Medical Writing Good Pharma Out On Our Own

Volume 22, Issue 4 - Good Pharma

Out On Our Own

The EMWA autumn conference is always so well placed in November, giving us the chance to meet friends and colleagues before the onslaught of traditional end of year festivities. Barcelona's conference was no exception. We were pleased to welcome new and old friends alike to the Barcelona Freelance Business Forum (FBF). The FBF minutes are now on the EMWA website ( in the Freelance Resource Centre (FRC), so do take a look if you missed the meeting. Remember that the FRC is your resource. Log in to the ‘members only’ section, click ‘Resources’ then ‘Freelance Resource Centre’ and browse – you may be surprised at the range of business- and medical writing-related content available. Do spread the word to your non-freelance colleagues; the content is open to all EMWA members.

In this year-end issue of Out On Our Own, Anne tells us about her first experience of taking a free (yes, free!) ‘Massive Online Open Course’ (MOOC). With content relevant to our profession, as well as plenty of alternative material to choose from, the sky (or probably more realistically, our available time) could be the limit to our learning. Perhaps MOOC will find its way onto a few New Year's resolution lists…

Jane's second article in her series on Social Media (SoME) develops the theme of using SoME as a business and marketing tool. Jane's practical use of SoME platforms to maintain continuity of workflow illustrates the intelligent side of SoME use and balances out the side we are more used to reading about in the papers!

Hurray – Tool Box is back after Raquel took a well-earned rest in September 2013. This time, Raquel tells us about ORCID – an authorship attribution platform that gets around the problems of authors moving jobs or changing their names. From those of us who published material before marrying, chose to take our partner's name, and continued to publish afterwards, we salute you!

We close for 2013, but not before asking you to add another resolution to your list:

Contact us with any material or ideas you'd like to contribute to OOOO. More varied content and a wider pool of authors is good for us all. Remember that the exposure is particularly good for freelancers and your business.

We thank all our contributors for the wonderful material you have sent us in 2013. You know who you are, but we love you so much for getting involved, that we'd like to mention you again:

Ann Bless, Amy Whereat, Aylsia Battersby, Claudia Frumento, Jane Tricker, Anne McDonough, Paul Woolley, Anne Cunningham, and Raquel Billiones.

Hmmm – strange – not many men! Come on guys, get involved in 2014…

All the best to you all for the seasonal holidays, and we'll be back in March 2014.

Sam Hamilton

Kathryn White

Is a MOOC for you?

I am, by nature, a late adopter when it comes to technology, but as a freelancer I know I need to keep up with important innovations. Fortunately I have tech-savvy friends, and when one of them blogged last year about taking a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC), I knew this must be the next big thing. She was ahead even of the New York Times, which in November 2012 deemed that year ‘The Year of the MOOC’.

What's a MOOC?

A MOOC is a class (usually at the university or advanced degree level) that is available over the internet and into which anyone can enrol. Over the last year or so, several providers of MOOCs have started up – both for-profit and not-for-profit. Coursera ( seems to be the most established and offers a wide variety of courses from prestigious American universities such as Johns Hopkins, Harvard, and Stanford and from universities in many other countries such a


  1. Genealogy Data: Frequently Occurring Surnames from Census 2000 Available from:
  2. Brand A. Faculty appointments and the record of scholarship. eLife 2013;2:e00452.
  3. Buterl D. Scientists: your number is up. 30 May 2012. Nature News. Available from:
  4. ISNI and ORCID. Available from:
  5. ORCID and ISNI Issue Joint Statement on Interoperation, April 2013. Available from:
  6. About ORCID. Available from:
  7. NIH testing ORCID iDs in the ScienCV platform. Available from:



Good pharma
Message from the President
Transparency and the healthcare industry: The Sun is shining
Sunshine spreading across the Atlantic and over Europe
Bad karma
If a misinformed voice speaks out in the wilderness and no one refutes it, does it make a sound? A call to advocacy
The Big Pharma conspiracy theory
Editorial: Pharmaism
Legal remedies for medical ghostwriting: Imposing fraud liability on guest authors of ghostwritten articles
A decade of change: A new ISMPP has arrived
Selling evidence over the counter: Do community pharmacists engage with evidence-based medicine?
Good regulatory practice and the role(s) of a regulatory affairs professional
Profile: An interview with Dr Gustavo A. Silva on the concept of public health in medical writing and translation
AuthorAID: An international service and chance to serve
India as a hub for ethical and evidence-based medical communications
Providing value for medicines in older people
In the Bookstores
Journal Watch
The Webscout
Regulatory Writing
Medical Communications
Manuscript Writing
Out On Our Own
The Light Stuff


The Write Stuff Archive Contact Instructions for Authors Article Template (Word) Journal Policies

Editoral Board


Raquel Billiones


Evguenia Alechine

Jonathan Pitt

Managing Editor

Victoria White

Deputy Managing Editor

Alicia Brooks Waltman

Associate Editors

Anuradha Alahari

Jennifer Bell

Nicole Bezuidenhout

Claire Chang

Barbara Grossman

Sarah Milner

John Plant

Sampoorna Rappaz

Amy Whereat

Section Editors

Daniela Kamir


Jennifer Bell


Nicole Bezuidenhout 

Digital Communication

Somsuvro Basu

EMWA News 

Ana Sofia Correia 

Gained in Translation

Ivana Turek

Getting Your Foot in the Door

Wendy Kingdom / Amy Whereat

Good Writing Practice

Alison McIntosh 

In the Bookstores

Maria Kołtowska-Häggström

Lingua Franca and Beyond

Maddy Dyer


Lisa Chamberlain-James

Medical Communications/Writing for Patients

Payal Bhatia

Medical Devices

Evguenia Alechine

My First Medical Writing

Anuradha Alahari

News from the EMA

Adriana Rocha


Tiziana von Bruchhausen


Clare ChangZuo Yen Lee 

Regulatory Matters

Sam Hamilton

Regulatory Public Disclosure

Claire Gudex

Teaching Medical Writing

Louisa Ludwig-Begall / Sarah Kabani

The Crofter: Sustainable Communications

Louisa Marcombes

Veterinary Writing

Editors Emeritus

Elise Langdon-Neuner

Phil Leventhal

Layout Designer

Chris Monk