Thursday, May 3, 2018

Guest Post: Why get involved in the RCSIsmj - Student Medical Journal? with Suzanne Murphy

Vol 11 is now available in RCSI Library
RCSIsmj (Student Medical Journal) is in its 11th year as a totally student run peer-reviewed publication giving students a unique taste of research publishing, editing and promotion. Editor-In-Chief Suzanne Murphy, an RCSI Medical Student gives her take on what is involved in being part of the editorial team and why you should consider getting involved!

When I first applied for the SMJ, I was really interested in a writing position. I had experience blogging and editing various student publications and I felt like it would be a good opportunity to write something for publication.

When I read about the different roles within the SMJ (which you can do here), I thought I would love the role of senior editor but never expected to get it! I decided to apply for Senior Editor, senior staff writer and staff writer. I thought I had a decent chance of getting a staff writer post and anything beyond that would be a bonus.  

The second round of the application process involved editing a writing sample and an informal meeting with the Mohit and Jenna, the Director and Editor-In-Chief at the time. To my delight I was offered the position of Senior Editor and I gladly accepted....though the panic did set in!

I worried I wouldn’t be able for the job. I worried about how I’d balance the extra work with my studies. It turns out I had nothing to worry about. Both Jenna and Mo were so supportive of me, as were all the SMJ staff. The role is a learning curve and everyone understood that.

The senior positions within SMJ work on a rolling basis with senior staff passing on the roles to their junior counterparts. This allows time for training so that by the end of my year as Senior Editor, I was more that prepared for the role of Editor-In-Chief.  Even in the less formalised positions there is plenty of training and support given.  Seeing how SMJ staff support each other in their roles is one of the things that makes me proud to be involved with the publication.

RCSIsmj Vol:11 2017/2018
How can students get involved?
Becoming a staff member for the journal offers students from all years, in all courses, with all levels of experience, the opportunity to meet one another as they work together to prepare and promote the journal.  The SMJ is often the first opportunity many students get to have their work published and all involved take great pride in the high standard of the articles published. 

The SMJ is committed to all aspects of health research. Its regular journal clubs allow students to engage with RCSI staff, learn about current research and find out more about the different disciplines within medicine.  The journal clubs are relaxed, casual events where students also have the chance to meet the SMJ staff and learn about how they can get involved with the journal. I would definitely recommend students get involved in the journal clubs, even if they are not on the staff of the SMJ.

Dean Hannah MCGEE with RCSI SMJ's current executive committee

My advice for anyone considering getting involved in the SMJ: 

1.     Apply for the post(s) you want the most- Students are welcome to apply for multiple posts, but don’t discount a post because you think you don’t have the experience for it. Nearly all of our posts involve some degree of training and we are all here to help new staff.
2.      You don’t have to be a medical student to apply- We welcome applications from students in all courses!
3.      Take time to have a look at the journal (available online or in the library) before you apply- Ideally you would already be familiar with the journal if you’re considering joining the team, but, if not, grab a copy or have a read online.
4.      If you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in contact with us! You can email any questions or queries about the available posts to .

The deadline for applications for the staff has passed for this year 2018/2019 but students interested should get in touch about the journal club or blogging for the SMJ...and of course think about what staff role you might like to apply for next year. Keep in touch with all of the news SMJ website or via our Facebook page.

Suzanne Murphy 

No comments: