Dianthus Medical Blog Archive

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.

For those unfamiliar with TWS, it contains a regular column called Journal Watch, which we at Dianthus (well, usually Nancy actually) write, and which usually describes papers that have recently appeared in the medical literature which in some way are relevant to medical writing. This issue, however, we did it a bit differently. I wrote about 3 papers from many years ago, published between 1973 and 1980. I don't think they are all that well known among medical writers, and yet they are still very relevant, so I thought it would be good if they were a bit better known. They explain why good writing may not always be a good thing (a rather unsettling thought for those of us who care so much about good writing), and also about how peer review can be seriously compromised by the cognitive biases of peer reviewers, which is not really any surprise to anyone who is familiar with peer review, but it's interesting to see that it had been so well demonstrated more than 30 years ago. If you want to read the article, you can do so here. It even includes a photo of what I looked like at the time one of the papers was published.

EMWA members can, of course, read the whole of the rest of TWS, and very interesting they'll find it too.

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