On Wednesday 27th January 2016, the International Society of Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) delivered a webinar entitled “Adventures in Manuscript Development: Good Publication Practice in the Real World”. The speakers included Ann L. Davis (Scientific Director, StemScientific), Godfrey Lisk (Senior Scientific Specialist, PAREXEL Int GmbH) and Bianca Ruzicka (Director of Medical Affairs – Oncology, Gilead Sciences) and the session was moderated by Lisa Baker (Medical Director, inScience Communications).
Ann spoke about “Manuscript development in a perfect world” and stressed the importance of having a publication professional overseeing the process. She highlighted the range of guidelines available to help steer progress including Good Publication Practice 3 (GPP3), ICMJE authorship criteria (the “gold standard” for determining authorship), WAME’s statement on conflicts of interest and COPE’s code of conduct for publication ethics. Ann went on to describe the importance of a good “story flow” to the manuscript article, detailing the current landscape, an explanation of the study, how the research advances the field and the implications of the results. She emphasised the significance of exemplary record keeping of all author correspondence during the development of the manuscript. Finally, she reminded the audience that, after acceptance, very careful examination of the proofs is essential to ensure no details have been lost in translation.
Godfrey and Bianca presented three case studies around the challenges that may be faced in the “real world”. Godfrey discussed “Strategically timed publications” such as those aimed to be published simultaneously with the release landmark data at a congress. He spoke about the importance of communication and strict adherence to timelines in order to meet the fixed deadline. In “A misadventure in publication authorship”, Bianca described a scenario surrounding authorship dispute. What should you do if authors disagree with the lead-author designation or if authors come forward late on in the manuscript preparation and how can such circumstances be avoided? One suggestion is, at the beginning of the study, to share a proactive investigator communication plan explaining authorship criteria and what is expected from the investigators if they are to be included as authors. The third topic was about “Accelerated publication”. Godfrey stressed that even though time may be short all steps summarised in GPP3 must be covered. Timelines can be compressed but planning and communication is vital and developing a backup submission package in parallel is recommended.
This excellent webinar and associated audio can be found on the ISMPP homepage (http://www.ismpp.org/) for a limited time after which it will be available to members only via the archive section.
Ryan co-runs Aspire Scientific, a dynamic, forward-thinking medical writing agency. Ryan has a passion for innovation, science and ethical communication.