I am very excited to introduce you to my book – Recoding Scientific Publishing: Raising the Bar in an Era of Transformation.
Over 20 years of my career and professional journey have been focused in an area that I am very passionate about - scientific communications and publications. During this journey, I had the privilege and honor of working with some of the finest, brightest, and dedicated publication professionals, academic researchers, and clinical investigators and experts from around the world. Moreover, I also consider myself fortunate and proud of being part of the positive evolution and cultural transformation of scientific publishing during this journey, particularly in the areas of transparency and access to scientific information.
Through incremental changes in our thinking and approach, we are recoding the process and culture of scientific publishing and information exchange.
Disclosure of medical writing support, conflict of interest, funding source; clinical trial registration and results disclosure; availability of open access journals; and data sharing initiatives are some examples that highlight our positive cultural shift toward increased transparency and open access to scientific information. A lot has been accomplished and we should celebrate our achievements! Being part of this cultural evolution is what inspired me to write this book.
I believe the [positive] cultural shift is not done yet; it’s only just begun.
Our mindset, way of thinking, and approach to communication of scientific research and information will continue to undergo more transformations as we embrace further changes in social culture, social globalization, communication norms, and new technology. In my opinion, scientific research and publishing are founded on and rely on four fundamental, interdependent, and critical elements:
1. Scientific Integrity
Scientific integrity is the foundational element that is essential for building trust from and within the scientific community and general public. As a scientific community, we have ensured quality and ethical standards by following established guidelines such as Good Clinical Practice (GCP), the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals by ICMJE, and Good Publication Practice (GPP). Most of the positive transformations in the last 2 decades have focused on transparency and access as highlighted above. These changes were, in large part, in response to public criticism and scrutiny for lack of transparency and open access, which might be a contributing factor in the persistent public distrust despite significant efforts for positive changes. I believe that one of the ways to improve trust is by making the change proactively, which can be done by considering the right thing to do for patients. It’s encouraging to see the current data sharing movement noted as “the right thing to do” in a recent editorial (Rockhold et al. NEJM 2016). These two areas will continue to evolve through ongoing efforts and progress. Regarding speed, there is significant opportunity for improvement by optimizing efficiencies in the overall publication process, especially with use of newer technology.
Hope this sparked your interest and raised your curiosity - continue to learn more in my book Recoding Scientific Publishing: Raising the Bar in an Era of Transformation. To fully discuss and understand the current status of these critical elements and how we can further improve upon each one, the book provides a detailed overview of the current scientific publishing landscape – who is involved, step-by-step process for publication planning, how publications are developed and eventually published, along with helpful tips and pearls. The book also gives a vision for a path forward for further transformation and recoding of scientific publishing.
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Publication of patient lay summaries is an important aspect of clinical trial transparency and access to scientific information. In recent years, biopharmaceutical companies and regulators (e.g., FDA, EMA) have made significant effort in bringing lay summaries of clinical trial research findings for the trial participants and patients, while there remains many questions, challenges and issues on how this can best be implemented across the industry. In my view, there are many factors that need to be considered related to this topic and can be a subject of an entirely separate book. Therefore, the scope of this book focuses specifically on publication and communication of scientific research specifically for peer-to-peer communication among researchers and healthcare professionals.