Wednesday, October 25, 2023

It’s been nearly two years since LUCOM started its very own research E-journal.  It’s a partnership between LUCOM and the Cureus Journal of Medicine. Yes, your read it correctly.  Spelled Cureus and pronounced “kyur·ee·uhs” or simply “curious”.

When Dr. Johnson, Dean of LUCOM, first arrived on campus in 2020, one of his priorities was to find ways to move the research infrastructure forward.  One way to help do that would be to form a cutting-edge vehicle that could help drive that for both students and faculty.  For this endeavor, Dr. Johnson tapped Dr. Carl Hoegerl to help move the project forward.  Dr. Hoegerl knew that to form a journal, there would be a need to disseminate the articles in a way that would make them easily found and available to everyone.  The articles would need to be indexed in big medical databases like PubMed, Google Scholar, and others where anyone on the internet can find them. But to get these articles indexed in these databases, it would take years before that could be done.

That’s where the partnership with the Cureus Journal of Medicine comes in.  The Cureus Journal allows institutions like LUCOM to partner with them to get their articles published.  Since Cureus is already indexed in these databases, LUCOM wouldn’t have to wait years for that to be done.  Not only that, but LUCOM formed its own editorial board in conjunction with Cureus to help with the entire process.  It’s really a win-win for everyone involved.  Students and faculty can have a vehicle to get their research published and faculty can also serve as reviewers and editors as well.  It is a wonderful way to get everyone involved.

This project has definitely seen everyone get involved.  There have been publications from students, faculty, residents, and alumni of LUCOM.  Cureus allows LUCOM to create a “channel” on their site that the LUCOM editorial board controls.  All submissions go through several checkpoints before an article or abstract is finally accepted for publication.  This includes initial review, peer review from reviewers that both LUCOM and Cureus assign, final editorial review and copyediting before final publication.  Within about six weeks after publication on the channel site is approved, then the article is indexed on the major databases.

The very first article published through the channel was from student Wynnie Jung.  She published an article on Sudden Hearing Loss.  Student Doctor Jung states that “This will be a valuable platform for me moving forward because it will allow me to efficiently publish diverse types of papers on various topics. I will also be able to connect with other residents and providers through this platform to discuss papers and receive valuable peer review.”  When asked about the peer review process, she states that “The peer review process was very valuable as it provided useful critique to my paper to maximize its quality. It also helped me improve my skills as a researcher and writer so that I can apply this experience to future papers I will write. I learned how to properly clarify my facts and ensure that I was citing from well-respected sources.”

One of the LUCOM’s very own alumni, Dr. Rafail Beshai, has published a couple of articles already.  Dr Beshai states that “Nowadays, research is considered a requirement at every step of medical training: from entering medical school, to matching into a residency or a fellowship. [The LUCOM] Cureus platform makes it easy to publish in a peer reviewed journal.”  He goes on to say “Publishing is fun. Working on projects force you to read the most up to date articles about the topics that you are writing about, so you really become an expert on those topics.”

The platform is also being used by residents at LUCOM.  Dr. Mark Unger (ONMM Resident) partnered with faculty to have a paper published earlier this year.  Dr. Unger states that “Scholarly activity is an important part of ONMM residency training. The platform serves these goals of scholarship by offering exposure to the process of peer review in a time-efficient manner. The fact that accepted manuscripts are indexed on PubMed is a serious bonus.”  His advice to rising medical students is that “I would encourage rising medical students and fellow residents to finish writing whatever manuscript draft they may have pushed aside and submit it for peer review through the LUCOM/Cureus web platform. The response will be friendly, the feedback will be constructive, and the learning experience will be invaluable.”

Now that the “E-Journal” has developed into a more mature platform, next steps are being taken to expand the reach and benefits of the project.  Faculty and students from Liberty University (main campus) can submit to the platform.  LUCOM is making the platform available to osteopathic physicians and medical students beyond LU as well.  Any article submitted to the LUCOM E-Journal must have a biomedical or clinical medicine focus and must also be consistent with the LUCOM mission and vision.

More information can be found at

LUCOM wants to thank the LUCOM E-Journal committee for making this project possible including Carl Hoegerl, Ying Liu, Robert Morrisette, Diane Garber, John Martin, Shekher Mohan, Raena Pettitt, and Sasmit Roy for all their contributions to this project.