A group of motivated LSU Shreveport medical students has established the American Medical Student Research Journal (AMSRJ) to make the research and publishing process more accessible to their peers. Authored, reviewed, and edited by medical students in association with faculty mentors, this pilot academic publication is an effort to promote interest in research as well as to provide a platform for the development of critical thinking skills needed to succeed in practice. The student journal will be only the second of its kind in the country.
The creation of AMSRJ was entirely student driven, with students putting up their own money to register as a non-profit corporation and apply for federal trademark permissions. Student editors authored peer review and editorial workflow guidelines, section guidelines for authors, and their own author statements and consent forms. They created a Web site and began accepting submissions for case reports, original research manuscripts, clinical experience essays, and health position policy articles. Advertising through e-mail and social media has been a success to date, with both submissions and requests for greater involvement received from across the nation. The team has grown from a core group of 12 committed LSU Health Shreveport student editors to include 33 faculty advisors from LSU Health Shreveport, and 64 reviewers from medical schools across the country.
While medical students usually submit their work to the same publications frequented by faculty, AMSRJ provides a free, open-access alternative venue to allow students to connect and collaborate with their peers and future colleagues in a constructive review process.
The AMSRJ inaugural issue will be published online in spring 2014.