Dr. Stephen A. Cannistra
Stephen A. Cannistra, MD, FASCO, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO) and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, will speak about “The Peer-Review Process and Writing an Outstanding Manuscript” at a ticketed Meet the Professor Session on June 3.* A question and answer session will follow.
The session is intended for early-career oncologists, international researchers, and anyone else interested in learning how to best submit work to a high-profile medical or oncology journal. Dr. Cannistra has been the editor-in-chief of JCO since 2011 and has served in other editorial roles for JCO since 1989, including reviewer, consultant editor, associate editor, and editorial board member.
“Given my experience as editor-in-chief, I would like to share my thoughts about what constitutes a good manuscript and, in particular, the kind that would appeal to the editors and readers of a highly prestigious journal such as JCO,” Dr. Cannistra said. “There are many nuances to manuscript composition that are not immediately obvious, which can make the difference between a good paper and a great paper. These are some of the things that I hope to convey to the participants of this session.”
The talk will cover the importance of clear and effective writing, the components of a well-written manuscript, and the process of manuscript submission, review, and decision making, Dr. Cannistra said. He will also address clinical trial conduct, data interpretation, and statistics.
“Quality data and its interpretation are important prerequisites for writing a good manuscript,” he said.
Dr. Cannistra will also talk about how the peer-review process works at JCO and other prominent medical journals, and how reviewers’ insights can help strengthen a good manuscript or clarify why a manuscript might not be the right fit for a particular journal.
Understanding this component in the medical publishing field is crucial.
“It's only natural for authors to be proud of their work, and therefore it's difficult to have a manuscript rejected by any journal,” Dr. Cannistra said. “Perhaps the biggest mistake authors can make when this happens is to take it personally and to not read the peer reviewers' comments in a constructive manner. It is almost always the case that the process of peer review reveals problems in the work that, if correctable, will make the manuscript stronger and a more effective venue for communicating results. Keeping an open mind in this process, while difficult if a paper is rejected, is critical to becoming a more effective scientist as well as a writer.”•
*Program information updated as of May 16. For session time and location information, please refer to the ASCO iPlanner on the Attendee Resource Center.