Mythbusting Medical Writing: Goodbye, Ghosts! Hello, Help!

Account Res. 2016;23(3):178-194. doi: 10.1080/08989621.2015.1088788.


To meet ethical and scientific obligations, authors should submit timely, high-quality manuscripts. Authors, however, can encounter ethical (e.g., authorship designation) and practical (e.g., time and resource limitations) challenges during manuscript preparation. Could professional medical writers-not ghostwriters-help authors address these challenges? This essay summarizes evidence countering three myths that may have hindered authors from considering the use of professional medical writers. Authors with sufficient time, writing expertise, and reporting guideline knowledge may meet their obligations without writing assistance. Unfortunately, not all authors are in this position. Decisions about writing support should be based on evidence, not myths.

Keywords: Authorship; collaboration; conflict of interest; publication; publication ethics; science communication.