Following seven years of a highly successful, dual language policy in publication, the African journal of Emergency Medicine (AfJEM) will cease to include French translations in publication from the September 2017 issue. Instead we will be taking it online to our newly created family of blogs.
From the outset our policy has always been towards inclusivity – no-one with a great research idea should be excluded from disseminating their work through publication, and no-one hoping to access research should be excluded from doing so either. Fully subsidised by the African Federation for Emergency Medicine, the AfJEM charges no processing or accessing fees, provides free author assistance and up until this issue published all titles and abstracts in both English and French. Oddly enough this did not make us as inclusive as we had hoped. Perhaps through ignorance we neglected to acknowledge Africa’s diverse, regional language culture, one that cannot simply be described through English and French.
I have to say off the cuff that I was simply blown away by the local Rwandan faculty and the quality of this conference. In retrospect I do not know why I expected things to be different. I mean I knew most of the faculty, the journal has published a number of their papers and I have seen many of the trainees present elsewhere. I was really hoping it would be great, but worried that I’d be disappointed. The Rwandans easily exceeded expectations.