Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Some of the better known medical journals are:
- The New England Journal of Medicine
- The Lancet
- JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association)
- BMJ (British Medical Journal)
Medicine vs. Health
Within the fields of research there is an ongoing cultural disagreement regarding the terms "medicine" and "health". "Medical journals" appear to privilege research by and for medical doctors. "Health journals" focus less on a single profession, and more on providing health care to clients and populations. As physicians have moved toward a less-dominant element of the health care systems their dominance in research societies and organizations has become less absolute, and there is evidence of disagreement in these organizations.
An example is the Society of Adolescent Medicine in the United States, which has had several failed attempts to change the name to the Society for Adolescent Health primarily to recognize their non-physician members. However, they have changed the name of their journal to the Journal of Adolescent Health .
For an article to be accepted for publication in a medical journal it must undergo a review process. Each journal creates its own process, but they have certain common characteristics in general. There are various general "levels" of scrutiny, which have some effect on the respect given to articles published in the journals. Some broad categories might be editorial review, peer reviewed, and blind peer reviewed.
In this process, articles which meet the minimum requirements for submission (such as including the necessary descriptions of funding, privacy and publication releases, ethics/institutional review board approval, statements of original work, signatures of authors, and so on,) are first looked over by a managing editor or a member of an editorial board. They may be referred back to the authors for revision and resubmission, rejected, or presented to the editorial board for final approval.
A more stringent review process includes a full peer review. After first review by a managing editor or member of an editorial board, an article which has good possibilities will be sent out for review by two or more researchers in the specific area. If these reviews are positive the article may be referred back to the authors to address any comments by the reviewers, or (rarely) may be accepted immediately by the editorial board.
The most stringent common review process is the same as the peer review above, except all references to the authors are removed from the article before review by the researchers. This has been particularly important in medical research as there is a strong bias against articles produced by non-physicians, which are more likely to get rejected.
Medical journals are a single field of scientific endeavour, but cover a wide range of topics. Inevitably there is a need for specialization. Generally speaking the journals tend to be intervention/practice focused. They may be categorized by medical specialization, client age focus, or practice focus.
- List of medical journals
- Style guide
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