Medical Writing Open Science and Open Pharma Landscaping the terminology of accessible language document types
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Volume 31, Issue 4 - Open Science and Open Pharma

Landscaping the terminology of accessible language document types

Abstract

There are three main types of accessible language documents that medical writers and medical publications professionals may work on. These are regulatory lay summaries, publication-associated plain language summaries (PLS), and standalone plain language summaries of publications (PLSPs). Although these document types have different purposes and audiences, they are often confused because of the similar names. Here, we outline the main differences between the three document types and present the different names used to refer to lay summaries across 58 pharmaceutical companies, totalling 22 names. We also show examples of the different literacy levels used in lay summaries and publication-associated PLS. Medical publications professionals need to be aware of the differences between these accessible language document types and the importance of being precise when discussing these. Standardisation of terminology could potentially help to avoid confusion.

Medical Writing. 2022;31(4)24-30. https://doi.org/10.56012/cbxl1493

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