Monthly Archives: November 2011

Loredana — An Italian Nurse Studying in Vietnam

What a beautiful story from Loredana! Loredana is a nurse from Sardinia Italy who traveled to Vietnam to participate in an internship at the University Hospital of Hue.  I hope you enjoy her story as much as I did.


My name is Loredana and I am a nurse from the University of Sassari. In March I had a wonderful experience at the University Hospital of Hue, Vietnam, where I did internships in the Department of Oncology as well as in the Department of Surgery and in operating room.

My time in Vietnam was a wonderful opportunity for my personal life and my work.  I think that travelling and working in a foreign country is something that all the doctors and nurses should experience, because it enriches us both prsonally and professionally. I met wonderful people who accompanied me in this adventure.

Now I am going to prepare my thesis on infections after surgery, which will analyze the etiology, risk factors, consequences and possible resolutions of post surgical infections. These types of infections are a difficult problem to solve, but collaboration and cooperation with other medical personnel in the form of international internship is one  approach to finding solutions and raise awareness of this issue.

Dr. Le Van An, Department of Medical Microbiology of Hue College of Medicine and Pharmacy in Vietnam. Dr. Le Van An is also a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Infection in Developing Countries. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Le Van, Dr. Tram, Professor Salvatore Rubino and Professor Piero Cappuccinelli for their support during my internship. It was an amazing experience that I will always remember.

Italian Translation

Mi chiamo Loredana e sono un’infermiera, provengo dall’Università di Sassari, a marzo ho fatto una bellissima esperienza presso l’Ospedale Universitario di Hue, in Vietnam. Ho avuto la possibilità di effettuare un tirocinio nei dipartimenti di oncologia, chirurgia e sala operatoria. È stata una importantissima opportunità per la mia vita ed il mio lavoro che mi ha permesso anche di incontrare persone splendide che mi hanno affiancato in questa avventura. Penso che tutti i medici e gli infermieri dovrebbero fare questo tipo di esperienza che arricchisce sia dal punto di vista professionale che umano. Adesso sto preparando la mia tesi di laurea sulle “infezioni postoperatorie in un ospedale del Vietnam Centrale”, dove analizzo l’eziologia, i fattori di rischio, le conseguenze e le eventuali risoluzioni. Le infezioni postoperatorie sono un problema di difficile risoluzione ma la Cooperazione può offrire la via da seguire e sensibilizzare l’opinione pubblica sul problema. Questo lavoro si è potuto realizzare anche grazie alle preziose informazioni del Dott. Le Van An del Department of Medical Microbiology of Hue College of Medicine and Pharmacy. Il Dott. Le Van An è un membro del comitato editoriale del Journal of Infection in Developing Countries. Colgo l’occasione per ringraziare Dott. Le Van, Dott.ssa Tram, Professor Salvatore Rubino e il Professor Piero Cappuccinelli.


Filed under Countries, Infectious Disease, Vietnam

And it was a SUCCESS! — JIDC, OA Week Reception at Toronto General Hospital

To join in the Open Access Week festivities, we hosted an OA Week Reception in Toronto at the Toronto General Hospital.  The reception was held on Friday 28 October and focused on gaining knowledge and discussing points of Open Access and the role of JIDC.  AND it was FABULOUS!  Thanks to everyone who was involved and attended. And special thanks to Donna Okubo at PLoS for all her help!

I was thrilled by the people who came out and their interest in JIDC and Open Access publishing. 

I was so excited to have Dr. Lorelei Silverman and Dr. Rosalind Silverman, who established the Models of Human Disease Conference, attend the event.  The conference is annually held in Toronto, Canada.  The purpose of the conference is to serve as a forum for scientists from around the world to exchange their ideas on model organisms or cells to better understand various diseases.  Model organisms include the following: rodents, yeast, Drosophila, C. elegans, zebra fish, chicken, Dictyostelium, snail, crayfish, etc.  What an important concept to have a conference focusing on ”The Use of Animals Models to Improve the Investigation of Human Diseases”.  It is summed up by their tag line: “Better models for better drugs!”   Look for future posts on the Models of Human Diseases Conference and how JIDC will be working with this event.

Me with Lorelei and Rosalind

I had sent one of the students from the lab to this conference this summer and it was a great experience for him—it served as a springboard for him to develop his PhD project into a paper!

I was also pleased to have a JIDC author attend our reception.  It was great to congratulate him on his JIDC paper.  We also discussed the mentoring system, open access publishing and the frustrations of writing a paper and getting it published.

Me with a JIDC Author!

Thanks to everyone else who came out.  It was so great to meet all of you and hear your thoughts on Open Access and JIDC!



Filed under Conferences, JIDC News, News, Open Access, Open Access Week, Uncategorized

Ticks and Fleas: fortune tellers of the tropics — Amber’s Pick

Editor’s Pick by Amber for the JIDC October Issue.  Thanks Amber!


Tick-borne diseases are a hallmark of tropical weather. One can come across pathogen laden ticks not only in the rainforest but even in kitchens, gardens, backyard compounds or on domestic animals.  These common pathogen reservoirs which can accelerate disease spread at the community level.  The end result of the spread of tick-borne diseases may be many casualties. While several tick-borne viral, protozoal and bacterial infections are known, Rickettsial diseases are thought of as the worst human rival due to its deadly outcome, which even Dr. Howard T. Riketts (the researcher credited with the discovery of Rickettsial disease) and several other investigators succumbed to in nineteenth century. Since then, the rivalry goes on…..  

Figure 1D Immunohistochemical staining of spotted fever group rickettsial antigens


In an article published this month in JIDC, Tribaldos et al. report the case fatalities in a family cluster of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) in Panama. RMSF is a systemic infection caused by Rickettsia rickettsii, the Gram-negative bacterium which is transferred to humans by the bite of infected ticks that feed on domestic pets, rodents, reptiles, birds and medium or large mammals. The organism infects the endothelial lining of blood vessels resulting in vascular damage, fluid loss, and poor circulation and bleeding in vital organs, leading to death. The disease is often misdiagnosed at the initial stages due to unavailability of specialized diagnostic procedures in routine settings, especially in developing countries. This article describes the clinical presentation, the presence of the Escher lesion, and the PCR based diagnosis of Rickettsia from the autopsies of three patients who belonged to the same household. Sequence analysis and restriction fragment profiling of ompA gene and immunostaining of Rickettsial antigens further describe the disease pattern.

Figure 1c RFLP analysis of ompA

In Panama, RMSF was prevalent in the latter half of the 20th century, but very few cases with 100% mortality were observed in the last decade. Moreover, in recent years, global literature has reported an increase in RMSF cases in other Latin American countries as well as in the southeastern United States, indicating the resurgence of this disease in the neotropics.

In the current scenario, I believe that the report by Tribaldos et al. significantly contributes to a better understanding of the clinical picture of RMSF which can help save lives if a diagnosis can be made faster. 


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Filed under Bacteria, Editor's Pick, Rickettsia rickettsii


Eeeeeee!  The JIDC T-shirts came in from the printers this week.  In the office we were all very excited.  And today I have just finished sending the shirts to some of the JIDC Open Access Week winners and JIDC Editors.  Can’t wait to everyone to receive the shirts!

Want to join the JIDC T-shirt wearing team? Send in a picture of you wearing your JIDC for posting on the Blog or feel free to post your picture to the JIDC Facebook page.

Here we are at JIDC Canada wearing our JIDC Ts proudly!

It's not too COLD in Canada to wear our JIDC T!

If you are interested in obtaining a JIDC T-shirt and you were not a winner in our T-shirt contest, please contact me at akelvin(at)jidc(dot)org.

Happy Friday Everyone!


Filed under Events, JIDC News, News, Open Access, Open Access Week, Uncategorized

Publishing a Scientific Article in JIDC

Hi everyone!  This post comes from JIDC’s Technical Editor Nikki Kelvin and focuses on Academic Scientific Writing and Scientific Writing for publishing your research in JIDC.  Originally written for Open Access Week, this post is a great guide to Scientific Writing!   Please leave any questions on publishing that you would like answered.


Publishing a Scientific Article in JIDC: How does the editing process work, and what can I do to expedite the process?

How do I publish a scientific paper?

This question is asked by all young scientists. For those living and working in developing countries the question is at times frightening, but at JIDC we see many young scientists eagerly launch into the task.

It is well-known that scientists from developing countries face barriers that are not problematic for scientists in developed countries in getting their research published. As noted on the JIDC web site, these barriers may include issues such as lack of interest by some international journals in regional problems, the inexperience of authors from developing nations in presenting their research in international forums, and language barriers.

Previous posts have discussed the philosophy behind JIDC’s mentoring system and how it helps our authors not only improve their experimental design and analysis and presentation of data, but how to discuss the results within the boundaries of reasonable argument and make them interesting to a wider audience in addition to their national colleagues. Here we would like to talk about how JIDC’s technical and scientific editors contribute to the mentoring system. We will also present some tips on what authors can do to ensure that the editorial process moves efficiently.

Language is one of the greatest barriers faced by scientists from developing countries whose first language is not English.  Many editors will immediately reject papers if the English is poor even though the articles may have scientific merit. At JIDC, we believe that the dissemination of scientific studies should not be impeded by language barriers; therefore, after articles have been reviewed and accepted for publication by a section editor, they are submitted to a double-editing process.

After being accepted for publication, articles are first sent to a technical editor for language editing. The editor will look for errors in sentence structure, subject-verb agreement, diction (i.e., correct choice and use of words), and punctuation and make the appropriate revisions. Occasionally, an author’s meaning will not be clear to the editor. In such cases, the editors will revise the sentence as they believe it should be written (and add a comment asking the author to verify the change) or ask the author to rewrite the sentence to make it clearer.

The technical editor also ensures that JIDC style is followed by checking that titles and abstracts do not exceed the required maximum length, that appropriate key words are present, and that abstracts and body text contain the appropriate section headings. Finally, the technical editors check that the references are set according to JIDC style.

When the technical editing has been completed, the article is sent to a scientific editor. Although this double-editing process takes time, it is an essential step to ensure that the scientific meaning was not altered in any way during the technical editing process. The scientific editor also checks the paper for scientific accuracy, ensures that terms are correctly italicized, checks that tables and figures match the text, and verifies equations and formulae.

While all the technical and scientific editors at JIDC take pride in helping our authors produce the best papers possible for publication, the process moves along more quickly and efficiently for articles that need few revisions. If possible, ask a colleague or friend who has good English skills to edit your paper for you before you submit it.

Here are some other tips to help move your article through the editorial process efficiently.

1. Write clearly and simply. This means that you should

  • write short sentences and use simple words
    • avoid using unnecessarily long sentences
    • avoid using uncommon words (for example, more people would understand the word “confuse” than “obfuscate” so “confuse” is a better word choice)
    • use fewer words (for example, “conducted” or “performed” are better choices than “carried out”,  and “per” and “whether” are less wordy than “as per” or “whether or not”)
    • use the spelling checker on your computer,
      • be aware that spelling checkers may not identify words that are incorrectly used even when they are spelled correctly
      • for example, a spelling checker will not alert you when you have written “might” when you mean “mite” or “for” when you mean “four” or “fore”

2. Review the following check list to ensure that your article follows the guidelines for authors as shown on the JIDC web site:

  • Both the title and the running title are the correct length
  • The abstract is the correct length and it contains the appropriate sections
    • It can take a long time for an editor to shorten a 390 word abstract to 250 words, and you may disagree with the editor on which information should be eliminated, so it is better to ensure that the abstract adheres to the requirements before it is submitted
    • The article text contains all the appropriate sections
    • The article mentions all tables and figures in the text, and that the number of tables and figures mentioned matches the number of tables and figures submitted with the publication
      • The editing process is slowed down considerably when the editors have to double-check whether an article should have four or five tables because the article mentions only four tables but five have been uploaded to the JIDC site
      • The tables and figures are submitted and formatted as instructed on the JIDC web site
        • The publication of many papers has been delayed because the figures and tables do not adhere to the proper specifications
        • The references are in numerical order and set in square brackets (e.g., [1] ) in the text
        • The reference list at the end of the article follows JIDC style as shown on the web site, paying attention to punctuation and spacing as well as the accuracy of the authors’ names, dates, and page numbers

While at JIDC we do all that we can to mentor our authors and help them produce the best papers possible, we must work with the raw material that is sent to us.  It is the responsibility of all authors to ensure that they send us their best work. Working together, we can have a positive and successful publishing experience.

Nikki Kelvin

Nikki in her OA T!


JIDC Technical Editor


1 Comment

Filed under Open Access, Open Access Week, Science Tools, Scientific Writing, Uncategorized