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October 23, 2020

The publication shift

Life science companies are changing how they approach publication development.
publication development teams
Article updated June 2024

Remote work, virtual meetings, asynchronous teams, and artificial intelligence are all typical in the day-to-day work of pharma and every other industry. How did these technologies change publication development in pharma?

How technology changed publication processes

Within life science companies, publication planning and development teams faced unique challenges in 2020, when COVID-19 became a global health crisis. Pharma teams needed to continue publishing amid disruption, the unavailability of many physician authors, and increasing demand for pandemic-related medical research. As organizations acted quickly to collaborate via virtual means, publications teams were no exception.

Although video meetings became standard, it was clear that video couldn’t solve every virtual engagement need. This was especially true of publication development, where ongoing coordination among medical writers, physician authors, and internal pharmaceutical teams may unfold over weeks or months.

Video conferences – even when augmented by email communication – can’t capture the precise feedback and thoughtful exchange of ideas required to produce an article for publication. While it may be helpful for authors to discuss objectives before a first draft or discuss and agree on a final version, the logistics and scheduling required to get everyone in the same place at the same time hardly make periodic video meetings ideal or even practical for publication development. (Related: learn about tech-enabled document co-authoring.)

Using asynchronous collaboration for publication development

Virtual engagement, whether over time or asynchronous, provides a publication development venue that’s both interactive and convenient for physician authors. Even when co-authors can’t physically meet, real-time co-authoring enables physicians to see comments and edits♡ as soon as they are added. The ability to track changes, add comments, and respond to inquiries is familiar to most, and these features streamline and simplify the development process.

This collaboration improves on platforms that still rely on confusing email exchanges or endless back-and-forth across several drafts. Although many physicians worldwide often face scheduling or workload challenges, working through an asynchronous platform allows publication development to proceed on a more predictable and efficient timeline.

Read more about successful publication development on the Within3 insights management platform.

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