Guide to Medical Editing

To 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.

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
Cleveland Clinic Health Library
my.clevelandclinic.org/health

MedScape
medscape.com

Merck Manual
merckmanuals.com/professional

The Mayo Clinic Patient Care & Health Info
mayoclinic.org/patient-care-and-health-information

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
AMA SI Conversion Calculator
Enables instant conversions between metric units and
conventional units amamanualofstyle.com/page/si-conversion-calculator

HGNC
Listing of standard nomenclature for human genes and gene families genenames.org

PlagScan
Allows you to scan for plagiarized text plagscan.com

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