Dianthus Medical Blog Archive

Index of Med writing

An economic analysis of which journal to choose for your publication

I saw a fascinating question asked on Twitter the other day about choosing a journal for submission of your latest research paper. The question was asked by @deevybee (aka Prof Dorothy Bishop from Oxford University), who had been discussing the best target journal with a colleague (let’s call him “Al”, as we all know that a great many co-authors on papers seem to have that name).

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Plagiarism hurts

First of all, for blindingly obvious reasons, I should acknowledge that the title of this blog post is not original. "Plagiarism hurts" was the title of an article in EMWA's journal The Write Stuff by Elise Langdon-Neuner, its editor-in-chief (page 13 of this issue, 1.6 MB pdf). I'm sure that Elise won't mind me re-using her title, with proper attribution.

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Internships available

Are you trying to get a job in medical writing but finding it difficult without experience?

We currently have internships available for bright and motivated individuals wanting to start a career in medical writing. You will be helping with a research project in medical writing, and seeing the day-to-day work in a medical writing company at first hand. All our recent interns have found full-time jobs in medical writing since doing internships at Dianthus Medical.

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New Lancet policy on systematic reviews

The Lancet have recently introduced an interesting new policy. They now require anyone submitting the results of research (not just randomised trials, apparently, but all research) to The Lancet to include a systematic review with their research. This can be a reference to a recently published systematic review, but if no such review exists, then the authors are required to do their own systematic review and report it within the paper.

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Publication ethics: not just an industry problem

Much is written about ghostwriting in the medical literature. To be clear, ghostwriting is unethical, and pretty much everyone agrees about that. However, it seems to be a worrying trend that many of those who are most vocal in condemning it are guilty themselves of the practices they condemn.

My last blog post mentioned Senator Grassley's report on ghostwriting. It appears that he didn't actually write the report himself, despite putting his name on the front. I have asked him to clarify, but have  had no reply. Draw your own conclusions. It looks like Senator Grassley thinks ghostwriting is evil if other people do it, but it's OK if he does it himself.

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Senator Grassley's report on ghostwriting

Those who follow developments on ghostwriting in the medical literature will be aware that US Senator Charles Grassley has been an outspoken critic of the practice. He has just released a report into his 2 years of inquiries into medical ghostwriting.

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Papers from the past

I am thrilled to see that the latest issue of The Write Stuff, the journal of the European Medical Writers Association is now published. It is always a fascinating read for those of us involved in medical writing, and although I haven't yet got very far with the current issue, I'm sure it will be no exception. It certainly has some fascinating looking things in its table of contents, and  I am thoroughly looking forward to reading it over the coming weekend.

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A new record in biomedical publishing?

I have just had a paper rejected from a journal so quickly that I think I may have set a new speed record. Continue reading→

New training dates announced

We are pleased to be able to confirm the dates for our next public training courses in medical writing. Our 1-day introductory course will be on 17 September, and our 2-day course for healthcare professionals will be on 28-29 October. Continue reading→

EMWA conference, day 4

Well, the EMWA conference is all over now, and I am safely back in London, having cunningly dodged the ash cloud by a rather small margin on both my outward and return journeys.

The final day of the conference began with a plenary lecture about the importance of compliance with promotional codes, such as that by the ABPI, when writing materials that could be used for promotional purposes.  One of the great challenges in this area is that codes are not harmonised across countries, so material that might be perfectly compliant in the UK might fall foul of the code in Germany, for example, or vice versa. Definitely an area with many pitfalls for the unwary.

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