Benefits of Outsourcing Medical Writing Projects

Outsourcing Medical Writing

Outsourcing scientific and clinical writing assignments lower the staffing needs by lowering the cost of recruiting, training, and retention. Medical device and pharmaceutical companies are increasingly turning to outside vendors to meet their technological and regulatory writing needs for business development.

What are the Stages of Outsourcing?

What And When To Outsource Medical or Scientific Research Paper? 

  • If a team determines that it will need medical writing assistance, the process of outsourcing medical writing activities should begin with a schedule for what documents will be required and when they will be required.

 

Finding And Selecting A Medical Writing Company

  • Ask the right questions and provide the right information to the Medical Writing Company

 

Managing The Services Provided

  • Make sure the writer is an empowered member of the clinical team should be part of managing the ongoing medical writing

 

Evaluating Performance At The End Of The Project

  • It’s crucial to assess the results at the end of the project before deciding whether to work with the same writing company on future projects.
  • Take the opportunity to meet with the main clinical team members and the medical writer after the project’s final activities are completed to share and review everyone’s opinions about how far the partnership went.

 

What are the Benefits of Outsourcing?

Adaptability – The re-appropriated writings from the Medical or clinical research writing firms have a lot of versatility for those who can’t afford to hire their authors.

Increase in profits – When companies outsource to Medical writing firms, they can save money in a variety of ways by minimizing or removing in-house workers and relying on a team of professional outside authors.

Best to focus on your core competency – Most businesses do not specialize in medical writing. The world of medical devices and pharmaceuticals is rapidly changing. By outsourcing, focus can be directed on Core Competency.

Compact writing services – Medical Writers, skilled editors, specialist statisticians, and staff writers make up a competent medical writing team. As a result, you won’t need to employ many people to do the writing, editing, and presentation of the abstract poster. This will help you save even more money.

Documents that adhere to strict regulatory guidelines – Pharmaceutical companies and clinical testing firms must meet the conditions set out by the respective regulatory authorities to introduce a new drug or perform a clinical trial. Medical writing services make it simple to solve this obstacle by sending documents that meet regulatory requirements.

Effective medical communication – Health content writing necessitates knowledge of medical terminologies, as well as experience and technical writing skills. The rethought writing of medical writing experts helps you share your thoughts easily.

Improvement in your sales and services – Medical device ads, product literature, and service brochures can all be outsourced to professional medical writers who can create eye-catching marketing material and increase sales revenue.

Tips for outsourcing medical content writing

  • Clearly describe the need as well as the audience you want to reach.
  • Provide detailed indications
  • outsourcing entails a collaborative effort.
  • Establish realistic deadlines
  • Be ethical 

 

Conclusion

Outsourcing medical writing successfully necessitates selecting medical writers who are not only knowledgeable about the requirements of each paper, but also capable coordinators who can push your clinical teams to present a straightforward, well-argued tale.

 

What are the barriers to post-publication peer review?

Post-publication peer review – doing peer review after the publication of the manuscript. When a paper is published. Everyone in the community starts to read it and comment on it either in conferences or Journal Clubs. It is an informal way of doing Peer Review.

F1000, OpenReview, PubMed Commons, TrueReview, Pubpeer are some of the Post-publication Peer Review Platforms.

 Challenges of Post-publication peer review

Lack of Motivation towards Scientific Researches

Editorial control will always be a vital feature of every open peer review method, including PPPR, as we’ve previously reported. Editors are expected to seek peer feedback promptly (and often submit several reminder emails), as well as provide a sense of “prestige” for being asked to review an article, as a clear acknowledgment of your expertise in that area.

Too many choices – Many platforms and alternative methods of use in communicating reviews. It’s likely that various comments appear on different pages but not on others when multiple copies of a paper exist across multiple platforms. It’s also likely that researchers would experience plagiarism. This mode of communication is possibly more suitable when significant theoretical or methodological shortcomings in published studies have been discovered.

Plagiarism

Allows unqualified referees to smear the Researcher’s original work with unfounded accusations, claims, and lies in the name of free speech.

Risk of non-constructive criticism

Some people may use PPPR to be intentionally confrontational in public, talking down to or intimidating their junior peers. As a result, any alternative or complementary system must mitigate or minimize this negative dynamic, ensure that an accountability process is built into and maintained, and ensure that marginalized groups are encouraged to participate.

 Solutions to Post-publication peer review

  • Offers Opportunities for Corrections Authors receive more Feedback from peers by posting papers online. This should lessen the agony of revise and re-submit.
  • Increases engagement of the Scientific Community for more recognition & career development.
  • Ensures openness by making the analysis publicly accessible to those involved in the study.
  • The technology has made it possible for Scientific Research Papers to be accessible always.
  • After reading the Research Paper, review comments can be posted immediately and shared on social media platforms.
  • Strength & Weakness of Scientific Papers is done real-time globally.

 

Conclusion

Peer review was established to ensure that research papers are well-documented and meet the scientific community’s general standards. However, another aim of peer review has always been to stimulate scientific debate. Post-Publication Peer review allows the broader community to discuss the article in greater depth, providing the open forum that peer review is designed to provide. Using this method would undoubtedly result in a conflict of interest. Peer review often prohibits discussion of a mainstream theory against a competing mainstream theory, and theoretical scientists are often denied the opportunity to do so. PPPR aims to make aspects of the daily research process more accessible to the public. It’s about bringing meaning to published research papers by using the evaluations and criticisms that researchers and others conduct.

What To Do When Your Journal Paper Is Rejected?

Rejection is a Certainty in Academic Journals. Acknowledge your feelings as Normal & Legitimate (Anger, Frustration, Disappointment, Worry). Remember it is the end of your paper not for your research or career.

Reasons for Rejection of Journal Paper

  • Plagiarism– Should be less than 10%
  • Ethics in Publication– Should acknowledge proper sources of support, permission to use data, images
  • The theme of the Journal– Should fall within the Aim & Scope of the Journal
  • Paper is under review at another journal – a single revision process must be done
  • Usage of Poor English– Avoid Grammar or spelling errors
  • Journal Formatting Guidelines– Types of Font, Font Size, Margins, Reference & Styles

 

Technical Reasons

  • Poor Validation– Results will be compared with the Standard Results. Carry out Experimental Analysis
  • Wrong Research Methodology
  • Inconclusive Results – Questions are unanswered
  • Lack of Proper Citations

 

What are the various Criteria in Journal Rejection?

There are multiple criteria checked by individual journals.

  • Always approach a journal that publishes your line of work.
  • A good paper published in the wrong journal leads to rejection.
  • Once you have chosen the appropriate journal, check whether you have chosen a strong problem statement in your article. The objective of your research must be identifiable in the Abstract and must be concluded in your work.
  • Your research and its conclusion must be backed up with scientific experiments.
  • Always use the correct statistical method for analysis and mention the methods in detail.
  • Never edit any real-time images which leads to plagiarism.
  • Cross-check images, graphs, tabulations.
  • Your presentation must be simple and easily understandable.
  • Proofread your manuscript to avoid grammatical errors.
  • Always have sufficient data and test samples to establish & support each statement that you claim in the article. If the data size is small, there is always bias in the results which leads to rejection.
  • The conclusion can be generalized only when there is sufficient sampling done.
  • Carefully scrutinize your article and take expert opinions before submitting the research for publishing.
  • Search for a High-Impact Journal.
  • The cover letter must clearly state the details & purpose.
  • If the research quality does not meet the standards of the scientific society, the research will be rejected.
  • The Published Work must apply to all scenarios, if it is for a special purpose, it must be explicitly mentioned in the aim of the work applies to certain scenarios.
  • Insufficient Citation also leads to rejection.
  • The Scientific manuscript must have a catchy aim and a novel technique that attracts viewers.

 

How to Respond after Rejection of Journal Paper?

  • Show the comments to others.
  • Read the comments carefully.
  • Figure out the underlying reasons for Rejection.
  • Re-evaluate and learn.

 

Conclusion

There is nothing to be ashamed of if your paper is rejected. It is a basic process in Journal Publication and not to take it personally. If rejected, do the following things

  • Do something else to distract yourself & most importantly sleep on it one night.
  • Give yourself 3 days’ time and analyze the Rejection Letter more logically.
  • Consider the other Options
  • Proceed with the next Journal Publication

Roles & Responsibilities of Peer-Reviewers

Peer-Review Process

Peer Review is an influential process of academic journal publication. All Manuscripts are Peer Reviewed by the subject experts.

Before a scholarly work is published or approved, it is reviewed by a group of experts in the same field to ensure that it meets the appropriate criteria.

Stages of Peer-Review

Did you know the Process of Peer-Review?

Initial Check

It is done by the Editor who reads & approves the manuscript for Peer Review Process. The manuscript may be rejected at this level.

Editor-in-chief Review

Experts evaluate the manuscript and see if the scope of the journal is well defined and interesting.

Assigned to Editor With Subject Expertise

Experts who have subject knowledge related to the manuscript evaluate the manuscript.

Peers / Referees

The experts who check the manuscripts are known as Peers or Referees. They check the following things:

  • Quality & Significance of the Manuscript
  • About the Research topic – if it is Interesting and Important
  • Sound Methodology
  • Arriving at Logical Conclusions
  • Checking the Findings are original

Review Return

The Peers give a high-quality review after evaluation of the manuscript.

Editor’s Final Decision

Editors decide if the manuscript is worthy of publishing or not. If approved, they may recommend revisions to the Authors.

Responsibilities of Journal Editors 

Have you ever wondered what Journal Editors do in Peer-Review?

Roles towards Authors 

  • Providing constructive feedback promptly on the scholarly merits and the scientific value of the work.
  • Providing specific suggestions for improvement and stating the details of the journal in a Cover Letter.
  • Maintaining the confidentiality of the review process.

Roles towards Editors

  • Informing the editor immediately if unable to review.
  • Following the editor’s comments and creating an abstract if required.
  • Determining scientific merit, originality, importance & clarity of the hypothesis and scope of the work and indicating ways to improve it.
  • Providing Critical Assessment – Strength & Weakness of Introduction, Methodology, Data Analysis, Results, Discussion & Conclusion.
  • Checking the formatting of the Manuscript and instructing if it is not in proper order.
  • Looking into Internal Consistency of the Manuscript, Writing Style & Figure/ Table Presentation.
  • Checking the Appropriateness of References, Title, Abstracts, and Conclusions.
  • Ensuring that the manuscript adheres to the journal’s guidelines.

Roles towards Readers

  • Assuring that the methodology and results of the review are easily accessible to the readers.
  • Citing sources to assist readers in gathering knowledge about the journal.

Conclusion

The Editor’s decision is crucial in the publication of a journal. The Author, Editor, and Readers are all subjected to peer review. Academic journals rely heavily on peer review for publication.

To conclude, the purpose of Peer Reviewers is to

  • Select the manuscript for the journal
  • Determine the Originality of the manuscript
  • Improve the quality of the published paper
  • Ensures previous work is acknowledged
  • Determine the importance of findings

The best Peer Reviewers tend to view themselves as Mentors rather than Critics.

What Types of Articles Are Published in Academic and Scientific journals?

 

All journals and periodicals publish varied types of content, all generally referred to as articles. However, there are certain technical differences that differentiate the type of publication.

It is important for aspiring authors to understand the different types of publications in order to prepare for one. While choosing a journal for publication, it is also important to understand what type of publication the journal prefers or is presently soliciting. The time period is also a major determinant of what type of publication you should try for.

Types of publication:

Original Research Article: Original research is the most sought after publication; both by authors and also scientific journals and are considered as primary literature. It may be called an Original Article, Research Article, Research, or just Article, depending on the journal. These publications are detailed reporting of original research being presently conducted and conveyed for the first time to the rest of the world. They include hypothesis, background study, methods, results, interpretation of findings, and a discussion of possible implications.

It is also the most difficult to produce as it requires tenacious background research work, and is often a by-product of the actual exercise.

Review article: Academic and scientific journals usually publish two kinds of reviews; literature reviews, often called review articles, and book reviews, which are frequently referred to as reviews. Book reviews are usually solicited by journals from field experts whom they often commission for the review.

Literature reviews are bird’s-eye perspective on the published scholarship in a field of study or narrower area of specialization that provides a critical and constructive analysis of existing published literature in a field, through summary, analysis, and comparison. Scientific journals encourage a specific types of reviews like literature reviews, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses as they are extremely popular with readers. However, one expects a certain level of experience and authority from the author to write such reviews and journals only entertain such entries from select authors.

Brief communications: Brief communications can take the form of short notes, news analysis, letters to editors, Opinions. These publications are marked by their brevity in terms of length, often restricted to 1200-2000 words. Such content has to be also extremely focused on a certain specific aspect with very little scope of theoretical exploration. These types of content are also referred to as ‘Perspectives’and are scholarly reviews or commentaries that present a personal point on widespread notions of ongoing discourse.

Brief communications can be very engaging, especially when directed to an author on a previously published article and if the latter chooses to respond to it. They are also very good sources for references for readers and hence their popularity.

Whatever type of content you choose to write, scientific journals will only publish them if they see value in it for readers. Thus, the quality of the content is critical irrespective of the format and it must enrich the present discourse in the field.

What Are The Major Reasons For Scientific Manuscript Rejection?

Research paper writing is a specialized skill that all academicians have to learn. While publication is an essential part of the profession, the rates of rejection by journals are too high. Estimates suggest that for highly regarded journals like Cell, Nature, and Science, the rejection rate is as high as 97%! That is to say, of all the 100 submissions, only 3 make it through editorial and peer review scrutiny, and this is for top professionals of their fields! Therefore, it is critical that authors are aware of the reasons for rejection in order to avoid the same.

Top reasons for rejection:

Editorial reasons for Rejection

Mismatched scope: Each journal has a well-defined aim and scope, focusing on some specific area of the field. Often, authors share manuscripts with reputed journals for publication without actually checking if their article matches the journal objectives. It is best to check the scope of the journal before sharing the original manuscript; you may simply write to the editor to enquire if they are interested in an article on the topic you have written on.

Quality of writing: Many times, editors reject articles at the initial screening simply because of poor language. Journals have their own set of writing guidelines, including referencing style, font, etc. Any submission not fulfilling these conditions are automatically rejected. Poor language is another pet peeve of most editors, as is plagiarized content.

Value addition: Editors look for articles that add value to their journals. Often editors will reject articles that they find to be extensions of an earlier publication by the same author, the article has no archival value or adds little to the ongoing discourse.

Technical Reasons for Rejection

The structure: Most articles need to have a basic structure, starting with an introduction, followed by a literature review, methodology, etc. For empirical studies, the methodology, data reporting, etc. have to follow well-established protocols. Failure to adhere to accepted structures will lead to rejection.

Poor data work: Poor or insufficient data work is often the biggest bane. Journals will reject articles if they feel the hypothesis is unclear, data collection and analysis is insufficient or does not measure up to industry standards, poor or insufficient analytical tools, inconclusive data leading to speculation, especially in the conclusion. You need to have clarity on whether you need to undertake parametric or non-parametric tests for your data, whether the sample size is good enough to draw conclusions, whether the proper statistical checks and measures are adhered to, etc.

Poor referencing: Referencing is critical for an original submission, as it is directly linked to the problem of plagiarism. You must ensure that all your sources are duly referred to, and that too in the format specified by the journal. Often, journals will also reject articles if your references have dated articles and they feel you are not updated on the subject, or you are referring to the same article multiple times over the article.

It is advised to be acutely aware of these factors in advance before even drafting the original manuscript for submission.

Importance Of Meta-analysis In Medical research

Writing articles related to medical research today has to follow certain well-accepted forms of research in order to be accepted. Of the various types of medical research articles, studies based on metadata analysis is one of the most well-accepted forms.

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The concept of meta-analysis stems from the field of statistics. Meta-analysis is a process of combining the results of multiple scientific research related to the same field. Statistically, if there are multiple experiments on the same lines, the results of each are prone to certain degrees of error (for example, the most commonly occurring errors are Type 1 errors related to false-positives or Type 2 errors of false-negatives). However, if all those studies are pooled together, the net derivative result is less likely to have any of such errors and will yield a more definitive result. The key to the aggregation of data is higher statistical power and thereby more robust point estimates than any individual scientific research.

Meta-analysis based medical research started in the 70s and has gained immense popularity ever since. In fact, statistics suggest that meta-analysis based medical articles are the most cited articles in the field.

While meta-analysis generally refers to quantitative studies, there exists another form of studies called statistical meta-synthesis pertaining to integrating results from multiple but related qualitative studies. The approach to statistical meta-synthesis is more interpretive than aggregative and thereby have a different approach altogether. Before embarking on your work, you need to first determine whether you want to go for meta-analysis or statistical meta-synthesis, based on the type of field you are working on.

How to Approach Writing a meta-analysis medical research paper?

Meta-analysis is conducted to assess the strength of evidence, usually on the efficacy of any specific disease or particular treatment. Meta-analysis seeks to collate multiple pieces of evidence to arrive at a conclusion; whether any direct or indirect effect exists, and/or whether such effect is positive or negative (particularly pertaining to a specific type of treatment). This assumes importance as heterogeneity is vital for the development of any new hypothesis.

Key to such study is developing the metadata pool, based on a thorough filing and coding system, proper categorization of data, and thereby identifying the key analytical data- crunching exercise that is expected to yield the best results.

The key to a good meta-analysis exercise is proper identification of the different methods adopted in each exercise and thereby identifying how they may have affected the findings of those exercises. Identifying and mapping methods is also critical given not all methods are comparable and therefore all data may not be compatible.

Tools for meta-analysis

Needless to say, the main tools for such analysis are hardcore statistical tools, mostly software like SAS, STRATA, R. The data is usually pooled from recognized medical research sources like PubMed, Embase, or CENTRAL.

Reporting of results is usually done via the form of Preferred Reporting Items for Systemic Reviews and Meta-analysis or PRISMA.

MY TARGET JOURNAL REJECTED MY RESEARCH PAPER: WHAT SHOULD I DO?

A journal rejecting a submission is an unfortunate reality in the life of an academician. This is especially true for young scholars who rightly feel dejected given the hard work and high expectations hinged in their submissions.

However, a journal rejection is not the end of the world and there are still various options before a young scholar, depending on the exact type of rejection. Here are some quick tips on how to react to a journal rejection.

What type of rejection: Read the communication carefully to understand what type or stage of rejection has been made by the journal. In some cases, rejections are desk rejections, where the editors reject an article in the first stage of sorting. This may be due to poorly written or structured articles, failure to follow formatting instructions of the journals, lack of proper English, improper referencing, etc. These can be easily rectified and you can share it back after revision with the same journal.

Poor fit with the journal: Often journals reject articles because it does not fit their exact focus area or the interests of its readership. In such cases, you may either try to rework the research paper, but perhaps it makes more sense to try some other journal perhaps better suited for your research paper. Sometimes, journals also suggest ‘insignificant advancement to current knowledge’ as a reason, which basically means your article is not adding much value to the present discourse. This is where you have to think about how to improve upon your work to make it more relevant.

Reviewer Comments: Reviewers often share detailed comments and suggest resubmission post revision. This is not a total rejection but an ask to improve upon your paper. You can revise your research paper and resubmit it with a detailed response to the review comments.

Technical issues: Sometimes journals reject submissions because of technical factors. There may be complaints of plagiarism, insufficient data work, reviewers finding flaws with the methodology or data collection, challenges to the hypothesis, etc. For plagiarism, often unintentional due to improper referencing, it is best to engage professional editorial help for a plagiarism proof manuscript.

Critiques of data work, methodology, etc are serious concerns that require not just a relook at the research paper but the entire research exercise. In such a case, you may either choose to revisit your entire work, or you may choose to share a revised version with some other journal, as the one who has rejected it on these grounds is unlikely to entertain even a revised version.

Change journals: This is always an option, often a tempting one, especially an emotional one in wake of rejection. except for some specific reasons, trying to resubmit to a new journal means only going through the entire submission process all over again. This means delays as well as extra work. Therefore, such a decision, if taken, must be done judiciously considering all factors of rejection.

Tips for Describing Methodology in a Thesis or Dissertation

Of all the critical sections of a dissertation, the methodology is perhaps the most important one. Whether it be a qualitative analysis or empirical study, the main focus of the thesis or dissertation is obviously the key findings and for that the methodology section assumes importance. You may lay the groundwork for your exercise with a detailed review of the literature and setting a suitable hypothesis in your study, but it is really what you have done that matters. writing a suitable methodology section is therefore very important and needs special attention.

Here are some tips on how to write a proper methodology section.

Method and methodology: First and foremost, you must understand the distinction between method and methodology. The methodology is about the underlying theory and analysis of the exercise you undertake; it is the set of principles behind the design of the research study. Methods on the other hand refer to the techniques and tools you use for the study. For instance, your methodology may include a sample survey, while your method is how you draw those samples. A proper methodology section needs to report both, in a proper structure so as not to confuse between both. Give an overview of the methodology you are following in your thesis and then report the methods adopted to execute it.

Qualify your methodology: At the very onset, you need to clarify the type of methodology you have adopted. Broadly, there are two types of a methodology based on two types of methods; empirical methods like primary surveys or experimentations best used for measuring or quantifying certain variables, and qualitative methods like interviews for contextualizing, or deriving deep insights on certain issues. You can also have mixed methods, combining both forms of inputs. All these methods come under the bigger umbrella of your thesis methodology, where you specify which methods you are using, and how.

Justify your methodology: You have to justify why the methodology you adopted is the best fit. This stems from the review of literature, the gaps you have identified in existing literature, the hypothesis you are exploring, and various other factors. While you contextualize your thesis to substantiate it, you also need to justify the methodology adopted for credibility. This involves a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of your exercise, the reliability and limitations of your methods, what are the control mechanisms you have used for checking the validity of your results. You also need to clarify the observed results and how you interpret these results to derive qualitative conclusions.

Schematics and figures: It is very important to develop schematics of your methodology for ease of understanding. For instance, simple flowcharts help clarify matters to a great extent. You may also use complex infographics if it helps. Charts, flowcharts, diagrams are some tools you need to explore beforehand as they are often mandatory for certain types of methodology.

A well-developed methodology is an asset for your dissertation and helps raise it appreciation to a great extent.

HOW TO WRITE A ‘GOOD’ RESEARCH PAPER

Writing a good research paper and getting it published depends on many factors. It requires proper planning, preparation, and disciplined hard work to get published. However, by the end of the day, the quality and content of the article are what matters. Unless the article is of good quality, no journal will be willing to publish it.

Here are some basic tips on how to write a good article that is accepted by a journal.

Topic: Your topic is the first calling card for your article. You must choose your topic carefully based on the recent developments in your field. If you want to publish your article in a journal with a high impact factor, you must also understand that the editors will require an article that will be popular enough for its readers to maintain the high impact factor of the journal. The relevance of the topic and expressing it smartly via a suitable title is very crucial.

Core work: Your article may be based on your recent research activities, or maybe a pure review of the literature. In either case, it must be of top quality. For original research, the results you report are obviously the high-point of attraction. However, given there are many academicians working on the same topic, there has to be some differentiating factor in your research that will make it stand out from the rest. This depends not only on the research question or hypothesis you set for your experiments but also on what you’re finally present in your article. The same research can generate multiple publications depending on how you choose to present it before your audience.

Review of literature: Every publication requires a review of the literature section. While hard-core review papers are based solely on this factor, even research papers require a review of the literature section to set the context. Your review of the literature has to be up to date with the latest developments and ideas in your field. While writing a review of literature, the message is not about how extensively you have read up on your subject but really about the insights you derive from them. A review of literature is all about perspectives developed from existing literature and it should be conveyed in your article.

Understand your audience: For a successful publication, especially in a journal with a high impact factor, you have to write the article from a reader’s perspective. Figure out what would interest a reader to read your article. A good way to go about it is to understand what interested you as a reader when you were doing your research. Reading good articles not only helps develop knowledge on the subject matter but also teaches us how to write. Revisit your references to see how they were written, the language, the questions they addressed, and what attracted your attention in the first place.

Discipline: Proper formatting, referencing, indexing of content, labeling of charts and figures are the basic hygiene for any good article. It is best you inculcate these habits from the very start to avoid excessive revisions later.