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Publish or Perish – Perspectives from Authors, Editors, and Reviewers

By: , Posted on: October 18, 2017

publish or perish

The ability to effectively communicate and disseminate research is an integral part of any academic’s professional responsibilities.  Unfortunately, many scientists and most physicians do not learn in any organized and systematic way how to write and publish their work.  As part of its integrated medical school curriculum, in 2015 the University of Michigan introduced a course on Medical Writing and Editing, concomitant with the launch of a student-run medical journal, the Michigan Journal of Medicine, that would in essence serve as a ‘lab’ for the class.  This book was initially conceived based on this course.   Based on student feedback, the breadth of the course evolved and expanded since the first time it was taught, as did ultimately the scope of our book.

While various texts cover some aspects of scientific or medical writing, there has – until now – been no single guide devoted to helping clinicians and academics understand how to navigate the publishing world, while also preparing them for other related roles, such as author, editor and peer reviewer.  We hope that Medical and Scientific Publishing: Author, Editor, and Reviewer Perspectives will fill that crucial gap.

Many of our contributors are guest lecturers in the course, some are (or were) our students, and others are our publishing colleagues.  We chose to leave the chapters in the authors’ individual voices rather attempting to standardize across the entire contents.  We feel that the book benefits from many diverse perspectives – including those of physicians, medical students, writers, editors, and publishers – to provide a comprehensive, start-to-finish overview of the complexity (and opportunity) that exists within the medical and scientific publishing landscape.

In addition to covering “standard” scientific and medical writing, the book explores many other publishing and editorial topics that are essential to helping academic physicians and scientists gain critical knowledge and perspective , including: Distinguishing the many different types of publishing; Explaining different kinds of editing, and their importance; Describing how peer-review plays a central role in academic publishing; Highlighting legal and ethical issues such as copyrights, contracts, and publishing ethics – including scientific misconduct and conflict of interest; and other relevant topics including open access and funder mandates; the importance of effective communication, publishing case studies and clinical trials, measuring impact, and more.

The book also includes several chapters based on the Michigan Journal of Medicine by the University of Michigan medical students, staff and faculty who worked together to establish and publish the new journal.

We hope that Medical and Scientific Publishing will become an essential resource for any undergrad, grad student, medical student, future or current scientist, academic professional – or anyone else – who is interested in gaining a better understanding of academic publishing and wishes to use this knowledge to facilitate broad dissemination of important research and scholarship.

medical and scientific publishing

Medical and Scientific Publishing: Author, Editor, and Reviewer Perspectives is scheduled to publish in November 2017. If you would like to pre-order a print or ecopy, visit the Elsevier Store. Apply discount code STC317 at checkout and receive up to 30% off the list price and free global shipping.

You can also view the book at the forthcoming Society of Neuroscience meeting in Washington, DC at Elsevier Booth #310. Editor Jasna Markovac will be attending the “Author Meet and Greet” events at the booth on Sunday, November 12, 3:30 – 5:00 pm and Monday, November 13, 12:00 – 1:30 pm. Stop by and say hello and enter to win a copy of this fantastic new book!

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