World Association of Medical Editors

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The World Association of Medical Editors (WAME, pronounced “whammy”) is a nonprofit voluntary association of editors of peer-reviewed medical journals from countries throughout the world. It was established in 1995.[1] As of April 30, 2008, WAME had more than 1500 members representing more than 965 journals from 92 countries.


Bruce Squires and Suzanne Fletcher, two of the original founders of WAME, described the history of WAME:[1] “The idea of a world association of medical editors germinated in the early 1990s out of concerns that the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), the Vancouver group;[2] was too small, self-serving, and exclusive and that biomedical journal editors around the world needed help in developing high-quality, peer reviewed journals. Accordingly, Suzanne and Robert Fletcher (editors of Annals of Internal Medicine at the time) spearheaded the preparation of an application to hold a conference at the Rockefeller Foundation Conference and Study Center in Bellagio, Italy, to consider the needs of medical journal editors globally and to devise a plan to meet those needs. The foundation approved the application in early 1994, and in March the following year, 22 participants from 13 countries met in Bellagio to consider the following:

  • What are the common purposes of medical-journal editors and the set of skills editors need to achieve these purposes?
  • What day-to-day obstacles and challenges do medical editors encounter in trying to achieve their goals?
  • Is there a need for global organization of medical-journal editors? If so, how can it be established, and how can medical-journal editors create a global electronic communication network to discuss goals and needs

and share information, ideas, and solutions?

  • How can medical-journal editors use their position to promote high-quality medical science, medical practice, and health in their regions and throughout the world?”[1]

The group decided on “creation of a global organization of editors of peer-reviewed journals, to be called the World Association of Medical Editors ... to facilitate worldwide cooperation among editors of peer-reviewed medical journals to enhance the exchange of educational information; to improve editorial standards; to promote the professionalism of medical editing through education, self criticism and self-regulation; to expand the voice of and influence of medical editors; to develop mutual support; and to encourage research on the principles and practices of medical editing so as to improve the quality of medical science and practice.” [3]

A second conference in Bellagio was held in January 2001, also funded through the Rockefeller Foundation and held at the Rockefeller Foundation Conference and Study Center, which established plans for editorial outreach including establishment of a member database, a listserve, and expansion of the WAME Web site.


WAME has a representative on the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors ICMJE [4] and works closely with other editor groups including the Council of Science Editors,[5] the European Association of Science Editors,[6] and the regional medical editor groups of Asociación Mexicana de Editores de Revistas Biomédicas (AMERBAC, the Mexican Association of Biomedical Journal Editors), Asociación de Editores de Revistas Biomédicas Venezolanas (ASEREME, Venezuelan Association of Medical Editors),[7] Forum for African Medical Editors (FAME),[8] and Eastern Mediterranean Association of Medical Editors (EMAME).[9] WAME holds in-person conferences in conjunction with the Peer Review Congress.[10]


WAME’s Editorial Policies [11] include The Relationship Between Journal Editors-in-Chief and Owners (formerly titled Editorial Independence). This policy, written shortly after the JAMA editor was fired[12] was also used in support of the New England Journal of Medicine editor when he was forced to leave [13] and in support of the editors of the Croatian Medical Journal.[14]

WAME’s Ethics Committee provides consultation in anonymous format for editors seeking advice on difficult ethical issues and provides an anonymized version online [15] as an educational tool for editors. Additional consultation and discussion (in anonymous format) may be provided to the Committee on Publication Ethics [16] which also issues written opinions.

WAME’s resources for editors also include Publication Ethics Policies,[17] General resources for editors,[18] Ethics resources,[19] and compiled Listserve discussions.[20] WAME also lists Meetings of interest to medical editors.[21]

WAME Board[edit]

WAME has an elected Board composed of the President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer, plus 5 Directors.

WAME Committees[edit]

WAME Committees include Editorial Policy, Education, and Ethics, as well as Finance, Membership, and Web, plus the Small Journals Task Force.

WAME Member Listserve[edit]

WAME has an active member listserve and posts compiled listserves for public access [22]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]