Canadian Medical Association Journal Announcement

(February 2006)

The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) expresses serious concern at the Canadian Medical Association's (CMA) recent dismissal of the Canadian Medical Association Journal's (CMAJ) editor and senior deputy editor, John Hoey and Anne Marie Todkill. The CMA gave no specific reasons for this action. The ICMJE believes this action took place in the context of the CMA interfering with the journal's editorial function. If a journal is to serve as an independent scientific voice, the editor must be free to publish anything that addresses contemporary problems in medicine.

Removing editors for unclear reasons provides ipse facto evidence of publisher interference. Members of the ICMJE protest this action and believe that it violates the principles of editorial independence expressed in the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals. By taking this action, the CMA has damaged its most priceless asset, the reputation of its world-renowned journal, and diminished itself in the eyes of the world. To safeguard the journal's reputation as an independent scientific voice, the ICMJE urges the CMA to assert the journal's freedom to express an independent opinion and to put in place systems to protect the journal against interference.

ICMJE, February 2006