Professional medical writers have an important role in facilitating the accurate and timely dissemination of medical and scientific data. This support should be appropriately acknowledged in peer-reviewed publications, but guidance on how to appropriately disclose and attribute the contributions of individual medical writers is lacking, limiting transparency in the publication development process. In particular, the contributions of subcontracted or freelance professional medical writers are inconsistently acknowledged. We propose personally acknowledging any professional medical writer who makes a substantial contribution to the outline or full first draft of a publication or who provides a substantial intellectual contribution to publication development. This will provide appropriate and transparent attribution of the contributions made by medical writers to manuscript development.