Dear ISMPP Members,

As we approach the 15th Annual Meeting of ISMPP, I wanted to share with you some key ongoing Society initiatives. Before doing so, I would like to mention our excitement in reaching a notable milestone ― our 15th Annual Meeting of ISMPP, from April 15-17, in National Harbor, MD. Among other features, we are thrilled that the meeting will reflect the incorporation of 23 member proposals, in addition to 50 posters and 2 oral presentations covering a wide variety of pertinent topics. We will also be embarking on a landmark collaborative effort with phactMI, the not-for-profit association for Medical Information specialists, immediately following our Annual Meeting. A half-day meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 17, in conjunction with phactMI, focusing on the theme, “Building Partnerships between Medical Information and Scientific Communications for Effective Customer Engagement.” Even further, we are starting to plan for ISMPP West 2019 in support of our 2nd meeting in San Diego, CA, on November 14-15, and for our 2019 Asia Pacific meeting to be held on September 6 in Tokyo, Japan. Stay tuned for more details!

Drawing from our past successes and continuing our collaborative relationships with AMWA and EMWA, ISMPP is actively working with both associations to develop a joint position statement on predatory journals. The intent of the joint statement is to recognize the challenges posed by predatory journals, the need to alert our members to this issue, and the ways to avoid predatory journals, while also welcoming the opportunities provided by open access journals. Importantly, we need to continue to embrace our role as publication professionals and medical writers in educating authors, in addition to our colleagues, on current best practices and ethical behavior.

A unique and important initiative for the Society is the development of an Open Access White Paper. While we hear a lot about Open Access, many concerns and perspectives will need to be considered over the coming years before Open Access can become a reality. ISMPP’s interest and goal in the development of a Society White Paper is to provide a comprehensive, multi-stakeholder discussion on the evolution, current and anticipated future state of Open Access medical publishing, and particularly the benefits, challenges, and options. We will be launching the Open Access White Paper at the upcoming Annual Meeting!

Equally exciting is the Author Selection Best Practices project. Originally initiated as an informal discussion between BMS, GSK, Merck, and Sanofi, it is now an official ISMPP Task Force with broader industry participation. The goal is to better understand various companies’ experiences and challenges associated with author selection, author order, and ICMJE interpretation and application around authorship, and to provide more specific guidance to medical publication professionals. This topic has been discussed within the Society’s Industry Executive Forum meetings, and it will be highlighted during the Senior Level Working Session at the upcoming Annual Meeting.

In closing, I want to recognize the tremendous number of Society volunteers who are working hard to bring relevant and helpful guidance in support of medical publication professionals around the world. Your continued involvement with our committees, willingness to contribute your expertise and experience, and attendance at ISMPP meetings is crucial to our future success. As we mark our 15th Annual Meeting, we can rightly celebrate our many achievements and look ahead to our continued success and growth!

With very best wishes,


Al Weigel, ISMPP President and CEO

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