The following resources have been identified as being relevant to professionals involved in medical publishing, publication planning, and medical writing. We welcome contributions (please contact us).
Associations, groups, initiatives and societies
The AllTrials campaign was launched in January 2013 and calls for all past and present clinical trials to be registered and their results reported. It is an initiative of Ben Goldacre, BMJ, Centre for Evidence-based Medicine, Cochrane Collaboration, James Lind Initiative, PLOS and Sense about Science and is being led in the US by Sense About Science USA, Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine and the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice.
American Medical Writers Association (AMWA)
AMWA provides extensive continuing education activities, including a Certificate Program, for professionals in medical communication via its conferences and local meetings. It also runs a quarterly journal.
Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)
COPE was founded in 1997 with the objective of providing a ‘sounding board for editors who were struggling with how best to deal with possible breaches in research and publication ethics’. It provides support for journal editors in dealing with ethical problems in publication. Its website provides guidelines and a code of conduct, as well details of cases concerning publication ethics reported to COPE.
Council of Science Editors (CSE)
The CSE (formerly the Council of Biology Editors) was founded in 1957 by the National Science Foundation and the American Institute of Biological Sciences. Its mission statement is ‘CSE’s mission is to promote excellence in the communication of scientific information. CSE’s purpose is to serve members in the scientific, scientific publishing, and information science communities by fostering networking, education, discussion, and exchange and to be an authoritative resource on current and emerging issues in the communication of scientific information’.
The EQUATOR (Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research) Network is an international initiative that seeks to improve the reliability and value of published health research literature by promoting transparent and accurate reporting and wider use of robust reporting guidelines. It is the first coordinated attempt to tackle the problems of inadequate reporting systematically and on a global scale; it advances the work done by individual groups over the last 15 years.
European Association of Science Editors (EASE)
An internationally oriented community of individuals from diverse backgrounds, linguistic traditions and professional experience who share an interest in science communication, writing and editing.
European Medical Writers Association (EMWA)
EMWA offers training and networking opportunities to its members who are mainly medical writers and medical editors. It produces a regular magazine and holds two educational conferences a year, at which members can gain professional development credits by attending workshops and successfully completing post-workshop assessments.
Global Alliance of Publication Professionals (GAPP)
GAPP aims to provide a timely and credible response to influential stories about medical publication professionals (eg, professional medical writers, publication planners). Gapp also aims to provide a “go to” group for those needing timely input from international leaders of medical publication professionals.
International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE)
This highly influential group consists of representatives from a number of general medical journals including The Lancet, BMJ, NEJM and others (see website for a full list). Their key activities include the development of the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals and statements on registration of clinical trials.
International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP)
ISMPP is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to support medical publication professionals through education and advocacy. It has members from all sectors of medical publishing, and key benefits of membership include the annual meeting and web-based seminars on a range of topics. ISMPP also has several committees focusing on issues relevant to medical publication professionals, including Ethics, Standards and Best Practices, Education and others.
This global initiative facilitates networking and dialogue amongst individuals working in and around the pharmaceutical industry and MedComms, focussing on specialist medical education, medical communications and medical publishing activities. MedComms Networking started in 2007 as a primarily UK-based community of MedComms agency specialists but has since evolved to ecompass a much broader remit.
Medical Affairs Professional Society (MAPS)
MAPS is the premier non-profit global society of Medical Affairs professionals across a spectrum of fields, experience, and locales. The mission of MAPS is to advance the Medical Affairs profession and increase its impact across the Life Sciences industry by promoting excellence across Medical Affairs functions, developing guidelines to support industry standards and best practices, fostering advocacy for Medical Affairs position, and providing education and encouraging professional collaborations that support the
practice of Medical Affairs.
Medical Publishing Insights and Practices (MPIP) Initiative
The MPIP Initiative was founded in 2008 by members of the pharmaceutical industry and the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) to elevate trust, transparency, and integrity in publishing industry-sponsored studies. The major goal of MPIP is to promote more effective partnership between sponsors and journals to raise standards in medical publishing and expand access to research results.
World Association of Medical Editors (WAME)
Organisation consisting of editors of biomedical journals from around the world. It has developed a number of policy statements and useful resources which it provides freely on its website.
Key guidelines relating to medical publications
CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials)
The CONSORT statement provides recommendations for reporting randomised, controlled trials, including a 22-item checklist and a flowchart showing the progress of study subjects through the trial. Extensions of the CONSORT statement for different trial designs, herbal and non-pharmacological interventions, harms and abstracts are also available on the website. The CONSORT group has also produced other guidelines, including ASSERT to help with monitoring of clinical trials by ethics committees and QUORUM for the reporting of meta-analyses (to find these on the CONSORT website, click on the Resources tab followed by a link on the left to Related guidelines and initiatives).
Good Publication Practice (GPP3) guidelines
The GPP3 guidelines provide recommendations for individuals and organisations that contribute to the publication of research results sponsored or supported by pharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostics, and biotechnology companies. The recommendations are designed to help individuals and organisations maintain ethical and transparent publication practices and comply with legal and regulatory requirements. These recommendations cover publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations (oral or poster) at scientific congresses. The International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) has also set up a page dedicated to the guidelines, which can be found here: http://www.ismpp.org/GPP3.
PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses)
PRISMA is an evidence-based minimum set of items for reporting in systematic reviews and meta-analyses. PRISMA focuses on the reporting of reviews evaluating randomised trials, but can also be used as a basis for reporting systematic reviews of other types of research, particularly evaluations of interventions.
STROBE (STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology)
STROBE is an international, collaborative initiative of epidemiologists, methodologists, statisticians, researchers and journal editors involved in the conduct and dissemination of observational studies. The STROBE checklist specifies items that should be included in articles reporting observational research.
Key congresses for medical publication professionals
CBI’s 14th Annual Publication Planning Meeting for the life science industry: an event for benchmarking with peers at all experience levels and understanding how to overcome process challenges as well as develop advanced publication strategies. This conference (14–15 August 2018 in Philadelphia, USA) will provide an intimate forum for executives to discuss data transparency guidelines, hear perspectives from editors and authors, and discover innovative approaches for information dissemination. The meeting will feature crucial insights on hot topics, including: analyse how to identify and address predatory journals; evaluate opportunities to improve best practices in publication planning; explore developments in data sharing and transparency requirements; develop innovative strategies for effective lay summaries; understand how metrics can be best leveraged for publication success; and review opportunities to leverage digital tools and platforms. Plus, the meeting features an extended interactive session focused on key considerations for publications of health economics and outcomes research, real world evidence and patient-reported outcome data.
Resources for medical publication professionals
A medical writing agency who can support authors and industry professionals with the development of medical publications. Aspire Scientific is led by experienced medical writers with a minimum of 10 years’ experience, and supported by MSc and/or PhD-educated writers and academics at the forefront of their specialist fields.
Benefits associated with professional medical writing
In a study published in BMJ Open, declared professional medical writing support was associated with more complete reporting of clinical trial results and higher quality of written English. Medical writing support may play an important role in raising the quality of clinical trial reporting.
ClinicalTrials.gov is a clinical trial registry provided by the US National Institutes of Health. Recent legislation means that trials of all drugs to be submitted to the FDA must be registered on this site. From September 2008, results of the trials must also be posted on the site. Other clinical trial registries are offered by the World Health Organization, the European Medicines Agency, and the ISRCTN.
eyeforpharma provides a hub for senior-level pharma executives, patient advocacy groups and other health experts to exchange ideas and stay up-to-date with shifting trends and practices. They provide commentary, events, reports, and other valuable expert-driven content. eyeforpharma want to facilitate positive change through discussion and debate, enable dialogue and drive the positive benefits that pharmaceuticals can offer.
FirstMedCommsJob.com provides information and resources for individuals looking to start a career in the medical communications industry. Articles providing insight into everyday aspects of the various roles within the industry are showcased. Upcoming careers events and entry levels jobs are also listed.
“Getting Research Published: An A-Z of Publication Strategy, Third Edition” [BOOK]
The third edition of this popular and highly-regarded guide uncovers the ethics, conventions and often unwritten rules of publishing in peer-reviewed journals and at conferences. It provides clear direction on how to choose the right journal, avoid publication delays, resolve authorship disputes and many other problems associated with being published that pose challenges to new and experienced researchers alike.
This website provides news headlines from the world of the pharmaceutical industry and MedComms, focusing on specialist medical education, medical communications and medical publishing activities.