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Indian Journal of Surgery
Medknow Publications on behalf of Association of Surgeons of India
ISSN: 0972-2068
Vol. 64, Num. 6, 2002, pp. 535-536

Indian Journal of Surgery, Vol. 64, No. 6, Nov - Dec. 2002, pp. 535-536

Letter to the Editor

Editorial Appeal

Dr. Jagmohan Mathur

3, Poddar Marg Near Polytechnic, Residency Road, Jodhpur 302017 Rajasthan

Code Number: is02016

Sir,

Please refer to the recent issue of Indian Journal that carried the editorial appeal.1 I may be allowed to comment on some of the articles published in this issue as below:

  1. I feel that the Editorial Appeal regarding increase in financial support from A.S.I. for the journal should not have been printed in the Journal as it is not the right forum for such matters. The journal is being read by the whole academic world and we need not to expose our "poverty" to all those who would not help us. On the contrary advertisers will take a very poor view and their decision to place advertisements in a  "dying" Journal will be adversely affected.
  2. The appropriate thing would have been to bring this issue in the agenda of General Body Meeting, which in a democratic set up and under the legal provisions of the registered society (that is Association of Surgeons of India) is the most powerful body. I am sure that after learning the facts (as given in the appeal) your resolution for raising the financial support would have been passed by a large majority. I wonder why you did not prefer to choose this procedure.
  3. Any publication in present times can survive only with advertisement revenue. The subscription revenue makes an insignificant portion of the revenue for any publication. You have ignored the fact that the most important thing which the A.S.I. has given to the IJS is its name. I am sure that with more professional and commercial bent of mind the Journal which is circulated among 10,000 surgeons will be flooded with advertisements.
  4. If the Journal has not been indexed inspite of your active association with it for last 42 years then you will have to share the blame as well.

REFERENCE

  1. Udwadia TE. Editorial appeal. Indian J Surg 2002; 64: 411-12.

Response from the Editor

Sir,

I greatly appreciate your commitment towards the Journal which prompted you to write your letter. The Editorial Board had expected and anticipated an outpouring of letters like yours to the Editorial Appeal.The appeal was not placed on a whim - it was after great deliberation and thought and was written as a last recourse.  More than an appeal it was a cry of anguish.  We have repeatedly appealed in all normal ways via all appropriate channels. The following resolution was requested to be placed before the Governing Council and the General Body at Kolkata:

Hence it is resolved that:

If the IJS is to be printed on time every time, the contribution from ASI must be on time every time. ASI contribution to the IJS MUST BE ON A PER MEMBER BASIS and this contribution be reviewed every 4 to 6 months to take the increasing membership into consideration. The per member contribution be realistic and proportionate to the current expenses and be fixed for the next calendar year to Rs 120 / member. To forward the ASI contribution to the Editorial Office twice a year in January and July to allow better financial planning and stability. Please be kind enough to place this resolution before the Governing Council and the Annual General Body meeting both to be held in Kolkata this December, and kindly acknowledge receipt of this letter.

The same resolution was forwarded separately by several A.S.I. members to the Hon. Secretary for discussion at Kolkata.  The "appropriate" steps you advocate in your letter were vigorously attempted.

I do feel there is no shame or disrespect in "poverty".  The shame is in apathy and indifference, strangling growth and improvement. Nor is "poverty" synonymous with "dying". I assure you our Journal is not "dying" - it has never generated more vigour, spirit, controversy or support as can be seen by the number of letters we receive and our list of advertisers. 

When you talk of "democratic set up" are you aware of the attendance at the General Body meeting?  Would a discussion by 3% of 10,000 members be democratic?  We felt it would be more democratic to share our agony with the entire membership who had elected this Editorial Board.

You write "any publication at present times can survive only with advertisement revenue". Such sweeping statements must be based on facts, not presumption or market gossip.  I have served on the Editorial Board of several journals, all indexed, national and international.  In each one of these journals the far greater share of revenue is from subscriptions of the membership / readers.

Finally you write "If the Journal has not been indexed inspite of your active association with it for last 42 years then you will have to share the blame as well".  Surely atleast one fact you could have got correct?  I did not write I have been associated with the Journal for 42 years.  I wrote that I have been associated with the A.S.I. for 42 years.  However, unwittingly as it is, you have spoken the truth.  As a member of the A.S.I. I share the blame for the I.J.S., just as much as should every member of the A.S.I., quite a few of whom are very critical of the Journal but very few of whom have ever lifted a finger to serve it.  Since you feel it is so easy to be "flooded with advertisements" could you help get just one?

REFERENCE

  1. Udwadia TE. Editorial appeal. Indian J Surg 2002; 64: 411-12.

Dr. Tehemton E. Udwadia
Chairman, Editorial Board, I.J.S.

Copyright 2002 - Indian Journal of Surgery. Also available online at http://www.indianjsurg.com

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