Presentation on theme: "Writing for Publication Grace Lindsay. Why write? Gain intellectual stimulation Share ideas Report research Express an opinion Generate discussion Advance."— Presentation transcript:
Writing for Publication Grace Lindsay
Why write? Gain intellectual stimulation Share ideas Report research Express an opinion Generate discussion Advance one’s discipline Assert “ownership” of a topic Attain promotion Report a case Enhance one’s personal reputation Achieve some small measure of immortality by publishing our ideas Earn income –RB Taylor (2005)
Why write? Academic obligation Career progression Prestige of your institution To share research findings To disseminate good practice Money Because you enjoy it?
Nursing Needs Writers Many worthwhile ideas do not get the attention they deserve because few people are aware of them. The nurse who is dedicated to the profession accepts the sharing of ideas as a professional commitment. –Sheridan & Dowdney, 1986, “How to Write and Publish Articles in Nursing”
Why writing doesn’t happen Not enough time Nothing to write about No one to work with in writing Lack of secretarial support Lack of knowledge as to how to research information No mentor for writing activities No motivation No self-conﬁdence Don’t know how to start “I hate writing!” –RB Taylor (2005)
Choose a subject area Interest Knowledge Credibility Longevity
What sort of article? Research Review Case report Opinion Other
Start writing Reviews Case reports Editorials Letters Book reviews News reviews
Stages of the Writing Process There are three stages to the writing process: –Planning Your Writing –Writing –Rewriting
The three questions: So what? Who cares? Where will my article be published?
So what? Am I saying anything new? Am I saying anything important?
Who cares? Who will be interested in your article?
Where will my article be published? Target journal –Broad-Based Peer-Reviewed Journal –Specialty Oriented Peer-Reviewed Journals –Controlled-Circulation Journals –Online Journals Type of article Impact factor
Wonderful articles are alike in so many ways. They have a concise introduction that proposes a testable hypothesis, a methods section with a good study design, a results section in which the statistical analysis addresses clinical relevance as well as statistical signiﬁcance, and a discussion in which points are made succinctly and are based on evidence, not conjecture. In wonderful articles, the prose is clear, ﬂuent, and direct. On the other hand, unhappy articles are often uniquely bad, each with its particular combination of distinctive ﬂaws. Norton SA. Read this but skip that. J Am Acad Dermatol 2001;44:714–715.
How to write If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way round these two things…no shortcut. Stephen King I learned to write by writing - professionalism comes from being able to write on a bad day Norman Mailer
Mistakes Doing it alone Running before you can walk Being unprepared
Structure Introduction - why did you ever start on this study? Methods – what did you actually do? Ethics – were your actions morally acceptable? Results – what did you discover? Discussion – so was it worthwhile? Clinical message – so what? Accompanying statements References – where can the reader find other parts of the greater story? Illustrations – making it more interesting
Length of articles “Articles should be as long as necessary and as short as possible.” As a guide for ordinary articles, 1,500 words of text is good and 3,500 seems rather too long.
Formulating a Writing Project Choose a Topic and Journal Gather Information –gather information you will need for writing: references, examples of manuscripts from the targeted journal, patient records or data, previously published and related articles, etc. Planning Your Writing Time –set up a rough timeline, planning to do one step each day or week.
Contact journal editors to assess interest in your proposed manuscript –Do this sooner rather than later I wonder whether you would be interested in receiving a second paper that describes the follow up at seven years of a different cohort of patients under going CABG? It does, I think, have a number of interesting points regarding cardiac rehabilitation in this group, particularly as different data (for example locus of control, smoking behaviours, well being) were collected. If the second study is also from an RCT then yes; otherwise it is less likely but you could submit especially if the group is large, fairly representative and you have new or important confirmatory findings on prognosis (for example). Formulating a Writing Project
“Feelers” Is my article on the right lines? Is this the right journal? Would the editor accept it with changes? Allows changes/adaptations early on Can be submitted to several journals at once
Contact content What the article is about Why it is of interest to the journal/editor –New findings/applications –In what way different from previous papers –Evidence from literature search –Why you have expertise in the area –Highlights your thinking and writing abilities
Editor’s response Response may come in a few days If a positive response is received, acknowledge receipt and establish any deadline for submission of the manuscript Indicate your willingness to follow suggestions for changes in your proposed article and to incorporate these in the manuscript Include a covering letter with your article demonstrating how you have followed the guidance.
Application Produce one of the following (approx 500 words): –An outline of a paper for an editor –A case study in the style of a particular journal