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CMAJ expands its reach

CMAJ is becoming more unprintable every day and that makes CMAJ Editor-in-Chief Dr. John Fletcher very happy.

That’s because in this case unprintable does not mean unfit to print but rather having more content appear online and on social media channels in addition to regular content that appears in the printed journal.

In recent months, CMAJ has significantly expanded its presence on other media. Earlier this summer, the journal also hired a digital content editor to strengthen its presence in media other than print.

The journal is now published in 5 formats: print, online, as an iOS app, as an Android app, and in flipbook format. But in addition, CMAJ has an active social media presence with a Facebook page and a Twitter account @CMAJ_News with almost 11,000 followers.

This social media presence has expanded rapidly over the last few months. At the beginning of the year, CMAJ partnered with the Canadian Federation of Medical Students to create a student humanities blog to give medical students an opportunity to an opportunity to publish narratives and poetry about their experiences in medical training.”

That blog was recently expanded to feature blog posts by CMAJ editors and guest bloggers. This new feature gained immediate attention if not notoriety when associate editor Domnhall MacAuley posted a column in early June titled “Fat people eat more ice cream.”

The blog prompted a storm of angry comments on social media but gave CMAJ an opportunity to clarify that the blog posts were not peer-reviewed or part of the official CMAJ journal but rather the opinions of those posting the commentaries.

All of the blogs are now hosted on a CMAJBlogs web page with a linked twitter feed.

“We feel it is important for CMAJ to be visible and make creative use of all of the media in which medical and health issues are discussed,” said Fletcher.

“The days when a peer-reviewed medical journal consisted of an volume sitting on the shelf are long gone.”

Forward any comments about this article to: cmanews@cma.ca.