Journal of the Medical Library Association (JMLA)
Guidelines for Converting an Oral Presentation
Does the audience for the oral presentation differ from the readership of the publication to which the paper is being submitted? How does that affect the focus of the written manuscript?
Was the primary aim of the oral presentation
Is the purpose of the written paper the same, or has the emphasis changed?
Look for evidence of incompleteness. Because of time constraints, oral presentations usually cover only a fragment of the information associated with a research study or program development description. Journal articles based on oral presentations frequently must be expanded and reorganized to cover their topics more thoroughly.
Is the writing informal? The use of anecdotes, asides, personal comments, broken phrases, questions to the audience, and other rhetorical devices intended to lighten an oral delivery and stimulate interest, while appropriate for a public presentation, make a written paper less readable.
Is the tone right for the reading audience? Is the level of information appropriate? Are less commonly used terms explained? Are ALL acronyms spelled out with the first use in the paper as well as in the abstract? Is the use of jargon and current expressions in vogue minimized?
If visual aids were used in the oral presentation, are they needed in the written paper or were they used only to focus the attention of listeners? Do they convert well to tables and figures? Are they labeled to be self-explanatory? Is the textual commentary adequate?
Is the literature search thorough and current? Are the references adequate, complete, accurate, and in the correct style for the publication to which the paper is being submitted?
1. Review the paper as it was prepared for oral delivery, evaluating:
2. Make sure the manuscript covers:
3. Examine the most recent instructions to authors of the journal to which the paper will be submitted.
4. Revise and expand the paper as needed.
5. Ask one or two colleagues to critique the revised paper. Select people who did not hear the original presentation and who represent the primary audience you wish to reach.
6. Revise again.
7. Submit for publication review.
Authors own copyright of their articles appearing in the Journal of the Medical Library Association, since 2003. MLA holds copyright prior to 2003. Readers may copy articles without permission of the copyright owner(s), as long as the author and the Medical Library Association are acknowledged in the copy and the copy is used for educational, not-for-profit purposes. For any other use of articles, please contact the copyright owner.
Susan S. Starr
8675 Cliffridge Ave.
La Jolla, CA 92037
These guidelines were originally prepared by Dottie Eakin and other members of the Consulting Editors Panel, the Editorial Committee, and the Editorial Board.
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Last Updated: 2010 April 26