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A Day in the Life of a Scientific and Medical Publications Professional

Have you ever considered if your drug development program would benefit from partnering with experts in scientific and medical communications and publications? Maybe, we should first address what exactly scientific and medical communications and publishing entails.

As medical writers with decades of experience, we can say that every day holds unique, intellectually rigorous challenges. We work on publication planning; provide advice on scientific journal selection and congress participation; write abstracts, posters, and manuscripts; coordinate and incorporate author feedback on draft documents; submit manuscripts to journals and abstracts and posters to congresses; and develop responses to journal reviewer comments on submitted manuscripts. Sometimes, we do all these things in a single day!

Medical Publishing

Clinical and nonclinical research scientists have experience publishing their work in peer-reviewed journals and as posters and presentations at congresses—our forums for communicating research findings to other scientists, health care professionals, and patients. Sharing evidence that demonstrates that a new small molecule drug or peptide or monoclonal antibody therapy helps patients in need is truly exciting! Whether you have a new treatment for patients where none existed or an improved treatment with fewer side effects or better efficacy, these treatments can’t help patients until you communicate your results to prescribers. And that is what a medical publications professional does every day.

Scientific Communication

Communicating new data can be a daunting experience, and it should be! The transparent, accurate, and timely communication of medical information is key to drug development. Industry guidelines specify what to report, when to report, and authorship, among other things. The guidelines are critical to ensuring that research findings can be independently confirmed. Good Publication Practices (GPP3), ICMJE recommendations, and CONSORT are just a few of the published guidelines that medical publication professionals follow when developing every project. Some days, we are helping to update the publication guidelines. For example, GPP3 is currently being updated with input from experienced medical publication professionals.

Figure 1: From Concept to Publication

Publications Process

Adherence to industry guidelines and the publications process described in Figure 1 helps to ensure the development of quality publications. From concept to publication, a medical publications professional supports you throughout the process. With our wealth of experience with clinical research in different therapeutic areas, with different types of journals, and with diverse authoring teams, we streamline the process. On any given day, a writer might be involved in 1 or all 12 steps from concept to publication.

Publication Planning

Medical publication professionals also help you get to the concept stage of publication writing (i.e., tactical execution) by working with you on publication planning. Publication professionals think about and do publication planning every day including:

  • developing key messages for a clinical development program
  • determining the timing of data disclosures to congresses and development of related manuscripts
  • journal selection based on the desired audience, time to publication, and journal impact
  • matching the right writer to a given project
  • developing a plan for review of disclosures within a drug development company.

Planning is the most important part of our job. Thinking ahead, anticipating next steps, and adhering to timelines underpins everything we do and is critical to successful execution of a publication plan.

The Certara Synchrogenix Team

We have a great team of medical publication professionals who are also highly skilled at project and time management. Many of us are also qualified Quality Checkers, so sometimes our work-day involves reading, reviewing, and editing documents developed by other writers. All of our documents undergo a rigorous review of grammar, spelling, and accuracy so that our clients can have confidence in the quality of the end product.

We also regularly share knowledge, learnings, and best practices with each other on the Certara Synchrogenix Medical Publications team. Each member of our team of professionals brings a unique perspective and passion for medical publications writing.

We come to work every day eager to learn new things and support the publication of clinical data to enhance patient care. Hopefully, this description of a day in the life of a medical publications professional has given you an opportunity to consider the many ways that the Certara Synchrogenix team can support your program’s publication needs. Our team is growing, and we’re looking for people with strong scientific backgrounds who are passionate about our mission to accelerate developing medicines for patients while furthering their career growth. Want to learn more about a career in medical writing or publications? Register for this LinkedIn Live event:


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About the authors

Holly Capasso-Harris, PhD
By: Holly Capasso-Harris, PhD

Holly has a PhD in cell and molecular pharmacology and more than 18 years of experience in medical writing and as an editor. She has written over 80 abstracts, posters, and manuscripts based on preclinical and clinical data in a wide range of therapeutic areas. Before joining Certara, she worked with several medical communications agencies servicing a variety of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and professional medical associations.

Amy Porter
By: Amy Porter

Amy has a PhD in pharmacology and toxicology and her ISMPP CMPPTM certification with over 8 years of experience as a scientific, medical, regulatory, and publication writer and over 10 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry leading cross-functional drug discovery teams. Her most recent experience includes preparation of peer-reviewed publications, abstracts, posters, and review articles for clinical oncology programs and Phase 1 clinical pharmacology publications and congress presentations for migraine programs.

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