You really ought to contribute a blog
I have written about 100 papers and a lot of whimsical popular articles – the two not mutually exclusive because I used to challenge myself to smuggle in at least one humorous allusion into “proper papers.”
On looking at my publication list I seem to have suffered from a lack of consistency and am a metaphorical writing equivalent of Don Quixote who jumped on his horse and rode off in all directions at once. One result is that I have obviously been included in several commercially distributed lists of doctors who have written on various subjects. I have been approached by journals dealing with neurology, psychiatry, pregnancy, reproduction, eye disorders, dental disorders, yoga and physiotherapy, strokes, medical cannabis, diabetes, and gynaecology. I cannot claim any professional expertise (or come to think of it, amateur expertise) expertise in any of these subjects.
E-mail requests for me to write were often effusive and often combined with an invitation to speak at a conferences (formal meetings for discussion), symposiums (similar but I note the term is derived from the Greek expression meaning to drink together – what’s not to like about that?) or Colloquium (to talk together). The initial greetings used in these requests were all encouraging. “Hope you are doing well! Salutation for the day! I am privileged to contact you through this mail and I hope this is a good time to solicit your kind attention. Salutations! Hope this email reaches out to you in good health and blithe spirit. Hope you are doing great! Start each day with good Spirit. Dear Venerable Dr. Welsby.” Thus fortified I read on.
The reasons for the opportunities offered were music to my ears if not to my brain. Seven examples “Your eminence and authority in this field of research would add immense value to our upcoming issue of the journal. Based on your eminence in the field, with great pleasure we would like to honor you as a speaker for the conference…Your immense experience and expertise. A potential crew member in the World’s most revolutionary journey towards the best possible future, a borderless World of Eutopia and Cornucopia. Congratulations on the nomination to join your country’s most prestigious team, you are one of your country’s best Experts. We hope 2-page article isn’t time taken for an eminent like you.” And “It will be a great honor and privilege to invite you to submit your research work in the fields of Medical science, Community medicine, molecular medicine, Reproductive medicine, pulmonary medicine, Internal medicine, Family medicine, Forensic medicine, Emergency medicine, Addiction medicine, Geriatric emergency medicine, etc.” I loved the etc.! Finally one journal solicited the grace of my thoughts. Previously I though my writing were earthy but now I realise that I can pontificate and give everyone the benefit of my transcendent wisdoms which could mostly receive a medical diagnosis of taurofaecalosis.
Most conclude by asking for payment although some are up-front. “Oral Presentation: ($799) $399 and Poster Presentation: ($499) $299” or “ We will be glad to publish your valuable work providing huge discount on publication fee” or “The article processing charges is 300 USD for the articles submitted before the deadline.”
People are inclined to be critical of such money making approaches and feel that authors would not have to pay if there work were meritorious. Indeed I feel a sense of pride that I have never paid to have anything I wrote published. But before I become consumed with self-righteousness I pay to play in an amateur orchestra that gives concerts. So what is the difference?
Concluding farewells were also effusive. “With Gratitude. We are confident that you are always will be there to support us. We hope a 2-page article isn’t time taken for an eminent like you. We are confident that you are always will be there to support us.”
The organisations that issue these opportunities obviously recruit sufficient punters. Could their methods be employed to invite Postgraduate Medical Journal readers to submit a blog or two? If so, over effusive language seems essential.
Dear Honourable, Eminent and respected Professor (even if you were not a Professor who would take offense?)
We have been continually impressed by the frequency with which your revered name has been highlighted in the learned international medical journals and the expectations expressed when your name is featured on relevant communications. No matter what the topic, your lucidity and intelligence displayed is remarkable. Accordingly we would humbly request that you give us the favour of a few paragraphs that would be a prominent feature in our blog section. We of course leave the topic in your capable hands. We are sure you have had erudite thoughts that ought to be shared, whether they are on medical matters or other matters of international significance that have received your attention.
Brief book reviews would be welcome as this would provide a guide to our readers who might not otherwise be aware of critically well received writings of merit other than your own.
Seriously, the Postgraduate Medical Journal needs interesting blogs so that other readers will similarly contribute blogs that will also interest those of you who are about to contribute – “positively snowballing feedback.” Fame awaits!
Looking forward to your submissions to Alisdair McNeill at firstname.lastname@example.org,