Medical Writing Medical journalism Plain language summaries of publications: What has COVID-19 taught us?

Volume 30, Issue 4 - Medical journalism

Plain language summaries of publications: What has COVID-19 taught us?


The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the whole world, and the public has had to struggle with understanding scientific data on a daily basis. The impact of scientific misunderstanding became painfully apparent with the decline in vaccine uptake, so the need for clear, understandable scientific information has never been more vital. Plain language summaries of publications (PLSPs) could be an elegant and much needed solution to this problem. This article will explore what these documents are, the approaches taken to date, and the challenges that remain. Moreover, the authors will aim to answer the question – what has COVID-19 taught us?

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Medical journalism in a new era
From the Editor - On journalism, the Nobel Peace Prize, and the paths we travel by
How to write about coronavirus: Best practices for health writers
Addressing vaccine hesitancy in writing: How has COVID-19 changed hesitancy communication, and what works?
Comics aren't just for kids: Using cartoons in medical communications
Tweeting publications: A short DIY guide to Twitter copywriting for medical writers
How to write for health websites
Plain language summaries of publications: What has COVID-19 taught us?
Science communication: A guide to creating online scientific content that engages
Sustainable development, climate emergency, and journalism: The emerging role of medical writers
News from the EMA
Digital Communication
Regulatory Matters
Medical Writing Humour
Veterinary Medical Writing
Medical Communications and Writing for Patients
Good Writing Practice
The Crofter: Sustainable Communications
News and Notes from the World of Medical Writing
Out on Our Own


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