How can a Medical Writer have more control over the review process?

Tatiana Carvalho
Nov 16 · 2 min read

So, you have written the first draft. Now the difficult part begins.

How can you capture all the comments and changes from reviewers, while managing the fact that certain parts of the document have been approved and should remain untouched?

What if some parts of the document need to remain confidential and cannot be shared with certain reviewers? What if there are some reviewers who should be able to edit the document, while others should only be able to comment?

In this situation, your Word document could benefit from a more controlled review process, made possible with a platform like doDOC.

The improved process would be as follows:

  1. You write the first draft in MS Word

2. You send out the Word document for review through doDOC

3. Reviewers work in the document with different permissions that define what they are able to do:

a) Reviewer 1 can see the whole document and make edits. Track changes is on and locked, so the reviewer cannot work “under the radar,” and every change is a suggestion that needs to be accepted or rejected

b) Reviewer 2 can only post comments, as this reviewer should not be making edits

c) Reviewer 3 is an external reviewer who can see most of the document and make edits and post comments, but there is a section with unpublished results that this person cannot see

d) Reviewer 4 is given a task through doDOC pertaining to a paragraph has been marked and assigned specifically to her. She receives an email notification explaining her task, and when she completes the task, she changes the status to “Done.” You are able to see if there are specific tasks inside the document that have not yet been completed

e) Reviewer 5 edits the whole document and also locks down sections that should not be touched by anyone, as they are complete and should not be changed

When all reviewers have completed their review, you receive one Word document with all track changes and comments compiled and can continue working in Word, accepting/rejecting changes and resolving comments.

This way you get the best of both worlds:

  1. Work in Word, as you are used to

2. Review in doDOC and get the collaborative review benefits. After the review, continue to work in one collated Word document to produce the next draft

The alternative? Receive five documents, one from each reviewer, which have to be compiled manually into one single document, even when the suggestions may conflict with each other.

doDOC in conjunction with Word saves a lot of time, heartache, and gives you full control of the process.

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