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13-Step Editorial Process

For over 25 years, TRC has been using an exhaustive editorial process to deliver the most trusted, practical advice and recommendations available on drug therapy and medication management.

Our editorial staff truly gets down to the bottom of each subject, and offers practical and useful information. They understand each topic so well they can explain it clearly.

However, it is extremely hard to write the monthly newsletter that packs so much punch into so few words. Every word and every sentence has to convey the exact right implication and meaning. The exhaustive editorial process gives subscribers completely independent, highly accurate facts and recommendations on a wide number of topics. Being able to provide this information in such a concise manner requires a tremendous number of people, and lots of work. It would be easier for us to write a 50-page newsletter than a 6-page newsletter. This is not an exaggeration. Most other publications would require well over 50 pages to cover all the topics in one issue of our Letters.

A quote by Albert Einstein hangs framed in the editorial staff's conference room:
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. 

For this reason, we study all the available information on each topic, and discuss it with many experts. When we are ready to write, we understand the topic inside and out and that makes it easier to explain it clearly. All the research allows us to provide practical recommendations.  The following outlines our 14-step process to creating this valuable content:

Step 1 - Topic Identification - “Big Questions” (BQs)

Topics originate from questions faced by clinicians and researched by Therapeutic Research staff members. Clinicians submit hundreds of questions each month and these questions are funneled into the editorial process. The staff narrows this down to about 200 topics per month. Each topic is actually called and considered a “BQ” (Big Question) referring to the most pressing questions currently being faced by clinicians. The Big Questions are analyzed and submitted to the Editorial Board’s Topic Selection Panel for selection.

Step 2 - Topic Selection Panel

The Topic Selection Panel selects approximately 35 topics that are most appropriate for further research. The Topic Selection Panel’s goal is to select topics that represent the most pressing “Big Questions” that clinicians are likely to face in daily practice. The Panel is charged with identifying the relevant questions that clinicians face related to each topic.

Step 3 - Preliminary Research

A team of researchers begin work on these approximately 35 Big Questions. Preliminary literature research is conducted and primary literature is referenced. Research studies from the primary literature are reviewed at this point.

Step 4 - First Draft

The researchers and editors begin writing a first draft recommendation for each of the Big Questions. The researchers and editors work individually in the beginning stages of writing. At set intervals the group meets for discussion of each topic. Each editor selects topics for presentation to the entire editorial team during open discussions. Editors ask their colleagues for input on selected topics. The entire group works as a team to improve the clarity and focus of the selected articles.

Step 5 - Editorial Advisory Board Input

This first draft is sent to approximately 40 members who comprise the Editorial Advisory Board. Board members are pharmacists or prescribers who meet face-to-face as a group once each month. During the Board meeting the Board discusses each topic and each draft article. The Board’s discussion is focused on further refining the Big Questions and identifying the relevant questions that clinicians face, related to each topic, in daily practice.

Step 6 - Recommendations Development

Following the Editorial Advisory Board meeting the editors and researchers change some of the Big Questions (topics) and do additional research based on the guidance from the Editorial Advisory Board.

Step 7 - PL Detail-Document Development

At this point an additional researcher/writer is identified and assigned to each Big Question (topic) and work is begun on a PL Detail-Document for that topic. More details are discovered and the working team decides which information will go into each final recommendation versus going into the associated PL Detail-Document. The team is charged with anticipating and providing the details that a clinician/subscriber will desire related to the topic. 

Step 8 - Specialty Consultants Panel

Draft articles and recommendations are sent to members of the PL Specialty Consultants Panel for additional insights into each topic. The editors select usually five members of the PL Specialty Consultants Panel to review each Big Question and the recommendations that the staff is developing. Additionally each topic is sent for review by persons such as principal investigators of cited studies, FDA or CDC authorities, medical information persons at drug companies, health associations, etc. All such input is entered into an electronic system such that it can be easily accessed and reviewed by each researcher and each editor.

Step 9 - Editorial Conference

The draft, along with extensive background reading material, is made available to a review panel who analyze the draft articles and recommendations for scientific accuracy. Participants in this group are practicing prescribers and pharmacists plus drug information specialists who discuss each article and recommendation with the researchers and editors. The focus of this conference is to confirm accurate interpretation of studies, literature, and input from outside reviewers. Practice-based recommendations are also refined during this conference.

Step 10 - PL Peer Review Panel

Members of three online Peer Review Panels review each draft recommendation and respond with comments through an online system. Each PL Peer Review Panel member can click a box allowing the member to read all comments posted by other peer reviewers. This creates a dynamic opportunity for feedback, and provides the editors with excellent input to make further refinements.

Step 11 - Drug Information Review

PL Detail-Document writers and editors read and compare each final topic article and each PL Detail-Document to double-check all facts.

Step 12 - Webinar Discussion

Prescriber’s Letter puts such a high emphasis on the quality of our recommendations that the editorial process includes this PL VOICES: Clinical Recommendations webinar discussion with additional experts on four to five topic areas.  We invite experts closely tied to the topic and give them the opportunity to participate in a lively discussion to help us refine and finalize our recommendations.  We often invite physician experts with contrasting opinions.  This helps ensure we’re looking at all sides of a topic and proving evidence-based and practical information that is useful to practicing clinicians.

Additionally, this webinar is open to specific subscribers who can listen to the deliberations and pose questions and suggestions via a live interactive webinar. This helps further focus the discussion, and ultimately our recommendations, to issues our subscribers believe are important to their practice. Persons interested in an invitation to attend these sessions should contact the Prescriber’s Letter office.

Step 13 - Editorial Team Editing

At the end of the cycle our editors take into account all of the exhaustive research, review, and refinement and make any needed improvements to the monthly recommendations and associated materials including PL Detail-Documents, CE/CME materials, and reference citations. This final step comprises three days, and completes the 30-day editorial process monthly cycle.

It takes a lot of time and effort to effectively concentrate a large amount of learning into a short concise space. We are confident our Letters do just that but welcome your feedback and topic suggestions at any time at info@pletter.com.