WAME Board Letter on Behalf of the Croatian Medical Journal
This Letter was sent to the following individuals on behalf of the Croatian Medical Journal:
Tatjana Jeren, MD, PhD
President of the Board
Academy of Medical Sciences of Croatia
Prof. Nada Cikes, MD, PhD
Dean, School of Medicine
University of Zagreb
dr. sc. Aleksa Bjeli
Rector, University of Zagreb
Minister of Science, Education and Sports Zagreb
Republic of Croatia
Prof. Bozidar Vrhovac
National Bioethics Committee
Department of Medicine
We encourage WAME members to lend their support to the Marusics and editorial independence in general by contacting these individuals.
We, the Board of the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), are contacting you regarding the deplorable threats to the editorial independence of the Editors of the Croatian Medical Journal, Drs Matko and Ana Marusic. WAME believes that editorial independence is the cornerstone of biomedical publishing and essential to the integrity of the medical literature. Regardless of who owns the journal (eg, university, medical association) or where it is published, its editors must have editorial independence.
As WAME has declared in its policy statement (available at http://www.wame.org/resources/policies#independence ):
"Editors-in-chief should have full authority over the editorial content of the journal, generally referred to as 'editorial independence.'
Editorial content includes original research, opinion articles and news reports, both in print or electronic format, and regardless of how and when this information is published. Owners should not interfere in the evaluation, selection, or editing of individual articles, either directly or by creating an environment in which editorial decisions are strongly influenced.
Editorial decisions should be based mainly on the validity of the work and its importance to readers, not the policies or commercial success of the owner. Editors should be free to publish critical but responsible views about all aspects of medicine without fear of retribution, even if these views might conflict with the goals of the owner. To maintain this position, editors should seek input from a broad array of advisors such as reviewers, editorial staff, an editorial board, and readers...
Editors should resist any actions that might compromise these principles in their journals, even if it places their own position at risk. If major transgressions do occur, all editors should participate in drawing them to the attention of the international medical, academic, and lay communities."
WAME has written in support of editorial independence and the Marusics specifically, available at http://www.cmj.hr/2008/49/1/18293465.htm . The intimidation of the Marusics professionally is deplorable and the threats to the editorial independence of the Croatian Medical Journal will challenge its position as a respected medical journal. We urge you to support the editorial independence of these two excellent editors given that the Croatian Medical Journal truly a national treasure under their leadership. You can play an essential role in promoting and protecting the integrity of the medical literature that affects Croatia and the international communities.
Margaret Winker, MD
John Overbeke, MD
Farrokh Habibzadeh, MD
Tom Lang, MA
Michael Callaham, MD
Past President, WAME
Peush Sahne, MD
WAME Representative to ICMJE
Lorraine Ferris, PhD, LLM
WAME Ethics Committee Chair