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Importance of pubmed indexing in publication of small review articles vs publication in periodicals

theWUbear

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Jun 7, 2009
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Quick question for the academics and general EM attendings. I'm a senior resident, writing up a couple brief articles on topics I find interesting/updates in EM. I planned on publishing them in my state ACEP chapter's magazine, and something like ACEP Now or EM Resident Magazine.

My goals are
  1. I enjoy the productivity
  2. Contributing to the organizations that I have benefitted from (EMRA, etc.)
  3. Participating in the expansion of the brand of my residency program through productivity
  4. Fourth and last - for personal benefit e.g. for the CV - with a future goal of transitioning into academic EM after a few years in the community

My research director says that I don't get 'bang for my buck' by spending effort writing things for non peer reviewed publications (magazines): for the amount of time it takes to write up the piece, it should be placed in a peer reviewed journal (director suggests Cureus, which is a 21st century 'publish everything' journal) so that it gets indexed in Pubmed. Cureus does not seem reputible, and I think I'd find happiness in spreading my pieces in different formats. To get into a more standard journal, I bet these pieces would need more work than what I'm putting in -they're not comprehensive literature reviews.

What are your thoughts on publishing in non-peer-review non-pubmed-indexed magazines that have higher readership and are supported by national EM organizations vs official publications in fringe journals?
 
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gamerEMdoc

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Acgme still recognizes non-peer review publications as scholarly activity. Programs still need pubmeds, but these still count as scholarly activity for purposes of assuring that attendings are participating in scholarly activity. They are reportable to the acgme.
 
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TheComebacKid

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I'll just apologize in advance if I come off as being an academic/research snob.

If you want to be successful in academics, there is absolutely no question that peer reviewed publications are king. In terms of how strong your CV is, a lot of it also depends on the "impact factor" of the journal. Publishing 1 paper in NEJM over 2 years is associated with a much higher "impact" than publishing 20 papers in no-name journals over the same time period. Pubmed ID's are better than no pubmed ID, but again, the quality of the journal is even more important.

The FOAMed world is great for people who are interested in medical education, and for the lay ED doc who wants to stay up on the latest developments via blogs, and periodicals put out by organizational bodies such as ACEP.

In terms of your 4 goals, if you like doing blog posts, writing for periodicals (i.e. EP Monthly, ACEP Now etc), you'll check off the first 3 things you listed easily. In terms of your 4th goal, no academic department chair is going to put that much weight in what you wrote for EMRA magazine.

Furthermore, by and large, submissions like case reports, letters to the editor etc are considered very low quality academic pursuits, and they don't really say much more than "I work at an academic place and I am required to be productive so I put together a bunch of easy projects to pad my CV".

Career-wise in academics, you need to think about what "track" you are on so to speak. If you care primarily about medical education and/or being clinical faculty, "lower quality" publications will be fine (your "high quality" work will be in other arenas). You aren't there to be a powerhouse researcher, but rather teach residents and students, etc. But if you are on a research track, which is IMO more valued by a lot of big-time academic programs, it's a publish or perish type of world and your work should be peer reviewed.

My advice to you is that if you like the format of your local ACEP chapter's newsletter and similar types of publications, focus on that, and don't get caught up in the rat race of trying to publish in peer reviewed journals unless you are sure you are interested in research for the long haul. You can still get an academic job and be successful doing the stuff you are already doing.
 
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