International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) position statement: the role of the professional medical writer

Curr Med Res Opin. 2007 Aug;23(8):1837-40. doi: 10.1185/030079907X210642.


The International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) is an independent, nonprofit professional association with members from the pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology industries; publication planning and medical communications companies; academia; and medical journal staffs, including editors and publishers. ISMPP's mission is to support the educational needs of medical publication professionals by providing a forum to facilitate awareness and development of best practices in publication planning and implementation, and fostering consensus policies related to medical publishing. This position statement reflects our concern about the current climate of mistrust regarding the use of professional medical writers in the preparation of manuscripts. We acknowledge the skills and training of medical writing professionals and support their role in working with research teams to develop clear and concise manuscripts in a timely fashion. Further, we support complete and transparent disclosure of the role of the medical writer and the source of funding for the writing initiative in order to build awareness of, and trust in, the appropriate use of medical writing professionals. ISMPP endorses use of the contributorship model, which offers detailed information on the roles of all who participated in planning, conducting, developing, and publishing medical research. Further, we propose that this model be integrated into the standard operating procedures of the diverse organizations that comprise our membership because the responsibility for authorship disclosure is shared by sponsors, authors, study investigators, and medical writers. Finally, we commend the many organizations that have worked to increase recognition and understanding of the legitimate role of the medical writer, and are eager to work in concert with them to ensure the rigorous maintenance of all ethical standards for reporting the results of medical research.

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research*
  • Professional Role*
  • Societies*
  • Writing*