Medical Writing Writing better AMWA-EMWA-ISMPP Joint Position Statement on the Role of Professional Medical Writers

Volume 26, Issue 1 - Writing better

AMWA-EMWA-ISMPP Joint Position Statement on the Role of Professional Medical Writers


This joint position statement of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA), the European Medical Writers Association (EMWA), and the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP)    describes the appropriate role of professional medical writers in the development of medical and scientific publications, including:

● articles and supplementary content (eg, video abstracts) for publication in peer-reviewed journals
● abstracts, posters, and oral presentations for dissemination at scientific congresses. This joint position statement is in line with up-to-date guidelines from several other international organisations.

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  1. International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Recommendations for the conduct, reporting, editing, and publication of scholarly work in medical journals. 2016 Dec [cited 2016 Dec 28]
  2. Battisti WP, Wager E, Baltzer L et al. Good publication practice for communicating company-sponsored medical research: GPP3. Ann Intern Med 2015;163:461–4–64.
  3. Clark J, Gonzalez J, Mansi B et al. Enhancing transparency and efficiency in reporting industry-sponsored clinical research: report from the Medical Publishing Insights and Practices initiative. Int J Clin Pract 2010;64:1028–1–033.
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  6. International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), Japanese Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association ( JPMA), Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). Joint position on the publication of clinical trial results in the scientific literature. [2010; cited Nov 25, 2016]. Available from:
  7. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Principles on conduct of clinical trials: communication of clinical trial results. [2014; cited 2016 Dec 20]. Available from:
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  9. American Medical Writers Association. Code of ethics. [2008; cited 2016 Sep 30]. Available: amwa_ethics. Updated June 2008.
  10. 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;21:317–22.
  11. Norris R, Bowman A, Fagan JM et al. International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) position statement: the role of the professional medical writer. Curr Med Res Opin 2007;23:137–140.
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  13. International Society for Medical Publication Professionals. Code of ethics. [2016 Nov 1; cited 2016 Nov 25]. Available from:
  14. Woolley K, Lew RA, Stretton S et al. Lack of involvement of medical writers and the pharmaceutical industry in publications retracted for misconduct: a systematic, controlled, retrospective study. Curr Med Res Opin 2011;27:1175–182.
  15. Jacobs A. Adherence to the CONSORT guideline in papers written by professional medical writers. The Write Stuff 2010;19:196–199.
  16. Gattrell WT, Hopewell S, Young K et al. Professional medical writing support and the quality of randomised controlled trial reporting: a cross-sectional study. BMJ Open 2016;6:e010329.
  17. Shah S, Nair S, Patil A, et al. Role of medical publication professional in timely dissemination and transparent reporting of clinical data. Curr Med Res Opin 2016;32(Suppl 1):S12.
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  19. Marusic A, Hren D, Mansi B et al. Five-step authorship framework to improve transparency in disclosing contributors to industry-sponsored clinical trial publications. BMC Med 2014;12:197.
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  21. Reporting guidelines for main study types. EQUATOR Network Web site. [cited 2016 Dec 20].



Writing Better
President’s Message
Advancing the Medical Writing profession: The Joint Position Statement on the Role of Professional Medical Writers
AMWA-EMWA-ISMPP Joint Position Statement on the Role of Professional Medical Writers
EMWA’s Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
Finding the action in your writing: Avoiding nominalisation
Removing the dead wood
Writing economically in medicine and science: Tips for tackling wordiness
How to shorten a text by up to 30% and improve clarity without losing information
Troublesome words
Can you recognise the four main ways that English sentences can be structured?
Three strategies to help you write clearly for a lay audience
Structuring paragraphs
A checklist to improve your writing
Results of the 2016 EMWA member survey
News from the EMA
Getting Your Foot in the Door
Teaching Medical Writing
In the Bookstores
Lingua Franca and Beyond
The Webscout
Good Writing Practice
Medical Communications
Profile: An Interview with Michael Markie - an open science and open data advocate
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