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Account Res. 2016;23(3):178-194.

Mythbusting Medical Writing: Goodbye, Ghosts! Hello, Help!

Author information

1
a Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy , Richmond , Virginia , USA.
2
b Hamilton House Medical and Scientific Communications , Virginia Beach , Virginia , USA.
3
c MedSciCom, LLC , Lebanon , New Jersey , USA.
4
d Premier Research , Wokingham , UK.
5
e Caudex, McCann Complete Medical , Oxford , UK.
6
f Clinical Documentation, Rutgers University , Piscataway Township , New Jersey , USA (Rutgers Post-Doctoral Fellow).
7
g ProScribe-Envision Pharma Group , Sydney , Australia.
8
h Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, University of Queensland , St. Lucia , Australia.
9
i Department of Science, Health, Education, and Engineering , University of the Sunshine Coast , Maroochydore , Australia.

Abstract

To meet ethical and scientific obligations, authors should submit timely, high-quality manuscripts. Authors, however, can encounter ethical (e.g., authorship designation) and practical (e.g., time and resource limitations) challenges during manuscript preparation. Could professional medical writers-not ghostwriters-help authors address these challenges? This essay summarizes evidence countering three myths that may have hindered authors from considering the use of professional medical writers. Authors with sufficient time, writing expertise, and reporting guideline knowledge may meet their obligations without writing assistance. Unfortunately, not all authors are in this position. Decisions about writing support should be based on evidence, not myths.

KEYWORDS:

Authorship; collaboration; conflict of interest; publication; publication ethics; science communication

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