How long will it take?
Converting publication strategy into a realistic plan requires some surprising skills. It is possible to give broad estimates, but each publication is different and the timetable will depend on all sorts of intangible things like whether the authors work well together and how much priority the key players give to the publication. However, there are two tricks to publication planning. The first is to make the plan as detailed as possible. The second is to be as pessimistic as possible. 'Developing a publication plan for a multicentre study' should give some ideas of the stages which need to be included. The most obvious ones include: prepare an outline; prepare first draft; and submit publication. Surprisingly, preparing the first draft is often relatively straightforward, especially if writer are working from a well-prepared protocol and statistical report. Abstracts are either rejected or accepted; there is no messing around with conditional acceptances or responding to reviewers' comments.