The First Mediterranean Seminar on Science Writing, Editing & Publishing (SWEP 2016) was held in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina from 2nd to 3rd December 2016. It was organized by Academy of Medical Sciences of Bosnia and Herzegovina, running concurrent sessions as part of its Annual Meeting titled “Days of AMNuBiH – Theory and Practice in Science Communication and Scientometrics”. Hotel Bosnia in the city centre was the chosen venue. On the first day, nineteen presentations on various issues of science writing and publication ethics were delivered by speakers from Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina and the UK (Asim Kurjak, Milivoj Boranić, Doncho Donev, Osman Sinanović, Miro Jakovljević, Enver Zerem, Dejan Milošević, Silva Dobrić, Srećko Gajović, Izet Mašić, Armen Yuri Gasparyan, Šekib Sokolović, Nermin Salkić, Selma Uzunović, Admir Kurtčehajić, Edin Begić and Floreta Kurti). Each presentation had a take-home message for novice and seasoned authors, encountering numerous problems in non-Anglophone research environment. Lecturers, who were internationally recognized editors of regional journals, generously shared their experience of adhering to the best ethical guidance. Elegant presentations by Srećko Gajović (Editor-in-Chief of the Croatian Medical Journal) and Armen Yuri Gasparyan (past Chief Editor of the European Science Editing) showcased their accomplishments that strengthened ties between authors from all over the world. Gasparyan reflected on educational resources of editorial associations, such as the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), and called not just to declare the adherence to, but also to enforce their ethical guidance in daily practice.
Editors of Medical Archives, Croatian Medica Journal, Vojnosanitetski Pregled, Psychiatria Danubina, Acta Informatica Medica, Materia Socio-Medica, The Donald School Journal of Ultrasound in Obstretics and Gynecology, Acta Medica Saliniana and Medicinski Glasnik presented their editorial strategies aimed at attracting best authors and resolving problems with authorship, conflicts of interest, and plagiarism. Topical education on science writing and editing was considered as an inseparable part of continuing professional development in biomedicine.
Armen Yuri Gasparyan (UK) was offered an opportunity to interact with more than 70 participants, attending the SWEP 2016 on the second day. The lecturer talked about author contributions, disclosures of conflicts of interests, plagiarism of ideas and words, research performance and impact indicators, and targeting ethical journals. Topics were presented in a way to help non-Anglophone authors, reviewers and editors avoid common ethical problems. Dr Gasparyan stressed the importance of regularly arranging such meetings across Balkan and Mediterranean countries to eradicate plagiarism and other forms research misconduct.
The organizers of the SWEP 2016 awarded selected keynote speakers with certificates of lifetime achievement in journal editing, and decided to run the Seminar annually with support of Balkan and Mediterranean editors and publishers. The SWEP 2016 marked a turning point in the process of regional developments since all attending editors opted for nurturing enthusiasm of the organizers and launching the Mediterranean Association of Science Editors and Publishers (MASEP).
The Seminar was a great success with its impressive scientific and social activities. It attracted more than 100 students, researchers, editors, and publishers from Bosnia & Herzegovina and neighbouring countries. Proceedings, in the form of short reports, were published in Acta Informatica Medica and archived in PubMed Central. New friendships were forged between regional experts in editing and young specialists during those unforgettable two days of intensive discussions and informal interactions.