Medical Writing Medical Writing in Oncology Manuscript Writing
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Volume 21, Issue 1 - Medical Writing in Oncology

Manuscript Writing

Abstract

In their article on handling manuscript rejection, Woolley and Barron1 offer the following soothing advice:

Authors, particularly inexperienced authors, may take comfort in knowing that manuscript rejection is common.

The rejection rate for many journals is over 50%, and for top-tier journals, it can be over 90%.26 Some of the reasons for these rejections are under the control of the medical writer, whereas others are not. Regardless, medical writers should be aware of the main reasons to minimize their occurrence and to be able to give practical advice to the authors and other contributors.

References

  1. Woolley KL, Barron JP. Handling manuscript rejection: insights from evidence and experience. Chest 2009;135:573–7.
  2. Wyness T, McGhee C, Patel DV. Manuscript rejection in ophthalmology and visual science journals: identifying and avoiding the common pitfalls. Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2009;37:864–7.
  3. Armstrong AW, Idriss SZ, Kimball AB, Bernhard JD. Fate of manuscripts declined by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. J Am Acad Dermatol 2008;58:632–5.
  4. Lancet Information for Authors. [cited 2011 October 7] Available from: http://download.thelancet.com/flatcontentassets/authors/lancet-information-for-authors.pdf
  5. JAMA Instructions for Authors. [cited 2011 October 7]. Available from: http://jama.ama-assn.org/site/misc/ifora.xhtml
  6. Welcome to Resources for Authors. [cited 2011 October 7]. Available from: http://resources.bmj.com/bmj/authors
  7. Ehara S, Takahashi K. Reasons for rejection of manuscripts submitted to AJR by international authors. AJR Am J Roentgenol 2007;188:W113–6.
  8. Shakiba B, Salmasian H, Yousefi-Nooraie R, Rohanizadegan M. Factors influencing editors' decision on acceptance or rejection of manuscripts: the authors' perspective. Arch Iran Med 2008;11:257–62.
  9. Byrne DW. Common reasons for rejecting manuscripts at medical journals: a survey of editors and peer reviewers. Sci Ed 2000;23:39–44.
  10. Northam S, Yarbrough S, Haas B, Duke G. Journal editor survey: information to help authors publish. Nurse Educ 2010;35:29–36.
  11. Turcotte C, Drolet P, Girard M. Study design, originality and overall consistency influence acceptance or rejection of manuscripts submitted to the Journal. Can J Anaesth 2004;51:549–56.
  12. Lee KP, Boyd EA, Holroyd-Leduc JM, Bacchetti P, Bero LA. Predictors of publication: characteristics of submitted manuscripts associated with acceptance at major biomedical journals. Med J Aust 2006;184:621–6.
  13. Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals: Writing and editing for biomedical publication. [cited 2011 October 7]. Available from: http://www.icmje.org/urm_full.pdf
  14. Schulz KF, Altman DG, Moher D. CONSORT 2010 statement: updated guidelines for reporting parallel group randomised trials. PLoS Med 2010;7:e1000251.
  15. von Elm E, Altman DG, Egger M, Pocock SJ, Gotzsche PC, Vandenbroucke JP. The Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) statement: guidelines for reporting observational studies. J Clin Epidemiol 2008;61:344–9.
  16. Moher D, Liberati A, Tetzlaff J, Altman DG. Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses: the PRISMA statement. J Clin Epidemiol 2009;62:1006–12.
  17. Des Jarlais DC, Lyles C, Crepaz N. Improving the reporting quality of nonrandomized evaluations of behavioral and public health interventions: the TREND statement. Am J Public Health 2004;94:361–6.
  18. Pierson DJ. The top 10 reasons why manuscripts are not accepted for publication. Respir Care 2004;49:1246–52.
  19. Leventhal PS. How do I select a target journal for a manuscript? TWS 2011;20:268–269.
  20. Bernhard JD. No further studies are required: additional notes on avoiding manuscript rejection. J Am Acad Dermatol 2001;44:541–2.
  21. Ohri M, Dawes K. Successful abstract writing: an essential skill for medical writers. TWS 2009;18:27–8.

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A rising tide: Hospitals and social media
In the Bookstores
Journal Watch
The Webscout
Manuscript Writing
Regulatory Writing
Good Writing Practice
Out On Our Own
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