Over the past several months, the Joint Position Statement on the Role of Professional Medical Writers (JPS) has received various organizational endorsements, has had related journal articles published about it, and has been translated into new languages. All this activity is a testament to the longevity and continued interest for the principles laid out in the JPS.
Released in January 2017, the JPS is the first unified position on the role of professional medical writers from three leading professional organizations – the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA), European Medical Writers Association (EMWA), and International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP). It describes best practices for professional medical writers and provides a template for appropriately disclosing medical writing support.
Organizational Endorsements Around the Globe
Recognition of the JPS has been underscored by endorsements and communications from organizations around the globe:
- The Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research (EQUATOR) Network included the JPS in its list of reporting guidelines, posted on its website.
- European Association of Science Editors (EASE) recently published a Viewpoint article highlighting its endorsement of the JPS (see below for more information).
- Australasian Medical Writers Association (AusMWA) posted the JPS on its website. In addition, AusMWA endorsed the Good Publication Practice (GPP3) guidelines and also posted them on its website.
- Association of Regulatory and Clinical Scientists (ARCS Australia) endorsed and presented the JPS to its membership.
- The Council of Science Editors (CSE) and Board of Editors in the Life Sciences (BELS) shared the JPS with their respective members.
The endorsements by AusMWA and ACRS Australia broadened the reach of the JPS, as well as GPP3, to the Asia Pacific Region.
In addition, the JPS was one of the top five most popular articles on The Publication Plan website for 2017. The JPS was also shared with a range of journal editors, industry critics, and academics, including the late Doug Altman of the EQUATOR Network.
Broadening Awareness through Recent Journal Articles
The JPS was featured in recent articles in the EASE journal European Science Editing and the AMWA Journal.
In November 2018, European Science Editing published a Viewpoint article, “The Development and Uptake of the Joint Position Statement on the Role of Professional Medical Writers,”¹ spotlighting EASE’s endorsement of the JPS. The article noted that the JPS “draws on existing guidelines and evidence to outline the responsibilities of professional medical writers and the responsibilities of the authors who choose to collaborate with them.” It also pointed out the alignment that exists between the EASE Golden Rules and the JPS. Further, the article shared that, “The next important and more challenging step is to raise awareness of the JPS beyond the professional medical writing community.” The EASE Viewpoint article, plus related communications and endorsements from other organizations, aid in accomplishing this goal.
In September 2018, the AMWA Journal published “Writers as Guideline Champions? Webinar on the Joint Position Statement.”² The article summarized the joint educational webinar held by AMWA, EMWA, and ISMPP, along with the EQUATOR Network, that discussed the importance of reporting guidelines and advocated for the role of professional medical writers as guideline champions. As stated in the article, the webinar “underscored the mission of the AMWA-EMWA-ISMPP JPS and its expanding influence and reinforced the shared goal of the JPS and the EQUATOR Network to promote good reporting practices.” Hosted through the ISMPP University (ISMPP U) platform in May 2018, the webinar is posted on the AMWA, EMWA, and ISMPP websites for access by members in their respective organizations.
JPS Now Available in 12 Languages
To accommodate the needs of professional medical writers and medical publication professionals around the globe, the JPS is now available in an impressive 12 languages. EMWA recently managed its translation into Romanian, Hungarian, Ukrainian, Russian, and Farsi. The JPS is also available in Chinese, Japanese, German, Italian, French, Spanish, and English. EMWA is also preparing a Portuguese translation, which will soon be available.
The availability of the JPS in multiple languages allows for its principles to be more easily read, understood, and applied to medical publications. The various languages are accessible on the ISMPP website, as well as the AMWA and EMWA websites.
AMWA, EMWA, and ISMPP encourage their members to continue to share information about the JPS with fellow peers, authors, and other interested individuals involved in medical publications.
¹ Gertel A, Winchester C, Woolley K, Yarker Y. The development and uptake of the Joint Position Statement on the Role of Professional Medical Writers. European Science Editing. 2018;44(4):Viewpoint 83-84.
² Zhou Q. Writers as guideline champions? Webinar on the Joint Position Statement. AMWA Journal. 2018;33(3):128-129.