Jul 22, 2009

Want to get published?

Many of us dream of writing and publishing our work ... and others go out and actually do it. How can the dreamers become the doers?

During today's On Call teleconference, Quality and Safety in Health Care editor David Stevens and IHI's executive editor Frank Davidoff suggested a few ideas:

1. If you dread writing, as many do, try breaking the work up into manageable chunks.
2. If you don't have time, just set aside 15 minutes a day to write, maybe first thing in the morning.
3. Just decide that writing is going to be a priority for you. Just DO it.
4. Carry a little notebook and capture your thoughts, ideas, and phrases as they occur to you.
5. Find a writing teacher or mentor -- everyone needs a coach.
6. Find a faculty co-author to work with. It's a great learning experience.

And a few thoughts about publishing:

1. Journal editors consider several points when they look at submissions. Is it original? Do readers care about the subject? Does the paper reflect clear thinking? Are there actual results that are statistically sound? Do the discussion and conclusion reflect good insight? And is the paper well written?
2. You don't have to take every bit of advice from every reviewer. You can talk with the editor and engage in a type of negotiation about which points to adopt.
3. Sometimes reviewers are downright mean. Don't let it get you down. Feel free to talk to the editor if a reviewer is really malicious.

If the call gave you the urge to get publishin', check out the IHI Open School's brand-spanking-new Writer's Corner -- an online resource loaded with tips and support for student writers.

The audio recording of this call will be up on the Open School site within a week or so -- and you can check back for it here too.

What advice do YOU have for students who want to write and publish? What works for you? What's your routine to stay motivated?


Anonymous said...


The session was great! Practical and informative.

One more questions:

What do you make of all the physician blogs now emerging? Are there resources in ethics to help us consider this new world of social media (e.g. FB, Twitter) in the world of medicine as we write in public spaces.

Anonymous said...

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Joan Stepsen
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