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CMSRU launches new open-access scholarly journal

The Cooper Rowan Medical Journal (CRMJ), a new open-access, peer-reviewed biomedical science journal from Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU), has published its first manuscripts, announced Annette C. Reboli, MD, dean and professor of medicine at CMSRU.

The new scholarly journal is student-driven, partially student-run and faculty-supervised. Its peer-reviewed articles include up-to-date research first-authored by current medical students, allied healthcare students, and medical residents and fellows.

CMSRU is committed to educating students who understand the importance of evidence-based medicine, scholarly research and lifelong learning, explains Reboli.  

“These principles are enshrined in the school’s mission and core values, and were built into the curriculum through ‘Scholars Workshop,’ a four-year course that requires our students to develop and carry out a long-term project of scholarly investigation that results in a capstone project,” she said. “I’m so proud of the students, faculty and librarians for having the vision, confidence and perseverance to bring a project like this to fruition.” 

The journal is one of only a handful of peer-reviewed student medical journals nationwide. It was initiated last year by clinical faculty and medical students – led by fourth-year student Kristopher Hendershot - who sought to create a legitimate, peer-reviewed journal that could publish student research from around the globe. CMSRU medical librarian Benjamin Saracco, MLS, MAIT, and R. Philip Dellinger, MD, professor of medicine at CMSRU and one of the school’s most widely-published researchers, provided guidance and leadership to make the project a reality.

“Our input ensured that the journal would be produced professionally and ethically, and be manageable and sustainable,” explained Saracco, who serves as CRMJ’s managing editor. 

Mirroring the mission and vision of CMSRU and its focus on serving the community, CRMJ prioritizes publishing research that addresses medical conditions and health care access issues that impact medically underserved patients and communities. To date, CRMJ has received 20 submissions from more than 10 medical schools across the country and has accepted 10 percent of them. CRMJ is indexed in Google Scholar and the journal team has the goal of eventually being indexed in PubMed Central.

According to Saracco, the CRMJ Editorial Board includes defined student and faculty roles for strategic, educational reasons. 

“In addition to providing a platform for early career researchers to publish their research, we also aim to provide an opportunity to be involved with the inner-working of a research publication,” he says.  “For that reason, the peer review process includes a seasoned faculty member, a medical student and a resident. This experience is especially valuable for those in the early stages of their careers.”

CMSRU faculty members conduct over 400 NIH foundation- and industry-sponsored research projects each year. In December 2018, Rowan University earned a Carnegie R2 classification (high research activity) from The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, naming it just one of 132 of more than 4,300 colleges and universities across the country with that distinction.

About Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU)

Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU) is a proudly mission-driven school focused on developing highly skilled and socially conscious physician leaders who value a patient-centered, team approach to health care. Its innovative curriculum provides students with small-group, self-directed learning and early and continuous patient care experiences, beginning the third week of medical school. Service to the community is an important aspect of CMSRU’s program and is built into its curriculum.  Every medical student is required to complete 30-40 hours of service learning annually.

CMSRU graduated its Charter Class and earned Full Accreditation from the Liaison Committee for Medical Education in 2016. Currently, 336 students are enrolled in the school. CMSRU will continue to gradually increase total enrollment to a maximum of 416 students.