Critical tools for medical editing

doctor typing at computerTo be a great medical editor, you need great copyediting skills: a sharp eye, attention to detail, and a drive to get things right. You also need to master the special conventions that govern medical publishing. Here are the resources you need to do that.
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Style guides

  • AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors, 10th edition
    Primary style guide for editing all manner of medical publications
    amamanualofstyle.com
  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition
    Default guide for editing material in the social and behavioral sciences
    apastyle.org/manual
  • Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers, 8th edition
    Reference for editors in science and related fields
    scientificstyleandformat.org
  • The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition
    Comprehensive style guide that should address any questions not covered in the above guides.
    chicagomanualofstyle.org

Medical dictionaries

  • Stedman’s Medical Dictionary
    Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary
    Two gold-standard dictionaries for the healthcare field, each listing 100,000+ medical terms and their definitions
    stedmansonline.com
    dorlandsonline.com

Medical spellcheckers

  • Stedman’s Plus Medical/Pharmaceutical Spellchecker
    Plug-in for MS Word and other word processors that enhances the spellchecker with some 500,000 medical, pharmaceutical, and biological terms
    shop.lww.com
  • Inductel Medical Spellchecker
    Plug-in spellcheckers for medical content; scientific and technical content; and combo medical, legal, scientific, and technical content
    inductel.com
  • Spellex Universal Medical Spellchecker
    Spellchecks medical, surgical, chemistry, and laboratory terms across platforms (MS Word, email, websites, social posts, etc.)
    spellex.com

Resources for getting references right

  • PubMed Citation Matcher
    References, abstracts, and DOIs for articles on life sciences and biomedical topics
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/citmatch
  • Index Medicus
    Standard abbreviations for medical journals, such as “N Engl J Med” for the New England Journal of Medicine
    bg.ump.edu.pl/czasopisma/medicus.php?lang=eng
  • Library of Congress Online Catalog
    Catalog records for the library’s 162 million books, periodicals, manuscripts, and other resources
    catalog.loc.gov
  • Google Scholar
    Niche search engine that allows you to search a broad array of scholarly literature
    scholar.google.com
  • ClinicalTrials.gov
    U.S. National Library of Medicine database of research studies being conducted around the world
    clinicaltrials.gov

General medical references

Information on ethics

  • International Committee of Medical Journal Editors
    Recommendations for best practices and ethical standards in the publication of medical research
    icmje.org
  • Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)
    Advice to editors and publishers on all aspects of publication ethics, particularly how to handle research and publication misconduct
    publicationethics.org

Professional associations and certifications

  • American Medical Writers Association
    Members can become Medical Writer Certified (MWC)
    amwa.org
  • Association of Health Care Journalists
    healthjournalism.org
  • Board of Editors in the Life Sciences
    Offers Editor in the Life Sciences (ELS) certification
    bels.org
  • Council of Science Editors
    councilscienceeditors.org
  • International Society for Medical Publication Professionals
    Members can become Certified Medical Publication Professionals (CMPP)
    ismpp.org
  • National Association of Science Writers
    nasw.org

Additional resources

Reference managers

Software tools for managing and publishing citations, bibliographies, and references
EndNote (endnote.com)
Zotero (zotero.org)
Mendeley (mendeley.com)
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