Having articles published is not only a great resume builder, but it is a wonderful way to contribute to your colleagues’ information base. Most people are intidimated by the idea of writing an article for publication. Here are some basic principles to help guide you:

  • Ask someone you respect to look at the article before you submit it to the publisher. In other words, seek out a mentor. Make sure to fully thank the person who does offer to review the article before submitting it (a hand written note in the mail often means more then a thank you via e-mail alone).
  • Start with a topic that you feel passionate about. Your interest in the topic will come through in your writing. Although original research is always welcome in journals many will also accept case reports and editorials. Also, remember to write about what you know. Are you interested in learning about the history of your profession? Do you have ideas about where your profession is heading in the future? Want to propose a solution to problems within the health care industry? Write about it!
  • Pick the right publication. Remember that different journals and newsletters have different styles, target audiences and article requirements.  Make sure you are familiar with them. Contact the publisher of the journal, and ask what requirements they have for article submission. Length and source specifications may vary. Most publications will require a statement that your article is original content, that it hasn’t been published previously and your permission to publish the material.
  • Be patient and don’t give up. In my experience, hearing back after an article has been submitted has taken as short as two days and as long as six months.

If you want to see your name in print, build your resume and enrich the knowledge base of your colleagues, getting an article published is a great idea. Start today — pick your article topic and start researching which journals would be a good fit for your piece.