What steps can medical and scientific writers undertake to make sure that their message reaches the target audience?
Scientific writing can be considered ‘Good’ only if it meets the following criteria. The manuscript written must be:
1. Understandable: All efforts must be made to ensure that your document is interesting and that it makes sense. If it does not make sense then the reader is more likely to stop reading just after going through the first few sentences. Also to be kept in mind is that although English is considered to be the international scientific language, readers in Non English speaking nations may be using other languages such as German, French, Italian etc.
2. Transparent: The written document or report must be as transparent as possible. Your writing is the only window for other researchers or scientists to look into your laboratory.
3. Clear: Many scientists often tend to not report complete research results as they believe in keeping the new acquired knowledge to themselves. As a result they tend to write documents that are complex with poor structure which results in the distraction of the reader. Such documents confuse the reader instead of informing them. This can be considered as poor scientific writing.
4. Credible: All scientific writers in order to gain respect of readers and the scientific community at large must be credible. It is often said that the way we express ourselves portrays the way we think. Thus, all writing must be accurate, focused, and logical to gain the readers interest and respect.
5. Efficient: Papers not well written are often rejected even though the content may be of immense scientific importance. Writing efficiently not only saves time but also provides an opportunity for more publishing and writing in future.
6. Simple: Good medical writers always keep the text as simple as possible. They avoid complex and ornamental words that do not add any value to the document.