The official journal of the European Medical Writers Association (EMWA) has changed its name from The Write Stuff to Medical Writing, which is being published by Maney Publishing. This marks a leap forward for the journal, which is now in its 19th year of publication. The change of name and publisher results from EMWA's executive committee's decision to open up this valuable resource of medical writing information and education to a wider medical communication community and to fill a niche left vacant by biomedical publishing. The journal is additionally a platform for discussion in its field, covering a wide range of topics from hotly debated medical/publication ethics to the intricacies of English style and grammar.
No one disputes that medical writing is expanding at an incredible pace. Most members of EMWA work in the pharmaceutical, medical communications, or biomedical publications industries, but medical writing has a broader definition and includes communicating to the general public ever eager for health information, with social media becoming increasingly important in this respect. Indeed, medical writing includes any health communication written by academic researchers, medical practitioners, governmental departments, organizations like the WHO, NGOs, patient associations…. The list is endless and the demand for health information continues to grow.
The change of the journal's name reflects the evolution from what was born as a society newsletter and grew up to become a serious resource for an audience working in bioscience. Article format now includes an abstract and keywords, and we will no longer be publishing photographs of authors. Regular readers can rest assured that with all this grown-up seriousness we will still publish playful articles and boxes. Please keep sending amusing anecdotes, photos of funny English signs etc. to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As before, each issue will have a theme (see box for forthcoming themes and deadlines at the end of the table of content). Original research and feature articles of interest to medical writers but outside the theme are also published. Articles are accepted from non-EMWA members. The journal also has two dedicated sections: the Freelance, or Out On Our Own, section (section editors: Raquel Billiones and Sam Hamilton) and the Translation section (section editor: Gabi Berghammer). It publishes two regular themed articles under the banners of Medical Journalism and Social Media, written by Diana Rafflesburger and Ursula Schoenberg, respectively. The regular features are Regulatory Writing (Greg Morley), Manuscript Writing (Phil Leventhal), Good Writing Practice (Alistair Reeves and Wendy Kingdom), Journal Watch (Nancy Milligan), and The Webscout (Karin Eichele). Each regular feature usually contains an article, often written by the section editor(s), followed by short articles which are contributed by readers. Book reviews are published in the In the Bookstores column; again MEW welcomes reviews from readers. Letters to the editor appear under the heading Vital signs. A Clinical Pharmacology series is provided by Graham Blakey. Finally the journal's pages are brightened up by illustrations from Anders Holmqvist.