Fifty years of Journal of Postgraduate Medicine: A journey in time
NJ Gogtay, L Rajgopal, Sandeep B Bavdekar, S Mehta, VS Salvi, A Goel
Journal of Postgraduate Medicine, Seth G. S. Medical College and K. E. M. Hospital, Parel, Mumbai - 400012, India
Sandeep B Bavdekar
Journal of Postgraduate Medicine, Seth G. S. Medical College and K. E. M. Hospital, Parel, Mumbai - 400012
|How to cite this article:|
Gogtay N J, Rajgopal L, Bavdekar SB, Mehta S, Salvi V S, Goel A. Fifty years of Journal of Postgraduate Medicine: A journey in time.J Postgrad Med 2004;50:164-166
|How to cite this URL:|
Gogtay N J, Rajgopal L, Bavdekar SB, Mehta S, Salvi V S, Goel A. Fifty years of Journal of Postgraduate Medicine: A journey in time. J Postgrad Med [serial online] 2004 [cited 2022 May 22 ];50:164-166
Available from: https://www.jpgmonline.com/text.asp?2004/50/3/164/12566
The Journal of Postgraduate Medicine (JPGM) completes 50 years of its existence in 2004. Fifty years is a long period for any journal and this communication intends to trace this eventful journey.
Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas Medical College and King Edward VII Memorial (KEM) Hospital were established in the year 1926 and in a short span of two decades the twin institutions had created a reputation not only for offering selfless and quality medical service but also for excellence in teaching, research and medical writing. The staff and faculty of the institutions met regularly to discuss their research proposals and findings. These were published in a periodical booklet brought out as Proceedings of the Staff Society. At that time, an idea was mooted to publish an in-house journal so that research work done at the institutions could be disseminated and shared with a wider audience.
The journal itself was truly the brainchild of Dr RG Dhayagude, who served as the Dean of the twin institutions from 1945. An academician par excellence, he was not only instrumental in giving the journal its name, but was also responsible for ensuring that the idea did not remain just a concept but actually came into existence. The institutions celebrated their silver jubilee in 1951. Dr Dhayagude helped raise enough money so that a Research Society could be established, which could in turn support publishing a quarterly journal. It was, however, unfortunate that Dr Dhayagude, the person who had the vision of an Indian medical college publishing a quality journal, who planned for it and garnered funds for the purpose, was not there to see his dream come true. He died in 1954 and the very first issue of the Journal of Postgraduate Medicine was fittingly dedicated to his memory.
The Early Years
The first issue of the journal was published in the year 1955 with Dr NM Purandare, Professor of Pathology, as its Editor. A lot of thought must have gone into the planning of the first issue. It consisted of original research papers, case reports and reviews. Documentation and illustrations were considered of vital importance. A detailed account of extended abdomino-vaginal hysterectomy that carried 48 good quality black and white photographs depicting the various steps of the surgical procedure was published in the first volume. It is noteworthy that the subject index and author index were published right from the first volume making referencing easier.
Dissemination of the findings of research carried out in the institutions may have been one of the objectives behind bringing out the journal. However, it was never the journal's policy to exclude other medical writers from the process. Hence, although a majority of articles published in the first few volumes were written by the researchers and staff working in the twin institutions, the doors were open for researchers from other institutions as well. The journal could be credited with another thoughtful feat. Of late, many journals have started the practice of publishing the date of receipt of manuscript to provide an idea to readers about the time lag between submission of manuscript and its ultimate publication. It is noteworthy that this practice, which makes the editing process transparent, was started by the journal within the first few years itself.
The Patrons, Benefactors and Supporters
The Journal was fortunate to receive the backing of various Trusts established in K. E. M. Hospital. The Research Society, Staff Society, Diamond Jubilee Society Trust (DJST) and the Department Development Fund have over the years provided support to the Journal in times of financial need. The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai also provided grant in aid for several years. The successive Deans of the Seth G. S. Medical College and K. E. M. Hospital have always taken keen interest in the journal's working and have been associated with the journal in various capacities. They have been instrumental in getting logistic and financial support for the journal but have kept themselves steadfastly away from interfering with the editorial policies and editorial decisions and have thereby inculcated and fostered a culture of editorial freedom. The faculty and staff members of the twin institutions, the journal's subscribers and contributors provided constant support, too. The Staff Society and its executive committee and secretaries have always lent their whole-hearted support to the journal. We take this opportunity to thank all of them. Being a non-speciality journal that wasn't owned by a professional body acted as a hindrance in resource-generation and hence the journal always had only a handful of advertisers, at best. Their contribution is also gratefully acknowledged. It should, however, be mentioned that this has not deterred the successive editorial boards to continue to strive for enhancing the quality of the journal in terms of content as well as layout. The list of Editors, Associate Editors, Assistant Editors, Managing Editors, Secretary and Consulting Editors who have served the journal in its first 50 years is provided in [Table:1].
The Challenging Period and Resurgence
In the 1990s, the journal faced tremendous financial difficulties that created obstacles in timely publication even though the journal continued to receive manuscripts from contributors. With the very existence of the journal getting threatened, the staff members, the Staff Society and the editorial board took up the challenge to resurrect the journal. With a view to providing resources, the staff members volunteered to increase their subscription and the more resourceful amongst them brought in advertisers to shore up the income. DK Sahu, a qualified pediatrician and an alumnus of the Seth G. S. Medical College, took over the responsibility as Managing Editor of the Journal and helped transform JPGM from an ailing periodical to a robust journal. In addition to providing financial insulation, he assisted the journal through offering his expertise in the field of publishing and editing. His efforts ensured that the resurrected journal was indexed with more international indexing agencies than ever before (increasing its visibility) and it had its automated manuscript management system in place (facilitating manuscript submission and handling) much before many other reputed journals. He also helped construct and later renovate the journal's much appreciated website.
The efforts of successive editorial teams ensured that the past glory was restored and even enhanced. Today, the journal has more sections in place adding variety to the scientific feast. The novel and innovative sections include E-medicine, Ethics Forum, Education Forum, Looking Back, Images in Pathology, Medicine and Radiology and a section discussing "Grand Round Case". The journal is now indexed with over 30 different bibliographic databases and indexes. The journal now represents a true international publication receiving contributions not only from India but also from neighbouring Asian countries, Iran and Turkey as well as from countries like the USA, UK and Australia. Over 1500 referees drawn from various countries help the journal maintain its standards. The journal is now printed on an acid-free paper making it more resistant to wear and tear.
Being the first journal published from India that had an automated manuscript management system in place is a matter of pride for those associated with the journal. It is not just a matter of showcasing a technological advance it represents the journal's obligation to ensure convenience and cost-saving for its contributors and referees and the journal's commitment to transparency and accountability in its editorial processes. Some of the salient features and achievements are listed in [Table:2]. Allowing readers the world over free access to the treasures of medical writings contributed over the past 24 years has been one of the greatest achievements of the journal. The journal has enunciated this policy of "Open Access" and adhered to it even while facing great financial difficulties that threatened the very existence of the journal. It has constantly avoided enticing propositions that promised to deliver badly needed resources even when more resourceful publishing houses and journals were indulging in restrictive practices. The journal has been able to stand firm as it views itself as a part of the glorious tradition of selfless service rendered by the Seth G. S. Medical College and K. E. M. Hospital.
"They conquer who believe they can"-John Dryden
A society-run multi-speciality journal celebrating its golden jubilee is no mean achievement. But an even tougher task would be for the journal to march ahead towards its centenary. If the keen interest shown by the staff members, fortitude shown by the Staff Society and the growth of the journal in the past few years are any indication, the journal is sure to cross a few more milestones in its quest to become a centenarian. We at JPGM believe that the journal can make a difference to the world of medical writing and peg the ethical and academic standards of medical publishing at a higher level. The journal intends to make its contribution to the "Open access" movement, as it believes that technology should facilitate the dissemination of information and knowledge and not hinder it and that paucity of resources should not come in the way of accessing information that is likely to lead to better healthcare and better life.
|1||Deshpande CK. A Quarter Century of Publication. J Postgrad Med 1980; 26:1.|
|2||Cooper RN. Late Dr. R. G. Dhayagude. "In Memorium". J Postgrad Med 1955;1:1-3.|
|3||Purandare NM. Editorial. J Postgrad Med 1980; 26:2-3.|
|4||Purandare BN. Extended abdomino-vaginal hysterectomy. J Postgrad Med 1956; 1:70-78.|
|5||Bavdekar SB. Taking Stock and Looking Ahead. J Postgrad Med 2004; 50:3-4.|