A GUIDE TO CLINICAL RESEARCH WRITING ON PUBLIC HEALTH FOR CLINICAL RESEARCHERS

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In brief

  • Clinical research writing is a specialized field requiring the expertise of Scientific Medical Writing who in addition to providing medical writing help, also help conform to the requirements of the Journal, ensure publication and make relevant contribution to the field of medical research.
  • Clinicians and medical researchers often do not have the time, or the know-how to medical writing and a lot of significant research outcomes are lost due to wanting of documentation. Scientific medical writing companies are legitimate services that researchers and clinicians need to avail to contribute positively to scientific research.

Public Health

            Public Health is defined by WHOas “the art and science of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts of society” (Acheson, 1988; WHO). Public health focuses on the entire spectrum of health and wellbeing, not only the eradication of particular diseases.

Clinical Research Writing

Clinical research is the backbone of public health. Summarizing the findings in the form of a research article is the last and most important step in clinical research. It is the ethical and moral duty of researchers to provide accurate and clear information about the research.  This is relevant as it not only communicates the essence of the research conducted but also provides direction for future research.

The scientific community today recognizes the importance of scientific medical writing, and so, several medical writing services and scientific medical writing companies have come into being to provide the much-neededexpertise in regulatory medical writing and medical manuscript writing.

With the increase in a number of journals, digital and print options, the number of options for publications has increased exponentially over the last few decades. Yet only a small fraction of written find their way into publications.This is because few of us are taught how to write a research article, how to document the findings, how to summarise statistical findings in the form of tables and graphs, how to derive conclusions,What are the ethical issues involved, how to choose the appropriate Journal and how to communicate during the process of publication. Scientific medical writing services do exactly this and provide appropriate medical writing help to ensure publication in the desired Journal.

Professional medical writing solutions are legitimate and well accepted in the field of scientific medical writing by the medical fraternity. However, the medical world is still not fully aware that it is ethical to use scientific medical writing services for clinical research writing.

Writing a good research article

            Broadly, there are two aspects to writing a good research article – Content and format. Content should be plagiarism free, up to date, relevant, crisp, and clear. The format should follow Journal instruction for authors as far as possible. Research articles that conform to the Journal requirements are more likely to be taken as it saves time, energy, and money for the publishers.

A good title

            A good title for a research article should be concise, precise, and informative. It should also include keywords that would show up during a digital search.

Abstract – a good summary

            An abstract helps a reader decide whether he/she wants to continue reading the entire article. After the title, it is the second most often read part of being a research article —consistency between the article and its abstract needs to be ensured by using similar wording in both sections. Hence, the abstract should always be written after writing the entire article.

Most journals ask for a structured abstract consisting of

  • objectives
  • methodology (setting of the study, participants, interventions, and outcomes)
  • results
  • conclusions

Introduction

            A good introduction should have the scientific background and provide the build-up to the study.It should begin by explaining how the issue under study is of public health interest. It should provide a good summary of all scientific literature that is relevant to the current research study starting from the already established outcomes to the arena of the unknown. It should finally define the study objectives clearly and provide justification for the research project.

Methods

In a logical and chronological fashion, the study methodology should be described with respect to the study setting, the participants, the sample size and distribution, the inclusion and exclusion criteria, the study design and type of study, interventionsare undertaken and statistical methods used for summarising and analyzing the data. Ethical issues, including regulatory approvals and consent, should be clearly defined. Information provided should be accurate, complete, and concise.

Results

            Results should correlate with the findings mentioned under methodology and should be summarised in the form of tables, graphs, and figures as far as possible. Long texts and jargon should be avoided by reporting results objectively and honestly. Text is used only for subjective evaluation of the results. This section usually follows a distinct pattern of reporting. Patient demographic information is initially summarised, followed by primary outcomes (in different demographic groups) followed by secondary outcomes.Negative outcomes and limitations of the study are then mentioned, followed by ambiguous areas.

Discussion

This section discusses the meaning of the study outcomes and compares them with the outcomes of other similar studies. The structure of this section includes the presentation of the primary findings followed by comparison with previous studies and assessing the strengths and limitations of the study. Grey areas of the study are highlighted mentioning requirement for further research and suggest a methodology for the same. 

Conclusions

This section is optional, and content should be supported by the study findings.

Acknowledgements

Source of funding and any relevant conflict of interest needs to be mentioned in this section. It also acknowledges someone with a significant contribution to the study but who cannot be mentioned as an author.

The road ahead

            Researchers should extensively avail the expertise of professional medical writers provided by medical writing companies to improve the quality, standardize the format of research article writing and improve chances of acceptance by the Journal.

References

  • https://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/Health-systems/public-health-services
  • Das N, Das S. Knowledge, and attitudes of Indian surgeons regarding professional medical writing support. PerspectClin Res. 2018;9:127–32.
  • Sharma S. (2018). Professional medical writing support: The need of the day. Perspectives in clinical research, 9(3), 111–112. https://doi.org/10.4103/picr.PICR_47_18
  • Timing and completeness of trial results posted at ClinicalTrials.gov and published in journals. Riveros C, Dechartres A, Perrodeau E, Haneef R, Boutron I, Ravaud P PLoS Med. 2013 Dec; 10(12):e1001566; discussion e1001566.
  • Recommendations on Publication Ethics Policies for Medical Journals.Available from: http://www.wame.org/about/recommendations-on-publication-ethics-policie#Authorship .
  • Heinemann M. How NOT to Write a Medical Paper: A Practical Guide. Delhi: Thieme Medical and Scientific Publishers, 2016.
  • Lang T. How to Write, Publish, and Present in the Health Sciences: A Guide for Clinicians and Laboratory Scientists. Philadelphia: American College of Physicians, 2010.
  • Lang, T. (2017). Writing a better research article. Journal Of Public Health And Emergency, 1(12). Retrieved from http://jphe.amegroups.com/article/view/4265

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