About This Journal
The establishment of Health Professions Education in 2015 was a response to the fact that the field is expanding. The number of academics and educators interested in understanding what works in health professions education and why, increases. Existing journals turn down up to 90% of submissions and offer little opportunity for young researchers and educators to master the craft of scientific publishing in close interaction with experienced reviewers. Health Professions Education will therefore offer more extended editorial support to young researchers than is possible for existing journals. We encourage beginning authors to start submitting their work to our journal.
Second, the field focuses more and more on the science of health professions education and this seems to be happening at the expense of interest in the practice of health professions education. We will offer space in our columns for those who have interesting new practices to share with their colleagues elsewhere. Papers could have the form of a case study, a description of a new approach to teaching or assessment, report of initial data of an ongoing innovation, etcetera. Publication of such experiences will follow if your ideas have the potential to be applied by other educators in their respective schools.
Third, the scientific publishing endeavor itself needs a fresh approach. In recent years, scientists have been caught meddling with their data, making up findings,1 or selecting their subjects such that statistically significant effects are produced.2 Famous experiments turn out to be nonreplicable by other researchers.3 Truth, it seems, has become less important than having your paper published. Scientific journals add to this regrettable state of affairs by their focus on new and spectacular findings. In addition, their policy of only publishing statistically significant results, leads to publication bias: since negative findings with regard to a particular hypothesis are almost never published, such hypothesis seems to have more scientific support than it in reality has.4 In particular the medical and social sciences fall victim of these kinds of problems because of the flexibility researchers have in data collection, analysis, and reporting, which dramatically increase actual false-positive publication rates.5
In the literature a number of remedies against these problematic practices are proposed. First, journals should require independent replication of findings before publishing a study. Second, the publication of non-significant findings, that is: studies that although an interesting hypothesis was tested, did not find a statistically significant effect, should be encouraged. Third, researchers should be stimulated to employ existing and validated instruments in their studies. And fourth, full disclosure of methods and publication of data collected should be required.
Here is where this journal comes in. Of course we provide ample room for the publication of new and exciting findings: experiments, correlational studies, case studies, and reviews that help our field of health professions education progress. But in addition, we wish to contribute to the solution of these ailments of science recently uncovered. We therefore invite researchers to submit papers that contain (a) replications of landmark studies in the field, (b) non-significant findings of interesting hypotheses, and (c) papers reporting the development and evaluation of new measuring instruments for use in health professions education. In addition, we will provide opportunities for further discussion of a particular paper by publishing the reviewers' reports in conjunction with the paper itself and by inviting readers to join the discussion. Finally, we will invite the authors to publish their full data.
No publication fee required
Health Professions Education is the official journal of the Association of Medical Education of the Eastern-Mediterranean Region (AMEE) in affiliation with the World Federation of Medical Education (WFME) and the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office of the World Health Organization (EMRO). It will pay therefore extra attention to submissions from this part of the world and will hopefully play an emancipatory role for researchers from emerging universities in this region. The publication of the journal is sponsored by a generous grant of King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This implies that prospective authors do not have to pay a fee once their paper is accepted for publication.
1. 〈http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/33695/title/ Top-Science-Scandals-of-2012/〉; 2012 Accessed 11.01.14.
2. Masicampo EJ, Lalande DR. A peculiar prevalence of p values just below .05. Q J Exp Psychol 2012;65(11):2271–2279.
3. Shanks DR, Newell BR, Lee, EH, et al. Priming intelligent behavior: an elusive phenomenon. PLoS One 2013;8(4).
4. van Assen M, van Aert RCM, Nuijten MB, Wicherts JM. Why publishing everything is more effective than selective publishing of statistically significant results. PLoS One 2014;9(1).
5. Simmons JP, Nelson LD, Simonsohn U. False-positive psychology: undisclosed flexibility in data collection and analysis allows presenting anything as significant. Psychol Sci 2011;22(11):1359–1366.