Conference video call; global collaboration concept

Maximizing Global Collaboration in Medical Publications

In an increasingly interconnected world, we have opportunities to address common challenges on a global scale. Medical research can now be carried out by team members working from various countries, and their results can be incorporated into a medical publication that in turn may have a global reach. 

Global collaborators face several challenges seeking to publish their work. These challenges include communication and geography-related challenges, imbalances in resource access, and the need to coordinate efforts across time zones and continents. Web-accessible digital tools like Anju’s Pubstrat MAX can help reduce barriers, improving global collaboration on medical publications. 

The Global Scope and Challenge of Medical Publications

Producing medical publications poses a number of challenges. Those challenges compound when a publication has multiple authors. They compound further when those authors are scattered throughout the world. 

A study by Chiu-Yu Lin and fellow researchers of collaboration across conflict zones identified four themes around which common challenges in global publication collaboration were clustered. These challenges included:

  • Network-building, both between individuals and between institutions.
  • Managing power imbalances between different academic statuses, genders, and institutional affiliations of participating researchers.
  • Handling communication challenges of various kinds.
  • Initiating and maintaining career development and growth of management, leadership, research and teaching skills.

Concerns also persist about collaboration between researchers and funding sources in high-income countries versus those in low- and middle-income countries. In a piece in Global Health Research and Policy, for example, Wongani John Nyangulu notes that because “global north” actors tend to fund and design many health-related research projects, they tend to be credited as authors more often, even when “global south” partners do the bulk of the work. Nyangulu recommends changing authorship criteria to better reflect contributions from various global partners in published research. 

The need for global collaboration and publication, however, is a pressing one. “I am convinced that we will survive the future of the next 20 years only in networks and collaborations,” says Heyo Kroemer, CEO of Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

Smiling doctor using laptop for a meeting or consultation; global collaboration concept 

Global Collaboration in the Digital Era

To get global contributors to a medical publication on the same page — literally and metaphorically — digital tools become essential. 

Anju’s Pubstrat MAX is a web-based solution that streamlines the process of medical and scientific content development. From planning through final submission, Pubstrat MAX allows authors to collaborate online from anyplace in the world with internet access. 

Pubstrat MAX offers:

  • Real-time engagement from anywhere in the world. Team members and authors can stay connected, working within one digital environment. 
  • Tailored writing and editing tools. The process of manually adding comments, editing and proofreading, and reconciling drafts is time-consuming and tedious. Authors that work together in Pubstrat MAX can use the platform’s built-in tools to collaborate, eliminating the risk of missing drafts, misunderstood comments, or problems with draft reconciliation. 
  • Reach the right audiences upon publication. Pubstrat MAX integrates with Journal Selector and Conference Authority, making it easy for authors to ensure their work reaches the right audience at the right time. 

Using a single digital platform, accessible from anywhere, may help improve representation of contributors from low- and middle-income countries. In a study of COVID-19 publications with international collaborators, Danilo Silva Carvalho and fellow researchers found that many involved collaborations between researchers from high-income countries (primarily the U.S., China, the U.K., and India). Forty-four percent of the studied publications demonstrated shared leadership, but funding continued to come primarily from high-income participants.

The study’s findings of shared leadership and a focus on national expertise, global interests, and relevant public health needs in global collaborations is promising. These results can be fueled further by the use of comprehensive, internet-accessible software and platforms that allow contributors to work towards publication from anywhere in the world. 

Collaboration improves when everyone is in the same room — physically or digitally. Tools like Pubstrat MAX allow authors to collaborate more effectively, allowing for better results in medical publications — no matter where contributors are located on the globe. 

Images used under license by

Authored by Rachel Sheldon, Senior Director of Product Management

Rachel Sheldon, Senior Director of Product Management at Anju, began her career twelve years ago in medical publications after transitioning from hospitality. With a BA in English from Penn State University, Rachel excels in leveraging language and communication to support global scientific content dissemination. Actively involved in ISMPP, she stays updated through industry roundtables, conferences, client meetings, and independent research, driving innovation and collaboration while taking immense pride in Pubstrat MAX’s advancements under her leadership. Connect with Rachel on LinkedIn to explore her expertise further.

Want to stay up to date with our news?

To top