As publishing is essential but competitive for researchers, difficulties in writing and submitting medical articles to biomedical journals are disabling. The DIAzePAM (Difficultés des Auteurs à la Publication d'Articles Médicaux) survey aimed to assess the difficulties experienced by researchers in the AP-HP (Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris, i.e., Paris Hospitals Board, France), the largest public health institution in Europe, when preparing articles for biomedical journals. The survey also aimed to assess researchers' satisfaction and perceived needs.
A 39-item electronic questionnaire based on qualitative interviews was addressed by e-mail to all researchers registered in the AP-HP SIGAPS (Système d'Interrogation, de Gestion et d'Analyse des Publications Scientifiques) bibliometric database.
Between 28 May and 15 June 2015, 7766 researchers should have received and read the e-mail, and 1191 anonymously completed the questionnaire (<45 years of age: 63%; women: 55%; physician: 81%; with PhD or Habilitation à Diriger des recherches--accreditation to direct research--: 45%). 94% of respondents had published at least one article in the previous 2 years. 76% of respondents felt they were not publishing enough, mainly because of lack of time to write (79%) or submit (27%), limited skills in English (40%) or in writing (32%), and difficulty in starting writing (35%). 87% of respondents would accept technical support, especially in English reediting (79%), critical reediting (63%), formatting (52%), and/or writing (41%), to save time (92%) and increase high-impact-factor journal submission and acceptance (75%). 79% of respondents would appreciate funding support for their future publications, for English reediting (56%), medical writing (21%), or publication (38%) fees. They considered that this funding support could be covered by AP-HP (73%) and/or by the added financial value obtained by their department from previous publications (56%).
The DIAzePAM survey highlights difficulties experienced by researchers preparing articles for biomedical journals, and details room for improvement.