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Writing Strategies June Brockman Medical Editor Publication Officer Naval Medical Center Portsmouth.

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Presentation on theme: "Writing Strategies June Brockman Medical Editor Publication Officer Naval Medical Center Portsmouth."— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing Strategies June Brockman Medical Editor Publication Officer Naval Medical Center Portsmouth

2 Why Publish? Navy Medical Department personnel are encouraged to submit authored works for publication. Publication encourages the exchange of information, promotes professional growth, and promotes the professional standing of Navy medical and dental personnel and the Navy Medical Department. BUMEDINST 5721.3C

3 Objectives Manuscript Preparation Using the Authors Guidelines Composing the Text Publication Approval

4 Manuscript Preparation Ernest Hemingway He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to a dictionary. – William Faulkner

5 Before You Start Select the appropriate journal –Topic - area of specialization Journal domain is in policy statement –Who is your target audience? –Peer-review or not? Refereed journals use reviewers in addition to the editor to determine the suitability and adequacy of papers Non-refereed journals do not use a review process – the editor makes the decisions – Fine for first-time author Cost per page journals

6 Whos on First? Are you a co-author? If so, who will: –assemble the data? –design the tables and figures? –write the text? –compile the bibliography?

7 Get to work! Decide on a deadline Make a schedule Work alone and as a group if appropriate Critique each others work –If you are sole author, have colleagues look it over –This can be a threatening experience however - it produces a better manuscript – one that has a better chance of being published

8 Using the Authors Guidelines


10 Authors Guidelines Provide Journal Policy –Submission Procedure –Length of Text and Title –Graphics Requirements –Reference Formats –Manuscript Components –Template

11 Components of a Research Manuscript Title Page Abstract Introduction/Background Methods Subjects/Participants Apparatus/Materials Procedure Results Discussion/Conclusion References/Bibliography Tables Figures/Graphs

12 Case Report Components Introduction Case Report –Do not provide unnecessary identifying information Discussion Conclusion References Figures –Get permission for pictures of identifiable patients

13 Case Reports vs. Research Case Reports –One or two cases Research –Three cases or more a systematic investigation that allows for statistical analysis and satisfies the DoD definition of research must have IRB approval

14 Composing the Text Scientific writing –Must be relevant Talk about what you know on the topic – not everything you know about related topics –Must be logical –Should be objective –Should be succinct Every sentence does not have to be short – but every word should tell (Strunk & White, 1918)

15 What the Journals Say Annals of Emergency Medicine A well-written paper is more likely to be accepted for publication, and subsequently read and cited by others. We prefer a straightforward, unpretentious style whose chief purpose is to efficiently convey information. Use the active voice. Sentences should be simple and short. Never use a lengthy scientific term when a clear simpler one is available. In general, brevity conveys more genuine information than loquacity, and leads you and the reader to think more carefully about your message.

16 What the Journals Say contd. Obstetrics & Gynecology... if your manuscript lacks clarity, it will probably not get published. Brevity must be your watchword. Editorial space is precious and there is a limit to the number of pages in an issue; remember also - the competition is as determined to publish as you are.

17 Medical Writing Basics Avoid complicated medical terms and jargon –Not, juxtaposed, but adjacent, or even next to Use medical terms only when a lay term is not precise enough - a college graduate should be able to understand most of your article Do not use the same word twice in the same sentence –It is not interesting

18 Eliminate Excess Baggage They were both alike –They were alike Absolutely essential –Essential A total of 47 subjects –Forty-seven subjects

19 Eliminate Excess Baggage contd. "We intend to acquire samples from the ward patients as well, as they are an ill population, and affords an analysis of this cohort relative to the ICU cohort to discern if there are differences in the subsequent correlations. The ward cohort facilitates more potential samples to expedite or more importantly ensure collection of the requisite samples desired via the power analysis (see below), in a reasonable time period dictated by the NIDBR facilities who will perform the ultimate analysis."

20 Eliminate Excess Baggage contd. Edited We will also get samples from the wards ill patients for comparison to the ICU patients. This will, in the NIDBRs required time frame, provide the additional samples necessary for a power analysis (see below).

21 Dont Overload Your Reader The implementation of these proposed procedures or some other not dissimilar practices are expected to lead to a lesser stone burden on the population that was studied. Edited Implementing these and similar procedures should reduce the occurrence of kidney stones.

22 Are You Making Sense? Diesel exhaust injuries have been reported from various Navies operating diesel engines requiring hospitalization. Edited Diesel exhaust injuries requiring hospitalization have been reported from various Navies operating diesel engines.

23 Be Clear! Multi-center studies addressing the questions of infection rates among various cord care practices, re- colonization rate after discharge with various cord practices and the true incidence of omphalitis following infants post-discharge would provide more information to help establish evidence- based guidelines for cord care practice.

24 Be Clear! contd. In order to establish evidence-based guidelines for cord care practice, multi-center studies should investigate (a) infection rates among various cord care practices, (b) re- colonization rates in various cord practices used after discharge, and (c) the true incidence of omphalitis post-discharge.

25 Neither a Borrower nor a Lender Be Authors must have written permission from the copyright owner to use direct quotations, tables, or illustrations that have appeared in copyrighted form elsewhere. –Permissions take weeks –They may be costly –Journals often require documentation

26 Help is Available American Psychological Association (APA) Publication Manual Strunk and Whites The Elements of Style Library – literature search, inter-library loan A medical editor will help with –Journal specific formatting –Organization of manuscript –Grammar, clarity, etc. –Required elements –Rebuttals or changes E-mail or call – –757-953-5939

27 Get Approval before Submitting! Follow publication approval instruction guidance (BUMEDINST 5721.3C) by getting publication approval from your command

28 The End

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