Published work is the mainstay of scientific and medical advancement, whether in printed journal articles, online platforms, apps, or some other media type. It is how we document new and exciting discoveries. For a few, writing comes easily; for most, it is a struggle. No matter your skill as a writer, however, publishing your work in an appropriate medical or pharmaceutical journal is a daunting task. The process includes:
- Concept Development
- Choosing an Appropriate Journal and Format (Online vs Print)
- Data Analysis
- Researching and Referencing
- Editing (and more editing!)
- Responding to Reviewers' Comments (more rewriting and editing)
- Proofreading and Review of Final Proofs
Publishing in medical, pharmaceutical, or professional journals remains essential to many careers in health care, often as a rite of passage or a requirement for promotion, advancement, or retention. Publishing your work also brings personal and professional satisfaction. It can bring you recognition as an expert in your field. It allows you to disseminate your unique discoveries or experiences, both to your current colleagues and to those who will follow in your footsteps, opening the door to stimulating discussions and future collaborations.
As medical communicators, whether as authors, expert peer reviewers, or part of the behind-the-scenes support team, we embrace the concepts expressed by the American Psychological Association that "clear communication is the prime objective of scientific writing," and by the American Medical Writers Association that "You communicate successfully only when the people who must or should use what you wrote can find what they need, understand what they find, and act appropriately on that understanding." That is our goal.