Plain language summaries now a publishing requirement in drug safety journal

by | 20 Feb 2020

(London and Brussels, January 28th 2020)
The journal Therapeutic Advances in Drug Safety, a SAGE Publishing title, is now requiring the inclusion of plain language summaries (PLS) in research articles.  PLS are short, easy-to-read summaries that can support informed patients in their understanding of key points in scientific articles.
This comes as part of the collaboration between the journal’s publisher, SAGE Publishing, and PFMD (Patient Focused Medicines Development) who are working towards the creation of a “How-to guide” guideline for PLS scientific publications.
Therapeutic Advances in Drug Safety is proud to be a pioneer in this pilot effort to systematically start including PLS in scientific publications in order to increase the accessibility of research to everyone, and especially the patient community. 
This pilot began in November 2019 and will implement the PFMD-led “How-to guide” guidelines for PLS, which are expected to be finalized in 2020. These guidelines will also include detailed guidance on how patients and other stakeholders can be involved as partners in the process of drafting PLS.
The Editor in Chief of the journal, Arduino Mangoni (Flinders University, Australia) stated, “Publishing plain language summaries is key to actively engage individual patients and patient groups in the assessment of scientific information and its applications in routine clinical care. Therapeutic Advances in Drug Safety is proud to lead the way in this context and partner with Patient Focused Medicines Development in order to disseminate evidence that is easily understandable and patient-centered”. 
Elena Conroy, Managing Editor of Therapeutic Advances in Drug Safety added, “This is one of the steps we, at SAGE, are taking to be more patient-centered and inclusive and we are very excited to support the promotion and dissemination of plain language summaries. PFMD have been instrumental in helping us achieve this very important goal and we hope that this will encourage other publishers and journals to do the same”. 
With this announcement and action, we hope to inspire the scientific community and stakeholders to help make systematic patient engagement and involvement a reality.
About the authors: 
Therapeutic Advances in Drug Safety is an international, peer-reviewed, open-access journal that focuses on pioneering efforts and innovative studies pertaining to the safe use of drugs in patients.

Patient Focused Medicines Development (PFMD) aims to transform the way in which we understand, engage, and partner with patients globally in the design and development of research and medicines by focusing on unmet patient needs. They are bringing together and synergizing disparate but complementary efforts that integrate the voice of the PATIENT across the lifecycle of medicine. PFMD was established in October 2015 as an open, independent global coalition of health stakeholders.

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