he first article explains our approach to medical writing. The second article explains the position statement on the contributions of medical writers to scientific publications adopted by the American Medical Writers Association. The abstract from the first article and the first paragraph from the second article are reproduced below. To view the entire articles, open them in PDF format. If you don’t have the Adobe Acrobat plug-in to view PDF files, you can download it at no cost from Adobe Online.


How to write and publish scientific papers:
Scribing information for pharmacists


Abstract: The principles of writing and publishing scientific papers are outlined.
     Scientific writing can be both professionally and financially rewarding, but many pharmacists hesitate to write for publication. A primary obstacle is not knowing how to begin. Thoughtful planning is the first and most important step. Before writing a word, the writer should identify the main message, audience, target journal, resource materials, type of manuscript, and authorship.
    The sections of a paper reporting original research include the title, abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, conclusion, references, and tables and figures. Some of these elements also appear in review papers and columns. In general, information given in one section should not duplicate information in another. The writer typically drafts the methods section first, followed by the results, the discussion, and the introduction. Along with intellectual responsibility for the paper, an author must assume various ethical responsibilities, such as ensuring that it contains no plagiarism, that all sources of funding have been acknowledged, and that the paper has not been simultaneously submitted to other journals. To enhance the likelihood of publication, the writer should edit the manuscript carefully and follow the target journal's instructions to contributors. Once the writer has submitted a paper, it must pass the muster of editors and, for peer-reviewed journals, outside experts. Several revisions may be requested before final acceptance.
     Pharmacists who adhere to the established pattern for writing and submitting scientific papers have the best chance of seeing their work in print.


AMWA position statement on the contributions of medical writers to scientific publications


The unacknowledged contributions of professional medical writers (i.e., ghostwriting) to the preparation of manuscripts for publication continue to be controversial, particularly when funded by the pharmaceutical industry.1-6Critics charge that the use of professional biomedical communicators7- 10 encourages commercial bias in publications, whereas proponents hold that these biomedical communicators provide a valuable service that improves the quality and timeliness of publication.11-14 The controversy became of critical interest to AMWA members in the early 1990s when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed severe restrictions on industrysponsored biomedical communicators in their draft guidelines “Regulation of Drug-Company–Sponsored Activities in Scientific or Educational Contexts.”10,12,15 In response, AMWA formed the Advisory Task Force on Medical Writing (hereafter, the 1991 task force) to educate the FDA about the role of biomedical communicators in the writing process and to address the FDA’s concerns about that involvement.16 AMWA, founded in 1940, has recognized the contributions of biomedical communicators for decades. Evidence of AMWA’s commitment to biomedical communicators can be found in the Code of Ethics (Table 1), written in 1973, and in the 1991 task force’s response to the guidelines proposed by the FDA in the early 1990s.16,17 As a result of the continuing controversy, AMWA formed a new task force in 2001 to develop a statement regarding AMWA’s position on the contributions of biomedical communicators to scientific publications (hereafter, the 2002 task force). The purpose of this paper is to explain the process the 2002 task force used to prepare, adopt, and present the position statement. In addition, plans for 2003 will be described briefly.