What is Scientific Communications?
As the name implies, this functional area focuses on the dissemination of scientific content. Key activities including supporting field-based medical teams (such as MSLs/RMLs and potentially medical payer-facing field teams) with content creation and approval for use with customers, managing the publication process for medical abstracts, posters, and manuscripts, and potentially conducting trainings for field-based teams.
Content Development for Medical Field Teams
Field teams usually have a set of deliverables that are approved at any given time for use with the customers that they call upon. These deliverables can be in a variety of formats, but slide decks are by far the most common. Scientific Communication (Sci Comm for short) professionals often own the development of these materials for field-based teams. The process of slide deck development can be quite involved, including working with the field to understand their needs, hiring and managing vendors for development of the deck, and navigating internal review processes to get it approved for field use. Finally, trainings may be scheduled for the field in which the Sci Comm professional can address any questions, etc.
Publications professionals in pharma are often part of the Sci Comm team (but not always) and are the internal experts on the publication process, good publication practices, and company procedures and policies on publications. They work with internal researchers and external collaborators to make sure that all needed paperwork is gathered and documented properly and to ensure that abstracts, posters, and publications are being progressed. They often choose and work with agencies to handle many of the operational aspects of documentation in publication management software and follow-up with authors to ensure that the documentation is retrieved in a timely manner. Pubs professionals are often the go-to source when it comes to choosing the right journal to submit a paper to, but ultimately the decision is left to the authors. Much of publication management is driven by ICMJE (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors) criteria which sets guidelines for the scientific community on good publication practices.