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Interview with the Editor-in-Chief

The Journal of the European CME (JECME) is delighted to present a Q&A interview with Professor Robin Stevenson, Editor-in-Chief from 2011-present.

Answering our questions about publishing in CME-CPD, Robin draws on his experience at JECME to give advice to prospective authors and reviewers and shed light on the journal submission process.

Robin is a retired consultant physician and honorary professor of medicine in Glasgow University. He has published original articles in leading journals, including The Lancet, BMJEuropean Respiratory JournalNature Medicine, Thorax, Chest, Respiratory Medicine and British Journal of Pharmacology, among others.

Robin Stevenson

1. Tell us a little about your academic and professional background before becoming Editor-in-Chief of JECME. I was a consultant physician in general and respiratory medicine in Glasgow Royal Infirmary. I was in administrative charge of one of the four general medical units and overall spent more than 30 years as an NHS teaching hospital consultant. In 2007, I became an honorary professor of medicine in Glasgow University. I did some early research on the mode of action of steroids, but latterly I was interested in “Hospital at Home” for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

2. When did you first become interested in CME-CPD? In the 1990s, I was one of the UK representatives at the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS). Along with the European Respiratory Society (ERS), we set up the European Board for Accreditation in Pneumology (EBAP). As president of EBAP, I was involved in developing the standards and procedures for accreditation as CME became established in the early 2000s. 3. What attracted you to the role of Editor-in-Chief of JECME? Following my retirement, I found myself playing a less active role in CME and accreditation. I felt becoming Editor-in-Chief of this exciting new journal would be an effective use of my expertise and experience in this area, while also enabling me to keep abreast of developments.

4. What do you think is the main aim of JECME? To serve as the principal international journal for those who provide, accredit, partake in and benefit from the practice of CME-CPD. 5. JECME was launched in 2011, how have you seen the journal evolve in recent years? The main challenge has been to encourage practitioners in CME-CPD, whatever role they have in the whole enterprise, to have the confidence to publish their work and experiences. While this is seen as commonplace in North America, it is sadly lacking in other parts of the world. We feel we are succeeding in encouraging people to publish in CME-CPD and that JECME is being viewed as a suitable platform to share their work with the wider community.

6. What sets JECME apart from other journals in this field? JECME publishes articles focusing on the practical application of CME-CPD methods, techniques and case studies and regulatory issues, as well as opinion pieces in the form of editorials, commentaries and letters. As an online-only, PubMed-indexed publication, JECME offers an attractive opportunity for authors in this specialist field who would like to have their work reviewed and published quickly. JECME is the journal of the longstanding European CME Forum and is also involved in ongoing discussions on international accreditation standards.

7. Which topics do you think are currently of particular interest to the CME-CPD community? A broad spectrum of topics relating to how to plan, implement and measure effective CME; how to detect, analyse and close practice gaps; provider or activity accreditation; interprofessional CME; effective learning styles; and balancing the role and support of industry.

8. What kind of papers would you like to see submitted? Original papers describing novel aspects of CME planning, design, delivery and assessment. More evidence that CME affects patient and community health and to what extent. Studies on the use of big data to identify practice gaps. I also enjoy reading position papers, consensus statements and conference reports.

9. Please describe the ideal submission. As JECME is a peer-reviewed and PubMed-indexed journal, we expect submissions to be high quality and technically sound. It is always a pleasure to receive articles that describe novel methods or arguments, and those that encourage or result in wider discussion or debate within the CME-CPD arena.

10. What advice can you give to people who are considering submitting work to JECME? Do not hesitate – go for it! I encourage potential authors to contact me directly if they would like to discuss any ideas, or would like help.

11. What support does JECME offer to authors who submit to the journal? Following the JECME Board Meeting in November 2019, we launched the JECME Support Scheme for authors. All JECME Board Members are encouraged to offer their help and advice to potential authors, especially first-time authors. If authors would like to make use of this scheme, they can contact us for more information. We are also planning to have practical paper writing workshops at the 13th European CME Forum (13ECF) in Barcelona, Spain later this year.

12. If people who are active in CME-CPD want to be involved with the journal, for instance as a reviewer, what is the best way to do so?

They should contact the journal directly by emailing us. We are always delighted to find people with the expertise competently to review manuscripts in this field.

13. What is most rewarding about being Editor-in-Chief for JECME? Constantly learning something new and being engaged with the developments and collaborations continually unfolding in CME-CPD. As Editor-in-Chief, I feel I am at the cutting-edge of CME thinking.

14. Are you planning any special collections?

As our focus this year is on outcomes, we are currently working on a special collection relating to aspects of this. We look forward to receiving submissions!

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