By David Kerr, MD, DSc
Journal of Global Oncology Editor in Chief
Journal of Global Oncology (JGO) launched earlier this year, with the mission of providing a peer-review platform for authors to publish research on the array of challenges that low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) face in conducting research and caring for patients with cancer. We will give voice to that small band of oncologists who practice in resource-limited countries, and through this bring attention to bear on this growing burden of disease.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines peer review as follows: a judgement on a piece of scientific or other professional work by others working in the same area. This is an arena characterized by duty, collectivism, and increasing transparency, but rarely by training. Peer reviewers are assumed to appear fully formed, like Athena springing from Zeus’ forehead, and usually they are not required to undergo any sort of orientation. We aim to change that, in our small way, by creating the JGO Editorial Fellowship.
Participants in this program will have the opportunity to shadow the JGO Associate Editors and get a “behind the scenes” look at just what happens to a paper once it is submitted to a journal. This will include the opportunity to review papers as they come in and learn to recognize the characteristics not only of a well-written paper, but of well-conducted research. The program will give fellows experience that will enhance their own research career in oncology and in scientific publishing, and will develop skills necessary to eventually contribute to the journal as an Associate Editor or Editorial Board member in the future.
Through interaction with current editors and editorial board members, fellows will learn the roles of an editor, reviewer, and/or publisher to gain a broad understanding of the overall scientific publishing process. Ultimately, participants will be expected to take what they learn through the program and make a presentation to local colleagues, thereby spreading what they have learned, and hopefully increasing author capacity in their home country. Fellows who complete the program successfully will pass on their new knowledge to develop skills of others, thereby improving the quality of research and manuscripts produced from LMICs.
The application period for this fellowship is now open, and applications will be welcomed until December 15, 2015. Interested participants can find more information and the application online. Questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to the launch of this program because it will leverage the power of ASCO, and amplify the reach of JGO by training a discipular cohort of young oncologists with insight into the rigorous processes involved in publishing in high-quality journals, who can then guide colleagues in their home nations. We will enter the pyramid education business!
Professor Kerr is a Professor of Cancer Medicine at the University of Oxford, an Honorary Consultant Medical Oncologist at Oxford University Hospitals Trust, and an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. He is a Past President of the European Society of Medical Oncology and Co-Founder of the Africa Oxford Cancer Foundation.