The PAMJ Blog

The Official blog of the Pan African Medical Journal

The PAMJ capacity building initiative

30 Jan 2021 / Information

Introduction to the PAMJ capacity-building initiative

The Pan African Medical Journal has grown to become one of the biggest Open Access Journal in Africa. One thousand manuscripts are received annually, and more than 1000 published since the inception of the journal in late 2008. We received articles from the entire spectrum of health sciences including original research papers in the field of clinical medicine, epidemiology, public health, community medicine, and social sciences. Other types of articles we receive include clinical case reports, case series, images in clinical medicine, letters to the editors, commentaries, short communication, and editorials.

The first PAMJ survey (2011) showed that around 50% of authors submitting articles for consideration have less than 5 years of publication experience; more than 60 of this cohort is at its first experience in publication. An analysis of the journal rejection shows that more than 70% of the articles rejected are rejected based on their poor writing quality; these authors, who are mostly young, simply lack basic skills in scientific writing, introductory statistics, or publication ethics. For all these reasons, we felt compelled to establish a mechanism to help build the capacities of an increasingly large cohort of young African researchers.

PAMJ Curriculum

This training process takes place through conferences, workshops, and mostly through the establishment of Centers for Excellence in scientific writing, set-up throughout the continent, in collaboration with established institutions involved in research (Universities, research centers, research bodies, NGOs, etc...). The course will lead to a certificate co-signed by PAMJ and the hosting institution.  

Since 2016, the PAMJ organized closed to 8 rounds of training in 3 countries (Cameroon, Kenya, Rwanda), in collaboration with various organizations such as the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa, the African Field Epidemiology Network, the University of Rwanda.

Webinar poster

Because of the pandemic, the training has shifted online, with quarterly webinars, including some organized in partnership with organizations such as the Malawi Medical Journal and the University of Malawi.  The PAMJ Webinar Series for 26 Nov 2020 was organized in collaboration with the University of Malawi and the Malawi Medical Journal, the PAM. The topic of this webinar was “The Top 10 Reasons why your manuscript is rejected and how to avoid them”. The webinar attracted more than 80 participants, mostly from Malawi, but also from other countries in Africa. The panelists of the webinar were Dr. Raoul Kamadjeu (Managing Editor of the PAMJ) and Dr. Luchuo E. Bain (Scientific Editor, PAMJ). The participants had the opportunity to understand the work behind the wall of the editorial office of a medical journal. The success of the webinar prompted the organizers to plan for a remake for the first webinar of 2021 in Feb. The Feb webinar will be open to a wider audience.

The PAMJ Webinar series is our response to the need to build the capacity of junior researchers in Africa and beyond on how to report science. The online version of the workshop focuses on our key capacity-building areas of work: scientific writing, publication ethics, introductory statistics, and electronic resources.

The content of the curriculum is provided below.

  • Fundamentals of scientific writing
  • Electronic resources and effective use of reference management software in scientific writing
  • Zotero – an open-source and free reference management software
  • Introduction to publication ethics
  • Introductory statistics
  • Publication guidelines: STROBE, CARE, PRISMA

Watch this space for our next webinar on scientific writing.

For more about the PAMJ capacity building initiative and to organize a training in collaboration with your institution, contact

Pan African Medical Journal

This article is published by the editorial office of the PAMJ (KENYA)

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scientific writing
capacity building