Students supplied all of the journal content and, with guidance from faculty, assumed all editorial leadership roles
The University of Michigan Medical School (UMMS) has launched of the Michigan Journal of Medicine (MJM), a student-led, open access journal. MJM is being published by Michigan Publishing Services, part of the University Library, in collaboration with Medical School Information Services (MSIS).
As a recognized leader in medical education and biomedical research, UMMS is committed to preparing physician scientists for leadership roles at the bedside as well as at the bench. While there are many programs that encourage students to conduct research, until now, there has been no established program that trains students to effectively evaluate and communicate the results of this research. MJM was developed to help fulfill this need, and it is now an integral part of the Medical Writing and Editing course for fourth-year (M4) medical students.
Medical students took part in the yearlong, credit-based class where they learned and experienced all aspects of medical journal publishing, from contracts and copyright to peer review to checking proofs. Students supplied all of the journal content and, with guidance from UMMS faculty, assumed all editorial leadership roles including managing peer review and making final publication decisions.
The Journal’s first editor-in-chief, Shannon Cramm (M4), and her editorial team worked to develop the workflow needed to manage manuscript submissions, handle peer review and make publishing decisions. “I was honored to be selected. This is a powerful and unique way to cultivate physician-scientists, and prepare those students who want to pursue an academic or research career,” says Cramm.
MJM was set up for success and longevity. While other institutions have attempted to launch student-run journals, the publications tend to stagnate as students graduate and succession plans are not established. As MJM was developed, it was clear that the journal needed to survive and thrive beyond the first group of student editors. With strong faculty and staff support, an active and committed Library publishing partner, and an essential role within the new Medical School curriculum, the journal will continue to grow.
“From concept to actual publication, the skills that students learn by working on this journal will be essential as they build successful careers in academic medicine. What makes this even more special is level of the cross-campus collaboration that took place between the Medical School and the University Library. It represents real teamwork,” remarks Ted Hanss, associate chief information officer for the U-M Health System.
“It has been such a great experience in academic training for our students who are on this professional journey,” notes Rajesh S. Mangrulkar, M.D., the Marguerite S. Roll Professor of Medical Education, associate dean for medical student education, and associate professor of internal medicine and learning health sciences. “We are thrilled that this will become an important part of the Branches component of our new curriculum.”
“We are very pleased to be working with our enthusiastic and talented students and look forward to future issues of MJM, under the leadership of the incoming editorial team,” says Michael J. Englesbe, M.D., associate professor of surgery and journal co-advisor.
The Journal gratefully acknowledges John C. Magee, M.D., professor of internal medicine, professor of pediatrics and communicable diseases, professor of surgery and section head of Transplant Surgery, for his support of this initiative.
MJM is partially funded by a grant from the University of Michigan’s Third Century Initiative.