Hemming shares writing tips and resources

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Post submitted by: Patrick Hemming, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine in GIM. 

Many members of the GIM division find writing and publishing academic work challenging.  Particularly for some of us with busy clinical responsibilities, finding the time for all of the steps (planning, IRB submissions, data collection and analysis, drafting and editing, finally tweaking edits to conform to journals’ and reviewers’ specifications) make academic writing seem hard – or even potentially a bit depressing.

I wanted to highlight a few resources that are available to us at Duke which have made this process easier and more pleasant for me.  The first is that I applied for and received funding from the Faculty Flex Voucher program.  This gives a grant of up to $2500 for faculty doing various forms of research and publication.  The services include specialized library assistance (for subject searches, systematic reviews, etc.), statistical and informatics support, and the service that I have relied on most: assistance with editing and submissions.  Using the flex voucher, I have been able to access a skilled editor for four separate manuscripts to review each of my submissions at a close-to-final draft phase.  She (the editor) has helped me to improve readability, create better tables, and do the reformatting necessary for each journal.  She even is able to submit the manuscript electronically.  Remarkably, she often turns around these projects within hours of when I send them to her.  Applications for early 2018 will likely be requested later this Fall.

As our division continues to make strides in medical research and scholarship, it’s wonderful to see more opportunities open up to help one another succeed.

If I hadn’t had the editorial services through the Office of Faculty Development, who supports Faculty Flex Vouchers, I would be months behind with the manuscript submission process.  This has allowed me to finish and move on to next steps in my work.

I am aware of two similar programs that support faculty in a similar way.  First – for educators – DukeAHEAD has the Educator Professional Development Program that supports faculty doing educational scholarship.  

Finally, the Division of General Internal Medicine has begun providing funds to support editorial or other research for faculty members who are conducting research, writing and publishing.  You can contact Megan Churchill for more information about these services.