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BJS Bookshelf: A Surgeon’s Guide to Writing and Publishing

Authors: Recommendation and Article by Dr Ameera AlHasan, Specialist General and Colorectal Surgeon, Jaber Al-Ahmad Hospital, Kuwait, @A160186
Dr Ameera AlHasan

Published 2004, TFM Publishing LTD

Chosen quote from the book:

“Before asking the question ‘Where should I publish?’, we must be certain that what is in the drawer is actually publishable. Then ask, ‘is it publishable in its present form?’”

                                                          -J.L. Meakins

Throughout our careers we are frequently told to “publish or perish”, yet very few people take the time to explain to us how to do so. This is exactly why I have chosen this book as my favourite on scientific writing. A surgeon’s guide to writing and publishing, published by BJS, is an all-encompassing guide that takes you on a journey through the writing process stopping at all the important and relevant destinations.

It starts by explaining why you would want to publish your work as a surgeon, and proceeds to explain how you should write and present your manuscript, and eventually choose where to submit it for publication. It delves into great detail on the anatomy of a scientific manuscript and what editors are looking for. It even touches on finer and rarely approached topics such as understanding statistics, publishing in the digital age and dealing with rejection. The book does not limit itself to journal articles, but also offers sound advice on writing and reviewing book chapters.

Written by a group of master surgeons with vast experience in the writing and editorial process, this book will not only help you hone your writing skills but will also help you become a more insightful reader, reviewer and editor. It will be a long time before another book is produced that is as comprehensive and detailed as this one, a rare gem indeed that I wholeheartedly recommend all surgeons read, young and old.


Part of the charitable activity of the Foundation, BJS Academy is an online educational resource for current and future surgeons.

The Academy is comprised of five distinct sections: Continuing surgical education, Young BJS, Cutting edge, Scientific surgery and Surgical news. Although the majority of this is open access, additional content is available to BJS subscribers and strategic partners.

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