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Tzu Chi Medical Journal

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The Historical Evolution of Tzu Chi Medical Journal 

The Tzu Chi Medical Journal (TCMJ),  a professional journal first published by the Tzu Chi Medical Research Department, was founded on May 1st, 1989 as a quarterly with publication dates targeted for March, June, October, and December. Vice CEO Kuo Hann-Chorng of Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation had assumed the role of editor-in-chief ever since the founding of TCMJ. The quarterly was originally named “Tzu Chi Medicine”, published in letter-size format. The name was later altered to “Tzu Chi Medical Journal”, and was resized to comply with the regulations of international medical journals. For a period of time, a vertically printed calligraphic Mandarin title was used on the cover page, written by renowned calligrapher Wang Being-Yue under the request of Dharma Master Cheng Yen.

TCMJ was initially under the Tzu Chi Medical Research Department (located on the 11th floor of Gratitude Building, Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital). Now, the publishing company is Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation. Master Cheng Yen is the honorary publisher. It was the collaborative effort of former assistant editors Huang Mei-Hui, Li Li-Mei, Yang Shu-Hui, Tsao Ning-Chiu, Wu Chia-Yen, Liu Hsing-Tzu, Lin Mei-Fen, Feng Hui-Chiung, and Chang Hui-Min, and former section editors Lai Ming-Liang, Hsu Yung-Hsiang, Lee Ming-Che, Chiu Ted. H, Chen Ching-Feng and etc. that build the foundation of this journal. Print circulation has dropped since the emergence of internet from 1,500 ~ 2,000 to 1,100, and further decline is to be expected. As the journal progresses towards its paperless goal, only 200 paper copies printed for display in libraries and other relevant institutes.

The birth of TCMJ can be attributed to the foresight of Kuo Hann-Chorng. The purpose of this journal has always been to provide a forum for physicians of the Tzu Chi hospitals to publish their research findings, to demonstrate their mindfulness, and to elevate overall medical standard of the Tzu Chi hospitals and the Tzu Chi Medical College (now Tzu Chi University, TCU) through the exchange of knowledge and education. 

“Back in the 80’s, an annual review was held by the National Science Council (NSC) on published journals. We had been striving for a superb ranking. Not only would it be beneficial in the accreditation of our hospital, articles published by our doctors would also be recognized as effective. The project was later scrapped when the NSC abolished the review. Now we abide by the regulations of the Joint Commission of Taiwan (JCT),” Kuo Hann-Chorng continued. “A year after our publication, we changed the quarterly to a bimonthly to increase the quality and quantity of the journal. The plan did not go well. We did not have sufficient supply of articles, and on top of that, a bimonthly did not meet the search criteria of PubMed (a free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine). On the third year, we reverted back to a quarterly publication."  

In the beginning TCMJ accepted both English and Mandarin submissions. It was required that all Mandarin submissions to have English abstracts, and English submissions to have Mandarin abstracts. The quarterly was later revamped into a full English journal in an effort to become a full-fledged international journal, and we accepted only English submissions (with Mandarin abstracts).

In the early days, Kuo Hann-Chorng would take advantage of the small window of time in his travel between NTHU (National Taiwan University Hospital) located in Taipei City and Hualien and visit a printing company behind NTHU named Hui Wen for proofreading, typing, and printing. Each week he had to spend two hours on the journal-related affairs. Around the year 1989, prior to the invention of modern computer printing technology, there were a lot of cutting-and-pasting and photoengraving. Proofreading was therefore a crucial procedure. After the draft was thoroughly proofread and reprinted, Kuo Hann-Chorng would have to proofread it again before mass printing. 

TCMJ later collaborated with Kuang-Wen-She, a printing company in Hualien City, in which he delivers completed drafts and desired format to the company, and the company was in charge of typesetting. The collaboration changed again to Hung-Yu-Hang, a printing company in Taipei. In 2007, TCMJ, for the first time, entrusted its publishing affairs to one of the world leading publishers, Elsevier, who would be responsible for typesetting, plate making and English grammar correction. 

Kuo Hann-Chorng pointed out, "Elsevier is a major international publisher who works with top international journals. When we first applied to the National Library of Medicine (NLM) for the indexation in PubMed, we did not have the assistance from a publisher, only a printing company. The Tzu Chi Foundation remained as the publisher of the journal. Of course, we were rejected. It was then did we change our strategy and seek professional assistance. Once we heard that the Journal of the Formosan Medical Association (JFMA) was working with Elsevier, we approached them. Elsevier agreed to work with us under strict conditions such as compliance with international standard. We worked together for many years."

In this collaboration, the TCMJ editorial team would deliver manuscripts that have been reviewed and accepted to Elsevier, and Elsevier would proceed with the follow-up. When manuscripts are typeset for print, a proof is sent to its corresponding author and an assistant editor to be proofread. After that, the publisher would post these manuscripts online and made them available for the readers. Once the editor-in-chief has edited the content for an issue, Elsevier would convert them into page proofs and sent it to assistant editors for proofreading. Once the draft is finalized, the editor-in-chief would review it once more before sending it to Elsevier for publication.

As Elsevier restructured its business direction, TCMJ did not renew the partnership with Elsevier when the contract expired in the end of 2016. For the subsequent 12 issues from 2017 to 2019, TCMJ will work with Flysheet Med-Informatics, and utilize the platform of Medknow Publications under Wolters Kluwer for publication, promotion and advertisement of electronic journal. Articles provided by the editorial team of TCMJ, which are reviewed by the editor-in-chief and the editorial team, are to be delivered to Flysheet Med-Informatics for formatting, English editing, layout, labelling, and other prerequisites for open access journals, including applications of article DOI, assessments and applications of international search database, and communication and assistance of the agreement matter included in the publishing agreement with Wolters Kluwer (India) Pvt. Ltd.

Flysheet Med-Informatics is also responsible in assisting the operation of the submission and review system, building of journal website that handles online submission, manuscript review, editorial work flow for publication, and communication with Medknow in the promotion of the journal, which also includes the delivery of eTOC, regular mail promotion, and promotion in major global book fair. 

A Cradle of Medical Professional 

Although there were plenty of journals home and abroad that would provide a medium for our doctors to publish their work, however, it was tough for papers written by young doctors to rise above the fierce competition of academic papers to squeeze into the prestigious ones, Kuo Hann-Chorng said. In light of this, a thought that facilitated the founding of TCMJ was conceived. 

Kuo Hann-Chorng believes that a journal published by the hospital that allows the doctors to publish their research findings on regular basis could provide writing practices for the doctors, and a second chance for rejected papers to be published after further review and editing. “Every finding deserves to be published, just as every research merit attention,” Kuo Hann-Chorng said. Based on this ideology, he invited several senior doctors in the hospital to support the project, and together they founded a journal that is to be a the essence of the collective endeavor of the Tzu Chi doctors.

Prior to the founding of TCMJ, Kuo Hann-Chorng visited Master Cheng Yen in the Jing Si Abode to fully express his resolve to publish this medical journal, and that he was there to sought for aid. Master Cheng Yen, upon hearing the plea, granted him full support in the publication of the journal.

Back in the 80’s, to chance of finding a hospital, among the major hospitals in Taiwan, that is both capable and courageous enough to publish a journal that is consisted solely of medical papers was remarkable low. The Tzu Chi Hospital was one of the rare that had the dauntlessness went on to publish a journal when the hospital itself was understaffed. 

The Transformation of Scientific Medical Journal

During the first two years of TCMJ’s publication, the content of the journal revolved primarily around educational articles, with rare appearances of original works and case reports. Under the resolute effort of the editor in chief and the rest of the editorial team at the time, they managed to publish few review articles and original articles in each issue. Started in 1991, the journal underwent a transformation. The primary content of the journal had shifted away from review articles and educational papers and towards original works and case reports.

The restructuring continued until the Dec. issue of 1992, where the entire content was replaced with original works and case reports. The reason behind it was simple. In a professional scientific journal, original works and case reports must exceed eight in total, and without any educational papers. It was then the TCMJ completed its metamorphosis and became a full-fledged scientific journal. The editorial directions took a 180 degree turn.

A year after its transformation, TCMJ received an accreditation of “Scientific Medical Journal” by the NSC in 1993, and was ranked as Taiwan's top twenty scientific journals among hundreds of competitors. The achievement was inspirational. Now, our journal has become a recognized journal by major national medical institutions in faculty promotion. Submissions from these institutions have become substantial.

Submissions were scarce during the first year of publication, with a rapid increase in the second year and a 20% rejection rate. By looking at the statistics of 2015 alone, a total of 76 submissions, 2 invitations, and 33 rejections, which led to a total of 44.5% rejection rate. Submissions came from home and abroad, with medical personnel from various departments as authors. The quality of these submissions was outstanding among other periodicals of similar nature.

Chang Hui-Min, a senior staff of TCMJ, pointed out that in the early days publications in the TCMJ can be counted towards faculty promotion in NTUH. In 2012, TCMJ applied to the JCT for the accreditation of valid journal in hospital accreditation, and was subsequently approved. The application in 2017 was again approved on the first attempt.

The staff of the Tzu Chi Hospitals were not complacent over this achievement. They remain dedicated in the continual production of quality papers, with the hope that TCMJ could one day be a proud representation of the Tzu Chi Hospitals and the Tzu Chi University Medical School, and be a professional scientific journal recognized in the medical field worldwide. 

Strict Review in a Three-Person Company

Chang Hui-Min took over the position of assistant editor in 1998 after the resignation of her former colleague. “Editor-in-Chief Kuo always said that TCMJ is a three-person company, referring to Master Cheng Yen, Vice CEO Kuo, and I. It was exhausting. The journal has changed the cover page five times. If the journal is indexed by PubMed in the future, the journal may change its cover once more to accommodate the newfound visibility."

“One must be a fool to be an editor of a magazine!” Kuo Hann-Chorng once said. "Master Cheng Yen has always been concerned whether our journal has been publishing regularly, and with solid content. My original thought was to have a fixed cover design, using an image of a Buddhist relic, an instrument or a statue, on the cover of each issue. There are plenty of candidates in the abode available for us to use, a few thousand images should not be a problem. When Master heard about the image selection of cover page, she said a painter has already been working on something that matched my description. As I watched Master swiped the screen of her tablet browsing through the images of the painter’s work, I noticed that she repeatedly swiped passed the image “Mother Earth”. Sometimes Master expresses her thoughts through subtle hints instead of direct orders. After listening to the backstory of that specific piece, I decided to use that painting in our cover page, and again on the back cover with illustrations."

Since number of published articles is one of the criteria in hospital accreditation, submission the year before the accreditation would increase drastically. Despite their best effort, our colleagues in the hospital may not have the opportunity to be published on SCI journals despite their hard work. This is when TCMJ becomes a perfect medium for publication. Prior to a hospital accreditation few years ago, Chang Hui-Min remembered, the number of published articles did not meet the accreditation standard, and the department published three journals and four special editions in half a year in order to satisfy the requirement.

According to the standard layout of international scientific medical journal, the content of TCMJ is categorized as follow, in descending order: Review article, original article (fundamental and clinical), and case report. We also actively encourage short essays, and designed sections like pathology page, images in clinical medicine, and medical ethics that have educational values. Review articles and original articles, which occupy a unparalleled importance in our journal, are received by either submission or invitation. Review articles are often written by accomplished specialists, or in some cases, by students after a thorough research in related fields.

“An article has to go through a preliminary review by me, then peer-review, then to a section editor. I would provide a list of review board members in the same field as the article as reference for the section editor to pick from. These lists come from the research personnel database of NSC. If a section editor believes that there is a candidate outside of the list who is more suitable to review the manuscript, I would deliver the manuscript according to his list to confirm that the content is accurate. In other words, a manuscript of certain discipline would be reviewed by a corresponding section editor of that discipline,” Chang Hui-Min explained.

“The truth is, review process of each manuscript is unique. In the case of an invited article, the article is sent to the editor-in-chief first before the reviewing process is initiated. If the editor-in-chief reviews the article and gives a go ahead, it goes directly to English review, while the original is sent to a section editor. If the section editor believes the article deserves a review, he or she would send me two candidates from a list of the review board members. If the article is rejected by the first reviewer, the section editor may select a third review board member and have the article reviewed again. Or, if the section editor is fully convinced by the feedback of the first reviewer, the article is rejected immediately without a third reviewer."

“The number of reviewers for review articles may vary article by article. As for case report, there are two review committee members in charge. Essays under pathology page, images in clinical medicine, and medical ethics are reviewed by one reviewer only. The editor-in-chief reviews all submitted articles. At each stage of the reviewing process, a copy of an article is sent to the editor-in-chief as well."

In the 19 years as assistant editor, Chang Hui-Min enjoyed her work thoroughly, despite having other tasks to attend to. “It is extremely painful when a deadline is approaching and I have no article to publish, and so is sending reminder letters. If I do not receive a reply after sending two emails, I make a phone call. So every time I come across doctors who have been assisting us in reviewing articles or accepting to our invitations, they would ask jokingly: ‘Do I owe you an article? Does the journal need an article?’ Going after doctors from our own hospital is fine, but going after those from different hospitals is a different story,” she laughed. 

The reviewing process of the TCMJ can be roughly divided into the following:

1.     Indexing manuscripts.
2.     Preliminary review: format review by the editorial
       a.     Submissions that do not conform to the requirements are highlighted and returned to the author for corrections or alterations before reviewing.
       b.     Submissions that conform to the requirements are sent for further review.
       c.     The author is asked to sign a copyright transfer agreement (CTA) and conflict of interest statement (CIS).
A notification is sent to the author of a manuscript when the manuscript has been accepted for further review.

3.     Manuscript Review: The editorial team sends the manuscripts to a section editor for preliminary review, who then designates two expert reviewers to review the manuscript. A copy of the manuscript is sent to the chief editor for review.
       a.     Expert Review: a manuscript review by a national expert.
        b.     Editorial Review: a manuscript review of format and content by a section editor.
Manuscripts that are found suitable for publication in TCMJ are sent to two or more expert reviewers. During submission, the contributor is requested to provide names of two or three qualified reviewers who have had experience in the subject of the submitted manuscript, but this is not mandatory.  
4.     Corrections or Alterations
      a.     The author is requested to revise the manuscript according to comments of two expert reviewers and a section editor.
      b.     When submitting a revised manuscript, the author should attach a point by point response to reviewers’ comments.
5.     Secondary Review
       a.     The author submits a revised manuscript to the editorial team.
       b.     The editorial team sends the revised manuscript to a section editor, who decides on whether the manuscript is sent to expert reviewers and the chief editor for secondary review.
       c.     If a section editor decided that a manuscript should be sent to expert reviewers, the editorial team would take the reviewers’ comment, send it to the section editor, who then decides if the manuscript is to be published or sent back to the author for further correction. The manuscript is also sent to the editor-in-chief for review.
       d.     A section editor makes a final review and decides whether to publish a manuscript.
       e.     The editor-in-chief decides whether to publish a manuscript or not.
Before entering the next stage of the review process, the decision of the review is sent to the author.
6.     English Review: manuscript is copy edited by the international editorial of Taiwan C&E Management Co., Ltd.
7.Revised Submission
    a.The author is requested to make final corrections or alterations according to the reviewed manuscript by the international editorial of Taiwan C&E Management Co., Ltd., and submit the revised manuscript to the editorial team, and
    b. Final revision by the editorial team on format and content
    c. The manuscript is sent to the publisher for typesetting.
8.     Editorial Meeting
       a.     The chief editor decides which articles to publish and conduct a final review of content and format.
       b.     Apply for English and manuscript review fee.
9.     Printing and Proofreading:
       a.     Typeset galley proofs are sent to the author and the editorial team for proofreading.
       b.     Page proofs for the current issue are sent to the editorial and the editor-in-chief for proofreading.
10.   A published issue is sent to the author.

Local Orientation of TCMJ

A point worthy of mentioning is the local orientation of TCMJ, in particular the reports and researches on diseases exclusive to Hualien and Taitung County, or emphasis on the current medical status of eastern Taiwan. It is, therefore, only natural to see in the journal a prevalence of disease statistics and articles on general and specific diseases in eastern Taiwan.

As Kuo Hann-Chorng pointed out, in the 1989 Aug. issue (vol. 1, issue 3) of TCMJ, Dr. Tsai Jui-Chang conducted a detail analysis on the neurosurgical patients of the Tzu Chi General Hospital. In the same issue, Dr. Kuo Huang-Tsung reported an inquiry on educational institutes of multiple disabilities. The attention the journal received following the publication of these two articles was an inspirational achievement of two outstanding individuals, and placed medical researches that focus on social aspects under spotlight.

In the 1991 March issue (vol. 3, issue 1), Kuo Hann-Chorng mentioned, was a research by Chang You-Kuo, Director of Gynecology and Obstetrics, on syphilis in pregnant women. The article reported that, in 1120 pregnant women who received prenatal serological screening at Buddhist Tzu Chi Hospital, 9 (8%) cases of gestational syphilis were detected. The high rate of syphilis is a social phenomenon exclusive to Hualien, an occurrence that warrants further attention. Ophthalmologist Chen Tao-Ming from Yuli Township, Hualien County, performed two comparative value surveys on vision of Tao tribespeople in Lan-Yu, and the result revealed that, in a modern society, children living on a secluded off-shore island were still faced with deteriorating eyesight.

There are plenty of articles that focused on prevalent diseases in Hualien in subsequent issues. For example,  "Diverticulosis in Hualien” by Dr. Cheng Kui-Lin (TCMJ 1991; 3), "Knowledge and Habit of Drug Usage in Hualien Patients” by Pharmacist Chen Fang-Fei (TCMJ 1991; 9), a preliminary report on the demographic background of Inpatients in Buddhist Tzu Chi general hospital by Dir. Lin Hsien-Hong (TCMJ 1991; 9).

In March 1992, Dr. Huang Lu-Chin, Dr. Lin Hsien-Hong, and Dr. Shieh Ming-Jium presented a report on the infections of hepatitis B in elementary school children in Hualien County across 5 townships, and Dr. Lin Hsien-Hong also presented a report on the infections hepatitis B in a high school in Hualien County (TCMJ 1992; 3). As for the infection of hepatitis B in eastern Taiwan, Dr. Lin Hsien-Hong submitted a detailed report in the 1992 June issue.

The 1992 Dec. issue included an outstanding article by Dr. Kuo Huang-Tsung, “Tuberculosis and Public Health Status of Taiwan Aboriginals in Hsiu-Lin Village, Hualien”, in which he reported a undiminished prevalence of tuberculosis among an entire aboriginal village. The article could serve as a reference for scholars in sociology and epidemiology.

In the 1993 volume 5, Pulmonologist Lee Jen-Jyh published his research, "Microbiological Analyses of Empyema Thoracis in Eastern Taiwan”. In the same issue was an article by Dr. Lai Chia-Yu on self-discharge of inpatients in Buddhist Tzu Chi general hospital, and the reasons for the self-discharge, in descending order based on the patients’ own account, were dying at home, emotional issues, referral to other hospitals in Hualien, care issues, referral to other hospitals in Taipei, and refusing treatment. As for epidemiological studies of Hualien region, family physician Li Yin-Ming collaborated with Hualien County Health Bureau on “Motor Vehicle-Related Mortality in Hualien County”. Since Hualian County has the highest rate of motor vehicle mortality worldwide, this article warrants attention from relevant government agencies.

In 1994 volume 6, Prof. Peng Tai-Chu of Tzu Chi College of Nursing (former Tzu Chi University of Technology) conducted a report, “Trends of Cumulative Mortality Rate and Years of Potential Life Lost on Accidents in HuaLien (1971-1991)”, in which she detailed a substantial productivity loss caused by accidental deaths of local inhabitants. The prevention of these accidental deaths could lead to an additional productivity of 4 billion TWD. In the same issue was on article by the chief editor Kuo Hann-Chorng, who is also the director of urology, Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital, published his study on urinary function of females in Hualien with the urinary tract examination results of average women. 

In the 1995 volume 7, internist Yau Jieh-Her conducted a statistical analysis on liver abscess in Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital over a 7-year period. The result indicated that there was no significance among the clinical manifestation of pathogenic bacteria of liver abscess at Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital, western, and northern Taiwan. In the same issue, chief editor Kuo Hann-Chorng published an article on the life quality enhancement of spinal cord injury patients through appropriate urinary care. Furthermore, the founding of the Tzu Chi College of Medicine (now Tzu Chi University) had made clinical examination a topic of research. Lua Ahai-Chang, the director of department of laboratory medicine and biotechnology, TCU, collaborated with the Department of Health (now Ministry of Health and Welfare), on a study of alcohol and amphetamine abuse among pregnant women in Hualien and tests of illicit drug and alcohol abuse in Hualien.

Passing on the Torch

“As far as I am concern, the current medical and educational institutes of Tzu Chi are not supportive enough in regards to the journal. Kaohsiung journal of medical sciences, for example, was founded about three decades ago, and Biomedical Journal by Chang Gung University four decades ago. In order to increase the ranking of their journals, these universities and their hospitals have reached a consensus, where publications in these journals are mandatory for faculty promotion. We had proposed to the university and the hospital ten, twenty years ago to introduce the same, never once did we receive an approval from our supervisor. Their primary concern was that the implementation of publication on TCMJ as a mandatory requirement may lead to rejections

“When it comes to inviting articles, we have established a positive relationship with medical experts of all disciplines both domestically and internationally. They have been outstanding reviewers for our journal, too. When we first started the journal, we received recognitions from many of our seniors in the medical field. ’The name Kuo Hann-Chorng alone, and the fact that he is in Hualien, deserve our support.’ Many reviewers would frown upon low-quality manuscripts from a new journal like ours and refuse to waste any time on it,” Kuo Hand-Chorng said bluntly.

“In 2012 or 2013, Prof. Chiu Ted. H, who was very supportive of the journal, assumed the position of section editor and reviewer of TCMJ after retirement. We spoke once about the shortage of submissions, and that the journal could benefit immensely from overseas submissions. Prof. Chiu was about to host an international symposium with leading experts from Europe and the U.S. He came up with the idea to invite these experts to write short review articles, and I said short reviews within 1,500 words would be terrific. He went and asked the symposium attendees if they could write us some review articles and deliver them before the symposium begins. Since the speakers must complete an abstract prior to the symposium, completing a review article in one or two days was simple enough. We received an overwhelming amount of articles and dispersed it over several issues. These well-written articles enriched the contents of our journal, allowing us to achieve a remarkably high score during review. The glory was short lived. After that, whenever faculties of the Tzu Chi College of Medicine talk about this, it was just that, talks. They could not in fact live up to their promises. I am grateful for the honorable deeds Prof. Chiu had done for the journal to this day. His action defined mindfulness. Started in 2017, following the same pattern, I invited young physicians around the country who are passionate in writing, and are productive as well. I asked them to arrange and design a grand theme for review articles, invite four to six faculties to write for us, spread these manuscripts across subsequent issues to enhance their readability, and so that we do not run out of articles to publish. I hope that these new young recruits can be the future successors of the journal. I am currently carrying the weight of the journal on my shoulder alone, but I hope that would not be the case in the future. Perhaps a dozen of us, working together, improving the quantity and quality of the journal. I hope that after 30 issues, someone will be there to succeed my place. After all, sitting in the seat of chief editor for 30 years is a little bit too long."

Dr. Kuo, 63 years old (dated 2017), sincerely hopes for the addition of new recruits who would take his place. “We have been running the journal for 29 years and it has yet to be indexed in SCI. Under these circumstances, people would hesitate to take over, since it could become an overwhelming burden for the new recruits. Starting 2017, the TCMJ is reaching a new milestone: indexed by PubMed Central® (PMC®). PubMed, PMC and MEDLINE (NLM journal citation database) are archives operating on the same platform. We have passed the scientific quality review of PMC in Oct. 2016, and is now awaiting the technical evaluation. After meeting their requirements, all we have to do is to send them articles from every issue, and PMC would release them to the public site. In principle, we have already passed their evaluation. Technical issues are left to the publisher. Under the circumstance, it would be relatively easy for us to find new chief editor and deputy editors. Articles that have been published online are easier to access, and with full text available for download, number of citations should increase."

PubMed is a database of citations and abstracts for more than 27 million articles. PubMed Central® (PMC) is an electronic archive of full-text journal articles, offering free access to its contents. PMC contains more than 4 million articles, most of which have a corresponding entry in PubMed.

Overcoming Obstacles

Retracing the history of TCMJ, it is easy to spot, behind the substantial researches published, the empathy and diligence of medical staff and researchers of Tzu Chi Hospital on the issues of health and safety in the hospital and in Hualien region. They have documented in detail these issues and transformed them into exceptional articles that are of significant reference value to Taiwan and to the world in researches of regional or specific diseases.

In regards to the future of TCMJ, as editors, we will continue to hold our standards high, place more emphasis on the acceptance, rejection, and use of manuscripts, so the journal can ascend in rankings. Our ultimate goal is for the TCMJ to be included in SCI as a top scientific journal worldwide.

 

《慈濟醫學雜誌》歷史沿革

整理、採訪/黃昌彬 資料提供/慈濟醫學雜誌社

一九八九年五月一日,《慈濟醫學雜誌》(TZU CHI MEDICAL JOURNAL)正式創刊,每年出版四期,逢三月、六月、九月、十二月出刊,當時是由慈濟醫學研究部負責發行的一本專業季刊。創刊迄今,由泌尿部郭漢崇主任承擔總編輯重任。最早期的雜誌中文名稱為:《慈濟醫學》,採用信紙尺寸(Letter size)。爾後再加上兩字,正名為:《慈濟醫學雜誌》,同時為符合國際醫學期刊規範,改採國際標準期刊尺寸出刊。曾有一段時期,刊頭印刷中文發行,橫書提字:慈濟醫學雜誌,是採用上人委請書法名家王北岳先生揮毫撰寫,筆力蒼勁。

早期雜誌之發行,乃依附在慈濟醫學研究部(花蓮慈院感恩樓十一樓的位置)之下,目前「發行所」為:財團法人中華民國佛教慈濟慈善事業基金會。由證嚴上人擔任「榮譽發行人」。擔任郭漢崇之助理編輯者,先後有黃美惠、李麗美、楊淑蕙、曹寧求、吳佳燕、劉馨慈、林美芬、馮慧瓊、張慧敏等人投入,還有責任編輯李明亮、許永祥、李明哲、邱鐵雄、鄭敬楓…等人,共同成就了這本雜誌。紙本發行量,早期介於一千五百本至兩千本之間,隨著網路普及的閱讀習慣改變,目前發行份數降至一千一百本左右,未來將越來越少,朝向無紙化之後,大約會僅留兩百本紙本,供贈閱給圖書館及機構等使用。

這本季刊的濫觴,要歸功於郭漢崇的高瞻遠矚,編輯出版這本雜誌的目的,希冀提供給慈濟醫院醫師,一處發表自己研究成果的園地、體現醫師群的用心,並透過交流傳遞新知及教育,全面提升慈濟醫院及慈濟醫學院的醫學水準,立意良善。

「八〇年代,國科會有一優良期刊的審核,我們希望它成為優良期刊。這對於醫院評鑑,也有助益。我們醫師所發表的文章,都會被認為是有效的數量!一直到國科會的設置標準被廢除了,才終止。目前改以醫策會的規範作為標竿。」郭漢崇回憶道。「在出刊的第二年,為了提升雜誌本身的質與量,改成雙月刊發行,但因為稿源不足,配合度沒那麼好,以及上PubMed(免費的搜尋引擎,由美國國家醫學圖書館,提供生物醫學方面的論文搜索及摘要)的條件,只要季刊便符合規定,第三年又改回季刊發行。」

早期的雜誌,中、英文投稿都收,若是中文稿,則附有英文摘要,若屬英文稿,附上中文摘要,爾後朝向國際化期刊邁進,在二○○五年改版成英文書寫(當時仍附中文摘要於書後),收稿僅收英文稿。刊物發軔時期,郭漢崇利用至臺大醫院門診或教書,要返回花蓮之前,撥空前往臺北市公園路的「惠文打字印刷有限公司」(位於台大醫院後方)進行刊物的校稿及打字印刷,每週大約需花費他兩個小時從事刊物出版業務。約莫二十八年前,尚無現今的電腦印刷技術,需要剪貼,再進行照相製版,因此出稿後的校對工作,成為首要之務。待文稿修改完,重新印製出來供郭漢崇主任確認後,才能大量印刷。

爾後,才與位於花蓮市仁愛街的「光文社印刷廠」合作,交付予完稿及所需的排版格式,由廠商排版,後來轉換廠商,交由臺北的「弘有行排版印刷事業有限公司」負責。到了二○○七年,首次與國際知名出版社「ELSEVIER」合作,協助後續排版、製版及英文文法校正等出版業務。

郭漢崇指出:「ELSEVIER是國際間很大的一家出版社,很多重要期刊都與它合作,希望《慈濟醫學雜誌》能夠邁向國際化。我們當初要與美國國家醫學圖書館(NLM,National Library of Medicine)申請PubMed的索引收錄,原先並無找任何出版社協助,僅找印刷廠印刷而已,出版社仍以慈濟基金會作為出版人,後來當然被拒絕了!我們開始思索,應該要找出版社協助,鑑於當時正好《臺灣醫學會雜誌》也找ELSEVIER合作,得知此一訊息之後,我們便與之接觸。ELSEVIER同意後,也設了很多條件,包括要按照國際規格等,就這樣做了蠻多年的。」

與ELSEVIER出版社合作後,能見度提高,目前稿源,來自印度的投稿特多,亦不乏有土耳其、伊朗的稿件。

慈濟醫學雜誌編輯部將審查接受的論文提供給ELSEVIER,ELSEVIER出版社則進行後續排版作業。當每一篇排版完成,進行二次校對階段,文章會給作者及助理編輯分別校對,待確認沒問題,出版社先將每一篇文章上線(on-line),供讀者搶先閱讀。總編輯選定當期雜誌之出刊內容後,ELSEVIER將之整理成藍本送助理編輯校對,確認內容無誤後再送交總編輯審閱後,交予ELSEVIER出版。

但由於ELSEVIER經營方向改變,於2016年年底約滿時,不再續約。從2017年至2019年的十二期刊物,改與「飛資得醫學資訊股份有限公司」合作,運用Wolters Kluwer之 Medknow系統平台,進行電子期刊的出版、推廣及宣傳。慈濟醫學雜誌編輯部提供主編及編輯委員會審查通過之稿件,由「飛資得醫學資訊股份有限公司」協助於Medknow平台完成刊物格式、英修、編排、標示與其他一切完成稿件之線上開放存取出版所必須者,包括文章DOI (數位物件識別號)申請、評估與申請國外檢索資料庫等,以及與Wolters Kluwer(India)Pvt. Ltd.間之「出版合作協議」(Publishing Agreement)所約定事項之溝通與協助。

飛資得醫學資訊股份有限公司,另應協助操作投審稿系統,建立期刊網站:處理線上投稿、審稿、出刊之編輯一貫作業流程,以及協助聯繫Medknow對本刊推廣宣傳活動,包括了eTOC (電子期刊目錄)之發送、定期郵件推廣、於全球重要書展活動中推廣。

建構醫專平台 培訓醫者搖籃

郭漢崇回憶,睽諸當時國內外環境,雖然也有許多雜誌能夠提供慈濟醫院的醫師發表著述,但考量學術論文的競爭非常激烈,有些年輕醫師所撰寫的論文,未必能夠躋身於國內外著名的刊物上,恐有遺珠之憾!有鑑於斯,孕育催生這本季刊的想法,便應運而生。希冀藉由這份刊物的發行,帶動東部醫學學術的研究風氣,進而有助於執業醫師的精進!

郭漢崇認為,如果醫院內能夠有一份刊物,能夠定期提供醫師們發表研究成果,一方面可使醫師得到寫作訓練的機會,另一方面,若有些文章未能被其他雜誌接受,經過審查修改後也能刊登於屬於自己的這份刊物上,一舉兩得。「任何成果,都是值得被刊登的。任何研究,都應該被重視的!」基於此一理念,郭主任力邀院內幾位資深的醫師們共同護持,發心創立了這本慈濟醫者的嘔心瀝血之作。

而當初《慈濟醫學雜誌》要創辦之際,郭漢崇還曾特地前往精舍,面見上人,充分表達了出版此一醫學刊物之意願,尋求奧援,待說明出版原委之後,上人二話不說,當場應允,全力支持這本雜誌的發行。

八○年代,在臺灣各大醫院之中,有能力、有膽識,敢出版一本純醫學論文的雜誌者,恐怕寥寥可數。而慈濟醫院正是具有這種往前衝、向前走的奮勇精神,才敢在醫師人數尚不多的情況之下,勇敢地推出了這本雜誌。

科學性醫學雜誌 蛻變後譽滿杏林

開始出刊的頭兩年,雜誌內容,大概以教育性的文章為主軸。原著及病例報告並不多見,基於此,在主編及其他編輯戮力的邀稿之下,仍有寥寥數篇的綜合性論文及原著問世。一九九一年伊始,這本雜誌開始改頭換面,以原著及病例報告為刊登的主要對象,綜合性論文及教育性論文之數量,逐漸降低。

這情形,一直持續到了一九九二年第四卷的雜誌發行,才全部改由原著及病例報告呈現,教育性論文及綜合性論文,則予以取消。原因無他,就是考量要成為一本專業性科學期刊,必須沒有教育性論文參雜,且原著及病例報告,必須超過八篇以上!《慈濟醫學雜誌》至此脫胎換骨,走向純科學性期刊,通篇文章的編輯面向,有了一百八十度的大轉彎。

一九九二年,刊物改頭換面之後,在隔年即獲得了國科會評鑑為「科學性醫學雜誌」,並在國內一百多個科學性刊物之林,積分排名二十幾名,振奮了人心。迄今,已被國內各大醫學院評定為教師升等的有效期刊。從國內各大醫學中心投入的稿件,亦不在少數。

雜誌創刊時期的稿源相當匱乏,隔年快速激增,已有百分之二十的退稿率,單單統計二○一五年投稿狀況,總稿件數七十六篇,邀稿二篇,退稿三十三篇,退稿率達到百分之四十四點五。稿源遍及國、內外,作者來自各專科別、病理科及護理系等之醫護技人員。在國內同類性質期刊裡,品質為人稱羨。可謂一步一腳印,辛勤耕耘,結出了甜美果實來。

慈濟醫學雜誌社張慧敏指出,早期,臺大醫院醫師升等,《慈濟醫學雜誌》便是有效期刊。五年前,《慈濟醫學雜誌》向「財團法人醫院評鑑暨醫療品質策進會」申請為醫院評鑑有效雜誌,獲得通過。2017年再次申請,仍是一舉通過。

慈濟醫院同仁並不以此自滿,仍孜孜矻矻的筆耕不輟,期望這本刊物能真正代表慈濟醫院,甚至是慈濟醫學院,成為國內醫學界受人重視、推崇的雜誌。尤其,與ELSEVIER出版社合作後,能見度提高,目前稿源,來自印度的投稿特多,亦不乏有土耳其、伊朗的稿件。

三人公司勤耕耘 審查流程超嚴謹

一九九八年,因雜誌之助理編輯離職,由張慧敏師姊接手協助,她指出:「郭漢崇總編輯常說,慈濟醫學雜誌社,是三人公司啦。就上人、郭漢崇主任,還有我。經營得很辛苦!目前雜誌已更換過五次封面。未來雜誌如果上了PubMed,擴大能見度,將會再換封面。」

郭漢崇言及:「有句話說,編雜誌者,是傻人(臺語)!上人很關心是否有定期出刊,內容如何,尤其每次刊物要更換新的封面設計時,我本來的想法,是希望封面能固定,每一期有一個佛教文物的圖片,如法器、佛像等,精舍應該有許多這類素材可以擷取使用,用攝影方式,在精舍各角落,拍個幾千張不是問題,都可拿來做封面使用。上人聽到要挑選封面的底圖,表示正好有一位畫家,已幫忙做了這種圖,上人以平版電腦播放給我看,我就注意到上人撥來撥去,一直經過『大地之母』這一張,上人有時不說,會用暗示的方式。仔細聽上人講這張照片的故事後,我採用這照片作為封面之用,並以照片加上圖說方式,放在封底裡呈現。」

若遇到醫院要評鑑的前一年,投稿文章會增加,因為醫師發表論文,亦是醫院評鑑的重點之一,即便同仁們努力書寫投稿,未必能刊登在SCI的雜誌,此時《慈濟醫學雜誌》就是一個很好的發表園地。張慧敏回憶說,幾年前醫院要進行評鑑,因文章不夠,半年內就出了三本正刊、四本副冊(專刊)。

雜誌內容,依照國際科學性醫學期刊的標準編排順序,依序區分為:綜論(Review Article)、原著(Original Article),可再細分為基礎及臨床部分、病例報告(Case Report)等章節。並積極開發小品文,以及具有教育性的病理之頁(Pathology Page)、影像之頁(Images in Clinical Medicine)、醫學倫理(Medical Ethics)…等。綜論及原著部分,在雜誌內容佔有很重要的地位,可透過邀稿或自己撰寫。綜論的稿源,一般由學有專精的大師級人物書寫,也有部分是老師請學生先研讀相關領域的書籍,再寫作心得。

「我這裡初審過後,進入同儕審查,稿件會送給責任編輯(Section Editors),同時我會提供與這篇文章相同領域的審查委員名單給責任編輯參考,這些審查委員名單來自於科技部研究人才資料庫,如果責任編輯認為,這篇稿件有更適合的人員可以進行審查,我則將稿件依名單送審,以確認內容無誤。換言之,相關的領域,會給相關的責任編輯審。」張慧敏說道。

「事實上,每一篇稿件的送審流程不太相同,若屬邀稿文章,請總編輯過目之後,才進入審查程序,送交責任編輯審查。若總編輯審閱後若無問題,則直接跳到英文審查。而原著則直接給責任編輯,若他認為值得送審,就請責任編輯給我兩位專業審查委員的名單,若文章遭到第一位審查委員退稿,責任編輯可能會選第三位專業審查委員,再審查一次。又或者,責任編輯認為第一位審查委員的意見很好,便無需選出第三位審查委員,逕自退稿!」

「責任編輯審完稿件,除了綜論的審查委員人數較不一定之外,病例報告亦由兩名審查委員把關,病理之頁…等小篇的文章,則由一位審查委員負責。所有稿件總編輯理都會看過,且每一階段的審查都會同時送交總編輯。」

承擔助理編輯十八載,張慧敏覺得工作很有趣,雖然還有其他業務要執行,「這僅是我工作中的一部分而已,但巧婦難為無米之炊,若遇上要出刊卻沒有稿件,是非常痛苦的!催稿也是,若寫電子郵件兩次都無下文,便直接打電話過去提醒,以致於每每遇到一些經常協助審稿的醫師,或是經常被邀稿的醫師,總會調侃的詢問:『我有欠妳稿子嗎?雜誌社有沒有缺稿?……』,院內的醫師還好,打到院外去催稿就……」

從早期到現在,雜誌論文的審查流程,約略包括:

(一)收稿,編號。

(二)初步審查:編輯部進行文章格式審查。

(1)若不符投稿規範,列出問題後,再請作者修正,才進入編審程序。

(2)格式符合投稿規範,即可進入編審程序。

(3)請作者簽署CTA(版權轉移同意書)、CIS(授權及利益衝突聲明)。 在進入下一審查階段,同時發送給作者,確認收到通知。

(三)稿件初審作業:編輯部將稿件所有審查資料,提送責任編輯初 審,指定二位專業審查委員及進行稿件編輯審查,同時送給總編輯審閱。

(1)專業審查:請國內相關專家,針對文章內容進行審查。

(2)編輯審查:由責任編輯,針對文章格式及內容初步審查。

(四)作者修正:

(1)作者依兩位專業審查委員、責任編輯等三份意見,進行修改。

(2)作者修正後,需附上回覆審查意見及修正稿。

(五)稿件複審作業:

(1)作者依審查意見修改後,送回編輯部。

(2)編輯部將所有審查資料送給責任編輯審閱,由責任編輯決定是否送 回專業審查進行複審,同時送交總編輯審閱。

(3)若需送專業複審,待其回覆後,編輯部直接將審查意見送給責任編輯 審閱,決定接受刊登與否,或再送回作者修正,同時送交總編輯審閱。

(4)責任編輯最後審閱,決定刊登與否。

(5)總編輯最後審閱,決定刊登與否。 在進入下一審查階段,同時發送給作者審查結果通知。

(六)英文審查作業:委請錫安國際會議顧問公司之國外編輯群,針 對論文文法予以潤飾。

(七)完稿:

(1)請作者參考錫安國際會議顧問公司之英文審查稿,對文章做最後修正後,送回編輯部,並確認是否已簽署CTA及CIS。

(2)編輯部針對格式及內容,做最後校閱。

(3)送出版社排版。

(八)召開編輯會議:

(1)請總編輯決定當期刊登文章之內容,並對文章內容及格式,進行最後 之審查。

(2)每個月申請英文審查費及論文審查費。

(九)印刷、校對:

(1)出版社排版後之二次校對稿,送交作者及編輯部校對。

(2)當期出刊之藍本,送交編輯部及總編輯校對。

(十)出刊,寄送雜誌給讀者。

論文成果豐碩 東臺醫研縮影

值得一提的是,初期《慈濟醫學雜誌》特重本土性,尤其是屬於花蓮縣及臺東縣特有的疾病,或者著重在臺灣東部醫療現況的報導及研究。因此,在刊物內容,不難瞥見諸多關於東臺灣疾病統計分析,或者是對於臺灣東部特殊疾病的研究報告。

郭漢崇指出,在第一卷第三期(一九八九年九月)裡,蔡瑞章醫師針對慈濟醫院神經外科住院病人,做了詳細分析。同期,郭煌宗醫師也曾對於臺灣多重障礙教育機構進行了調查報告,這兩份報告的出爐,使得《慈濟醫學雜誌》格外受到重視,除了彰顯個人的成就之外,也凸顯了注重整個社會面的研究調查。

翻閱第三卷第一期(一九九一年三月),郭漢崇主任提及,婦產科張幼國主任對於慈濟醫院內孕婦進行梅毒檢驗時發現,在一千一百二十次孕婦梅毒血清檢查(VDRL),其中有九例為陽性,妊娠中,梅毒發生率為百分之零點八,這種高的妊娠中梅毒發生率,實在是花蓮地區特有的社會現象,值得花蓮人省思。同期,在玉里的眼科陳道明醫師,也對離島蘭嶼的雅美族(正名為:達悟族)血統視力做了兩次調查值比較,結果顯示:處於現代化社會,即便在風景優美的蘭嶼島上,孩童視力也有逐漸減退的跡象。

翻閱往後的論文,亦不難發現有很多關於花蓮地區特有的疾病報告,包括:鄭貴麟醫師所撰寫的〈花蓮地區的大腸憩室病〉(第三卷第二期,一九九一年六月)、陳芳菲藥師所做的〈花蓮地區病患用藥常識與習慣之概況〉(第三卷第三期,一九九一年九月)、林憲宏主任對慈濟醫院住院病患之人口統計背景,做了一個初步的報告(第三卷第三期,一九九一年九月)。

而在一九九二年三月,黃呂津、林憲宏、謝銘鈞等內科醫師,針對花蓮縣的五個鄉鎮市國小學童,進行了B型肝炎感染情況調查,提出了一份報告,而林憲宏醫師也對花蓮縣一所高中之B型肝炎感染狀況,提出了報告(第四卷第一期,一九九二年三月)。對於臺灣東部地區B型肝炎感染狀況在慈濟醫院的情形,林憲宏醫師則在第四卷第二期中,提出了相當詳細的報告。

在一九九二年十二月的雜誌裡,收錄了一篇郭煌宗醫師的〈由結核病看花蓮縣秀林鄉原住民健康及社會概況〉之精彩論文。通篇道盡了山地鄉所有原住民感染結核病,不曾減退的一個特別現象,值得研究社會學及流行病學的人士,作為參考依據!

在一九九三年第五卷裡,吾人陸續見到了胸腔科李仁智醫師做的〈臺灣東部地區膿胸的致病菌分析〉。同期,賴鈺嘉醫師分析慈濟醫院病人自動出院的原因,依據病人自述出院理由,依次為:臨終返家、情緒問題、轉診花蓮的其他醫院、照顧問題、轉診臺北的其他醫院、拒絕治療等。而有關花蓮地區的流行病學調查方面,家庭醫學科李燕鳴醫師也透過與花蓮縣衛生局合作,做了一篇〈花蓮地區機動車死亡率變化初探〉。這對於身處在全世界發生車禍死亡率最高的花蓮縣境而言,這篇調查,很值得交通單位重視。

一九九四年第六卷,慈濟護專(慈濟科技大學前身)彭台珠老師,也曾提出一九七一年至一九九一年之間,花蓮地區居民意外災害死亡所致之潛在生命損失及長期趨勢,文中顯示出居民因意外傷害死亡,導致社會的生產力損失,其實是相當高的。若能防止這些意外災害的發生,則社會所增添的生產力,每年將增加新臺幣四十億元之譜。同期,泌尿部郭漢崇主任針對花蓮女性所做的排尿機能方面之研究,也提出了正常婦女之尿路機能檢查的結果。

一九九五年第七卷,內科姚介和醫師對於慈濟醫院七年的肝膿瘍做了統計分析,報告結果顯示,慈院肝臟膿瘍的致病菌種之臨床表現,和臺灣西部、北部相比,並無明顯的差異。同期,對於脊髓損傷病人,在泌尿系統的排尿照護方面,郭漢崇主任也提出了因泌尿科處置得宜,讓病人生活品質提高的報告。此外,由於當年慈濟醫學院(慈濟大學前身)的成立,使得臨床檢驗變成了一項研究的題目。慈濟醫學院醫技系主任賴滄海教授,更與衛生署(衛生福利部前身)合作,在花蓮地區進行了孕婦使用酒精與安非他命的研究,以及花蓮地區濫用藥物和酒精的測試。

期盼新血輪接棒 筆耕不輟留刊史

「我自己寫文章比較快,會投稿雜誌使用,但總不能老用總編輯的名字下去寫,於是常用學生的名字來發表,這是其中較為辛苦的!」郭漢崇回憶印象深刻的事,說道:「我覺得目前慈濟醫療體系及教育體系,對於雜誌的護持還不夠!例如,高雄醫學院雜誌在三、四十年前就有了,長庚醫學院雜誌也是四十年前就有了。他們為了讓雜誌能夠早日升級,學校及醫院都有共識,如果要在這個醫院升等的人,一定要貢獻一篇在自家的雜誌刊物上,才有資格。這部分,我們在十幾二十年前,在醫院及慈濟大學都有提出過,但是一直都無法獲得主管正面的回應,擔心慈濟醫院的醫師原本就已經不多了,寫稿都已經很少了,您還要他們投稿在這本雜誌,擔心會反彈!但為何其他的醫學院就可以?這件事,一直是我們沒有做到的!也覺得很可惜,或許能早個五年,雜誌就會上PubMed。雖說沒有太多令人感動的事,確有太多令人嘆息的地方!當然慈濟基金會的部分,是永遠完全支持的,困難的部分不是來自於錢,錢是最容易得到的資源,資源還需要來自於文章的貢獻、人的貢獻,那是最辛苦的!」

「這些年來,在邀稿方面,我們跟國內的學界及各方面的醫學專家,都建立了良好的關係,他們也都很認真的幫我們審稿。當初辦雜誌時,醫界的前輩對我們都很肯定。以『郭漢崇』這三個字,在花蓮,應該多多給他支持一下。要不然很多人在審稿時,看到這種雜誌丟來的稿件,看都不想看。這種品質不高的文章,還要浪費時間去審。」

「大約在四、五年前,邱鐵雄教授很支持、關心這份雜誌,退休後仍繼續擔任雜誌的責任編輯及審稿委員,有次我們談及雜誌稿件缺乏,若有國外的稿件更好,當年他正好要主辦一個國際研討會,有來自歐美方面十多位頂尖的專家,他告訴我,這些人來演講,請他們寫一些簡短的綜論,我說這很好,大約一千五百個字之內,就有很好的東西,結果邱教授就很認真的去跟被邀請的演講者說明,是否能在開會之前,就將文章先寄給我們看。因為開會要寫摘要,演講者利用一兩天的時間,就可以完成,所以當時,雜誌就從那裡獲得非常多的稿源,且將文章分散在每一期雜誌裡面,那段時間,雜誌內容非常豐富。這些論文,也讓我們在醫院評鑑時,獲得非常高的一個分數。但這總是曇花一現啦,之後,若有醫學院的老師談到這塊,恐是談談而已,沒有辦法真的做到供稿。邱鐵雄教授對於雜誌社的『義舉』,到現在我都還很感佩!這就是有心。2017年開始,依照這個模式,我邀集了國內醫院一些中生代的年輕醫師,他們對於寫作,有一定的熱忱及興趣,一定的產量,邀請他們安排、設計一個綜論,同一個大主題,邀請四到六個老師來寫作,將作品放在日後的雜誌裡,這樣雜誌可讀性及教育性就高,文章來源就比較不會缺乏。而這群年輕醫師,我希望也是雜誌未來的接棒人,現在是我一個人一肩挑,但我期盼未來不是我一個人挑!也許是十幾位,大家共同來把雜誌做得更大、更好。希望雜誌做滿三十卷之後,能有人順利接棒。畢竟,一份雜誌的總編輯若做了三十年,真的太久了。」

郭漢崇現年六十三歲,衷心期盼有年輕新血能夠加入,接棒傳承。「這本雜誌經營了二十八年,但尚未被SCI收錄,在這種情況下,想要接棒的人,意願都會比較低,或者會變成接棒人一個很大的負擔,所以一直沒有適當的人選。2017年開始,慈濟醫學雜誌邁入一個新的里程碑,就是通過PMC(PubMed Center)審查。其與PubMed,在NLM架構上是在同一平台的收錄系統,我們在2016年10月份,已通過了PMC的品質評估(初審),接下來就是技術評估(複審),即出版社要交寄出版品的格式化東西,如PDF檔、XML檔等,待評估後,認為沒有問題,再交寄每一期的文章,它再放上索引,故原則上,應該是已經通過了!因為技術性的問題,當然要交由出版社處理。在這種情況之下,要尋找年輕的總編輯、副總編輯,相對的容易。在網路上發表的論文,就容易搜尋得到,觀看全文並下載,被引用的次數就會增加。」

用心紀錄諸現象 百尺竿頭邁大步

回顧上述歷史,不難發現這些豐厚的研究成果背後,再再都體現出慈院醫師及研究人員,對於發生在花蓮地區或慈濟醫院內的諸多現象十分關心,並很用心地記錄下來,成為了一篇篇精彩的研究報告。無論對於整個臺灣或全世界,當研究地區性或特殊疾病時,都具有重大的參考價值!

展望未來,《慈濟醫學雜誌》將持續在編輯上嚴謹把關,更加注重稿件的取捨運用,使得雜誌的水準能夠不斷地向上提升!以收錄於世界著名的科學性期刊索引為最終目標,作為全球的一流科學性刊物自許。

On the Cover