Interviews with Outstanding Authors (2023)

Posted On 2023-04-20 10:05:21

In 2023, many authors bring new findings, practical information on the diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to thoracic disease to our journal. Their articles published with us have received very well feedback in the field and stimulate a lot of discussions and new insights among the peers.

Hereby, we would like to highlight some of our outstanding authors who have been making immense efforts in their research fields, with a brief interview of their unique perspectives and insightful views as authors.

Outstanding Authors (2023)

Björn-Ole Stüben, Department of General, Visceral and Thoracic Surgery, University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany

Desi K. M. ter Woerds, Department of Pulmonary Diseases, Radboud University Medical Center, The Netherlands

Ikenna C. Okereke, Department of Surgery, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI, USA

Takashi Eguchi, Division of General Thoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Shinshu University School of Medicine, Matsumoto, Japan

Toru Arai, Clinical Research Center, National Hospital Organization Kinki-Chuo Chest Medical Center, Japan

Toyofumi Fengshi Chen-Yoshikawa, Department of Thoracic Surgery, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan

Duilio Divisi, Department of Life, Health and Environmental Sciences, University of L’Aquila, Italy

Ilitch Diaz-Gutierrez, Division of Thoracic and Foregut Surgery, University of Minnesota, USA

Janneta Kisel, Lane Fox Unit, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust, UK

Muteb Al Zaidi, Division of Thoracic Surgery, Toronto General Hospital, Canada

Panagis Drakatos, Sleep Disorders Centre, Guy’s Hospital Sleep Disorders Centre, UK

Piergiorgio Muriana, Department of Thoracic Surgery, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Italy

Minseok Kim, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Korea

Clinton T. Morgan, University of Kentucky, USA

Takuya Watanabe, Seirei Mikatahara General Hospital, Japan

Seong-Hyop Kim, Konkuk University Medical Center, Korea

Roberto F. Casal, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, USA

Kelly M. Pennington, Mayo Clinic, USA

Christina M. Stuart, University of Colorado Denver, USA

Chadi Aludaat, Rouen University Hospital, France

Kyeongman Jeon, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, South Korea

Ravi Rajaram, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, USA

Thorsten Walles, Magdeburg University Medicine, Otto-von-Guericke University, Germany

Shin Yajima, National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, Japan

Riccardo Orlandi, University of Milan, Italy

Isabella B. Metelmann, University Hospital of Leipzig, Germany

Takahiro Homma, Kurobe City Hospital, Japan

Hailey M. Shepherd, Washington University School of Medicine, USA

Jae Woong Choi, Seoul National University Hospital, Korea

Veronica Marcoux, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Jae Y. Kim, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, USA

Yong-Ming He, The First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, China

Christian Galata, University Medical Center Mainz, Germany

Xiaoyan Wang, Sema4 Mount Sinai Genomic Inc., USA

Yousser Mohammad, Al-Sham Private University, Syria

Bob P. Hermans, Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, The Netherlands

Ari Moskowitz and Rithvik Balakrishnan, Montefiore Medical Center, USA

Jean-Christophe Larose, Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal, Canada

Paul R. Walker, East Carolina University, USA

Satoshi Shiono, Yamagata University, Japan

Nathaniel Deboever, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, USA

Hiroyuki Tsuchida, Seirei Mikatahara General Hospital, Japan

Supparerk Disayabutr, Siriraj Hospital, Thailand

Masatoshi Hanada, Nagasaki University Hospital, Japan

Michael R. Gooseman, Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, UK

Paula Duarte D'Ambrosio, University of São Paulo, Brazil

Kim Styrvoky, UT Southwestern Medical Center, USA

Noy Meshulami, Mount Sinai, USA

A. Justin Rucker, Duke University Medical Center, USA

Dong Jung Kim, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Korea

Hisashi Oishi, Tohoku University Hospital, Japan

Ren Onodera, Iwate Medical University, Japan

Ara A. Chrissian, Loma Linda University Health, USA

Jenna Aziz, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, USA

Audrey L. Khoury, University of North Carolina (UNC), USA

Dawn E. Jaroszewski, Mayo Clinic, USA

Sunghoon Park, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Korea

Takashi Hirama, Tohoku University Hospital, Japan

Sze Shyang Kho, Sarawak General Hospital, Malaysia

Abey S. Abraham, Cleveland Clinic Main Campus, USA

Masaaki Nagano, The University of Tokyo Hospital, Japan

Hyun Woo Jeon, Catholic University of Korea, Korea

Ken Onodera, Tohoku University, Japan

Mi Hyoung Moon, Catholic University of Korea, Korea

Nuttapol Rittayamai, Mahidol University, Thailand

Paolo Nicola Camillo Girotti, The Thoracic Surgery Center in Vorarlberg, Austria

Akihiro Ito, International University of Health and Welfare, Japan

Kei Nakashima, Kameda Medical Center, Japan

Madhuri Rao, The University of Minnesota, USA

Outstanding Author

Björn-Ole Stüben

Björn-Ole Stüben, MD, completed his training as a specialist general surgeon in the Department of General, Visceral and Thoracic Surgery (Director Prof. J.R. Izbicki) at the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany, in 2021, and worked in Hamburg until 2022. In Hamburg, his clinical focus was on open as well as minimally invasive treatment for lung cancer, with his research focus being septic thoracic surgery. His group worked on the perioperative risk assessment of patients suffering from pleural empyema, an understudied condition which still shows unsatisfactory treatment outcomes with high morbidity and mortality rates. During his time in Hamburg, he and his team also focused on minimally invasive treatment methods for pleural empyema, including novel approaches with only minimal debridement and the use of negative pressure therapy with the aim of improving treatment outcomes. Dr. Stüben is currently working in the Department of General, Visceral and Transplantation Surgery at the University Hospital Essen, Germany (Director Prof. J. W. Treckmann) since 2022.

Dr. Stüben thinks academic writing and publishing papers in open access journals are ways of informing colleagues internationally of new treatment methods and research results. “Sharing this information has the potential to have a real impact on treatment outcomes for patients,” says he. He would dedicate a certain amount of time to reading new articles on the diseases that he encounters as a clinician and integrating these results into the treatment of his patients. Reading recently published literature is necessary to identify areas where more research needs to be done, and he tries to address these unmet areas of need by research of his own. He thinks preconceived opinions and expecting certain results before completing the research are the main reasons for bias in most authors. He also emphasizes that standardization and transparency are important aspects of publishing (of a research), and reporting guidelines such as STROBE or CONSORT are one way of ensuring the results can be reproduced if necessary.

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Desi K. M. ter Woerds

Desi K. M. ter Woerds, MSc., is currently a PhD-candidate at the Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands. She completed her Bachelor’s and Master Degree in Technical Medicine with a specialization track on Medical Imaging and Interventions in Enschede, the Netherlands. Her Bachelor thesis focused on the impedance a pediatric patient needs to overcome to show capability of spontaneous breathing when deciding on extubating. Her Master thesis focused on improving endobronchial staging and treatment of early-stage lung cancer by means of imaging agents. Her current research is performed as a PhD-candidate under supervision of Prof. Erik van der Heijden, Dr. Erik Aarntzen and Dr. Roel Verhoeven. It focusses on performing an SLN procedure in early-stage lung cancer in two ways to optimize staging for lung cancer patients; during a navigation bronchoscopy and during surgery. Moreover, she takes interest in the Medical Device Regulations, radioactive elements, fluorescent imaging, SPECT-imaging and lung surgery. Connect with Dr. Desi ter Woerds on LinkedIn.

To Dr. Desi ter Woerds, through writing and publishing, the collective knowledge grows and research that clearly answers a question does not have to necessarily be repeated at  different centers. She thinks via academic writing, we can build on each other’s work and execute innovative ideas even faster and eventually help the patients. “While I am not a doctor, I think that documenting the performed work in a way that it can be completely understood and performed by other groups is important to expand the collective knowledge. I am currently building on the work of others and I hope that others can build on the work I am doing now. That would not be possible without writing about it in an academical fashion and having platforms to share this knowledge,” shares she.

Since my day-to-day work consists of writing, I often search for articles to base my research on and I often find new insights and new studies that have been performed in my field,” says she. In this way, she is proactively keeping her own writing up-to-date.

Speaking of the importance of Conflict of Interest (COI) disclosure, Dr. Desi ter Woerds thinks it highly depends on the way the research was influenced: was the COI involved in the design of the study or was there only financial aid, but was the research performed as investigator-initiated research? She thinks there is a large difference between the two and this is not always clear in the COI. However, she emphasizes that it should be reported nonetheless.

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Ikenna C. Okereke

Dr. Okereke was raised in Detroit, Michigan and attended Johns Hopkins University, USA. He attended Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He did his general surgery residency at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and his cardiothoracic residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. He is the current Vice Chairman of the Department of Surgery and Chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at Henry Ford Health. He is active in basic and outcome research and has been awarded numerous NIH grants. He went to Haiti for disaster relief 1 week after the devastating earthquake which killed over 300,000 people in that country. Inspired by this trip, he established the Okereke Foundation in 2013. He also began a summer internship program for the underrepresented high school students in 2016 and has become a mentor since then. Learn more about Dr. Okereke here.

Speaking of what authors have to bear in mind during preparation of a paper, Dr. Okereke thinks it is most important for authors to have an idea of how their manuscript will help readers and the medical community in general. He points out it is also important in the early phase of the project design to ask what the key question is. That would usually ensure the results are useful. And he thinks following reporting guidelines like STROBE or CONSORT can guarantee certain level of standardization and help on quality control.

Dr. Okereke finally shares an experience that has influenced him most as a researcher with us, “When I was a resident, we would frequently meet very late at night after all of the operative cases were done for the day. That level of dedication from my mentors is something I would remember often.”

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Takashi Eguchi

Dr. Eguchi is a board-certified thoracic surgeon in Japan, affiliated with Shinshu University Hospital. He completed his surgical residency, thoracic surgery fellowship, and Advanced Thoracic Surgical Oncology Fellowship at Shinshu University Hospital in Japan and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York, US. Dr. Eguchi gained expertise in thoracic oncology research at MSKCC's Dr. Adusumilli Lab from 2014 to 2018 and earned his ECFMG certificate in 2017. At Shinshu University Hospital, Dr. Eguchi offers comprehensive, multidisciplinary oncology care, specializing in robotic surgery for thoracic malignancies, particularly on robotic complex lung segmentectomy for early-stage lung cancer and pulmonary metastasis. His translational research focuses on lung cancer biology and management, exploring clinicopathological and molecular characteristics of spread through air spaces (STAS) and investigating perioperative risk assessment and management for early-stage lung cancer patients. Dr. Eguchi's publications can be found at ORCID. Connect with Dr. Eguchi on Twitter.

Being asked of the motivation behind his academic writing endeavors, Dr. Eguchi thinks the opportunity to advance scientific knowledge and contribute to improving patient care in thoracic surgery is definitely the force behind. “Sharing research findings with the scientific community allows collaborative learning, fosters innovation, and ultimately helps improve patient outcomes. Furthermore, academic writing enables me to document and communicate the novel techniques and approaches I develop,” says he.

To ensure the writing is up-to-date and provides new insights, Dr. Eguchi keeps up with the latest research by regularly attending conferences, participating in research collaborations, and reviewing relevant literature. He also maintains an active network with colleagues and experts in the field, which helps him stay informed about recent advancements and trends. He would like to contribute novel and relevant information to his academic writing by continuously learning and updating his knowledge base.

Speaking of research data sharing, Dr. Eguchi thinks that is crucial in scientific writing as it promotes transparency, reproducibility, and gives the opportunity for independent validation of the research findings. By sharing research data, authors enable others to build upon their work, fostering collaboration and accelerating scientific discovery. And he believes this ultimately benefits the scientific community, leading to more robust and reliable research outcomes.

Finally, Dr. Eguchi shares some common difficulties in academic writing with us:

  • Clearly articulating complex ideas and concepts in a concise manner
  • Ensuring the accuracy and relevance of the information presented
  • Staying up-to-date with the latest research in a rapidly evolving field
  • Addressing potential biases and limitations in the research design and analysis
  • Adhering to strict formatting and submission guidelines for various journals and conferences.

To overcome these challenges, it is essential to stay organized, maintain a consistent writing schedule, seek feedback from colleagues and mentors, and continuously update one's knowledge and skills in the field,” says Dr. Eguchi.

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Toru Arai

Dr. Toru Arai is the Executive Director of Clinical Research Center, National Hospital Organization Kinki-Chuo Chest Medical Center, Osaka, Japan. His research areas include interstitial lung disease (ILDs), pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP), and lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM). As for ILDs, he has published many articles on acute exacerbation of ILDs and has worked on SETUP trial for determining the efficacy of thrombomodulin. He has performed prospective cohort study of acute exacerbation of ILDs involving 400 patients, from which he is anticipating exciting results. He has also suggested the importance of IL-11 and PDGF for pathophysiology of IPF in JTD. As for PAP, he has published a paper involving the second patient with autoimmune PAP treated by GM-CSF inhalation in Japan (Respir Med 2004). He has participated in two clinical trials of GM-CSF inhalation for autoimmune PAP (NELM 2019, 2020) and also in big clinical trials of sirolimus on LAM patients; the MILES trial (NEJM 2011) and the MLSTS trial (AnnalsATS 2016).

In order to be an academic writer, Dr. Arai thinks the most important point is to pursue daily clinical questions. One has to examine previous papers, and solve the problems even if there is not sufficient evidence present at the moment. He cites an example, “I have published a paper on the association between HRCT pattern and serum markers in acute exacerbation of IPF (Arai T, et al. JTD 2021). I examined the same problem firstly on the time basis of the previous 10 years; however, I could not find positive results at that time because of the limited number of patients. Then, during the ten years, I had collected more patients and I finally managed to reach the positive results.

In order to avoid bias in his own writing, Dr. Arai would try to enroll as many subjects as possible and to enroll consecutive cases as best as he could. In addition, he would consult the statisticians in his hospital if needed. He further points out ethical problems are important issues in academic writing. “It is true that pursuing scientific problems is important; however, private information should be protected according to the international consensus and legal regulation. In addition, we have to avoid violating the rights of individuals in the process of solving the scientific problems. For this purpose, we will have to be checked by the institutional review board,” says he.

Dr. Arai finally would like to encourage other academic writers to be bold in hypothesizing, “I am a clinician and not a researcher on laboratory investigations although I have some experience. My research questions stem from clinical experience; however, I believe this kind of clinical questions could lead to important discovery. For example, I once encountered two patients with autoimmune PAP complicated with sarcoidosis. These diseases might have happened simultaneously by chance; however, I think there is a patho-physiological link between these diseases and have published a paper with a possible mechanism (Arai T, et al. Intern Med 2020).”

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Toyofumi Fengshi Chen-Yoshikawa

Dr. Chen-Yoshikawa is a Professor in Thoracic Surgery at Nagoya University Hospital, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan. He graduated from Kyoto University, Faculty of Medicine in 1997. After obtaining the PhD in Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine in 2007, he joined the faculty of General Thoracic Surgery at Kyoto University. He underwent clinical fellowship in lung transplantation at Toronto General Hospital, Canada. Between 2009 and 2019, he worked in Kyoto University with Professor Hiroshi Date. His main research areas and interests are: lung cancer, lung transplantation (lung preservation, ischemia-reperfusion injury, surgical technique, living-donor lobar lung transplantation, and chronic lung allograft dysfunction), minimally invasive thoracic surgery, regenerative medicine, and surgical simulation and training. He has authored or co-authored a number of articles in the general thoracic surgical fields and has published over 350 peer-reviewed manuscripts in English. Learn more about Dr. Chen-Yoshikawa here.

Dr. Chen-Yoshikawa thinks academic writing is mandatory for the development of any academic fields. Without academic writing, there is no progression. This is also the reason that he continues writing academic manuscripts. “Through academic writing, we can communicate with people whom we have never met in our field of research and even outside of our field; and we can always find new insights via academic writing,” says he.

In terms of point to note in the process of writing, Dr. Chen-Yoshikawa believes it is very important to write an academic manuscript without biases. He would always try to read as many papers as possible in his field of research. However, he admits that there would be limitation on time and he would often share his writings with colleagues to check potential biases. Peer-review system is also mandatory for an academic manuscript to be published.

Dr. Chen-Yoshikawa further points out that it is essential for academic surgeons to catch up with the trend of science which advances rapidly day by day. He always discusses on any issues regarding thoracic surgery with colleagues from his department, which he thinks is the best way to catch up with the trend of science, at least in the field of thoracic surgery. “Of course, to read an academic journal, such as JTD, is also one of the alternatives to brush up our own knowledge,” expresses he.

Finally,  Dr. Chen-Yoshikawa believes that it is essential for authors to disclose Conflict of Interest (COI). He elaborates, “By disclosing COI, readers can understand the background of a research in advance, which can balance the potential biases and avoid misunderstandings between writers and readers.”

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Duilio Divisi

Dr. Duilio Divisi, Professor, MD, PhD (Thoracic Surgery), earned his Italian Thoracic Surgery Degree magna cum laude from La Sapienza University in Rome, Italy. He had had a wide and qualified experience in thoracic surgery and lung transplantation as Assistant des Hôpitaux, Chef de Clinique des Universités at the Department of Thoracic Surgery, University of South Lyon, Louis Pradel Hospital of Lyon, France. During that period, he studied the lung preservation with various experimental auto-transplant animal models and published extensively on this topic. He is currently a Professor of Thoracic Surgery, at the Department of Life, Health & Environmental Sciences, in the University of L’Aquila, Italy, and the Director of Postgraduate School of Thoracic Surgery and the Chief of Thoracic Surgery Unit, at the Giuseppe Mazzini Hospital of Teramo, Italy. His clinical practice and research mainly focus on minimally invasive thoracic surgery in lung cancer and thymic tumours, chest wall resection and reconstruction (trauma, tumours, deformities), lung volume reduction surgery, sympathetic surgery, benign and malignant pleural disease.

Dr. Divisi thinks scientific research is the fundamental process in everyday clinical practice and the university life. Yet, for getting involved in the international scientific community, it is necessary to accurately communicate one’s work based on the fair comparison for the development of ideas, with the background of the critical role of cultural exchange. He thinks academic writing serves the following purposes: the careful analysis of methodologies and paths in a continuous comparison of experiences among peers, in order to minimize misunderstandings and misinterpretations and thus acquire universally verifiable results. “Our goal is to constantly improve the quality of care, in order to achieve an excellent quality of life for people around the world,” says he.

Dr. Divisi shares that making clinical and surgical activity compatible with that of an academic writer is extremely difficult, and it takes a lot away from one's private and family life. Professors in Italy have a triple professional obligation: research, teaching and care. He thinks that being involved in the international comparison with the scientific community is the only way to certify the authoritativeness of one's work. He adds, “The comparison is always a moment of growth, aimed at the common good of the patients. Obviously, a certain pre-disposition to writing is necessary as it is not easy to report personal clinical experience or the results of one's research on paper.”

In order to ensure the writing is up-to-date and can give new insights to the field of research, Dr. Divisi believes the only way is to read and study systematically. He usually spends one day a week evaluating the most reputable journals in the field of thoracic surgery in general and lung cancer in particular. This habit is a source of ideas, inspiration for new project and analysis for clinical and surgical choices. He would also hold a briefing with colleagues and residents every two weeks in which they discuss the most interesting articles in terms of both immediate treatment and prospective research.

Finally, on data sharing in scientific writing, Dr. Divisi points out that if the ultimate goal of the work is to improve the quality of life of patients, regardless of national borders, only the sharing of data in every field of research achieves the scientific globalization which is the basis of being a doctor or a researcher. “The way in which SARS-CoV-2 infection was fought is an exhaustive example of this. We work for the patients, and we must look for the most suitable and adequate treatments; this objective can be pursued by sharing the various experiences in order to minimize errors and ensure unassailable scientific growth in each of its realization processes,” says he.

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Ilitch Diaz-Gutierrez

Dr. Ilitch Diaz-Gutierrez is a general thoracic and lung transplant surgeon at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN, the US. He is originally from the Mexico City where he obtained his MD, and subsequently completed his training in general surgery at the University of New Mexico, and cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Minnesota. He also performed a rotating fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, the US. Dr. Diaz-Gutierrez’s expertise in uniportal surgery is remarkable. He published the first North American study demonstrating the feasibility and safety of lung segmentectomy, and has been an invited speaker at multiple regional, national, and international meetings on this subject. His basic science research focuses on tissue bioengineering of the esophagus and trachea utilizing biomaterials for 3D bioprinting. Future projects aim at building tracheal and esophageal constructs with adequate biomechanical properties for implantation in patients with large defects. Connect with Dr. Diaz-Gutierrez on LinkedIn.

Speaking of the essential elements of a good academic paper, Dr. Diaz-Gutierrez believes it comes down to the question that is being answered. In other words, the hypothesis. Is the hypothesis stated clearly and focused on a single problem? Is the problem relevant and researchable? He thinks the hypothesis sets the tone for the rest of the manuscript. In order to avoid biases in one’s writing, he thinks peer review would help. He explains, “We all have biases. It is inherent to human nature. The key is to recognize them and be open to criticism. That’s why it is important to share your research with friends and colleagues for constructive criticism and subsequently to a thorough peer-review process.”

Science advances rapidly day by day. Dr. Diaz-Gutierrez thinks the best way of staying up-to-date is by being academically productive and publishing research on a regular basis. Being in an academic institution is an opportunity to collaborate with other researchers with shared goals but different background and perspectives, which enriches the quality of the work and minimizes biases.

Regarding the obtainment of institutional review board (IRB) approval for a research paper, Dr. Diaz-Gutierrez thinks the IRB review process is extremely important to make sure the research is ethical and responsible. To him, the IRB provides an independent evaluation of the proposed research and is an invaluable measure to ensure compliance with rules and regulations that protect human subjects.

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Janneta Kisel

Janneta Kisel is a 4th Year medical student at King’s College London (KCL), UK. She recently completed an iBSc in Anatomy, Developmental, and Human Biology from KCL where she received 1st Class Honors. As a part of her research, she has been working with the Lane Fox Unit at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS trust, London, on her interest in respiratory medicine. The results of her research in collaboration with them were presented at several conferences including the European Respiratory Society International Congress and the British Thoracic Society Winter meeting. She has also undertaken projects on ACL injury rehabilitation and post-operative surgical outcomes. Connect with Janneta on LinkedIn.

Academic writing is essential in Janneta’s opinion, as it provides a platform to showcase advances in medical sciences and reasonings behind, as well as placing them into a more accessible light for younger professionals to develop interests and broaden their knowledge. Furthermore, she thinks science is a collaborative human endeavor which academic writing facilitates.

In preparing a paper, Janneta would consider on several items, “A rigorous and appropriate methodology and results should be presented in a transparent manner allowing the reader to follow the journey to the conclusion. Openness to feedback ensures positive changes can be made to the paper and allows a collaborative work approach, resulting in the production of high-quality research. Lastly, clarity is essential to effectively convey across the findings.”

Science advances rapidly day by day. In order to ensure the writing is up-to-date, Janneta would attend conferences and read latest academic journals to keep her knowledge current. Systematic literature reviews are useful to give a broad summary on a topic, in addition to identifying gaps in published research yet to be explored. Moreover, she thinks she is fortunate to work with the Lane Fox Unit at St Thomas’ Hospital with a team of inspiring professionals from whom she has learnt collaboration leading to pioneering new research.

Regarding authors’ disclosure of conflicts of interest (COIs), Janneta thinks it is important as it allows readers to evaluate their potential impact on the research findings and conclusions. Without the disclosure, readers may not be aware of potential influences that could affect the validity of the research. She adds, “COI does not necessarily mean the validity is affected, but the type of conflict, transparency of the paper, and the research design should be taken into account.”

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Muteb Al Zaidi

Dr. Alzaidi is currently a thoracic and upper GI surgeon. He is dedicated to minimally invasive thoracic and upper GI surgery (single port VATS, laparoscopic and robotic approaches). He is a former clinical fellow in minimal invasive and thoracic surgical oncology at St. Vincent’s Hospital (2019-2021), at The University of Melbourne, Australia. He is also, a former clinical fellow in upper GI and thoracic surgery at Toronto General Hospital (2021-2022), at The University of Toronto, Canada. His research focuses on thoracic and upper GI surgical oncology with special dedication to minimal invasive surgery beside to his interest in surgical education. Connect with Dr. Alzaidi on LinkedIn.

Dr. Alzaidi thinks selecting a research topic is critical and significant as the subsequent research activities can only be initiated after selecting a research topic. He shares, “When selecting a research topic, I consider several factors because we have to convert the research topic into a well-written paper. To come up with a research topic, I have felt my reflectivity and reflexivity. Reflectivity refers to the process of my thinking, evaluation, and consideration of my behaviour, attitude, and motivation of my own self, whereas reflexivity means how I consider myself a researcher.”

Dr. Alzaidi would follow the following steps on coming up with a research topic: 

  • Generation of the idea.
  • Refining that idea: After selecting the broad area of research, narrow down the broad area into some small groups of areas.
  • Topic selection: Finally, select a topic that fits the reflectivity and reflexivity. After that, move on to converting the topic into a proper research paper.

Writing a research paper is critical. It involves a lot of consideration and techniques to write a proper research paper but the biggest difficulty to Dr. Alzaidi in preparing a research paper is to find an appropriate topic and its relevant literature. He points out, generally, the literature is the backbone of a good research paper. It backs up the research topic with gathered information and paves the way for converting it into clear and proper manuscript. He further shares that analyzing and interpreting all the available research evidence is related to a particular research question or topic, but generally he  would follow the following points in order to select appropriate evidence:

  • Define a clear research question.
  • Select a reliable database and relevant literature. 
  • Consult with supervisor/senior researcher whenever needed.

Finally, Dr. Alzaidi emphasizes that data sharing is crucial in scientific writing as this allows authors to build upon the work of other researchers. It increases data circulation and uses within the research community. And it also encourages better transparency and enables the reproducibility of future researcher’s work. 

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Panagis Drakatos

Dr. Panagis Drakatos is a pulmonologist and has specialized in Sleep Medicine. He works at the Tertiary Sleep Centre at Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital in London, UK. He graduated from the University Medical School of Patras in Greece, and also completed his PhD in Sleep Medicine at the same institute. He attained qualification as a somnologist by sitting at the European Examinations in 2014, and clinically covers the full spectrum of sleep disorders, with extensive experience in respiratory, neurology and psychiatric sleep medicine. He is also an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the King’s College London University and has participated actively in international clinical trials. His research interest and publications extend to many subjects of Sleep Medicine, including obstructive sleep apnoea, hypersomnia of central origin, NREM and REM parasomnias, RLS and PLMS. He and his team are currently focusing, among else, on the phenotyping of sleep apnoea. Connect with Dr. Drakatos on LinkedIn.

Despite the burden of being a doctor, Dr. Drakatos considers lifelong learning is, and should be, an integral part of every profession, which is especially highlighted in areas of swift change in knowledge as in medicine and more so in Sleep Medicine, with so many still to be discovered. He thinks keeping up-to-date with newest practices requires exposure to research articles, and an ability to critically appraise these. “Writing articles requires dedication and extra time, but if you challenge the existing clinical practice for the sake of patients’ good, you will easily end up with setting up research projects,” shares he.

Academic writing often involves evidence synthesis. Dr. Drakatos further shares with us tips on selecting the appropriate evidence for synthesis and analysis: “Getting a clear picture of what is the purpose of the study and a clear simple question in your head, is mandatory for successful research and that is often achieved via a thorough knowledge of the existing literature. You would utilize that knowledge for guidance and to avoid pitfalls, while you remain open in thinking outside the box. Experience with synthesis and analysis comes at a cost, and senior colleagues can offer valuable guidance”.

Speaking of the difficult times in the process, Dr. Drakatos points out most difficulties with writing are naturally experienced at the beginning of someone’s academic career and published articles can provide patterns. He mentions that setting up research projects will require a good grasp of statistical methods, and that can be obtained via reading and attending courses. Finally, transparency and accuracy are key in research, and data sharing would help.

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Piergiorgio Muriana

Dr. Muriana is a board-certified thoracic surgeon with interests in minimally invasive surgery (VATS and robotic), thoracic oncology, lung cancer screening and tracheal surgery. He did his thoracic surgery residency at Vita-Salute San Raffaele University in Milan, Italy. He joined the Department of Thoracic Surgery of San Raffaele Scientific Institute as attending surgeon in 2014. He serves as a contract Professor at Vita-Salute San Raffaele University in the Thoracic Surgery School as tutor of residents. He also teaches respiratory disease course of the International MD Program in the School of Medicine and Surgery at the same University. He is the author of various publications, book chapters and is actively involved in clinical research. He is a member of the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons (ESTS) and of the Italian Society of Thoracic Surgery (SICT). Learn more about Dr. Muriana from ResearchGate.

Dr. Muriana thinks scientific writing represents a fundamental part of the medical activity. The preparation of a manuscript is a time-consuming process especially for non-native English-speaking authors, who experience difficulties related to the conduct of a study with a language other than their own. Dr. Muriana mentions some useful suggestions to overcome this issue, such as conducting a good bibliographical research on the subject, carefully following the guidelines of the journal in which you intend to publish, and finally maintaining constant contact with the editorial team that can help you resolve any difficulties.

Dr. Muriana thinks flaws in conducting and reporting a scientific study are often due to the lack of criticism. In his opinion, this could be avoided by keeping in mind that interpretation of study results should always be discussed at several levels, first within the study group and then considering not only the peer-review reports, but also the feedback provided by editorials and audience letters. He points out that there are many factors related to both the authors and the journal that may influence a critical interpretation of a manuscript. For this reason, it is fundamental to ensure standardization of scientific writing by following specific guidelines (e.g. PRISMA guidelines when preparing a systematic review and meta-analysis). Shared guidelines allow a better flow for the peer-review process and improve the overall quality of the manuscripts.

Dr. Muriana lastly shares with us that medical writing has a major role in both scientific knowledge and professional growth. In his experience, academic research with multicenter studies represents a nice way to expand the network of personal knowledge not only from a professional point of view but also by developing strong personal friendships.

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Minseok Kim

Minseok Kim, a Chief of the Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplantation Center at Asan Medical Center Heart Institute, primarily treats critically ill patients in the Cardiac ICU, and his research areas include heart failure, cardiogenic shock, and mechanical circulatory support (ECMO, LVAD). Recently, he completed the EVOLVE-ECMO trial, which demonstrated the feasibility of an early left ventricular unloading strategy in VA-ECMO, and the results are currently undergoing peer review. Currently, he is conducting a clinical trial comparing preemptive distal perfusion cannulation to a conservative approach in VA-ECMO. In addition, he is also conducting the HELP trial, an RCT comparing high PEEP versus low PEEP in mechanically ventilated patients with heart failure. Furthermore, he also plans to conduct a multi-center trial examining the role of pulmonary artery catheterization (PAC) in cardiogenic shock caused by heart failure.

Being asked about the essential elements of a good academic paper, Dr. Kim, from a clinician's perspective, thinks it would be great if the paper could provide solutions to challenging problems that are difficult to address in the field. To achieve this, it is important to have sufficient statistical support. Nonetheless, even in the absence of strong statistical evidence, a paper containing innovative ideas that propose new solutions would be highly valuable.

Seeing the rapid scientific advancement, to ensure his writing is up-to-date and can give new insights into the field of research, Dr. Kim thoroughly reviews new research and engages in discussions about emerging research areas through conferences, online symposiums, and other academic meetings.

Although clinicians bear a significant clinical burden, Dr. Kim still thinks it is necessary to write papers. Because if doctors do not write papers, their current clinical judgments may remain highly subjective and be based solely on experience. Therefore, to objectify and advance the therapeutic field, it is essential to thoroughly review papers and put extra effort into producing high-quality research articles. Usually, he writes papers by utilizing early mornings or weekends when he has uninterrupted time to focus on his writing.

Dr. Kim also sees the need to share data among the scientific community. The idea of data sharing means that not only the paper itself but also the raw data will be made available to others. This, he believes, can therefore increase the transparency of research and improve accuracy by providing a clear definition of the data in advance, while he also insists it is crucial to address data contamination that may occur when data are opened up through adequate regulations and precautions.

(by Alisa Lu, Brad Li)

Clinton T. Morgan

Dr. Clinton T. Morgan is an Assistant Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Kentucky and a Thoracic Surgery Section Chief at the Lexington VA Medical Centre in Lexington, Kentucky, USA. He earned his MD and Ph.D. from the Medical Scientist Training Program of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and Integrated Program in Biochemistry. He then completed his General Surgery Residency in 2018 and Cardiothoracic Surgery Fellowship training in 2020 at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. Dr. Morgan provides comprehensive thoracic surgical care for benign and malignant disease, including robotic thoracic surgery with a focus on total robotic esophagectomy. His clinical research interests include improving the ability to distinguish primary spontaneous pneumomediastinum from Boerhaave syndrome, esophagectomy outcomes, and understanding barriers between thoracic malignancy diagnosis and treatment.

Speaking of the need of academic writing, Dr. Morgan says he could not think of anything more important than academic writing because it is essential to disseminating new knowledge in science and medicine. Moreover, academic writing can lead to advances in our ability to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases afflicting patients.

And to be a qualified academic author, Dr. Morgan thinks we need to have an advanced understanding of our field, and we must be able to effectively communicate how our work furthers that knowledge. He also believes that an author’s ability to convey information with his or her own unique voice, perspective and problem-solving approach is equally important.

Science advances rapidly day by day. To ensure that writing is up-to-date and can bring new insights to the field of study, Dr. Morgan points out that one must be up-to-date on reading the literature and attending meetings to ensure that his/her writing provides new insights in his/her field. His research interests are driven, in large part, by problems he encounters during his work as a thoracic surgeon. He explains, “If it’s a problem colleagues also encounter, and there’re no solutions in the literature, that means you’re usually onto a meaningful project.

From an author’s perspective, Dr. Morgan believes that it is important to follow reporting guidelines, such as TREND and CONSORT, which can play a significant role in academic research by providing a quality measure for project development and manuscript preparation.

(by Alisa Lu, Brad Li)

Takuya Watanabe

Dr. Takuya Watanabe is currently a Chief Doctor in Division of Thoracic Surgery, Respiratory Disease Center at Seirei Mikatahara General Hospital, Japan. Also, he is a board-certified thoracic surgeon and certified doctor of Bronchoscope in Japan. He graduated from the University of Mie in 2010 and obtained a PhD degree from Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences in 2019. From November 2022 to January 2023, he studied abroad at Klinikum Ernst von Bergmann in Germany to learn the advanced skills of uniportal VATS. His main research areas include minimally invasive thoracic surgery (especially uniportal VATS), locally advanced lung cancer, and interstitial lung disease. His recent projects focus on multicenter study on minimally invasiveness of uniportal VATS, and cohort study of bronchopleural fistula by Extended-Sublobar Surgery Study Group (ESSG) in Japan. Learn more about Dr. Watanabe from his facility-certified YouTube channel on uniportal VATS.

When preparing a paper, Dr. Watanabe has the following actions: (I) sufficient examination of previous research; (II) confirmation of accuracy and transparency of data and results; (III) not to forget to respect the patients who cooperated; and finally, (IV) proceed and write with a sense of speed. He thinks a good academic study should be well designed, has a clear scientific basis for the results and be reproducible. In addition, he thinks that it is very important for an academic study to follow a specific reporting guideline. He explains, “These guidelines make manuscripts more organized, objective, and authoritative. Therefore, I am always conscious of whether the research design and composition are in line with these guidelines during preparation of my manuscripts.”

After completing preparation of a paper, publishing it in a good journal is the same important. Dr. Watanabe prefers to publish in journals with good peer review and the cutting-edge medical sense. In his opinion, good peer review must be essential because it will brush-up the manuscripts and make them more objective by reviewers with other perspectives and ideas.

(by Xing Liu, Brad Li)

Seong-Hyop Kim

Dr. Seong-Hyop Kim is the Professor at Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Konkuk University Medical Center, Seoul, Korea. He also serves as the Secretary General in Korean Society of Anesthesiologists and the Vice Editor-in-Chief of Korean Journal of Anesthesiology. His research mainly focuses on adult cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, clinical pharmacology and anesthesia & immune system.

For Dr. Kim, one most frequently encountered difficulty is to write objectively. He explains, “When objective evidences were not enough, private opinion, not objective evidences, has been sometimes overwhelmed. It makes the research conclusion not convincing”. In addition, as a non-English native speaker, he finds writing in English frustrating sometimes. For him, the process from design of the study to its publication is difficult, but also delightful. In spite of the existing difficulties, his passion for writing never dies.

The beliefs of medical advance and patients’ rehabilitation motivate Dr. Kim to initiate new research and keep writing. To ensure his writing is critical, he always asks himself whether the study is able to advance clinical practice based on the evidences, or in other words, whether the findings from the study would help clinicians improve their practices. Even though sometimes the findings showed negativity, he is proud of the studies.

Speaking of the need for research to obtain institutional review board (IRB) approval, Dr. Kim thinks every study should be performed on the basis of ethics and thus obtaining approval from IRB is essential. For any studies involving human, it should be conducted under patient safety and IRB approval. For studies using animals, the approval from institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) is also a must. In his opinion, even though a study has brilliant results, it should be withdrawn without getting approval from IRB or IACUC.

(by Xing Liu, Brad Li)

Roberto F. Casal

Dr. Roberto F. Casal is currently a Professor of Medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, USA. He is the Director of the Clinical Research Unit and the Director of the Advanced Bronchoscopy Program. He is an international leader in the field of bronchoscopy and interventional pulmonology with over 100 peer-reviewed publications and multiple book chapters. His clinical and research interests focus on the minimally invasive diagnosis, staging and treatment of lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies. He has vastly contributed to the literature with scientific advances in endobronchial ultrasound, cone-beam CT guided bronchoscopy, robotic bronchoscopy and therapeutic bronchoscopy.

To Dr. Casal, academic writing plays a pivotal role in the advancement of science and education of the medical community. He explains, “It is the most rigorous way to share medical data and improve patient care, which is our ultimate goal. Scientifically sound translational and clinical studies can impact clinical practice and their results should be peer-reviewed, published and shared in the most expeditious way. Thorough clinical reviews are also of great relevance since they allow physicians who lack the time to review studies one by one, or lack the experience to evaluate their scientific rigor, to nourish from a concise description and thorough assessment of the most up-to-date available data.”

In order to ensure one’s writing is up-to-date and can give new insights to the field of research, Dr. Casal thinks it is paramount to perform thorough searches regularly on the topics of one’s own interest. “I personally perform searches twice a month. I follow other leaders in the field (to get alerts when they publish) and utilize scientific research-focused social media,” shares he. Dr. Casal further points out that before embarking in any research endeavor, it is of utmost importance to have certainty that the project will either be novel or of better quality than the pre-existing data, and that the work will substantially contribute to the existing body of literature.

In the era of digital advancement, data sharing is prevalent in scientific writing. Dr. Casal is on the pros side of the idea of data sharing. “In order to impact the scientific field, the education of other physicians, and patient care, it is mandatory for us to share our study outcomes and thoughtful medical reviews. Readers will scrutinize your work and your writing and apply what can and should be applied to their clinical practices. Often your research studies may not change clinical practice immediately, but they will trigger more research on the same topic, which ultimately will. Your review articles and practice guideline can inform and educate physicians in busy practice with little time for continuing education.”

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Kelly M. Pennington

Kelly M. Pennington is a Pulmonary Medicine and Critical Care Physician working at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, USA. Her clinical expertise is in lung transplant and critical care medicine. She focuses her research on enhancing outcomes for lung transplant candidates and recipients through database and patient-reported outcomes research. Connect with Dr. Pennington on Twitter.

Dr. Pennington considers academic writing as a story-telling of the data. “The most impactful papers are those that allow the data to speak for itself but translate the data into a message that busy clinicians can apply,” says she. “Reporting guidelines are extremely helpful, especially at the beginning of starting the career in research. This ensures the integrity of the research and the manuscript.” In addition to reporting guidelines, Dr. Pennington shares that editing software and informal or peer research discussions can all help improve the quality of research manuscripts, and those are tips to ensure the production of critical writing.

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Christina M. Stuart

Dr. Stuart received her Bachelor of Science (BS) in Biology and Mathematics from Villanova University, followed by her Doctorate of Medicine (MD) from Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University both in Pennsylvania, USA. She is currently completing her General Surgery Residency at the University of Colorado and plans to pursue fellowship training in Cardiothoracic Surgery. Her research is funded by an NIH T32 for Thoracic Oncology and the Cancer League of Colorado. The majority of her research work focuses on diseases of the lungs and esophagus, as well as general health services and disparities focused initiatives. Connect with Dr. Stuart on Twitter.

Academic writing and research, to Dr. Stuart, is necessary for the advancement of knowledge. She thinks rigorous investigation, analysis and critical thinking allows us to uncover new insights and discoveries. Upon sharing these insights through academic writing, others are then allowed to build upon these ideas and generate further knowledge.  She also points out that academic writing often influences policy development and decision-making, and by informing these processes, research contributes to the betterment of society by promoting evidence-based practices.

Speaking of ways to avoid biases in one’s writing, Dr. Stuart thinks the most important thing to do is to “be aware of your own beliefs and trained practices. Understanding your own biases allows you to consciously work towards mitigating them. Objectivity is challenging to achieve but researchers should strive for fairness, inclusivity and transparency in writing.”

In Dr. Stuart’s view, reporting guidelines such as PRISMA and CARE are in place to improve the quality of research to ensure appropriate translation to clinical practice. They ensure that researchers provide evidence and support to back up statements and arguments, establish validity and reduce bias.

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Chadi Aludaat

Dr. Aludaat, MD, from the Department of Cardiac Surgery and Transplantation, Rouen University Hospital, Normandy, France, is currently a Thoracic and Cardiovascular surgeon who is especially dedicated to adult cardiac surgery, structural heart, and advanced cardiac failure. He started his residency in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at Reims University Hospital in 2007, then continued his training as a fellow at Rouen University Hospital. He has been working at Rouen University Hospital since then. He is a member of the Société Française de Chirurgie Thoracique et Cardio-Vasculaire (SFCTCV).

To Dr. Aludaat, an exemplary academic paper requires a clear purpose, original contributions to its field, and a comprehensive literature review. He explains, “It should employ sound, replicable methodologies and present information logically with clear language. Critical analysis, consistent citations, and objective tone are crucial, while undergoing peer-review adds credibility. In essence, a top-notch academic paper not only offers new insights but also engages effectively with the wider academic community.”

When crafting an academic paper, Dr. Aludaat thinks authors should clearly understand their target audience and set a distinct research objective. He points out a comprehensive literature review is essential to avoid redundancy and identify gaps. Tips for crafting an academic paper include: a sound and clear research methods, concise and structured writing, and language which is free from excessive jargons. He continues to share, “Data should also be presented lucidly, with proper citations to maintain academic integrity. While maintaining objectivity is crucial, seeking feedback before submission can provide valuable insights.”

Lastly, Dr. Aludaat highlights that data sharing in scientific writing is essential for reasons such as verifying results, accelerating research progress, fostering trust, optimizing resources, promoting collaboration, training new researchers, guiding evidence-based policies, and ensuring equitable access to knowledge. However, he emphasizes that it is vital to maintain participant privacy and uphold ethical standards when sharing data.

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Kyeongman Jeon

Dr. Kyeongman Jeon, MD, PhD, is a respiratory physician and medical intensivist working at Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, South Korea. He graduated from Dongguk University College of Medicine in 1999 and obtained the PhD degree from Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine in 2010. His clinical and research areas in which he was interested in during his junior period were bacterial pneumonia and non-mycobacterial pulmonary disease. Since then, the main fields of his clinical practice and research are intensive care and lung transplantation. Recently, as a faculty member of Samsung Advanced Institute for Health Sciences and Technology (SAIHST) at Sungkyunkwan University, he has also been conducting translational research related to sepsis.

According to Dr. Jeon, a high-quality research paper is a combination of original innovative research and good writing in an appropriate format. He explains, “It is difficult to determine whether our research is innovative, so peer-review is necessary, but we should first think about what we report, what types of readers we would like to share with, and how the research results would affect the readers, and then we go on to select the right journal and an appropriate format accordingly. There are different types of manuscripts which come with different format, and the style differs slightly from journal to journal. Therefore, it is important to prepare our paper to be well-equipped with a suitable style for the journal we would like to submit.”

In order to ensure one’s writing is critical, Dr. Jeon believes we should make sure our work is clearly organized and easy to understand. That would increase the chance of receiving good reviews. His personal tips would be writing the methods and results parts first, then abstract, introduction and conclusions later on. He also points out it is important to keep the paper simple and consistent, as many other experts have recommended.

It is also important to follow reporting guidelines, such as STROBE or CONSORT, based on the study design. Dr. Jeon believes that reporting guidelines give a simple and clear description of the research should be like. “A well-organized study based on the reporting guidelines provides more validity and allows editors, peer reviewers, and readers to understand what and how we did the research,” says he.

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Ravi Rajaram

Ravi Rajaram, MD, MSC, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, USA. In addition to his clinical training, his research background includes 2 years of dedicated research, serving as an American College of Surgeons Clinical Scholar-in-Residence (2013-2015) and the American College of Surgeons Surgical Oncology Scholar (2013-2015). He also completed a postdoctoral fellowship on a T32 Health Services Research Integrated Training Program and earned a Master’s degree in Health Services and Outcomes Research at Northwestern University. He is clinically focused on thoracic surgical oncology including lung and esophageal cancer as well as mediastinal tumors. From a research perspective, his interests include surgical quality of care, health policy and outcomes-related work. He is actively engaged in projects related to disparities in thoracic surgical care as well as the financial impact of cancer care within this population.

In Dr. Rajaram’s view, generating impactful work starts with identifying a relevant research question that has the potential to affect daily clinical practice. By narrowing one’s focus to that goal, the entire research process, from hypothesis generation to methodologic considerations to the eventual manuscript preparation, can be distilled down into manageable and approachable segments when they may otherwise seem daunting. He emphasizes, “Engaging in self-reflection as to why a certain research project is pursued, and seeking feedback from close colleagues and mentors, can also optimize the likelihood of producing meaningful work with the potential to affect patient care.”

Dr. Rajaram continues to share with us that it is critical to adhere to strict reporting guidelines and internal review mechanisms, such as Institutional Review Boards and otherwise, to ensure the data produced is rigorously sound. Additionally, by doing so, this allows otherwise skeptical journal readers to be open to your results and potentially, be impacted by them. Without such review mechanisms and guidelines in place, he thinks promising work will otherwise be limited in scope.

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Thorsten Walles

Thorsten Walles, MD, FETCS, is a Professor in Thoracic Surgery at the Otto-von-Guericke University in Magdeburg, Germany. Prof. Walles simultaneously heads the Department of Thoracic Surgery at the Magdeburg University Hospital and the Clinic for Thoracic Surgery in the neighboring Lung Clinic Lostau, Germany. His surgical expertise covers the entire spectrum from minimally invasive surgical procedures including robotic surgery to advanced multi-visceral procedures. Prof. Walles has a broad scientific spectrum: In basic research, he has investigated the usability of volatile organic compounds in the patients’ breathing air for lung cancer diagnostics. In translational research, he has contributed to the development and clinical implementation of bioartificial human airway tissues (Tissue Engineering). In clinical research, he leads one of the largest clinical studies on the surgical treatment of primary pneumothorax ( Prof. Walles is a board member for thoracic surgery in the German Research Foundation and is a member of several national and international scientific societies. Connect with Prof. Walles on LinkedIn, ORCID or ResearchGate.

In a discussion on academic writing, which is being more and more important, Prof. Walles points out that writing scientific texts is becoming easier. In addition to text creation, the possibilities of graphically displaying content are developing rapidly. However, during the process of planning, conducting the studies and writing scientific texts, avoiding biases is challenging. Prof. Walles thinks that as a scientist, it is an important prerequisite to be aware of the numerous possible interactions between interventions and measurements. He shares, “In my experience, it is always very helpful to talk to uninvolved scientists about your own research approaches and the results achieved or expected.”

Data sharing is prevalent in scientific writing in recent years, yet, the significance of data sharing has different levels in various research areas according to Prof. Walles, “While I can certainly create almost maximum transparency in basic research with a lot of effort, in clinical research, there will be always vagueness due to the complex data basis. In my experience, authors go to great length to address justified  - and even unjustified - criticism of their work. The modern possibilities of data sharing give them the opportunity to document the results of their work, which was very difficult to be applied in past research projects, or only to a very limited extent. However, the growing technical possibilities also lead to growing demands on the scientific community.”

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Shin Yajima

Dr. Yajima is a Japanese board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon who has been a postdoctoral research scholar in Dr. Woo's lab at Stanford University since 2022. Throughout his clinical research, he realized that inadequate myocardial revascularization had little effect on myocardial functional recovery because coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) could approach and supply blood flow to the superficial coronary arteries but not to intramyocardial microvascular arteries, especially where microvasculature was either scarce or absent. During his Ph.D. in cardiovascular surgery at Osaka university in Japan, he investigated the treatment of microvascular dysfunction with a prostacyclin analog combined with nanoparticle and identified that it promoted angiogenesis and restored myocardial blood flow via proangiogenic and vasodilatory effects. He has now focused on SDF-1, a powerful chemokine that upregulates endothelial progenitor cells in ischemic tissue and created SDF-1 encapsulated nanoparticles for microvascular dysfunction research. Learn more about Dr. Yajima’s publications from ORCID.

Speaking of the difficulties in academic writing, Dr. Yajima admits that it should be to understand the “wordy”, “tone”, “readability” or “clarity” of academic English sentences. In addition, conveying the meaning of wordings clearly, concisely, and simply expressed would also be difficult but crucial.

Being asked about the key skill sets of an author, Dr. Yajima thinks academic writers do not require any special writing abilities. In his opinion, a person who has never written an academic manuscript may feel a sense of dread or disgust at the thought of the arduous journey ahead before the paper is published, but finding a good mentor who can guide him/her in the right direction is the first step to finish the journey. The second step is to find a signpost leading to the destination. He believes the signpost is “logical consistency”. In his words, constantly keeping the hypothesis in mind will lead us in the right direction whenever we are likely to get off track. He further explains, “For example, we should mention in the introduction what we believe will help readers understand our hypothesis, what kind of method we believe will best support our hypothesis, what kinds of results we believe will best encourage our hypothesis, and how we should conclude from the perspective of our hypothesis. I believe these writing efforts result in ‘logical consistency’ and the papers produced in this way have high scientific value.”

As a cardiovascular surgeon, two benefits inspire him to persist in scientific researches and keep academic writing. One is to continually improve surgical skills, thus to produce the best results for ‘current’ patients. The other one is acquiring knowledge about new scientific evidence through clinical or basic research, which will take great benefits for ‘future’ patients.

Finally, Dr. Yajima expresses his wholeheartedly support on the sharing of raw data in scientific writing. Through data sharing, the scientific community gets to verify and validate the research findings, resulting in the discovery of truly scientifically valuable evidence as well as the elimination of preexisting erroneous proof.

(by Xing Liu, Brad Li)

Riccardo Orlandi

Dr. Riccardo Orlandi, MD, is currently completing his third year of residency program in thoracic surgery at the University of Milan, Italy. He has graduated with honors at the University of Milan – Bicocca and was immediately engaged in the medical field working as an emergency room doctor in the district of Bergamo during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, he has joined the residency program in thoracic surgery, learning the art and craft of surgery from eminent hospitals in Milan. He is interested in all fields of research in thoracic surgery, from surgical or endoscopic treatment of thoracic benign and malignant diseases to the managerial and executive aspects of the diagnostic-therapeutic pathway in lung cancer patients. Dr. Orlandi’s publications can be found at ResearchGate.

Dr. Orlandi firstly shares four essential elements of a good academic paper:

•  Challenging topic, which still afflicts current clinical practice
•  Meticulous statistical analysis
•  Fair interpretation of the results
•  Accurate and deep comparison of personal results with those presented in literature

Dr. Orlandi thinks authors are not writing for themselves but for the scientific community. For him, the publication of a paper represents the extraordinary chance of sharing personal experience throughout the whole academic world; and this point should always be kept in mind when writing a paper.

Academic writing is, to Dr. Orlandi, a valuable experience. To him, scientific research and academic writing are indissolubly related to the clinical practice, especially in surgical field. “Writing reminds me I have not only ‘gifted hands’, but also a ‘thinking brain’,” says he.

Speaking of the importance of Conflict of Interest (COI) disclosure in a scientific research, Dr. Orlandi thinks it is essential since research should be independent and scientific reports should always be assessed in an unbiased way.

(by Xing Liu, Brad Li)

Isabella B. Metelmann

Isabella B. Metelmann, MD, MA, is a German senior thoracic surgeon and political scientist. She completed her training as Thoracic Surgeon at the University Hospital Leipzig. She holds doctoral degrees in medicine and political science (both University of Greifswald). Her clinical focus lies on minimally invasive oncologic surgery and palliative care. Her scientific focus lies in translational research connecting political science and medicine. She has a specific interest in health security, global surgery and the interdependence of politics and health in crises. Get to know more about Dr. Metelmann here.

A good paper, according to Dr. Metelmann, should develop from an innovative idea, that transfers knowledge or theoretical backgrounds from one discipline to another and by that, creates synergism and a holistic understanding of problems. In addition, it should be written in a comprehensive language for colleagues from different disciplines, give anchor points for further research and new ideas to various fields of research and/or have concrete impact on patient care or political decision making.

Dr. Metelmann goes on to share her tips to keep innovation and new insights in academic writing. To her, innovation derives from the combination of detailed and profound knowledge from different areas of research and creative bridge building. Translational research is often niche sector and is the combination of different areas from medicine and political science. She emphasizes, “New insights can arise when we open our view to solution strategies from different fields or our daily life. Yet, without question, reading up-to-date scientific literature is most essential in research! It’s fascinating to find new insights and solutions through systematically processing a problem of clinical or social relevance with creativity and high aspiration.”

In Dr. Metelmann’s opinion, reporting guidelines, such as TREND and CARE, can help to structure research and enable others to re-do the project. Sometimes the rigid frame of these guidelines, however, may hinder researchers from creating innovative approaches and impeding interdisciplinary research projects to be published by sticking to formal regulations.

(by Xing Liu, Brad Li)

Takahiro Homma

Dr. Takahiro Homma is an Associate Professor of the Department of Chest Surgery at St Marianna University School of Medicine, Kawasaki, Japan. He earned his MD and PhD from the University of Toyama, Toyama, Japan, and completed the Foundation Course for Medical Education program at Medical Education Center, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan. His research interests revolve around advancing minimally invasive thoracic surgery, particularly Uniportal VATS, as well as focusing on surgical education, energy devices, and medical device development.

Dr. Homma believes that academic writing is very necessary and important, as it involves leaving valuable information in the world and contributing to a specialized field. The impact of research papers on medical care and the advancement of medicine cannot be overstated. The potential benefits that academic papers may bring to patients around the globe are exhilarating to contemplate. Dr. Homma also firmly believes these contributions represent a priceless asset for humanity, destined to be passed down through generations.

Science advances rapidly day by day. To ensure one’s writing is up-to-date and can give new insights into the field of research, Dr. Homma thinks it is important to stay vigilant and interested in what the world is sharing. In addition to reading papers, being a peer reviewer is one way to access the latest information and gain valuable insights.

The burden as a doctor is heavy. Dr. Homma admits that it is hard to allocate time to write a thesis. He says, “Time is limited, and prioritizing tasks can be extremely challenging. I constantly find myself yearning for more time to dedicate to writing my papers.”

Understanding that the journey of academic writing can be arduous, requiring immense dedication and perseverance, Dr. Homma would like to encourage other academic writers who devote themselves to advancing scientific progress, “Please remember that your work is invaluable, and every word you put on paper is a stepping stone toward progress. Your papers have the potential to transform medical care, enhance understanding, and inspire fellow researchers around the world. I eagerly await the day when we can gather at an international conference, share our discoveries, and celebrate the collective pursuit of truth. Until then, let us continue our remarkable journeys as academic writers, united by a common mission to advance scientific progress. Keep writing, keep exploring, and keep inspiring!”

(by Alisa Lu, Brad Li)

Hailey M. Shepherd

Dr. Shepherd was raised in Phoenix, Arizona, and attended medical school at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is a general surgery resident in her third year of clinical training at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri. She recently completed a two-year research fellowship working in the thoracic immunobiology laboratory of Dr. Daniel Kriesel, MD, PhD in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Washington University. Using mouse models of heart and lung transplantation, her project is focused on uncovering the key drivers of fibrotic remodeling in transplanted grafts. Her analysis of single-cell RNA sequencing revealed that early signaling between innate immune cells and stromal cells appears to be critical, and early inhibition of these signaling pathways prevents the development of alloimmune-independent graft fibrosis. Ultimately, Dr. Shepherd hopes to integrate these results with her broader hypothesis that the disruption of lymphatic vasculature at the time of transplantation plays a paramount role in the fibrotic remodeling of transplanted organs.

Dr. Shepherd thinks there are three foundational components of high-quality scientific writing. The first is defining a clear research hypothesis that is rooted in fundamental physiology and/or pathophysiology. The second is thorough knowledge related to the topic, including historical physiologic principles as well as recent developments in the field. The third is writing in a manner that not only conveys the information, but also guides the reader through the findings in a way that is enjoyable and enticing.

Academic writing often involves evidence synthesis. To Dr. Shepherd, one can identify positive findings everywhere – the key is knowing which ones are truly significant and which are not. Delineating which pieces of evidence to select and include in analysis should be based on the underlying hypothesis and asking oneself “what possible answers could explain my research hypothesis, and have I explored each of them adequately?” In addition, what authors should bear in mind during the process is that a common mistake encountered in current scientific writing is the echoing of a common string of findings that have been outlined in numerous introductions and discussions of related papers, instead of synthesizing a unique compilation of findings focused on a single hypothesis.

Dr. Shepherd thinks in academic writing, progressively narrowing one’s focus is a natural phenomenon during scientific discovery. However, do not let oneself become tunnel-visioned in his/her writing.

Though academic writing takes a lot of time and effort, Dr. Shepherd’s research work is primarily fueled by her passion and curiosity about the field of cardiothoracic surgery. She says, “I am constantly flooded with my own questions about how we came to embody current clinical practices (Why don’t we reconnect the lymphatics after transplantation? Why don’t we close the pericardium like we do the peritoneum?) as well as wondering about the mechanisms underlying changes I observe. Additionally, my research mentors – especially Dr. Daniel Kreisel - have been incredibly influential in propelling my academic writing forward.”

(by Alisa Lu, Brad Li)

Jae Woong Choi

Prof. Jae Woong Choi is a cardiac surgeon and a faculty of Seoul National University in South Korea. His research mainly focuses on aortic surgery and valvular surgery. Recently, he has been interested in studies using national claims data. Although they have some limitations, he believes such studies have advantages in presenting real-world data without publication bias.

Prof. Choi considers that creativity and honesty are essential parts of research. For creativity, constantly studying previous research is the most important thing. He thinks that creative idea occurs based on previous knowledge. For honesty, researchers should not obsess over immediate results and try to have a high level of ethical awareness and responsibility as a researcher.

Speaking of the key skill sets for an author, Prof. Choi says, “I believe that we have to be good readers to be good authors. Nowadays, good studies are being published on various topics from all over the world. Reading and studying previous papers diligently is very helpful in understanding the real value of your research as an author and conveying key findings to readers efficiently.”

Academic writing does require a lot of time and effort, but Prof. Choi believes that as a professor at a university hospital, research is part of his job. In addition, he has received a lot of support from the hospital, so he thinks he should try to share his experience and make an academic contribution in his field.

When asked about the reason for publishing in Journal of Thoracic Disease, Prof. Choi says, “I chose Journal of Thoracic Disease because this journal is well-organized and well-known in our field.”

(by Alisa Lu, Brad Li)

Veronica Marcoux

Dr. Marcoux is an Associate Professor at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Her training is in Internal Medicine and Adult Respirology, as well as further subspecialty training in Interstitial Lung Disease. Dr. Marcoux’s research area is in interstitial lung disease, and she is the local principal investigator for the Saskatchewan site in the Canadian Registry for Pulmonary Fibrosis (CARE-PF). From her work with CARE-PF came the rheumatoid arthritis-associated interstitial lung disease project, which was recently published in Journal of Thoracic Disease, and their research group has numerous ongoing projects.

Dr. Marcoux believes that academic writing is of great importance. To her, academic writing is the key to the exchange of ideas and discoveries, without which the field is hard to develop.

Academic writing often involves evidence synthesis. On how to select appropriate evidence for synthesis and analysis, Dr. Marcoux says, “Having a well-thought-out hypothesis and subsequent detailed data analysis plan has been helpful in my organizational process. This is in addition to having a statistician discuss your plan and eventual data analysis with.”

To ensure one’s writing is critical, Dr. Marcoux thinks that working with a team or mentor is essential because they can provide criticism and feedback on one’s work, which always leads to beneficial improvements.

Though academic writing takes a lot of time and effort, Dr. Marcoux finds it enjoyable and sometimes a break from clinical work. Moreover, academic writing can promote academic communication and the development of medicine.

(by Alisa Lu, Brad Li)

Jae Y. Kim

Dr. Kim is an Associate Professor and Chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at the City of Hope Cancer Center in Southern California, USA. He graduated in biochemistry from Harvard University and received his medical degree from the University of California San Francisco. His research focuses on improving outcomes and quality of life for thoracic surgery patients, particularly for lung and esophageal cancer. He has led multiple clinical trials, authored numerous publications, and been invited to speak internationally on robotic thoracic surgery. Connect Dr. Kim on Twitter @DrJaeYKim.

Dr. Kim believes that a good academic paper should advance our field of knowledge in a meaningful way. Besides, it can also address a relevant topic and provide new insight or data that helps us understand our world in a new way. Though above all, a good academic paper must be honest with methods that are transparent and reproducible.

It is very vital to avoid biases in one’s writing. Bias can influence our interpretation of data easily, so we must always be vigilant,” says Dr. Kim. He explains that being aware of the tendency of bias to creep into one’s writing and research is of great importance. It helps to understand our own biases and actively question whether our conclusions reflect those biases. It also helps to work with people who are willing to read our work carefully and challenge us.

Science advances rapidly day by day. Dr. Kim has made a lot of effort to ensure that his articles are up to date and bring new insights to the research field, such as doing a literature review of a topic before writing anything, regularly following key publications and attending scientific meetings. In addition, he also works with interns such as residents and fellows, which he thinks is really helpful. He does learn a lot from them, though teaching also forces him to stay up to date. Finally, he notes that social media like Twitter is a great medium for learning, but it depends on who one is following. For example, Dr. Kim himself has learned a lot from doctors outside thoracic surgery, such as medical oncologists and radiation oncologists.

To what extent would Conflict of Interest (COI) influence research? Dr. Kim thinks this is an underappreciated problem in medical science. Pharmaceutical and medical device companies obviously have tremendous influence in determining which studies get funded. Beyond that, however, authors often have relationships with these entities, serving as consultants or on speakers’ bureaus. Those relationships can sometimes have subconscious effects on researchers that they must be cautious about. These types of relationships, as well as funding sources, need to be disclosed when submitting a manuscript so that proper peer review can consider those relationships.

(by Alisa Lu, Brad Li)

Yong-Ming He

Prof. Yong-Ming He, M.D., Ph.D. FESC, FACC, is an interventional cardiologist, and now works at The First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University. He studied interventional therapy of coronary artery diseases at the Heart Institute of the University of Ottawa under the guidance of Terrence D. Ruddy, then went on with his study in the Chinese University of Hong Kong for the inflammation mechanism of coronary artery diseases under the guidance of Hui-Yao Lan. Prof. He’s research interest includes but is not limited to dyslipidemia, interventional cardiology, coronary artery disease, anatomy of coronary trees and database technique. His team developed a novel Coronary Artery Tree description and Lesion EvaluaTion (CatLet or Hexu) score accommodating the variability in coronary anatomy. This scoring system succeeded in semi-quantifying relative myocardial mass (blood supply territory) and explaining coronary stenosis. The National Natural Science Foundation of China (NNSFC) has supported this research.

A good academic paper, according to Dr. He, includes the following key elements:

Clarity and Structure: The paper should be well-organized, easy to follow, and clearly written. This includes a logical flow from introduction to conclusion, as well as clear explanation of methods, findings, and their significance. 
Originality: A good academic paper should contribute something new to its field. This could be a new discovery, a fresh interpretation of existing data, or a novel method or model.
Rigor: The research methods should be rigorous and robust. This means that the methodology is clearly explained, appropriate for the research questions, and executed correctly. 
Evidence: The paper's claims should be supported by data or evidence. This could include experimental data, qualitative observations, or theoretical proofs, depending on the discipline.
Significance: The paper should address a meaningful problem or question in its field. It should also explain the implications of its findings for this problem and for the wider field of study.
Replicability: In most empirical disciplines, a good study should be replicable, meaning another researcher could follow the same methods and get the same results. This often involves providing detailed descriptions of methods and raw data.
References: A well-researched paper should cite relevant previous work in the field. This not only shows familiarity with the existing literature but also places the paper's contribution in context.
Ethics: If the research involves human or animal subjects, it should adhere to ethical guidelines. This includes informed consent, privacy protections, and avoiding harm to subjects.
Peer Review: A paper that has been peer-reviewed – that is, evaluated by other experts in the field – is generally considered more reliable. The peer-review process helps ensure that papers meet the standards of the field.

Science advances rapidly day by day. Dr. He would also like to provide several general tips for researchers to ensure their work is up-to-date and contributes new insights to their field:

Continuous Learning: Stay up-to-date with the latest research in your field. This might involve regularly reading new articles in relevant academic journals, attending conferences, or following researchers and institutions on social media.
Literature Review: Before starting a new research project, conduct a thorough literature review to understand what has already been done on your topic. This will help ensure that your research addresses a gap in the existing knowledge.
Collaboration and Networking: Engage with other researchers in your field, either by collaborating on projects or by discussing your work with them. They can provide feedback and share their own insights, which might help you see your research from a new perspective.
Critical Thinking: Be critical of your own work and the existing literature. Look for limitations or gaps in the current research that your work can address.
Innovative Thinking: Try to think outside the box. Innovation often comes from approaching a problem from a new angle or using a novel method.
Iterative Process: Research is often an iterative process. You might start with a hypothesis, collect data to test it, then revise your hypothesis based on what you find. This process of iteration can help you hone in on new insights.
Peer Review: Submit your work to peer-reviewed journals. The feedback you receive can help improve your research and ensure it is at the forefront of your field.

Though academic writing takes a lot of time and effort, Dr. He says his motivation for academic writing usually stems from a desire to contribute to the advancement of knowledge and understanding in a particular field. In his opinion, researchers and academics are often driven by curiosity, the pursuit of truth, and the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on their discipline. Academic writing allows scholars to communicate their research findings, theories, and insights with the rest of the academic community and the wider public. It provides a platform for sharing knowledge, sparking discussions, and encouraging further exploration. By engaging in academic writing, researchers can also strengthen their own understanding of a subject, refine their critical thinking skills, and enhance their ability to effectively communicate complex ideas. Additionally, academic writing is an integral part of the academic ecosystem. It is often a requirement for obtaining research funding, progressing in academic careers, and gaining recognition among peers. The process of writing itself can be intellectually stimulating and rewarding, as it involves synthesizing information, analyzing data, and presenting arguments in a coherent and logical manner. Despite the challenges and time commitment required, the potential impact and significance of contributing to the academic community provide a strong motivation for researchers to engage in academic writing.

At last, here are some reasons why Dr. He chooses to publish in JTD. First, Dr. He thinks that JTD focuses on areas such as pulmonary medicine, thoracic surgery, and cardiothoracic diseases. And his researcher's work is in these fields, and this journal would be a good fit. Second, JTD has robust peer-review processes, ensuring that published articles are scrutinized by experts in the field, which adds to the credibility of the research. Third, JTD is an open-access journal, meaning the articles are freely accessible to anyone. This can increase the visibility and impact of the researcher's work. Forth, the reach and readership of JTD: If the researcher wants to reach a specific audience—like clinicians or researchers focusing on heart diseases—then choosing a specialized journal like this one would make sense. Fifth, the excellent Editorial Board: The reputation and expertise of the editorial board can also be a factor in choosing this journal to publish his work.

(by Alisa Lu, Brad Li)

Christian Galata

Dr. Christian Galata is a thoracic surgery fellow at the University Medical Center Mainz, Germany. Before that, he completed his residency in general surgery at the Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Germany, and was a research fellow at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, Germany. Dr. Galata’s primary clinical focus is minimally invasive treatment of lung cancer (both VATS & RATS approaches). Furthermore, he has a special interest in chest wall sarcomas and thymoma surgery. His scientific interest has always been the evaluation of patient-specific risk factors, both in general and thoracic surgery, which ranges from the identification of biomarkers in molecular oncology in the wet lab to the investigation of clinical risk factors for perioperative complications. Now, Dr. Galata is working on prospective clinical trials to better understand patient outcomes with regard to ERAS concepts.

Being asked about what role academic writing plays in science, Dr. Galata says, “The importance of medical writing cannot be overstated. It not only serves to spread medical knowledge, but the short, clear and concise summary of scientific facts in the form of a paper also trains one's own analytical skills and shapes a scientific personality.

Academic writing often involves evidence synthesis. Here are the tips from Dr. Galata on selecting the appropriate evidence for synthesis and analysis: The first step in evidence synthesis is to define a clear research question for oneself. When compiling the evidence, one should proceed according to a clear procedure and not allow oneself to be misled by big names or impact factors.

An author must be self-critical and open-minded, think clearly, and be analytical. Put yourself in the reader's shoes. Stay curious and never give up!” says Dr. Galata.

(by Alisa Lu, Brad Li)

Xiaoyan Wang

Dr. Xiaoyan Wang serves as Melax Tech’s Chief Scientific Officer. As CSO, she focuses on translating scientific insights and health intelligence into partnerships and programs that improve healthcare outcomes for patients, providers, and researchers. Dr. Wang has spent two decades committed to driving innovations in AI modeling and transforming health care with data intelligence. She was most recently VP of Healthcare Analytics and Informatics and VP of Biopharma Solutions at Sema4 Mount Sinai Genomonic Inc, where she led the development of clinical evidence generation platforms and clinical research in oncology, immunology, cardiovascular, respiratory, and rare diseases. Before joining the biopharma industry, she was a faculty member and principal investigator at the University of Connecticut, UConn Health Center, and Mount Sinai Health Systems, bridging research health services, and teaching. She holds a BA in Biochemistry from Shandong University, an MA in Genetics from the University of Kansas, and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Informatics and NLP from Columbia University School of Medicine. Outside of work, Dr. Wang enjoys camping and hiking with her family and has visited close to 100 locations! Connect with Dr. Wang on LinkedIn.

To Dr. Wang, the essential elements of a well-conducted academic paper are innovation and originality, replicability, relevance, timeliness, and clarity. In addition, to avoid biases in writing, self-awareness, third-party review/peer review and references/sources are also important.

Speaking of why she chooses to publish in Journal of Thoracic Disease (JTD), Dr. Wang lists a few reasons:

  1. Relevance: The journal focuses on thoracic diseases, making it a suitable platform for professional research.
  2. Reputation: JTD is very well-regarded in its field, providing credibility to the published work.
  3. Open Access: The journal provides open access to its content, ensuring that the research can reach a wide audience without paywall restrictions.
  4. Peer Review: A rigorous peer-review process ensures that only high-quality research gets published, adding value to the author's work.
  5. Indexed: The journal is indexed in well-known databases, increasing the visibility of published articles and the likelihood of citations.

In the end, Dr. Wang would like to say a few words to encourage other academic writers who devote themselves to advancing scientific progress, “Our rigorous research and meticulous writing are the backbone of scientific progress. Even when the path seems challenging and recognition scarce, remember that our work forms the foundation for future discoveries. Your dedication illuminates the way for the next generation, pushing the boundaries of knowledge and understanding. Keep writing, keep questioning, and know that your contributions are invaluable.”

(By Alisa Lu, Brad Li)

Yousser Mohammad

Yousser Mohammad is a professor of pulmonary and the director of the Centre for Research on Chronic Respiratory Diseases. She is affiliated with Tishreen University, which collaborates with the Global Alliance Against Chronic Respiratory Disease. Her research and recent projects focus on the regional profile of asthma. Collaborating with the Global Asthma Network, she and her colleagues’ survey in schools published in JTD in May 2023 showed asthma to be prevalent during the war, underdiagnosed, and treated. They will launch a program for asthma in schools. And now, after the earthquake in February 2023, they focus on health impact and how to help people, with the assistance of Al-Sham Private University. She is also in collaboration with INSERM. Prof. Mohammad serves as an unpaid editorial board member of the GARD Section for JTD and a member of the Regional Committee of the UNION, where she will participate in the UNION World Bank project: On evaluating and updating asthma programmes and curriculum. She was the WHO Expert who worked on noncommunicable disease facility-based monitoring guidance: framework, indicators, and application in 2022. Learn more about Prof. Mohammad through her ResearchGate and Google Scholar.

Prof. Mohammad thinks academic writing is the best way to keep the scientific committee updated on the latest evidence and scientific knowledge. In addition, academic writing also gives a horizon for future research needed and offers ways to collaborate between teams. It could facilitate collaboration between developed and developing countries, which is a good opportunity for developing countries to be part of the international scientific community. This will help to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Honesty, ability to respect and follow guidelines for scientific journals; being scientifically updated and accepting dialog; and being familiar with Digital Intelligence,” says Prof. Mohammad when she is asked about the qualities an author should possess, “Authors should bear in mind that our writing is to help improve the medical knowledge, practice, and the health system if needed, and help the patients and the community participation.”

Academic writing often involves evidence synthesis. Prof. Mohammad has some tips on how to select the appropriate evidence for synthesis and analysis. In the methods section, one should list the statistical program one used. In the results section, first summarize the most relevant results. Then, perform a literature review on the subject, compare and highlight what the research or paper added and the limitations, and what should be done later as research.

Prof. Mohammad believes that it is important for research to apply for institutional review board (IRB) approval. To her, the IRB is an institutional committee, aiming at protection of human subjects in research and especially in clinical trials. The IRB is responsible for reviewing all studies involving human participants before initiation. The IRB is concerned with protecting the welfare, rights, and privacy of human subject participants. The IRB has the authority to approve, exempt, disapprove, monitor, and require modifications in all research activities. When the research project is accepted, the institution provides the ethical approval, and the researcher could apply for participant informed consent. Authors are expected to conduct their research in accordance with the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki. However, if IRB does not exist in the research institution, or if IRB regulations are not followed, consequences could include suspension of the research project. And the inability to use or non-acceptance by journals to publish research results. Although the number of IRBs is growing worldwide and now covers 113 countries, there is still a lack of resources and training in developing countries. Lastly, it is worth noting that one-third of African countries do not have IRBs.

(By Alisa Lu, Brad Li)

Bob P. Hermans

Bob P. Hermans currently is a PhD-candidate at the Department of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery at the Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. The focus of his research, under supervision of Prof. Ad Verhagen, Prof. Harry van Goor, Prof. Erik van der Heijden and Dr. Richard ten Broek, is on the translational analysis of a novel lung sealant in preclinical studies. Concurrently with his research, he has also been studying medicine in a MD-PhD track, with his final clinical rotations in Cardio-Thoracic Surgery before becoming a medical doctor. His scientific interests lay in the field of translational research, combining both clinical and scientific experience to ensure new technological innovations to benefit patients.

Bob believes academic writing plays a central role in the advancement of science. He thinks academic writing is the most important tool that we use to condense research findings, discuss hypotheses and mechanisms and communicate findings to other researchers. Through the process of writing, scientists are engaged to think critically about their findings, and improve understanding. It is mainly through written text that research fields are advanced, with each scientific paper playing a role in the advancement of a specific field. He continues to share that the body of relevant literature is vast and expanding, and it can be difficult for researchers to keep up with every new relevant study in the field. For this reason, he thinks it is important for researchers to view literature review as an integral part of their research, utilizing systematic review methodologies to identify and appraise all relevant literature. He points out, “By using such systematic review methodologies, researchers can be sure that they have identified all relevant prior knowledge to start building upon.”

Speaking of the importance of disclosure of Conflict of Interest (COI), Bob believes it is essential for authors to disclose all relevant COI that could potentially introduce unwanted biases into studies, for example, as in industry-funded research. “By being transparent about such relevant conflict of interests, it becomes easier for other researchers to identify possible biases and research gaps in prior studies, for example, when performing systematic reviews or meta-analysis on a certain topic,” shares he.

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Ari Moskowitz and Rithvik Balakrishnan

Ari Moskowitz, MD, MPH, FAHA, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the Director of the Moses Medical Intensive Care Unit, and the Director of Quality Improvement and Patient Safety in the Montefiore Division of Critical Care Medicine, the US. His research interest is in-hospital cardiac arrest, with a particular focus on pragmatic clinical trials and quality improvement. Dr. Moskowitz is the Vice-Chair of the American Heart Association Get With The Guidelines Research Task Force and is a member of the ILCOR Advanced Life Support Task Force and American Heart Association post-arrest guideline writing group. Connect with Dr. Moskowitz on Twitter/X.

Rithvik Balakrishnan, MD, an attending critical care physician at Saint Joseph University Hospital and Medical Center in New Jersey, the US, primarily cares for critically ill patients in the medical intensive care unit. He completed his post-graduate medical training in Emergency Medicine/Internal Medicine at SUNY Downstate/Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, and recently completed his fellowship training in Critical Care Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. His area of focus is the intersection between cardiac arrest and quality improvement. Connect with Dr. Balakrishnan on Twitter/X.

JTD: From your point of view, what do you regard as a good academic paper? What are the essential elements of a good academic paper?

Dr. Moskowitz and Dr. Balakrishnan: That’s a tough question! There are so many types of academic paper, and all have their place in the evidence ecosystem. At the least, an academic paper should identify a gap in the knowledge base and try to fill it. The paper should also be readable for a range of expertise and be free of bias. We find that review articles, which are incredibly useful to the busy clinicians keeping their practice up-to-date, are most helpful when they present data in an approachable way that is thoughtful of the overall clinical context.

JTD: Academic writing often involves evidence synthesis. Can you share tips on selecting the appropriate evidence for synthesis and analysis?

Dr. Moskowitz and Dr. Balakrishnan: This really depends on the type of academic writing. For our article, we tried to focus on the highest impact literature and concepts that we felt should be in the armamentarium of any critical care clinicians.

JTD: Data sharing is prevalent in scientific writing in recent years. Do you think it is crucial for authors to share their research data? And why?

Dr. Moskowitz and Dr. Balakrishnan: While research data are generated with a specific question in mind, it can also be retrospectively analyzed in order to answer a completely different question. An example of this would be the findings of Amato et al. regarding the importance of driving pressure and ARDS from a retrospective analysis of data from previous ARDS trials. This and other examples highlight the importance and potential benefits of sharing research data.

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Jean-Christophe Larose

Dr. Jean-Christophe Larose is French Canadian from Montreal, Canada. He is a general internist by background. He completed his intensive care medicine training in 2022, in addition to a fellowship in Recovery after Critical Care Illness at Guy’s and St-Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust in London, UK, in 2023. His clinical and research interests include necrotizing lung infections (short- and long-term outcomes), intensive care survivorship and quality improvement/patient safety. He now works as a Consultant Intensivist at the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal, Quebec, Canada. In the upcoming years, his career objectives will be to implement a post-intensive care clinic locally and to complete a master’s in quality improvement and patient safety. Connect with Dr. Larose on LinkedIn.

To Dr. Larose, the most important elements that define a good academic paper are its ability to fill a significant gap in the literature (hence making it pertinent for the clinicians), and the fact that its results can be applied to a broad selection of patients (generalizability). During the preparation of a paper, he thinks authors should be conscious to stick to the research question and should not attempt to extrapolate additional conclusions from the results. He further explains, “This can be tempting during the data analysis process, when we come across vague statistical signals and statistically significant differences.”

In recent years, with an exponential number of articles being published, data sharing has become crucial. Dr. Larose points out in order for the authors and journals to remain transparent, it is necessary for the readers to have access to the research data.

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Paul R. Walker

Dr. Paul R. Walker is a graduate of the Indiana University School of Medicine and Associate Professor Emeritus at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, USA, where he serves as Director of Thoracic Oncology and Director of the Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program. He currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer at Circulogene Theranostics. His published cancer research has focused on immune therapy dating back to IL-2, immune checkpoint blockade in combination with ablative radiation therapy, managing immune toxicities, oligometastatic treatment, and racial disparities in lung cancer treatment. His current research and educational efforts focus on the clinical utility of liquid biopsies in cancer treatment decision making across all stages of cancer.

JTD: How do you see academic writing? What roles does it take in scientific advancements?

Dr. Walker: Academic research and writing have become more important than ever. In cancer medicine, pharma research is driven by a group design and business agenda of drug approvals. No question that research is important, but all too often these studies leave oncologists with a laundry list of potential treatments that have been compared to sub-optimal treatment and not a comparison with a current best standard of care or how to best use a new therapy. Without academic scrutiny and thinking, these vitally important clinical and scientific questions will remain unquestioned and unanswered. Academic research and writing driven by the agenda of scientific inquiry and thinking are keys to answering these questions.

JTD: Science advances rapidly day by day. How do you ensure your writing is up-to-date and can give new insights to the field of research?

Dr. Walker: We are in an exciting boom age of cancer medicine advances. It leaves all of us with a paradox of that excitement balanced by the question of how to keep up-to-date. Any field of research requires an ongoing effort of career long active and systematic study. Reading peer-reviewed published manuscripts and presented data from society meetings is essential for keeping abreast and more importantly thinking through new insights provoked by new data. Fortunately, open access and the internet allow for research publications and meeting highlights to be easily accessible. A continual “re-” searching data as we think so often sparks new insight in our fields. Another very important local venue for thinking and keeping up-to-date is actively participating in multi-disciplinary disease focused conferences. One hears different questions and learns different perspectives from different disciplines sparking further research into those questions and perspectives resulting in different thinking and new insights.

JTD: Finally, let us have a discussion on Conflict of Interest (COI). Is it important for authors to disclose COI? To what extent would a COI influence a research?

Dr. Walker: Absolutely. COI can be subtle as well as direct. Institutional research funding is vital for research to be sustained, yet it often directly offsets part of an academic salary. All sources of support by a pharma or industry research study to an author or their institution on the study are essential to disclose. Financial support and gain to the recipient are occurring. Even in the most honest and ethical situations, that support and/or involvement can unknowingly and easily lead to individuals believing in and/or supporting a particular pharma drug or industry test because of the funding received and not based upon purely the science. “My study” becomes “my drug” that “I champion”. An author’s COI can greatly influence their presented interpretation and thus impact acceptance of research results.

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Satoshi Shiono

Dr. Satoshi Shiono graduated from Yamagata University School of Medicine in 1992, Japan. He received his PhD from the Department of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine of the same university. Following his fellowship in Thoracic Surgery at Yamagata University Hospital, he became Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Yamagata Prefectural Nihonkai Hospital in 2001. From 2002 to 2004, he served as a resident in the Division of Thoracic Oncology, of National Cancer Center Hospital East in Chiba, Japan. With the experience of being the chief of Thoracic Surgery at Yamagata Prefectural Central hospital, he has since then become the Associate Professor in the Department of Thoracic Surgery at the Faculty of Medicine in Yamagata University. Dr. Shiono’s medical interests include multi-disciplinary treatment for lung cancer, sublobar resection for lung cancer, surgical pathology, perioperative management, and pulmonary metastasis. Connect with Dr. Shiono on LinkedIn.

Academic writing often involves evidence synthesis. Dr. Shiono recommends attending as many medical congresses as possible in order to keep oneself abreast with the latest development. He shares, “By meeting experts in the field, we may be able to locate appropriate evidence for synthesis and analysis. Papers presented by experts in person and getting involved in discussions add a lot more context and understanding than just reading the paper.

The burden of being a doctor is heavy. Dr. Shiono has his own way to tackle the tough schedule. He usually makes use of the travelling time during a business trip to write scientific papers. Writing papers involves doing research and compiling of data, and that is, for him, usually done sporadically throughout the week.

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Nathaniel Deboever

Dr. Nathaniel Deboever is a General Surgery resident at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, Texas, USA. He earned his medical degree from the University of Sydney, Australia, and conducted a research sabbatically during his surgical residency at MD Anderson Cancer Center in the US with the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, following two years of clinical training. During that period, Dr. Deboever also completed a Master's degree in Clinical Research from the McGovern Medical School in the US. His research interests include translational work focused on immunotherapy in thoracic oncology, financial toxicity, and the surgical management of stage IV lung cancer.

JTD: From your point of view, why do we need academic writing? What is so important about it?

Dr. Deboever: The field of thoracic surgical oncology is characterized by its rapid evolution, leading to continuous shifts in the standard of care for individuals with thoracic malignancies. In light of this dynamic landscape, it is imperative to establish a robust system for promptly disseminating newly emerging evidence, particularly the outcomes of pivotal clinical trials. Academic writing, with its systematic and rigorous approach, serves as a vital conduit for communicating the findings of practice-altering research. For trainees, the ability to actively engage in and interpret academic writing is of immense value, as it equips them with the knowledge and skills necessary to make informed clinical decisions. This proficiency is particularly significant for aspiring academic surgeons, as it fosters their capacity to contribute to the evolving body of knowledge and advancements in the field.

JTD: Science advances rapidly day by day. How do you ensure your writing is up-to-date and can give new insights to the field of research?

Dr. Deboever: This is a really interesting question, given that the dissemination of evidence is known to take multiple years. It underscores the need for more efficient and up-to-date strategies for knowledge sharing. Valuable advice from my mentors has emphasized the importance of ensuring that my literature review, when composing a manuscript, remains current and reflective of the most recent findings. I strongly believe that participating in academic conferences can help being aware of incoming results.

JTD: Finally, let us have a discussion on Conflict of Interest (COI). Is it important for authors to disclose COI? To what extent would a COI influence a research?

Dr. Deboever: Indeed, the funding of research by both public and private entities is a common practice and can be beneficial for scientific progress. However, it is imperative that any potential COI are meticulously disclosed and transparently addressed within the manuscript. This disclosure is essential to provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of the study's financial associations and any potential biases that could influence the interpretation of the results. It contributes to the overall integrity and credibility of the research.

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Hiroyuki Tsuchida

Dr. Hiroyuki Tsuchida is a medical staff member of the Division of Thoracic Surgery, at the Respiratory Disease Center at Seirei Mikatahara General Hospital, Japan. He earned his medical degree from the University of Yamagata in Japan, and completed the initial clinical training at Nihonkai General Hospital, Yamagata, Japan. His research areas include imaging non-invasive cancer, prognostic factors and indications for sublobar resection in early-stage lung cancer, and indications for extended surgery in locally advanced lung cancer. Additionally, he is currently participating in a multicenter study about postoperative prognosis for EGFR mutations and sublobar resection.

To Dr. Tsuchida, good academic papers are written based on norms such as communism, universalism, disinterestedness, and organized skepticism. These are important in determining whether the paper is of high quality, and are extremely important in gaining the trust of researchers who are expected to expand human knowledge and contribute to society. He believes that academic authors should pay close attention to the evidence that is rapidly evolving and accumulating day by day, and create appropriate research designs by fully examining previous research. He continues, “In academic papers and research, it is important for authors and researchers to constantly check the accuracy and reproducibility of data. In order to provide new insights based on clear scientific evidence, it is necessary to maintain a constant interest in the research field.”

Speaking of research data sharing, Dr. Tsuchida thinks it is very important in academic writing. On the one hand, it ensures the transparency of the research results which is of great significance; on the other hand, data sharing may yield more clinically meaningful results. He says in particular, when meta-analysis is performed, the results obtained will vary depending on whether personal data are available or not, as well as differences in the analysis population and the method applied. He explains, “Personal data are required to apply to slightly complex models such as the hierarchical models. Furthermore, subgroup analysis for examining the generalizability, which is one of the important purposes of meta-analysis, cannot be actually performed without personal data.”

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Supparerk Disayabutr

Associate Professor Supparerk Disayabutr, MD, is a pulmonologist. He works as an instructor at the Division of Respiratory Disease and Tuberculosis, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine of Siriraj Hospital, at Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand. His professional interests primarily focus on interventional pulmonology and interstitial lung disease. He graduated as a Diplomate of the Thai Board of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine from the Faculty of Medicine of Siriraj Hospital in 2008. In 2015, he completed a Research Fellowship in the Interstitial Lung Disease Program at the University of California, in the US. He has held the position of the Head of the Assembly of Interstitial Lung Disease and Occupational and Environmental Lung Disease at the Thoracic Society of Thailand under Royal Patronage since 2021.

Prof. Disayabutr thinks that a good academic paper is characterized by several essential elements that contribute to its quality and effectiveness, including a clear research question and objective, a robust methodology with reliable analysis and thoughtful interpretation. In preparing for an academic paper, he usually begins with formulating a clear research question and defining the population of interest. He shares that this initial step sets the direction for the research and ensures a focused investigation. Conducting a comprehensive literature review is also essential to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the context of prior work in the field. These early stages are critical for laying the foundation of a well-structured and informative academic paper that has the potential to contribute new information and knowledge.

Prof. Disayabutr points out that it is very important for authors to follow reporting guidelines such as CONSORT or PRISMA during the preparation of manuscripts. He explains, “These guidelines are developed to enhance the transparency, quality, and reliability of research reporting across different fields.”

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Masatoshi Hanada

Dr. Masatoshi Hanada is a chief physical therapist at Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Nagasaki University Hospital, Japan. He graduated from Nagasaki Rehabilitation College, Faculty of Physical Therapy in 2004, and obtained the PhD in Department of Infectious Diseases Unit of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in 2016. After that, he served as a visiting researcher at Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto, Canada between 2017 and 2018. His research areas are pulmonary rehabilitation for patients with respiratory disease, perioperative patients who underwent mainly thoracic and abdominal surgery, and critical ill patients in intensive care unit. He has authored or co-authored several articles in the area of respiratory and rehabilitation medicine, and over 20 peer-reviewed research articles have been published. Recently, his clinical practice and research work mainly focus on sarcopenia and frailty in patients with chronic respiratory diseases. Learn more about Dr. Hanada on ResearchMap and ResearchGate.

To write academic articles, Dr. Hanada thinks the most important thing to do is to go with the trend of science which advances rapidly, and always collect new information. Further, he thinks it is crucial to pursue daily clinical questions, participate in academic conferences positively and read latest research papers to keep one’s knowledge current.

It is difficult to find plenty of time to write papers during clinical practices. Sometimes I have to use my personal time. As I have another position as a visiting researcher in our university, I have a triple task: research, teaching and clinical practice,” says Dr. Hanada.

From an author’s perspective, Dr. Hanada highlights that it is important for researcher to follow the reporting guidelines (e.g. STROBE, TREND), because they improve the quality of research. Reporting guidelines play a significant role in academic research by securing the quality for study protocol and results of research, establishing validity and reducing bias.

(by Zhixin Xie, Brad Li)

Michael R. Gooseman

Dr. Michael R. Gooseman is a consultant thoracic surgeon at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in the United Kingdom. He undertakes robotic surgery with an interest in robotic segmentectomy. He is also a consultant for the hospital’s major trauma team with a further interest in thoracic trauma. He founded and chairs the European Society Thoracic Surgeons thoracic trauma working group. He is an honorary senior lecturer at Hull York Medical School. A current interest is in the non-operative aspects of chest trauma ensuring that processes and protocols are aligned to ensure the highest levels of patient care. Visit Dr. Gooseman’s homepage for more information.

The process of academic writing, in Dr. Gooseman’s opinion, requires considerable thought and attention to detail. It frequently requires review of large levels of information including numerous manuscripts and large levels of data. The involvement in appraising and reviewing academic work and then contributing with one’s own work can collectively lead to improvements in factors such as surgical care, surgical technique and surgical outcomes which all ultimately benefit the patients.

A key skill of an author, according to Dr. Gooseman, is the ability to convey potentially complex ideas in a clear manner. This is an important part of ensuring the reader understands and appreciates the messages that are being shared. It also ensures that messages are not misinterpreted which is of paramount importance. Equally important is ensuring the writing is done objectively and that any ideas are formed using evidence and data. Then more generally is ensuring a good flow to what is written – having a clear structure with good connection between paragraphs ensuring that it is a good experience for the reader to follow and understand.

We all want to ensure the highest levels of academic integrity and following reporting guidelines can help with this. In Dr. Gooseman’s opinion, guidelines, such as STROBE and CONSORT, focus on the way in which studies are reported clearly with the intention of ensuring the correct message is obtained. Additionally, the peer-review process is critical and these guidelines can support in this regard.

I am very motivated to continually ensure I am providing the highest standards of patient care. Of course this comes from ensuring clinical excellence and there are many components that compromise this but being up to date and using evidence-based medicine as possible is very important. The process of writing requires familiarity and review of relevant literature that itself contributes to ongoing professional learning. Highlighting aspects of clinical care that are contributing to improved patient care is important. Equally reporting instances where things have not gone as hoped or planned is important for learning. Ultimately, I believe that academic writing and endeavour is one aspect contributing to the provision of the highest standards of patient care,” says Dr. Gooseman.

(by Brad Li, Zhixin Xie)

Paula Duarte D’Ambrosio

Paula Duarte D'Ambrosio, a thoracic surgery graduate from the University of São Paulo (USP), has emerged as a prominent figure in the field. After completing her degree, she became chief resident in thoracic surgery at USP under Prof. Paulo Pêgo's supervision. Currently a fellow in thoracic oncology at USP, she is set to start a fellowship with the ESTS- in collaboration with the WTS. Demonstrating deep commitment to academia, Paula is a member of the Thoracic Oncology Research Group, led by Prof. Dr. Ricardo Terra. Her significant contributions focus on surgical treatment for lung cancer and infectious pulmonary diseases. Notably, she played a key role in a recent publication titled "Practice patterns and trends in surgical treatment for chronic lung infections: a survey from the Brazilian Society of Thoracic Surgery" led by Dr. Alessandro Mariani. Additionally, Paula aims to contribute to the Brazilian Registry of Lung Cancer, currently led by Ph.D. Leticia Lauricella. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Academic writing is an integral component of the scientific process. It not only communicates research findings but also plays a pivotal role in knowledge validation, building on existing research, professional development, and fostering global collaboration within the scientific community. Paula’s contributions to academic writing underscore her commitment to advancing the field of thoracic surgery and contributing to the collective knowledge in science.

Minimizing biases, including gender bias, is essential for writing that maintains credibility and objectivity. In Paula’s opinion, writers should cultivate self-awareness, question assumptions, and actively incorporate diverse perspectives, particularly related to gender. Employing neutral language, balancing viewpoints, and transparently declaring personal biases contribute to creating an inclusive narrative. Regular reviews and adherence to ethical guidelines further enhance the overall fairness of the writing.

Data sharing is prevalent in scientific writing in recent years. While data sharing offers numerous advantages, Paula believes it is essential to have ethical and privacy considerations. Authors should ensure that data sharing complies with relevant ethical guidelines and respects the privacy and confidentiality of research participants. Finding a balance between openness and protecting individual rights is crucial in fostering a responsible and effective data-sharing culture in scientific research.

To all academic writers, your dedication to advancing scientific knowledge is appreciated. Your work shapes our understanding of the world, inspiring innovation. Despite challenges, your contributions, no matter how small, build the foundation of human knowledge. Stay resilient and passionate in navigating academia. Keep sharing findings, challenging assumptions, and pushing boundaries. Your efforts make a lasting impact, shaping a brighter future,” says Paula.

(by Brad Li, Zhixin Xie)

Kim Styrvoky

Kim Styrvoky, MD, FCCP, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center and a member of its Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. She serves as the Medical Director of Interventional Pulmonary at UT Southwestern, and the Medical Director of Bronchoscopy and Lung Diagnostics Clinic at Parkland Health. Her clinical focus is interventional pulmonology with an interest in lung nodules, robotic-assisted bronchoscopy, and advanced diagnostic and therapeutic bronchoscopy. Dr. Styrvoky holds a bachelor's degree in biochemistry and history from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, where she graduated summa cum laude. She earned her medical degree at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, and completed residency training in internal medicine at UT Southwestern, where she also received advanced training through a fellowship program in pulmonary and critical care medicine followed by training in interventional pulmonary. Connect with Dr. Styrvoky on LinkedIn

As a clinician-educator engaged in clinical research, Dr. Styrvoky believes that academic writing plays an important role in the advancement of science and medicine. Through academic writing, knowledge can be shared with the medical community of advances, which changes clinical practice and impacts patients care.

Dr. Styrvoky reckons that the most important quality for an academic writer is curiosity and passion. In her opinion, these writers should be able to use critical thinking and analytical skills in reviewing the current literature to become an expert on the topic, so that they can identify potential knowledge gaps and identify areas for research. She further explains, “During writing, they have time management skills to efficiently write and communicate ideas clearly in an organized, cohesive manner. An academic author welcomes feedback during the writing process to improve their manuscript.

Speaking of the reason for publishing in Journal of Thoracic Disease (JTD), Dr. Styrvoky says, “JTD is a large, international journal with a rigorous peer-review process that allows for open access publication, which increases the opportunity for clinicians, researchers or even patients to have access and be able to read manuscripts.

Lastly, regarding the obtainment of institutional review board (IRB) approval for original research, Dr. Styrvoky thinks it is essential as it ensures that the rights, welfare, and privacy of human participants are protected.

(by Christie Lv, Brad Li)

Noy Meshulami

Noy Meshulami is a medical student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Prior to medical school, Noy worked at McKinsey, a consultancy, Providence Private Equity, and BlackRock, an investment management firm. After gaining experience in the business world, he wanted to transition his career to one that primarily focuses on helping others. Since beginning his medical studies, Noy has published papers in the fields of congenital heart disease, pediatric extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), and lung cancer.

In Noy’s opinion, the academic writing process has three stages, each with its own difficulties: The first, which is potentially the hardest, is to find a research question that is both answerable and has the potential to improve patient care once answered. He often leverages the clinical experience of his co-authors to identify promising research questions. Once a question has been identified and answered, it is critical to articulate the key findings, while striking a balance between simplicity and detail. He finds that a well-designed chart can quickly convey the key message while enabling the reader to dive into the details. Finally, for the writing to be impactful, practitioners need to read the findings. Eliciting the readers’ interest by properly framing the clinical relevance of the question being answered and publishing in widely accessible journals can increase readership.

To ensure the writing is up-to-date and provides new insights, Noy conducts an in-depth literature search on PubMed before writing a publication, focusing on the latest findings. Conducting a robust literature review ensures that he is working towards filling an existing knowledge gap and that he frames his findings in the context of the latest literature.

Speaking of the fascinating thing about academic writing, Noy thinks academic writing provides the opportunity to take complex data and synthesize them into insights that can positively influence patient care. For him, academic writing allows him to apply the analytical and communication skills he developed during his business career to help advance medical knowledge and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

On the importance of Conflict of Interest (COI) disclosure, Noy thinks both public institutions and for-profit companies are instrumental in bringing medical innovations to patients. He adds, “However, well-intentioned authors are in both realms, funding sources, career considerations, and the desire to be right could introduce a level of unconscious bias into both the research and how it is communicated. Therefore, it is critical for authors to disclose any COI so that the readers can judge for themselves the context under which the authors were operating.

(by Christie Lv, Brad Li)

A. Justin Rucker

Dr. A. Justin Rucker is a general surgery resident at Duke University Medical Center. He is currently within his academic development time, during which he has been pursuing a PhD in Immunology. His primary research interest is in better understanding innate immune mechanisms for tumor restriction in hopes of finding ways to leverage them therapeutically. Clinically, he is interested in thoracic surgical oncology, particularly lung cancer, and lung transplantation. Connect with Dr. Rucker on X @AJustinRucker2.

The way Dr. Rucker sees it, academic writing is critical because one’s work cannot be meaningful if no peers know about it. Through writing, one can reach more people than he/she can with a talk for example. “It is also important because people may not understand all the nuisances of the methods you employ, but if you write effectively, you can still get your overall message out to the public,” he adds.

To avoid biases in one’s writing, Dr. Rucker points out that one way is to prospectively take inventory of what one’s potential biases may be. It is hard to avoid biases if one has not thought about what they are. To him, peer review and being open to feedback is another way to avoid biases. Having that outside perspective can help one recognize biases that one may not be conscious of.

In Dr. Rucker’s opinion, disclosing Conflicts of Interest (COIs) is also important in reducing biases. Even in best case, COIs could create a bias in how data are interpreted. Therefore, it is important for potential conflicts to be disclosed to give the readers the full picture of how the authors’ conclusions are being made so that they may more effectively draw their own conclusions about the data.

To encourage other academic writers who have been devoting themselves to advancing scientific progress, Dr. Rucker says, “Like any other skill, effective writing takes practice and so just keep persisting and trying to get better.”

(by Brad Li, Zhixin Xie)

Dong Jung Kim

Prof. Dong Jung Kim graduated from Seoul National University College of Medicine and received a Doctor of Medicine degree. He is board-certified for both cardiothoracic surgery and critical care. He is currently affiliated with the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, where he works as a surgical intensivist in the cardiac surgical ICU. His primary areas of research include surgical critical care, ECMO, and critical care ultrasonography. Some of his recent research projects include clinical studies on the impact of attending intensivists on patients' clinical outcomes and animal experiments in a porcine model applying peripheral VA-ECMO to investigate the effects of transaortic LV venting.

Prof. Kim believes that academic writing plays a crucial role in the field of science by sharing new research findings and knowledge, contributing to academic advancement. It particularly serves the purpose of systematically documenting research results and conveying essential information to enable other researchers to validate and build upon our discoveries.

To avoid biases, Prof. Kim highlights that it is important to maintain an objective and scientific approach during research design, data collection, and analysis. Additionally, conducting a systematic and thorough literature review to establish connections with previous research and considering diverse opinions and perspectives are essential in interpreting results without biases.

Disclosure of Conflict of Interest (COI) is of utmost importance, according to Prof. Kim, in enhancing transparency and credibility in research. While the impact of COI on research may vary depending on the circumstances, it is crucial to be mindful of its potential influence on the conclusions of future research studies.

Our medical research can have a positive and huge impact on humanity as a whole. Our efforts and dedication contribute to the development of new knowledge and therapies, ultimately enhancing the overall health of humanity,” says Prof. Kim.

(by Brad Li, Zhixin Xie)

Hisashi Oishi

Dr. Hisashi Oishi, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Thoracic Surgery at Tohoku University Hospital, Sendai, Japan, is a prominent figure in the fields of lung transplantation and robotic-assisted thoracic surgery. After earning his medical degree from Fukushima Medical University in 2001, he completed his PhD at Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine in 2007. His international experience includes a tenure as a research and clinical fellow at the University Health Network, University of Toronto, Canada. Dr. Oishi's dedication to lung transplantation research, evident from his PhD and fellowship work, has resulted in significant contributions to both basic and clinical research in the field. Since returning to Japan in 2016, he has not only been a pivotal part of Tohoku University Hospital's lung transplant program, but also spearheaded its robotic-assisted thoracic surgery program. His recent research focuses on understanding and diagnosing chronic lung allograft dysfunction post-transplantation.

In Dr. Oishi’s view, the cornerstone of a good academic paper is a well-defined thesis or research question that guides the entire study. This should be supported by robust methodology, ensuring that the research approach is sound and replicable. Equally important is a thorough understanding and accurate interpretation of the results, which should be discussed in the context of a comprehensive literature review. This not only situates the study within the broader field but also highlights its unique contributions. Finally, the paper must effectively communicate its findings and implications to the readers, bridging the gap between complex research and accessible knowledge. A paper that excels in these areas can significantly contribute to its field and engage a wider academic audience.

In academic writing, particularly for evidence synthesis, Dr. Oishi advocates a systematic approach to literature searching. This method ensures a comprehensive and unbiased selection of relevant studies. He believes it is crucial to be cognizant of the limitations present in each study, as this awareness informs a more nuanced and accurate interpretation of the results. Additionally, while synthesizing findings from various sources, he exercises caution to ensure that the conclusions drawn are logically derived from the evidence and not overly speculative. This discipline in selecting and analyzing evidence helps in maintaining the integrity and credibility of the research.

From Dr. Oishi's perspective, research seeking Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval is essential for upholding ethical standards in research, including participant protection and informed consent. Skipping this step can lead to ethical breaches and legal issues, and may result in academic journals rejecting the study. The IRB's role is to ensure research integrity, and its absence compromises both the study's credibility and the researcher's reputation.

Indeed, juggling the dual roles of a scientist and a doctor presents a significant challenge, especially when it comes to finding time for academic writing. My approach involves dedicating time early in the morning to research and writing, before my clinical duties begin. I find that this time of day, when my mind is freshest, is most conducive to creative thinking and productive writing. This routine not only allows me to harness my best ideas but also ensures a consistent commitment to my research endeavors, despite the demanding nature of clinical work. It's a matter of carving out these quiet, focused periods where academic pursuits can thrive alongside professional responsibilities,” says Dr. Oishi.

(by Zhixin Xie, Brad Li)

Ren Onodera

Ren Onodera is a PhD-candidate in the Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Iwate Medical University School of Medicine. In addition, he also works as a pharmacist at Department of Pharmacy, Iwate Medical University Hospital. His research area is in chemotherapy for various cancer types, mainly lung cancer. Currently, he is utilizing his professional skills as a pharmacist to search for optimal supportive care, focusing on the side effects of chemotherapy. Learn more about Ren’s work here.

Speaking of the commonly encountered difficulties in academic writing, Ren points out that one, first, has to understand and strictly follow the grammar and structure rules. The most difficult parts of academic writing are those placed at the opposite ends of the paper (the introduction and the conclusion). Each of these sets the scene and brings the whole piece of work together, and is important in shaping the reader's impression of the work. Authors must have the abilities to express their written ideas creatively and concisely. Creative writing grabs the reader's attention. At the same time, however, easy-to-read and understandable language must be an author's top priority.

On the importance for research to apply for institutional review board (IRB) approval, Ren indicates that the IRB's primary role is to oversee research to ensure that it is ethical and that human research subjects are adequately protected from physical and mental harm. If we omit this, we run the risk of conducting research without the informed consent of the research subjects, thereby failing to ensure safety and ethical aspects of the research and losing the trust of the research subjects.

Regardless of your field of study, academic writing helps you build arguments, communicate ideas, and participate in academic conversations. It is a skill you will want to acquire in order to get the most out of your academic career,” says Ren.

(by Brad Li, Zhixin Xie)

Ara A. Chrissian

Dr. Ara A. Chrissian is a board-certified interventional pulmonologist, Associate Professor of Medicine, and has served as the Director of Adult Bronchoscopy and Interventional Pulmonology at Loma Linda University Health in Loma Linda, California, USA, since 2012. He has clinical and research interests in advanced bronchoscopy and managing thoracic complications of cancer. He oversees the Loma Linda University Health’s lung cancer screening program and thoracic oncology clinic, which has the primary intake for focal thoracic disease at the institution. He is also heavily involved in regional and national educational activities, including procedural training and program development. His personal interests include sports and fitness, history, philosophy, and animal causes.

Speaking of the commonly encountered difficulties in academic writing, Dr. Chrissian points out that the process of scientific communication, from study design to reporting, is quite laborious. An effective study team must incorporate a savvy and efficient infrastructure, including coordinators, statisticians and even financial advisors. A poorly designed or coordinated study is likely to falter before completion. From his perspective, manuscript writing is the easiest part. However, the peer-review process can sometimes be discouraging due to differing priorities of given journals and the heterogeneity of reviewers. Nevertheless, this is also the strength of academia, as peer-review remains perhaps the most essential component of incorporating and maintaining the diversity and integrity of scientific thought.

In Dr. Chrissian’s opinion, in addition to having a good command of language and communication, an academic author must be able to properly synthesize and structure the material they are presenting while being mindful of the target audience. This enhances the opportunity for readers to understand and digest the topic and maximizes the effectiveness of the paper.

From Dr. Chrissian’s perspective, having a structured approach to study design and data reporting is essential to maintaining the consistency and integrity of scientific communication. This is accomplished by abiding by the reporting guidelines (e.g. STROBE, CONSORT).

Expertise in the medical field has three pillars: 1. Clinical experience, 2. scholarly activity and 3. education (the ability to effectively communicate and convey the first two). Thus, writing in academia serves both selfish and altruistic purposes. It helps establish and solidify one’s expertise in a given field while contributing potentially new and transformative knowledge to the medical community. Humanity, medicine included, only advances through an effective exchange of ideas,” says Dr. Chrissian.

(by Zhixin Xie, Brad Li)

Jenna Aziz

Dr. Jenna Aziz is currently an integrated cardiothoracic surgery resident at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. She is originally from the DC area and attended medical school at Howard University College of Medicine. Her clinical interests include cardiac and thoracic transplantation as well as adult aortic surgery. Her most unique accomplishment includes the publication of two children’s books including ‘Your Heart’ and ‘Henry the Hypoplastic Hippo’. While she has published in the field of cardiac transplantation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation - Journal of Thoracic Disease has provided the opportunity to further her knowledge in various topics pertaining to thoracic surgery. Connect with Dr. Aziz on X @Jennaaziz1.

Producing quality academic writing, according to Dr. Aziz, is the most commonly encountered difficulties in academic writing – at this time in academic medicine, there is a constant push to publish which can at times sacrifice quality of writing while increasing quantity of publications. Therefore, she believes it is important for authors to bear in mind curiosity and a dedication to furthering the knowledge base of one’s field.

Academic writing is unique because it involves a continuous push to answer critical clinical questions. As soon as one answers one question pertaining to their field, another one may arise. It also emphasizes the importance of collaboration to further academic medicine,” says Dr. Aziz.

(by Brad Li, Zhixin Xie)

Audrey L. Khoury

Audrey Khoury, MD, MPH, is a 5th year integrated cardiothoracic surgery resident at the University of North Carolina (UNC) in Chapel Hill. She obtained her BS (Biology)/AB (Music) degrees from Duke University and MD/MPH degrees from UNC. Her research interests include ERAS pathway outcomes in thoracic surgery, serious mental illness affecting hospital length of stay in lung cancer resections, and role of immunotherapy in the management of esophageal cancer patients treated with neoadjuvant chemoradiation. She also enjoys creating “how to do it” videos and recently published a video paper of “FlatWire Sternal Closure System technique for median sternotomy closure” in the Journal of Thoracic Disease. Connect with Dr. Khoury on X @AudreyLKhoury.

Dr. Khoury thinks that good academic papers must be well-written and answer a focused scientific question, which should be clearly stated in the introduction section. The study must detail a well-planned research design in the methods section and take into account the various confounding factors that may affect outcomes. In addition, strengths, limitations, and future directions should be discussed in the conclusions. When selecting appropriate evidence for synthesis and analysis, it is very important to critically appraise each paper and examine the paper for any bias, which can affect outcomes and conclusions of the paper.

During her MPH, Dr. Khoury learned about many of the reporting guidelines (e.g. TREND, CONSORT). Speaking of the importance to follow these guidelines during preparation of manuscript, she holds a positive attitude, “These reporting guidelines can serve as a useful checklist while writing academic papers such as a systematic review or meta-analysis. These guidelines also allow journal reviewers to review papers in a systematic fashion.”

(by Christie Lv, Brad Li)

Dawn E. Jaroszewski

Dawn E. Jaroszewski, M.D., is a professor and full-time consultant in the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. She is the former Chair of Thoracic Surgery and currently serves as the Director of the Mayo Clinic Chest Wall and Thoracic Surgery Program, the largest volume adult pectus treatment site in North America. Dr. Jaroszewski is dedicated to sharing her knowledge with the world and has been involved in numerous research projects and publications in peer-reviewed journal articles, abstracts, and books. Her primary research focus over the past decade has been in pectus excavatum and the cardiovascular implications of the disease. She has a database of over 1,000 intraoperative transthoracic echocardiograms performed before and after pectus excavatum repairs for which she and her research team are documenting the cardiac benefits of the surgical repair. Dr. Jaroszewski serves as a member of the editorial boards for Journal Clinics in Surgery – Thoracic Surgery, World Journal of Respirology; Journal of Visualized Surgery; Journal of Thoracic Disease; guest editor for Frontier in Surgery and is a reviewer for numerous prominent publications. She is also a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and an active member in the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. She is an executive member of the Chest Wall International Group and President elect. Connect with Dr. Jaroszewski on LinkedIn and Instagram @Dr.jaroszewski_pectus and @Dawnjaroszewskimd.

Dr. Jaroszewski believes there are two major difficulties in academic writing. First, she thinks editing is always an issue. A well-written, properly edited paper is important. She remembers early in her career when she submitted a paper, which was rejected with the comment “The author should have an English-speaking editor revise and correct the grammar of the paper”. She says, “Goodness, I am English speaking. I guess my grammar needs some work and my high school English teacher would be ashamed of me.” Nonetheless, she believes it was a good lesson for her, and reminded her to proofread her own work every time in the future.

The second difficulty Dr. Jaroszewski encounters is when one is trying to say too many things in one paper or imposing the opinion versus facts. Trying to present too many objectives or outcomes in the same paper may lose the point. It is better to divide and conquer than cram everything into one long paper. “In academic writing, please stick to facts. Scientific writing is about facts, not your opinion. Discussion should include facts but not bias,” adds she.

To ensure one’s writing is up-to-date, Dr. Jaroszewski holds the view that one must constantly read and keep up to date on what is being published. She constantly searches PubMed and has ResearchGate send her updates in her field. Having memberships in specialty groups such as the Chest Wall International Group also helps to interact with some of the world's best surgeons and researchers in a certain field.

At last, Dr. Jaroszewski kindly says a few words to encourage other academic writers, “Never be discouraged when your paper is rejected from a journal. Take the reviewer’s criticisms and recommendations and incorporate them into your manuscript and try again. I have had papers rejected 6-8 times before they were finally accepted, and each rejection made the paper better. It can be discouraging but never give up!

(by Christie Lv, Brad Li)

Sunghoon Park

Sunghoon Park, MD, PhD, is the Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine at the Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, and the Director of ICUs at Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital. He is a member of the Korean Association of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease (KATRD), and Director of the Standardization Committee, The Korean Society of Critical Care Medicine (KSCCM). His research area is in sepsis, ECMO, and NIV in acute respiratory failure. Currently, he is participating in the Korean Sepsis Registry.

In Dr. Park’s view, there are several things authors have to bear in mind during preparation of a paper. First, they need to find or write something different, compared to the results of previous studies. Second, conclusions and rationale inferences should be based on their own research data. Finally, they need to show a professionalism or expertise when writing papers. And the paper should not be like an essay.

On the prevalence of data sharing in scientific writing in recent years, Dr. Park believes that the sharing of data can improve the reliability of a research’s data or study results. Besides, it may help clinicians to generate new ideas and perform larger-sized studies. Therefore, he advocates researchers to share their research data.

(by Brad Li, Christie Lv)

Takashi Hirama

Dr. Hirama is a pioneering transplant physician specializing in lung transplantation in Japan. He is currently affiliated with the Division of Organ Transplantation at Tohoku University Hospital. After graduating from Saitama Medical University, he underwent basic and clinical training in Canada at the Hospital for Sick Children, the Toronto General Hospital, and the Toronto Western Hospital. Dr. Hirama is highly skilled in the care of lung transplant recipients and the management of refractory infections, including those caused by non-tuberculous mycobacteria or multidrug-resistant pathogens. Additionally, he conducts molecular biology research on respiratory infections and cell biology research on phagocytes. Dr. Hirama founded the Tohoku Society for Lung Transplantation and remains actively engaged in promoting public awareness of lung transplantation. More information can be found here.

Dr. Hirama thinks academic writing is the primary means by which scientists and scholars share their work with the world. It enables them to build on the work of others, test new ideas, and advance knowledge, especially in the transplant field. Academic writing fosters engagement with other scholars, contributing to the ongoing discussion of vital ideas. Research on lung transplantation is not conducted everywhere, and without such sharing, development is not possible. By publishing in academic journals, scientists and scholars can share their ideas, receive feedback, and learn from others.

From Dr. Hirama’s perspective, critical writing involves a thoughtful and analytical approach. To ensure critical writing, one should actively engage with the material, question assumptions, assess evidence, consider alternative perspectives, and construct well-reasoned arguments. Demonstrating a deep understanding of the subject matter and integrating diverse sources fosters a nuanced and reflective stance.

Dr. Hirama finds the motivation for engaging in rigorous academic writing arises from the aspiration to significantly contribute to the field of transplant studies. The pursuit of knowledge, the potential to influence academic discourse, and the opportunity to communicate research findings to a broader audience serve as compelling drivers. In clinical settings, they recognize that lifesaving interventions in lung transplantation are currently limited. “Through academic writing, scientists and scholars envision the potential to save more lives in the future. The intrinsic satisfaction of academic research lies in realizing its role beyond our presence, serving as a means to rescue the next generation of researchers and patients,” he adds.

In addition, Dr. Hirama thinks that adherence to reporting guidelines is crucial for authors. Guidelines such as STROBE and PRISMA enhance the transparency, rigor, and reproducibility of research. Following these guidelines ensures that manuscripts are structured in a standardized and comprehensive manner, enabling readers and reviewers to evaluate and replicate studies accurately. This adherence not only strengthens the reliability of research but also contributes to the overall credibility and integrity of academic publications. He takes lung transplantation as an example, “Research on lung transplantation, even with a limited number of cases, falls under these guidelines and is by no means an exception.”

(by Christie Lv, Brad Li)

Sze Shyang Kho

Dr. Sze Shyang Kho is an internal medicine physician and pulmonologist from Sarawak General Hospital, Kuching, Malaysia. He completed his primary medical training in 2010 and attained Membership in the Royal College of Physician (MRCP) in 2014. He completed his national respiratory medicine fellowship in 2021 and attained the European Respiratory Society (ERS) Diploma in Adult Respiratory Medicine in the same year. He was the recipient of the prestigious ERS Clinical Training Fellowship in which he underwent further training in interstitial lung disease at Royal Brompton Hospital, United Kingdom and also the Asian Pacific Society of Respirology (APSR) Training Scholarship for fellowship in advanced respiratory endoscopy in National Cancer Center Hospital, Japan. Dr. Kho’s research interests include interventional pulmonology, interstitial lung disease and pleural diseases. His research works have been published in various international and local peer-reviewed journals. More information about Dr. Kho can be found here.

Dr. Kho stresses that a high-quality academic paper integrates various crucial elements, beginning with a meticulously crafted research question and hypothesis. He explains these foundational components serve as guiding principles, ensuring the study makes a meaningful contribution to the existing body of knowledge. Originality takes precedence, as the paper should ideally introduce fresh ideas, innovative methodologies, or novel findings that significantly enhance the understanding of the studied field. Moreover, a commendable paper extends beyond merely addressing a clinical problem; it should act as a catalyst for future research. Additionally, it should pave the way for future investigations by suggesting specific directions that could further advance the research domain. In essence, a high-quality academic paper is not only a culmination of current findings but also a springboard for future inquiry, embodying the dynamic and progressive nature of scholarly pursuits.

There are some qualities that Dr. Kho thinks an author should possess. First, a capable author in the clinical field stands out by recognizing evidence gaps in practice and conducting targeted research for better evidence-based care. Outside academia, a commendable author consistently does self-audits, maintains a passion for learning, and uses critical reflection for research and improvement insights. Besides, Time management is crucial, requiring clinicians to balance busy work schedules with research and writing priorities. He stresses it is vital to always remember that research and data are the bedrock of clinical medicine, playing a fundamental role in advancing patient care and contributing to broader medical understanding. The key qualities an author should possess include awareness of evidence gaps, a commitment to improvement, effective time management, and a solid grasp of the role of research in clinical practice.

I chose to publish in the Journal of Thoracic Disease (JTD) due to its strong reputation, particularly in the field of thoracic diseases, which aligns directly with my research interests,” says Dr. Kho, “The open-access publication model ensures increased visibility for our work, reaching a wider audience. Importantly, the smooth peer-review process, prompt and helpful responses from the editorial board members, and the swift publication timeline make JTD an ideal platform for efficiently disseminating our research.”

(by Sasa Zhu, Brad Li)

Abey S. Abraham

Abey Abraham is currently an Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine Fellow at Cleveland Clinic Main Campus, USA. He received his medical degree from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom in 2016. He subsequently worked in the NHS doing his Foundation Year Training. He pursued an Anesthesiology Residency at Cleveland Clinic (2018-2022), where he had the honour of serving as Chief Resident. This was followed by an Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology Fellowship at Cleveland Clinic, followed by the current Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine Fellowship. Dr. Abraham had the privilege of serving as Chief Fellow in both fellowships. Throughout residency and fellowship, he has been the recipient of several awards for medical student/resident teaching, resident/fellow of the year awards, and accolades for his research. His research interests include hemodynamic monitoring, vasopressor use and myocardial protection during cardiac surgery. Connect with Dr. Abraham on LinkedIn.

Dr. Abraham thinks the following things make a good academic paper. Firstly, the paper must provide answers to a meaningful question. Alongside this, the paper should engage the reader, captivating their attention and drawing them to the stated conclusions. Ultimately, a good academic paper usually requires a team effort, whereby all individuals help each other. He adds, “I have been blessed to have fantastic mentors who have helped me along my journey.”

Speaking of preparing a paper, Dr. Abraham stresses that the most important step is identifying an appropriate research question, which should be clear, concise and ultimately enhance the field of medicine. The second step is designing the paper such that it answers the question. It should have clear headings, robust methodology, and ultimately a conclusion with a tangible take-home message for the readers. One aspect that is challenging in academic medicine is keeping up to date with the latest research considering how rapidly the field is evolving. This is where a team effort can really help. Many individuals can help conduct a literature review, and as a team, the latest research can be identified and presented.

I would say this is more profound than interesting, however earlier on in my career, I found it hard to focus on writing papers given the clinical day-to-day work that needs to be done. My mentor explained to me that as physicians, we owe it to the scientific community to pass on the knowledge we have acquired from a rare case, event, or surgery. This is the only way we can all learn from each other. It is still a challenge to find time, but I do believe we should strive to publish papers, and enhance the field of medicine for our colleagues and patients” says Dr. Abraham.

(by Sasa Zhu, Brad Li)

Masaaki Nagano

Masaaki Nagano, MD, PhD, investigates minimally invasive surgery, preoperative marking techniques, and the genomics of lung cancer at the Department of Thoracic Surgery of the University of Tokyo Hospital. His current project focuses on the effects of virtual-assisted lung mapping with indigo carmine and indocyanine green in sub-lobar lung resection (jRCTs031220668). He graduated from the University of Tokyo in 2009 and earned his PhD in 2018 after working in the laboratory of Hiroyuki Mano, who discovered ALK fusion in lung cancer. He served as an attending physician at Toranomon Hospital from 2018-2020 and is currently an assistant professor at the University of Tokyo Hospital. More information about Prof. Nagano can be found here.

In Prof. Nagano’s view, academic writing is important as it helps doctors provide high-quality medical care to their patients, improving patient outcomes. Writing scientific articles requires a profound knowledge of the related topics. The acquisition of a wide range of up-to-date knowledge in the field enables doctors to share better and more treatment options. In addition, writing academic papers can improve the author’s logical way of thinking, ultimately leading to an easy-to-grasp explanation regarding the treatment of their patients.

When it comes to the qualities an author should possess, Prof. Nagano points out that forming a good hypothesis based on questions arising from clinical practices is important. Thinking logically about how to prove the hypothesis correctly is also necessary. Furthermore, having a deep knowledge of statistics is indispensable. Analyzing the data using the correct statistical methods and interpreting the results properly are necessary for academic writing, as the alternatives are scientifically incorrect interpretations and conclusions.

It is important to spend some time collecting and analyzing data each day as finding sufficient time to analyze an entire dataset within the busy schedule of daily clinical practice is nearly impossible. Once most of the data are collected and analyzed, I try to finish writing a paper within two weeks. Although this is difficult to achieve in this period, working extra hours early in the morning or late at night is important for me to achieve better writing,” says Prof. Nagano.

(by Sasa Zhu, Brad Li)

Hyun Woo Jeon

Dr. Hyun Woo Jeon, MD, PhD, is a general thoracic surgeon at the Bucheon St. Mary’s Hospital of Catholic University of Korea. He completed his residency and thoracic surgical fellowship at the Catholic University of Korea. He is a specialist in minimally invasive surgery and his main efforts are for uniportal surgery. His recent research is mainly identifying prognostic factors for stage I lung non-mucinous adenocarcinoma. He believes that early lung adenocarcinoma shows different pathophysiology from advanced adenocarcinoma.

From Prof. Jeon’s perspective, science is developing rapidly and this is the reason why people help each other. Academic writing is the spread of knowledge and new insight or criticism in science. Based on this process, science shows more advancement.

When Prof. Jeon is asked about how to allocate time to write papers, he states that writing papers is stressful because it is not easy. He makes a chart of weekly schedules if he has an idea for writing papers. He allocates 2-3 hours a week for writing papers including data collection and analysis.

In Prof. Joen’s opinion, it is important for research to apply for institutional review board (IRB) approval. He explains, “IRB gives us ethical standards. We already know the harm of unethical research so clinical research has to be conducted under ethical surveillance. We need IRB for every research.”

(by Sasa Zhu, Brad Li)

Ken Onodera

Ken Onodera is a thoracic surgeon at Tohoku University. He graduated and received a medical degree from Tohoku University in 2008. He obtained a PhD at Tohoku University in 2016. In 2021, he worked at National Cancer Center Hospital East as an chief resident. Since 2022, he has worked at Tohoku University as an assistant professor. Prof. Onodera is a Board-Certified Surgeon of the Japan Surgical Society and the Japanese Association for Chest Surgery. He is also a Board-Certified Physician and Board-Certified instructor of the Japan Society for Respiratory Endoscopy. His main research interests include surgery for lung cancer, perioperative treatment for lung cancer, and so on. His recent project is improving perioperative chemotherapy for lung cancer.

Prof. Onodera highlights the importance of academic writing. He is working on improving the prognosis of lung cancer. He feels that the prognosis of surgery alone for lung cancer is heady and that perioperative chemotherapy for lung cancer needs to be improved in order to further improve the prognosis. It is believed that adequate retrospective analysis is necessary for the development of novel therapies, and academic writing is important for this purpose.

Speaking of the key skill sets of an author, Prof. Onodera points out three elements. First, sensitivity to clinical questions arising from own clinical experience is important. Second, the ability to think logically and constructively to resolve the clinical question is important. Furthermore, it is necessary to have the statistical skills and knowledge to evaluate analysis results correctly. Finally, it is necessary to have the writing skills to correctly communicate and share the results obtained.

JTD is a relatively new journal founded in 2009. However, it publishes a wide range of papers on thoracic diseases, and it publishes cutting-edge papers that are of interest to researchers. I chose JTD in the belief that publication in JTD will make my research widely known to researchers with similar interests,” says Prof. Onodera.

(by Sasa Zhu, Brad Li)

Mi Hyoung Moon

Dr. Mi Hyoung Moon completed her residency and clinical fellowship at the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, Catholic University of Korea. Currently, as an assistant professor, she has a keen interest in primary and metastatic lung cancer as well as thymic malignancies. Additionally, she completed her training as a statistician through her master's program and has a strong interest in deep learning and recent approaches, which she is currently incorporating into her research.

Dr. Moon thinks that a good academic paper requires sound evidence, proper statistical analysis, and clear writing, which in turn inspires other researchers and provides clinical assistance to clinicians.

According to Dr. Moon, when preparing a paper, it is crucial for researchers to bear in mind the importance of applying the appropriate analysis method—whether it be a basic experiment or statistical analysis—to the correct questions. She has observed statistical errors in the main manuscripts of even major journals, which are not infrequent occurrences. Consulting a statistician is important, but she thinks researchers should at least familiarize themselves with the concepts of statistical analysis.

Academic writing undeniably demands more time and effort. Some critical yet important questions in the hospital setting require answers or at least hints, but the lack of evidence can make doctors frustrated. I believe my papers might be helpful to some, and this idea motivates me to write,” says Dr. Moon.

(by Sasa Zhu, Brad Li)

Nuttapol Rittayamai

Dr. Nuttapol Rittayamai is an Associate Professor in Pulmonary and Pulmonary Critical Care at the Division of Respiratory Disease and Tuberculosis, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand. He underwent a clinical fellowship in Pulmonary and Pulmonary Critical Care Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Thailand. He completed a research fellowship in Critical Care Medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Canada in 2015. His main research areas are non-invasive respiratory support, acute respiratory failure, mechanical ventilation, and respiratory muscle function in critically ill and COPD patients.

From Dr. Rittayamai’s perspective, several components are required to prepare a good academic paper. The research question is the most important thing and it should be clearly stated in the Introduction. The Methods must clearly explain the population, study protocol, sample size calculation and statistical analysis. In addition, trial registration and obtaining institutional review board approval for the original research are also needed for transparency and to ensure the rights and privacy of the participants are protected. Lastly, the Results and Discussion should be clear, concise, relevant to the research question and avoid bias.

Dr. Rittayamai believes that authors must have a set of skills to create good academic writing. First of all, research skills are crucial for generating a good research question and making sure that the study is conducted in the appropriate way. Moreover, writing and communication skills can disseminate ideas for authors to write clearly, concisely, and precisely. Lastly, critical thinking skills would contribute to criticizing and analyzing the information in academic writing.

Clinical work is always a burden for doctors especially in low to middle-income countries. The researcher/scientist should appropriately manage his/her time for writing the papers. In my experience, I will generate the framework of the paper including Background, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusions and then allocate 30-45 minutes of each day to prepare each section until completing the whole paper,” says Dr. Rittayamai.

(by Sasa Zhu, Brad Li)

Paolo Nicola Camillo Girotti

After a fortnightly experience in European university surgical centers where he specialized in general and thoracic surgery, Paolo Nicola Camillo Girotti started focusing on the treatment of lung and chest wall pathologies by taking part in European multicenter clinical and experimental studies. Since 2018, he has been directing the Thoracic Surgery Center in Vorarlberg, Austria. The hospital is a clinical referral center for the entire western region of Austria and they treat about 300 patients with thoracic diseases per year. His experimental and clinical research field is mainly focused on: the development of techniques for thoracic reconstruction after trauma and after oncologic resection; Neoadjuvant therapy in critically ill lung patients; the study of gene pattering for the identification of non-responder patients with lung cancer; development of minimally invasive approaches for the treatment of mediastinal disease; and development of a robotic surgery program in thoracic surgery.

In Dr. Girotti’s opinion, to increase clinical skills, every professional in health care must have a research interest, so that they can implement their technical skills and, as a result, improve quality, even the clinical quality of their work as well.

Speaking of the qualities an author should possess, Dr. Girotti thinks a researcher must always have a spirit of initiative, curiosity for discoveries and absolute precision in the analysis and interpretation of data. Furthermore, he points out that clinical research requires a component of relationship skills with patients and authors must not forget that the final aim of their research is the care of people and must never postpone the care of the person to clinical research.

Data exchange is necessary to increase the quality of publications and to increase quality control itself. In the field of basic research, data control is already a reality, and we must also take this as an example in the field of clinical research if we want to raise the level of publications,” Dr. Girotti says.

(by Sasa Zhu, Brad Li)

Akihiro Ito

Dr. Akihiro Ito is a physical therapist at the International University of Health and Welfare in Tochigi, Japan. He received his master's (2013) and doctoral (2020) degrees from the International University of Health and Welfare Graduate School. He is also certified in the specialties of cardiovascular and respiratory physical therapy. His research interests include perioperative cardiac surgery, peripheral arterial disease of the lower extremities (LEAD), and physical therapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In the perioperative period of cardiac surgery, his team has identified and presented the effects of surgical maneuvers on posture. In LEAD, they are investigating the relationship between postoperative changes in walking ability and quality of life. In COPD, they are developing more effective exercise therapies to improve exercise tolerance. More information of Dr. Ito can be found here.

Dr. Akihiro thinks that a necessary component of a good academic paper is a proper understanding of the results. Although statistical software can easily be used to analyze the results, learning the statistical details will help one understand the results more accurately. It will also help one interpret the results more accurately.

In Dr. Akihiro’s view, one of the most important things to keep in mind when writing a paper is to convey the significance of one’s research in a concise manner. To do this, the important and necessary information should be summarized. This will prevent the text from becoming redundant and will make it easier to understand.

I believe that in order to advance science, we should start with what we can do. Although I am a physical therapist, I think it is necessary for me to interact with many people, including those from many different professions, and learn multiple perspectives. I hope we can work together to create better medical care,” says Dr. Akihiro.

(by Sasa Zhu, Brad Li)

Kei Nakashima

Kei Nakashima is the Director of the Department of Pulmonology at Kameda Medical Center. He completed his M.D. at Kyushu University in 2006 and obtained his Ph.D. in the Department of Public Health, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka Metropolitan University in 2023. He is actively engaged as a board-certified specialist and trainer for the Japanese Respiratory Society. He also serves as an Associate Editor of Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics and as an Editorial Board Member of Scientific Reports. His clinical research focuses on respiratory infections, with a particular emphasis on vaccines and pneumocystis pneumonia. Additionally, he is involved in studies related to pulmonary aspergillosis, community-acquired pneumonia, empyema, and the diagnostic use of bronchoscopy. Connect with him on Twitter/X and Facebook.

Dr. Nakashima considers a good academic paper to be one that possesses significant clinical relevance and has the capacity to transform real-world clinical practices. For this purpose, it is crucial to conduct research on themes that respond to clinical questions arising from actual clinical practice and to publish observational studies where patient backgrounds have been adequately adjusted or randomized controlled trials.

Dr. Nakashima shares that in his practice, he ensures to adequately adjust for patient background factors using regression analysis or propensity score analysis in observational studies. In his papers, he strives to present modest conclusions, taking care to avoid overstating the findings.

Continuity is crucial in clinical research. By consistently conducting studies and publishing papers, a researcher can steadily grow in their field. Clinical medicine evolves rapidly, necessitating that one's research remains aligned with the latest developments. Research requires a significant investment of time and effort, so maintaining a passion for it is the most important aspect of all,” says Dr. Nakashima.

(by Sasa Zhu, Brad Li)

Madhuri Rao

Madhuri Rao is a Thoracic Surgeon on faculty at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA, as an Assistant Professor of Surgery and as the Director of Robotic Thoracic Surgery. Her clinical practice includes the breadth of general thoracic surgery including benign and malignant diseases of the lung, foregut and mediastinum. Her areas of special interest include minimally invasive and innovative approaches, including the use of newer techniques, such as robotic surgery and alternative thoracoscopic approaches. She has published and presented her outcomes research on topics including subxiphoid thoracoscopic thymectomy, laparoscopic diaphragm plication and robotic preoperative surgeries. She also focuses her research work on disparities in cancer care. In addition to her research interests, she plays an active role in mentoring women thoracic surgeons internationally. She serves in several leadership roles including Vice-Chair of Diversity and Equity Inclusion for the Department of Surgery and the Co-Chair of International Affairs for the Women in Thoracic Surgery.

JTD: What role does academic writing play in science?

Dr. Rao: Academic writing is an integral part of science, especially in medicine. Academic writing is the avenue through which we are able to collaborate and communicate with the medical community. While the process of data collection, analysis and drawing evidence-based conclusions is critical for the advancement of science, the presentation and propagation of this information in a structured format that is logical, easy to understand, accurate and objective is what makes it truly valuable.

JTD: Academic writing often involves evidence synthesis. Can you share tips on selecting the appropriate evidence for synthesis and analysis?

Dr. Rao: The importance of utilizing credible evidence cannot be emphasized enough. There are several ways to ensure that the basic credibility criteria are met; for example, using the Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy and Purpose method. Regulatory bodies such as the AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) have guidelines to assess the quality of evidence. Authors have to take into consideration the type of study they are publishing and use the relevant guidelines and criteria to guide them appropriately. They have to be familiar with the grading systems for the level of evidence and be able to justify the use of evidence of different levels appropriately.

JTD: From an author’s perspective, do you think it is important to follow reporting guidelines (e.g. STROBE and CONSORT) during the preparation of manuscripts?

Dr. Rao: Yes, I do think it is important to follow reporting guidelines. Although a lot of journals don’t mandate it, authors need to be aware of the recommended guidelines for the different types of research studies and try to incorporate the required elements in their manuscripts. Using the relevant guidelines benefits the authors, reviewers and the reader. For the author, the guidelines help with organizing the data and presenting it in a reliable and accepted format. For the reviewers and editors, it becomes easier to understand what was done, how the study was conducted, and if it is reliable. The authors and the reviewers will likely reap the benefits of fewer revisions when they follow relevant guidelines.

(by Sasa Zhu, Brad Li)