Message from the President

The Asia Pacific Association of Medical Journal Editors (APAME) was conceived in 2007 and formally established at its inaugural meeting in May 2008 with the mission of contributing “to the improvement of health in the Asia Pacific Region by ensuring the quality and dissemination of health-related information published in medical journals, utilized for the purposes of better decision-making and effective delivery of health services.”

My predecessors, Prof. Dr. Chang Kok Hahm (Korea), Prof. Dr. John T. Arokiasamy (Malaysia), and Prof. Dr. Kiyoshi Kitamura (Japan) laid a solid foundation for APAME with the efforts of National Associations of Medical Journal Editors in member countries and steadfast support from the WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific.

Following its inaugural meeting in Seoul 2008, APAME convened joint meetings with the Western Pacific Region Index Medicus (WPRIM) in Beijing 2008, Singapore 2009, and Ha Noi 2010, an informal consultation on WPRIM and the Global Health Library (GHL) in Manila 2009, and a congress in conjunction with the 4th Asia Pacific Evidence Based Medicine Network Conference (APEMBNC) and 8th Guidelines International Network (G-I-N) meeting in Seoul 2011. Participants representing the Index Medicus for the South East Asia Region (IMSEAR) joined the APAME annual conventions and joint meetings with WPRIM in Kuala Lumpur 2012, Tokyo 2013 and Ulaanbaatar 2014. Through our Education Committee, APAME also conducted numerous seminars and workshops in “Medical Writing, Peer Review and Editing,” in the Philippines (Bacolod 2011, Manila 2011, Cebu and Davao 2012, Pasay 2012, Baguio and Iloilo 2013, Laoag 2013, Tagaytay and Cagayan de Oro 2014, Davao 2014) and other Member States (Brunei 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014; Seoul 2011; Ho Chi Minh 2011; Kuala Lumpur 2012; Phnom Penh 2013; Ulaanbaatar 2014), including one in conjunction with the “14th ASEAN Paediatric Congress & 3rd Asian Paediatric Otolaryngology Meeting in Singapore 2011” and “Training on the WPRIM Database” in Chengdu China 2011.

Reflecting these developments, APAME issued the “Singapore Declaration on Equitable Access to Health Information in the Western Pacific Region” (November 6, 2009), the “Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Promotion of Scholarly Writing Skills and Standards in the Asia Pacific Region” (September 2, 2012) and the “Tokyo Declaration on Research Integrity and Ethical Publication in Science and Medicine in the Asia Pacific Region” (August 4, 2014). Our collaborative efforts with the WHO WPRO that began on December 11-12, 2006 finally bore fruit in the formal launch of the platform for the Western Pacific Region Index Medicus (WPRIM) on May 6-7, 2010 hosted by IMICAMS in China. A complementary platform, APAMED Central, was formally launched on September 2, 2012 hosted by KAMJE – Synapse in Malaysia.

We have formally opened membership to colleagues from the 11 Member States of the South East Asia Region in addition to those from the 37 Member States of the Western Pacific Region and the current office-bearers represent both IMSEAR and WPRIM – indexed journals. We continue to pursue our commitment to improve editorial standards and promote professionalism in medical editing through education, self-assessment, and self governance; to facilitate research writing and peer-review processes through training workshops, seminars, and other activities; and to foster the continuing education of medical journal editors, reviewers, editorial staff, publishers and librarians in the region. To this end, our APAME Webinars organized by our IT and Library Committee feature monthly topics of interest.

Although the circumstances surrounding medical journal publishing differ from country to country, we have common objectives of enhancing the quality and value of medical and health publications. To achieve our objectives, collaboration and communication among our members and stakeholders is indispensable. We also collaborate closely with our colleagues in other regions, represented by the Eastern Mediterranean Association of Medical Editors (EMAME), Forum for African Medical Editors (FAME) and World Association of Medical Editors (WAME). Our Ethics and Editorial Policy Committee is at the forefront of understanding contextual realities and formulating globally- responsive yet loco-regionally relevant recommendations.

With all these exciting developments, I look forward to welcoming you to Manila from August 24-26, 2015 for the Joint Meeting of APAME with IMSEAR and WPRIM and the APAME 2015 Annual Convention, in conjunction with FORUM 2015. Mabuhay!

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José Florencio F. Lapeña, Jr., M.A., M.D., FPCS (President, Asia Pacific Association of Medical Journal Editors; President, Philippine Association of Medical Journal Editors; Professor of Otorhinolaryngology, University of the Philippines Manila)