Open Pharma have announced their recommendations for plain language summaries of peer-reviewed medical journal publications is now available as a preprint on MetaArXiv. The recommendations have also been submitted to a peer-reviewed journal and are currently under consideration for publication.
Open Pharma recommendations for plain language summaries of peer-reviewed medical journal publications
Adeline Rosenberg, Slávka Baróniková, Linda Feighery, William Gattrell, Rikke Egelund Olsen, Adam Watson, Tim Koder & Christopher Winchester
MetaArXiv (2021) https://doi.org/10.31222/osf.io/c3m8q
Plain language summaries of peer-reviewed publications are intended for everyone engaging with medical research, such as patients, patient advocates, caregivers, healthcare professionals, and policymakers. These summaries encourage discussions around medical research and aid fully informed and shared decision-making. The broad range of stakeholders involved in pharmaceutical research now puts the pharmaceutical industry in a unique position to make the medical publishing model more open. We believe that the next step of openness is to create a more accessible and inclusive environment through the routine development of plain language summaries of peer-reviewed medical journal publications. There are many formats of plain language summaries, but plain text is the most discoverable through indexing in directories such as PubMed. Standardizing the minimum steps for the development and sharing of index-friendly plain language summaries can help promote the quality and credibility of these lay communications. The aim of a minimum standard is to build a universal foundation that encourages the accessibility, discoverability, and inclusivity of plain language summaries. This standard can then serve as a basis for summaries written for a more specific target audience or that include graphically and digitally enhanced formats that increase understanding and engagement, which we strongly encourage.