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  • Writer's pictureNatasha Das

Write Science Better. Good Publication Practice for Communicating Company-Sponsored Medical Research

Several manuscripts published in reputed medical journals are developed by pharmaceutical and medical device companies. Such literature is vulnerable to bias; it is often prepared with the assistance of professional medical writers, academicians, practicing physicians as well as marketing agencies.

It is important to stick to ethical and transparent publication practices to avoid any kind of bias in a medical manuscript. What the readers get to read should be the correct and complete information so that they can make informed decisions about the products.

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We reproduce here, the Principles of Good Publication Practice for Company-Sponsored Medical Research from the Annals of Internal Medicine, 2015. [1]

1. The design and results of all clinical trials should be reported in a complete, accurate, balanced, transparent, and timely manner.

2. Reporting and publication processes should follow applicable laws (for exam

ple, Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007) and guidelines (for example, ICMJE recommendations and reporting guidelines found on the Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research [EQUATOR] Network).

3. Journal and congress requirements should be followed, especially ethical guidelines on originality and avoiding redundancy (that is, duplicate publication).

4. Publication planning and development should be a collaboration among all persons involved (for example, clinicians, statisticians, researchers, and publication professionals, including medical writers) and reflect the collaborative nature of research and the range of skills required to conduct, analyze, interpret, and report research findings.

5. The rights, roles, requirements, and responsibilities of all contributors (that is, authors and any nonauthor contributors) should be confirmed in writing, ideally at the start of the research and, in all cases, before publication preparation begins.

6. All authors should have access to relevant aggregated study data and other information (for example, the study protocol) required to understand and report research findings.

7. The authors should take responsibility for the way in which research findings are presented and published, be fully involved at all stages of publication and presentation development, and be willing to take public responsibility for all aspects of the work.

8. Author lists and contributorship statements should accurately reflect all substantial intellectual contributions to the research, data analyses, and publication or presentation development. Relevant contributions from persons who did not qualify as authors should also be disclosed.

9. The role of the sponsor in the design, execution, analysis, reporting, and funding (if applicable) of the research should be fully disclosed in all publications and presentations of the findings. Any involvement by persons or organizations with an interest (financial or nonfinancial) in the findings should also be disclosed.

10. All authors and contributors should disclose any relationships or potential competing interests relating to the research and its publication or presentation.

The full GPP3 Guideline and Recommendations, 2015 are available here.


1. Battisti WP, Wager E, Baltzer L, Bridges D, Cairns A, Carswell CI, Citrome L, Gurr JA, Mooney LA, Moore BJ, Peña T, Sanes-Miller CH, Veitch K, Woolley KL, Yarker YE; International Society for Medical Publication Professionals. Good Publication Practice for Communicating Company-Sponsored Medical Research: GPP3. Ann Intern Med. 2015 Sep 15;163(6):461-4. doi: 10.7326/M15-0288. PMID: 26259067.


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