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The International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) Publishes Position Paper on the Role of the Professional Medical Writer

EWING, NJ – June 29, 2007 – The International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) today published a position paper on the “Role of the Professional Medical Writer.” 

It is available for free download at, and will also appear in an upcoming issue of the journal Current Medical Research and Opinion [Curr Med Res Opin 2007; 23(8): 1837-40; published online 29 June 2007; doi: 10.1185/030079907X210642].

“Professional medical writers have, for many years, played a vital role in facilitating the clear and rapid communication of important research findings.  Yet in recent months concern has been expressed in both the medical and lay media about the  use of professional writers in the preparation of manuscripts,” said Robert Norris, one of the paper’s co-authors and immediate past president of ISMPP.  “By publishing our position on the legitimate role of the medical writer, we are hoping to raise awareness and understanding of this important issue.”

In the paper, ISMPP expresses support for the legitimate role of the professional medical writer in the development of manuscripts for publication. Further, ISMPP endorses use of a “contributorship” model of disclosure, as it provides a detailed listing of the roles of all who participate in planning, conducting, developing, and publishing medical research, whether or not they qualify as authors.

ISMPP’s position paper summarizes the skills and training that enable professional medical writers to assist research teams throughout the publication process to develop in a timely fashion, clear and concise manuscripts that comply with all relevant ethical standards.

“ISMPP hopes to work with editors, publishers, and other organizations to increase recognition and appreciation of the valuable contributions that professional medical writers make to the peer-reviewed publication of medical research,” said Larry Hirsch, MD, President of ISMPP and co-author of the position paper.  
ISMPP is an independent nonprofit professional association with members from the pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology industries; publication planning and medical communications companies; academia; and medical journal staff, including editors and publishers.  Its goals are to support the education needs of publication professionals and to develop best practices that ensure the rigorous maintenance of all ethical standards for reporting the results of medical research. Additional information about ISMPP is available by contacting the organization’s Executive Director, Kimberly Goldin (phone 914-945-0507, e-mail, or online at

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Jim DeLorenzo
Phone:  215-564-1122


Posted: June 2007