Medical Writing Medical Writing Education Manuscript Writing

Volume 22, Issue 1 - Medical Writing Education

Manuscript Writing


As a medical writer, can or should I be listed as an author of an article?

For manuscripts, medical writers often go far beyond providing basic services and therefore may feel entitled to authorship. Medical writers are often the main force behind an article and may provide much more intellectual input than simply putting the client's ideas into words, including interpretation and sometimes analysis of data, production of graphs and tables, and intellectual input into the presentation of the data and ideas. The medical writer often has much more input than some of the listed co-authors. Accordingly, many medical writers feel that they should qualify for authorship, perhaps even first authorship. Should they? And is it a good idea?

This touches on the sensitive issues of ghostwriting and ghost authorship, which are not discussed here but are discussed in EMWA's guidelines on the role of medical writers in developing peer-reviewed publications,1 as well as in EMWA's position statement on ghostwriting, which is published on EMWA's website and on page 3 of this issue.


  1. Jacobs A, Wager E. European Medical Writers Association (EMWA) guidelines on the role of medical writers in developing peer-reviewed publications. Curr Med Res Opin 2005;21(2):317–22.
  2. International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Ethical Considerations in the Conduct and Reporting of Research: Authorship and Contributorship Available from:
  3. Graf C, Battisti WP, Bridges D, Bruce-Winkler V, Conaty JM, Ellison JM, et al. Research Methods & Reporting. Good publication practice for communicating company sponsored medical research: the GPP2 guidelines. BMJ 2009;339:b4330



Medical writing education
Message from the President
EMWA's position on ghostwriting
Essential modules for teaching publication writers
Combined workshops on medical writing and publication ethics for Japanese postgraduate students and faculty members
Teaching scientific writing to non-native English speakers
A field guide to medical writing training
Teaching scientific writing using the learner-centred approach
On educating the medical writer
Learning and teaching clinical writing
Your professional association: A great way to expand your skills and advance your career
Pleasing the reader by pleasing the eye—Part 2 Page layout and readability
Implications of clinical trial data sharing for medical writers
In the Bookstores
Journal Watch
The Webscout
Manuscript Writing
Regulatory Writing
Medical Journalism
Medical Communication
Out On Our Own
The Light Stuff

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