.
In the workshop, participants were also taught of the structure of a scientific paper, the individual components of the paper and how to prepare a manuscript. Dr. Lazarte also stressed the need to seek the advice of a biostatistician before beginning the research instead of waiting until the results have been obtained.
Discussed also during the workshop were the role of editors and peer reviewers and how the manuscript is processed. As Dr. Peh mentioned in one of his lectures it is important to construct the manuscript accordingly in order to maximize the material and enhance the chances of acceptance.
Aside from the lectures, participants also had the opportunity to join small group exercises on the various components of a scientific paper under the guidance of workshop facilitators.
During the closing ceremony Ms. Merlita M. Opeña, Chief of the PCHRD-DOST Research Information Communication and Utilization Division (RICUD), stressed, “To be productive, we have to work with one another, help each other and reinforce each other. We wish that we continue working together, so that collectively we have more output”.
*Peh WCG, Ng KH. Effective medical writing (Pointers to getting your article published): Why Write?. Singapore Med J 2008; 49(6):443