Fifty years ago, as we have read (ad nauseam), the British Columbia Medical Journal was born. Fifty years ago, I was not yet born; I was not even a twinkle in my father’s eye! I arrived on the scene when the Journal was into its sixth year, so I am hardly qualified to wax poetic on its illustrious history.
Other editorials have, and will, celebrate this milestone. What I will say is that the BCMJ is the only medical journal I look forward to receiving. I most enjoy reading the editorials, letters to the editor, news, back page, articles, and front cover. I’m sure you get the message—this is my favorite journal.
So when my colleague and friend DRR (a.k.a. “Little Dave”) approached me in the hospital corridor a few months ago with “a proposition,” I was intrigued. “I need to find a replacement for myself on the Editorial Board when I take over as editor,” he said.
“Why me?” I asked him. He was polite enough to keep his inside voice quiet. (“Because nobody else that I asked said yes. Because we were desperate. Because I hate being rejected, and I knew you would not refuse.”)
“Because it is a lot of fun, and it’s not that difficult, and I think you will enjoy it,” said his outside voice.
Well, I took my time and thought about it. I thought I could manage the monthly meetings at 7:30 a.m. downtown on my day off. I could sleep in and catch the 352 bus at 6 a.m., express from south Surrey to the BCMA offices. He promised me that I would only have a few submissions to read each month.
Furthermore, he assured me that the need for me to write an actual editorial was very far into the future. I therefore accepted his proposal. Before I could change my mind, the ever-efficient production coordinator KS had sent me a package of articles to peruse, followed by e-mails containing more articles for my comment.
Not long after the canapes had cooled at the celebratory cocktail party for the BCMJ’s half century, I received e-mails from the erudite editor, DRR, and managing editor, JD, asking for an emergency editorial essay on the topic of my choice!
Well they say that time flies when you’re having fun. It feels like only last month that I accepted this position on the Editorial Board. I must say that most of what DRR told me was true. The Editorial Board meetings are fun. The other members of the Editorial Board are knowledgeable and witty. It is interesting for me to see what goes into making this journal the success that I think it is.
On the subject of time, I thought I would share this from a patient of mine. After delivering her baby, I was completing the paperwork in her room. I looked up at the clock on the wall and remarked aloud that her baby was already 15 minutes old.
“Gee,” she said. “They grow up so fast!”
Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee
of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally
accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.
About the ICMJE and citation styles
The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.
An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.
BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:
- Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
- There is no period after the journal name.
- Page numbers are not abbreviated.
For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org