Student´s scientific publication in medical sciences in Cuba: opportunity or challenge?


Student´s scientific publication in medical sciences in Cuba: opportunity or challenge?


Publicación científica estudiantil en ciencias médicas en Cuba: ¿oportunidad o reto?



Frank Hernández García, José Ignacio Robaina Castillo

"Dr. José Assef Yara". Faculty of Medical Sciences. Ciego de Ávila University of Medical Sciences. Cuba.



To the editor:

In an article published in the EDUMECENTRO Journal: Implication of students of the Vanguard Movement "Mario Muñoz Monroy" in scientific publications,1 its authors conclude that the state of knowledge that these students have on the subject is still insufficient, besides having little mastery in respect to how to publish the researching results, feel little prepared and not receiving enough counseling. Although the authors of this letter fully agree with these postulates, some aspects of this reality can be argued, according to student perception.

For several authors,2,3 the scientific activity constitutes a determining factor in the scientific and comprehensive formation of the student, aspect reflected in the curricula of the careers of medical sciences; in addition, it constitutes one of the pillars in the contemporary university formation next to the teaching and the medical care.

During the last years, scientific research in undergraduate medical sciences has undergone a substantial transformation. With the creation in each higher education center of a student scientific group within the University Students Federation (USF), considerable progress has been made in organizing and developing events where scientific results are socialized. The methodological quality and impact of the research is considered superior with respect to previous periods, although there are still difficulties, especially in tutoring, generalization and publication.

González-Argote et al.4 found that the participation of students in medical journals is scarce, with 386 articles out of a total of 17 040 published from 1995 and up to 2014, a figure that does not correspond to the directives and aspirations of the National Health System (NHS). Mediciego is the Journal with the most student publications and Ciego de Ávila University of Medical Sciences is the one that contributes the most to this process. This situation may be favored, because unlike Mediciego, most serial publications of the (NHS) do not have a specific section for students, where they, in the company of their tutors, can publish as first authors.

Some journals reject student´s work for the simple fact of being students, because they do not take into account the importance of publishing, or because they consider a priori that quality and methodological rigor are not appropriate, which contributes to feeling less motivated for sending their work to a high impact scientific journal.

Another widespread practice is to deny the main authorship of a scientific article to the student, and instead, place the tutor or other professionals, although their contribution has been minimal compared to that of the recognized as principal, and it is spoken of unjustified or undue authorship in scientific publications isn´t it?5 What happens when the publishers themselves incur in this by undervaluing students´ works?

The described situation acquires special relevance in a bibliometric analysis of the two Cuban student scientific journals: 16 de Abril Journal and Pinar del Rio Medical University Journal, its author6 found some editorial stability without compliance with the criteria of originality, and endogamy. It should be noted that they neither have the Citma seal, nor they are indexed in important international databases, the 16 de Abril Journal did not have any issue in 2016, without mentioning the extremely slow and complex editorial processes (sometimes due to the lack of editors. If the student looks for other more relevant options to publish his work and faces the refusal of the professional journal, this only contributes even more to the ignorance and misinformation stated by Paz Treto et al.1

Therefore, the problem of the student scientific publication and the lack of researching skills that medical science students often have,7 are not only attributable to the specific curricular training of each career, the university and the tutors. It is a problem that goes far beyond the walls of the institution, it is a situation that requires awareness on the part of all the professionals linked to medical teaching, through the processes, or who work and arbitrate the scientific journals, starting from this point to apply the editorial rules and reflect on the importance of scientific publication in the training of undergraduate students and its future impact on professional life. It is expected then an answer to the question: are there all the opportunities for the student scientific publication in the medical sciences in Cuba at present, or is it a challenge that the students must face as part of their training process?


Declaration of interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest.



1. Paz Treto M, Treto Bravo D, Blanco Balbeito N, Guardado Pérez T, Llaguno García A, García Borrego NF. Implicación de alumnos del Movimiento de Vanguardia "Mario Muñoz Monroy" en las publicaciones científicas. EDUMECENTRO [Internet]. 2017 [citado 12 Ene 2018];9(3):[aprox. 10 p.]. Disponible en:

2. Garcia-Rivero AA, Jiménez Mederos Y, Castañeda Piñera Y, Gonzalez-Argote J. Paso a la ciencia joven. Educ Med Super [Internet]. 2017 [citado 12 Ene 2018];31(1):[aprox. 10 p.]. Disponible en:

3. Roque Herrera Y, Blanco Balbeito N, Criollo Criollo AR, Ugarte Martínez Y, Reyes Orama Y. Experiencias de una estrategia pedagógica para desarrollar habilidades investigativas en estudiantes de Medicina. EDUMECENTRO [Internet]. 2012 [citado 12 Ene 2018];4(1):[aprox. 16 p.]. Disponible en:

4. Gonzalez-Argote J, Garcia-Rivero AA, Dorta-Contreras AJ. Producción científica estudiantil en revistas médicas cubanas 1995-2014. Primera etapa. Investigación Educ Médica [Internet]. 2016 [citado 12 Ene 2018];5(19):[aprox. 10 p.]. Disponible en:

5. García Ranero AB. Autoría, autorías injustificada e indebida… Una necesaria clarificación acerca de la responsabilidad ética de autores y editores. MediCiego [Internet]. 2016 [citado 12 Ene 2018];22(4):[aprox. 4 p.]. Disponible en:

6. Garcia-Rivero AA, Acosta Batista C, González Argote J. Panorama de las revistas estudiantiles cubanas 2005-2015. Primera parte: análisis bibliométrico. Educ Med [Internet]. 2017 [citado 12 Ene 2018];30(20):[aprox. 10 p.]. Disponible en:

7. Blanco Balbeito N, Herrera Santana D, Reyes Orama Y, Ugarte Martínez Y, Betancourt Roque Y. Dificultades en el desarrollo de las habilidades investigativas en los estudiantes de Medicina. EDUMECENTRO [Internet]. 2014 [citado 12 Ene 2018];6(1):[aprox. 11 p.]. Disponible en:



Submitted: August 30 2017.
Accepted: October 30 2017.



Frank Hernández García."Dr. José Assef Yara". Faculty of Medical Sciences. Ciego de Ávila University of Medical Sciences. Cuba. E-mail:

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