Pharm Exec Author Guidelines

Be a Contributor to Pharmaceutical Executive

Pharm Exec’s mission is to serve as a forum where industry leaders can exchange opinions, experiences, and insights about innovative business and marketing ideas, strategies, and tactics. We welcome—and regularly publish—articles written by members of the pharmaceutical community. Here are answers to some basic questions about writing for Pharm Exec.

What is the magazine looking for?
Pharm Exec publishes articles about strategy and tactics in the areas of enterprise management; product development and management; global marketing and advertising; regulatory affairs; sales management; customer communication tools; business, legal, and financial issues; trends; and the industry’s relation with the healthcare delivery system. We are especially eager to publish articles that document proven innovations, with specific reference to pharmaceutical companies and products. Some of our most successful contributed pieces have been based on original research conducted by companies. And, of course, we are always looking for analyses of trends and issues in pharma.

What is the magazine not looking for?
Three types of stories seem to create the most confusion. Pharm Exec does not publish (1) scientific papers on pharmacology, (2) general articles about management techniques with no specific reference to the pharmaceutical industry, and (3) articles that directly promote the author’s products or services.

Can vendors write for Pharm Exec?
Yes. Our experience is that consultants, technology vendors, outsource service providers, agencies, and others often have valuable insights to contribute to our readers. Articles by vendors need to be strictly nonpromotional.

How long should articles be?
Usually it seems to work out best if contributors simply say what they have to say and let us worry about finding a spot for it in the magazine. But here are some rough guidelines: Columns run 650 to 1,300 words, features 2,000 words and up. Our back page, usually devoted to opinion, is about 650 words. Remember that most articles change length in the course of editing.

What is the submission procedure?
We recommend submitting a detailed proposal or outline before preparing a manuscript. If possible, please send proposals as a Microsoft Word file attached to an e-mail.

To submit articles for publication, contact Lisa Henderson ( In most cases, you will hear back from us in about a month. We cannot guarantee publication based on a proposal or outline. In a few cases, an article that has been accepted or even edited may go unpublished.

How should manuscripts be submitted?
We prefer Microsoft Word files submitted via e-mail. Try to avoid complex formatting in the article. Charts, graphs, and photos should be submitted as separate documents. We can work with most common formats, including PowerPoint slides and PDF documents. Our art department will work with you on submitting photos electronically.

Be sure to include complete contact information, including mailing address and phone, in the article file as well as in your e-mail message.

If you are required to put your article through review with your employer prior to publication, please let us know at the time of submission, so we can budget an appropriate amount of time.

What is the editing procedure?
Most articles go through at least one rewrite, guided by questions and comments from our editors. We also provide vigorous line-editing to improve the readability of your article. Substantive edits are reviewed with authors. Minor style changes and cuts for length generally are not. Our lead time, from acceptance to publication is 60 to 90 days.

Who owns copyright to the article?
You do, although MJH Life Sciences, the publisher of Pharm Exec, owns copyright to our editing and the laid-out pages that appear in the magazine. Authors are asked to give permission to use the article, on a nonexclusive basis, in ancillary settings such as on our website, in reprints, and in databases such as Lexis/Nexis. We use a standard license agreement form, and because of the volume of material published by Advanstar, we are currently unable to negotiate agreements case by case.

What are some hints for success?
As much as possible, talk about your experience rather than pure theory. Use specific examples to illustrate your points. Write the way you’d talk, with a minimum of jargon. Near the beginning of the article, include a paragraph that states your intentions. Don’t be subtle about it: “This article will...” is fine.

Include quotations from other people; additional voices and perspectives always make articles stronger. Break out relevant subtopics as sidebars or boxes—which will improve the way the story looks and reads in the magazine.

Finally, remember that you’re writing for people who face many of the same problems you do. Write something that will help them.