Ghostwriting–Don’t Blame the Writers

Anyone involved with medical communications knows well the recent controversies surrounding “ghostwritten” journal articles, i.e., articles that were written by medical writers who received no recognition for their work. I’m not going to get into a big discussion about the situation here, too swamped with deadlines right now, but I just had to post about something that just happened.

I got an email this morning from a doctor asking if I could help him write some articles and submit them to journals. He would provide all the information. Certainly, I told him, I’d be happy to. We discussed a price and all seemed well until I said, “Oh, you should know that you will need to give me some kind of credit for assisting with the article.” He was flummoxed, didn’t know what I was talking about. So I explained about the whole ghostwriting thing, the ethics policies of the American Medical Writers Association, etc etc. I stressed that I was not expecting to be named as an author, only to have some kind of blurb along the lines of, “Thanks to Debra Gordon, MS, for her assistance with the drafting of this manuscript.”

He just emailed back that he … Continue Reading

AMWA ghostwriting medical writing