RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwired - September 10, 2015) - Despite often being the first point of contact with the healthcare community and being regarded as a key component of medical communications, medical publications teams often struggle to demonstrate their strategic value, to win senior management buy-in and to acquire critical resources. However, 80% of surveyed medical publications teams report tracking performance metrics to overcome these hurdles and illustrate team worth, according to life sciences intelligence firm Cutting Edge Information.

The majority (63%) of surveyed companies report leveraging hard metrics, whether alone or in combination with softer measures, to track medical publications success. Just under half of surveyed teams (42%) track only hard metrics to gauge success. For many of these teams, volume-based metrics -- such as the number of manuscripts or abstracts developed or the number of citations or acceptance rates -- are robust enough to highlight team value. Volume-based metrics are invaluable as teams track their progress toward annual goals and establish realistic publications goals for the coming year.

"One in five teams currently tracks a combination of hard and soft metrics to demonstrate success," said Sarah Ray, senior research analyst at Cutting Edge Information. "While citation numbers are great for setting benchmarks, adding quantitative metrics really helps paint a complete picture of team performance."

Some medical publications teams also consider return on investment (ROI) to show their strategic value. However, because of the industry firewall between marketing and medical affairs departments, publications groups cannot tie publications directly to product sales. Instead, teams can examine price per publication to the number of relevant physicians reached. These types of ROI figures can help companies maximize their medical publications investments.

"Medical Publications Planning: Uniting Traditional and Emerging Channels to Foster Transparency" ( highlights structure, staffing and spending at high and low-output publications groups throughout the life sciences. This research encourages medical communications teams to understand the risk and benefits of increased openness within the scientific and medical community. This benchmarking study has helped medical publications executives to:

  • Employ proactive transparency practices to benefit both the company and the public.
  • Mitigate the effects of the Sunshine Act as it pertains to publication authors and investigators.
  • Demonstrate value within the organization and obtain sufficient resources to enable strategic planning.
  • Benchmark medical publication strategies and resources of similar size, responsibility and output.

For more information about this report, please visit

Image Available:

Contact Information:

Rachel Shockley
Marketing Team Leader
Cutting Edge Information