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​CMA Board of Directors announces restructuring and modernization plan for CMAJ

Ottawa, Feb. 29, 2016 At its board meeting of this past weekend, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) Board of Directors has approved a restructuring and modernization plan for the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).

A CMAJ Task Force, to be led by CMA Past-President, Dr. Chris Simpson, has been created to consult with members and propose recommendations on a new mission statement, goals and objectives for CMAJ. The goal is to recast CMAJ as a world-class leading journal.

“As an academic publisher, CMAJ is facing challenges from new digital channels, the trend toward open access, and the changing habits of readers,” said Dr. Cindy Forbes, CMA President. “CMAJ is competing with many respected global medical journals ─ some of whom are promoting themselves in Canada ─ to attract the best research.”

In recent years, CMAJ has seen a decline in submissions and impact factor. Impact factor is the average number of citations received for research published in an academic journal.

As a result of the restructuring and modernization plan, Dr. John Fletcher, Editor-in-Chief, is no longer with the organization. In addition, the Journal Oversight Committee, which in part provided counsel on issues of editorial independence, has been discontinued.

The CMA Board of Directors reaffirmed its commitment to editorial independence, the cornerstone of CMAJ’s credibility and value. The CMA Board will continue to fulfill its existing role of ensuring complete editorial independence for the Journal. The Editor-in-Chief can appeal directly to the CMA Board with any such questions, as has always been the case. The Board remains the final arbiter on any questions of editorial independence.

The CMA will announce an interim Editor-in-Chief soon, with recruitment for a new, permanent Editor-in-Chief to follow.

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian physicians. Founded in 1867, the CMA is a voluntary professional organization representing more than 80,000 of Canada’s physicians and comprising 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and 60 national medical organizations. CMA’s mission is helping physicians care for patients. The CMA will be the leader in engaging and serving physicians and be the national voice for the highest standards for health and health care.