Medical writer

Publication Management Tools That A Medical Writer Must Know

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A medical writer is responsible for developing medically accurate documents for different stakeholders in the healthcare industry. Biomedical industries, hospitals, CROs, publication houses and MedComm agencies usually have an inhouse team of medical writers to develop high-quality medical documents. The responsibilities of a medical writer involve drafting, reviewing, editing, inter-team communications, being compliant to the guidelines and perform various other project management tasks. To establish a seamless workflow, the companies provide their medical writing teams with publication management tools or content management software. It is essential for a medical writer to have knowledge about these tools to perform their tasks comfortably. Here are the two tools that are widely used:

Datavision: It is a well-established publication planning software tool that is widely used in healthcare industries. This planning software helps a medical writer in project management and ensures the timely delivery of the project without compromising the expectations of the authors and the stakeholders.

Datavision is a user-friendly and intuitive tool that understands the importance and process of publication procedure. It is built around three workflows that encompass the overall publication procedure such as planning, project execution, tracking and reporting.

Some unique features of Datavision software include:

  • Writers Workbench: Medical writers can access Datavision through their desktop application or through a specialised web-based portal known as Writers Workbench. This feature allows the writer to plan their works or overdue tasks, thus, enabling the writers to manage their time and tasks effectively and efficiently.
  • Built-in Journals and Congress database: Datavision has the largest abstract and citation database with peer-reviewed literature from more than 5,000 publishers. It serves as an invaluable resource to writers.
  • Document tab for reviews and approvals: One of the core features of Datavision is the Documents tab. This tab facilitates direct management of all the elements related to a specific project. It helps manage the time plan for the project, drafts, reviews, and approvals together with feedback as the project enters its final stages.

Veeva Vault: It is a proven cloud enterprise content management platform which is specifically built for life sciences. This content management platform has a unique ability to manage both content and data on a single platform. It is designed with perfection to meet the most rigorous commercial, clinical, regulatory, quality and safety requirements. It enables the organizations and/or biomedical engineers to quickly manage end-to-end processes related to the content, data, and workflows.

Unique features of Veeva vault include:

  • Content Capabilities: Veeva Vault platform is a highly versatile tool that helps manage documents, videos, and images with high capability including electronic signatures, watermarks, templates, versioning, annotations, lifecycles, sharing and document generation. It also supports the complex business requirements needed for compliance, collaboration, and records management.
  • Easy access to Microsoft office and high optical character recognition (OCR): Veeva Vault users can check out their Microsoft office documents and can utilize the full co-authoring capabilities with a single click. The platform automatically scans, extracts, and indexes text within documents and also find images and PDF files that are uploaded directly or through Veeva Snap.
  • Dynamic Security:  The Veeva Vault platform addresses all the security challenges of global enterprises. It provides flexible authentication and authorization for the organization and the external partners. It has a dynamic security model that supports multiple domains, and fine-grain access control to functions, objects, and data.

A clear understanding about these tools will help the writers to track and manage the entire publication development process without any assistance. These tools will ensure that publications are delivered according to best practices and with highest standards.

Medical Writing

Medical Editors: An Integral Part of Medical Writing Team

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Like medical writers, medical editors (or scientific editors) do play a crucial role in the field of scientific writing and medical communication. They are the proactive members of the team, who provide appropriate suggestions for adopting the reader’s point of view and help improve the overall quality of the write-up. The suggestions might be about the scientific language, flow, and clarity of the write-up.

What are the responsibilities of a medical editor?
An ideal medical editor deals with various editorial services, including medical editing, copy editing and fact-checking. They need to understand the complete lifecycle of the project and submission tasks for various clients. They are responsible for:

  • Editing the language clarity and consistency of the write-up.
  • Ensuring scientific accuracy, correct balance, tone, flow, and overall cohesiveness of the document.
  • Checking grammar, spelling, and typographical errors.
  • Formatting and accurate referencing.
  • Formatting the text in accordance with the medical journal guidelines.
  • Managing priorities and deadlines of the project.
  • Querying the writer about the logical flow, organization, and missing information in the content.
  • Maintaining agency style guides to keep current client requirement.
  • Coordinating the work of other team members to complete the project delivery on time.

Where do they work?
The best workplace for a medical editor is at a large scientific publishing house or a pharmaceutical or healthcare organization. However, they may also find great opportunities in the academic publishing house, online publications, and medical communication companies. Also, a medical editor can begin their own medical editing business to gain identity and success. But, a lot of efforts are needed to start, operate, and grow the business.

What are the qualities required to be a medical editor?
In addition to the educational qualification in the field of medicine or science, medical editors require certain qualities that enable them to work with writers, manage day-to-day tasks, and maintain good coordination and workflow from the whole team. A medical editor must have an eye for detail to ensure that the content is error-free. They must have good written and spoken language skills to communicate effectively. Additionally, they must have excellent writing skill, which helps them to reorganize the content to attain clarity and flow. They should also have adequate knowledge for reference sourcing to check the content accuracy.

Acquiring the qualities of a medical editor might not be a huge task, but maintaining it throughout your career path could be challenging. Try out these tips, they could be of great help:

  • Learn about the list of medical style-guides used in your country.
  • Keep your medical knowledge up to date by reading the latest medical journals.
  • Get well-versed with all the medical terminologies.
  • Attend annual medical editing meetings or conferences to refine your skills.

If you have a creative spark with great language skills and wish to make a future in the field of medicine or science, then a medical editor job is worth trying.