Professional medical writers are skilled at clearly communicating science. Because they are intimately familiar with style guides, reporting requirements, and proper English usage, professional writers can efficiently process your scientific data into a coherent document.
To someone outside the field of medical communications, the value of a medical writer is not always obvious. You might ask yourself “Why should I hire a medical writer when I can write these documents?”
A good medical writer will add these qualities to your project
- Efficiency – The writer specializes in creating documents that are logically organized, readable, and scientifically thorough. A professional medical writer can complete the job in a shorter amount of time than someone who does not write all the time.
- Eye for detail – The writer will take care of endless details of which most authors are unaware but publishers and regulatory bodies take seriously.
- Adherence to guidelines and requirements – The writer will seamlessly implement any formatting or content requirements in your document, which will go a long way to facilitate the publication or approval process.
Want data to support hiring a medical writer?
Peer-reviewed articles receiving medical writing support had better adherence to data reporting guidelines and were judged by reviewers to have higher-quality written English, compared to articles that did not acknowledge medical writing support. Articles with medical writing support were published in journals that had a higher impact factor and accrued more citations 1 year after publication compared to articles without medical writing support. Read more about the studies here.
“When professional medical writers help authors prepare manuscripts, these manuscripts are less likely to be retracted for misconduct, are more compliant with best-practice reporting guidelines, and are accepted more quickly for publication.”
From Woolley KL, et al. “Poor compliance with reporting research results.” Curr Med Res Opin, 2012.
“Articles with medical writing support were significantly more likely to report [study] items completely than articles without writing support.”
From a study by Gattrell W, et al. presented at the 2015 European Meeting of ISMPP.
In a secondary analysis of the prior study data, the researchers found that “articles with medical writing support (n = 110) were accepted by journals with a higher impact factor than those without (n = 123) (mean ± standard deviation [SD]: 2.6 ± 1.5 vs 1.8 ± 1.8; p < 0.001)." From a study by Gattrell W, et al presented at the 2016 European Meeting of ISMPP.
A survey of journal editors showed that “poorly written, excessive jargon” topped the list of problems seen in manuscripts, with most editors reporting that it happens “frequently.” This was followed closely by “inadequate or inappropriate presentation” as the second most common problem.
From Byrne DW. Publishing Your Medical Research Papers. 1998.
A recent study showed that authors and editors are not adhering to reporting guidelines in manuscripts that present data from animal studies. “As many as 55% (95% CI 46.7%–62.3%) of studies, however, included analyses based on what we consider to be inappropriate statistical tests.”
From Baker D, et al. “Two Years Later: Journals Are Not Yet Enforcing the ARRIVE Guidelines on Reporting Standards for Pre-Clinical Animal Studies.” PLoS Biol, 2014)
Top 10 attributes of a good Medical Writer, courtesy of SIRO Clinpharm