Current Status of MRIC Global
Authot:Akihiko Ozaki M.D.,
Editor-in-chief of MRIC Global
Omachi Hospital, Physician
In December 2017, we launched the e-zine newsletter MRIC Global, an English version of the MRIC newsletter. The aim of the MRIC newsletter has been to disseminate under-represented but important health issues to the general public in Japan. MRIC Global shares this goal. It covers a variety of social and medical topics with the general public as the target audience.
With all due respect, I serve as Editor-in-Chief. Over the past six months, I faced many challenges, and my job was a continuous process of trial and error. Thanks to support from team members and others, we have successfully worked through this transitional period. Additionally, editorial policy and logistics have improved. At this point, I’d like to explain the current status of MRIC Global.
The uniqueness of our editorial team is that it is chiefly composed of young members. All members but Dr. Tetsuya Tanimoto, our supervisor, and I, are digital native. Every member activates MRIC Global with their own unique personalities and skills, and all are reliable.
Our youngest member is Yuki Senoo, a medical student studying in Slovakia. She provides an enormous amount of administrative support. Asaka Higuchi, a researcher with the Medical Governance Research Institute, offers creative ideas that have positive impacts on MRIC Global. Moreover, Moe Hirohara, a graduate of the University of Edinburgh, nicely edits articles using her fluent English. Alongside these core members, some undergraduate students help edit works, such as translations, which I really appreciate, as Japanese?English translation can be time consuming. In this sense, I think MRIC Global offers support to and is supported by young people.
At present, we hold biweekly Skype meetings and perform daily communication using Facebook Messenger. Recently, the number of submitted articles has gradually increased thanks to volunteering and recommendations from colleagues. Our present focus is on increasing the number of subscribers. This number is extremely important because it directly leads to incentives for contributors. For this purpose, it is important to publish high-quality articles and to directly ask individuals to subscribe.
At present, I recognize two primary objectives for MRIC Global. The first is to provide a platform for casually presenting opinions and essays in English. For example, a user could have their own weblog and regularly deliver opinions and ideas. Yet, these things are not easy to do for many Japanese people, much less in English. I like to assist people in making an initial step. Our editorial team makes suggestions and revisions to submitted articles and helps clarify the authors’ original intensions. Next, the authors revise the articles again using our suggestions as a guide. After this process, we forward the articles to professional English proofreading companies. Our editorial team covers the costs, and we get favorable rating from contributors.
The second foundational goal is to archive previous, noteworthy articles in English. We offer a series of articles called “Dr. Tsubokura’s Radiation Lecture” in such a way. The Japanese version, “Tsubokura-sensei-no-houshasen-kyoshitsu,” has been published weekly in Fukushima-Minyu, a local Fukushima newspaper, since January 2015. For more than three years, Dr. Tsubokura has educated local residents about the status of post-nuclear disaster Fukushima by covering multifaced topics related to radiation. We wished to leave the English version of his articles in the open platform because false rumors about Fukushima persist all over the world. We have finally realized our wish with the launch of MRIC Global. We believe that it is necessary to provide correct information repeatedly and to make it accessible to as many people as possible.
As you know, MRIC Global is still in its infancy, and, to gain further popularity, we are sponsoring an essay contest with prize money this summer. We are still considering the theme of the contest, but it will be related to women's rights.
We are doing our best to make MRIC Global known by more people.
The Japanese version of the manuscript was originally published in MRIC,an online medical newsletter in Japan, on May 10, 2018 and was reproduced for MRIC Global under the author's permission.