'Right' for publication: strategies for supporting novice writers across health and medical disciplines

Aust Health Rev. 2015 Apr;39(2):165-168. doi: 10.1071/AH14104.


The idea that scholarly writing is an integral part of academic and clinical work is not new; however, increasing expectations that health professionals contribute to research output through publication, regardless of level of employment or experience, creates anxiety and dissonance for many novice and sometimes not-so-novice writers. Publications and the impact of scholarly work have become the key indicators not only of the performance of individual health academics, but also of health disciplines and universities more broadly. In Australia, as in many other countries, publications as the measure of research impact and outputs are expected in professional disciplines, universities and schools. Research impact is assessed and rated against other institutions and used as a means of allocating scarce research funding. Publishing has become a matter of professional reputation and sustainability. This paper reports on a project designed to enhance publication rates across health disciplines based at a rural university, where many staff members combine academic work with ongoing clinical roles. Without deliberate and focused support to enhance skills and confidence in writing it was unlikely that these academics and clinical staff members would be able to develop the kind of track record required for a successful academic career or promotion. This paper outlines the development, delivery and outcomes of this university-funded project, which drew on evidence in the literature to increase the publication rates across two Schools (Health and Medicine) at a rural university.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Biomedical Research
  • Health Personnel*
  • Publications*
  • Writing*