Many projects in health promotion and prevention will lead to publications: articles in the specialized press, brochures, teaching material, book publications, videos, internet sites. There is one common factor to all these publications: the work that they require is always underestimated!
Articles in specialized journals
These are usually the result of an active interest by the author to publish in a particular journal. Propositions for articles need to be submitted to the editors and if there is an interest, the editorial department will usually make demands as to size, presentation, etc. which saves you from having to make decisions regarding the format of your article.
The production of brochures should be made in collaboration with a graphic designer as early as is feasible; he or she will usually have good contacts and established collaboration with a reliable printing office. A realistic timeframe must be established and all involved must mutually agree to observe the agreed deadlines.
Publications usually result from a collaboration with a publisher. Preliminary contacts establish the interest of individual publishers for particular topics and themes, and how costs may be divided. Further discussions are necessary regarding the responsibility for editing and proof reading, for the distribution of promotional material and for advertising, about the number of free copies for the author and whether he/she is getting royalties (a fixed sum per copy sold). Finally, binding contracts containing a clear description of tasks and time limits (dates) need to be concluded.
Publications on the internet require different procedures and have the advantage that they can be changed up to the last minute. In order to benefit from all the potential of the internet, collaboration with an experienced webmaster is a must.
Why you would disregard these aspects
- If publishing is not an integral part of a project there is usually a lack of courage and time for such an undertaking.
- The production of documents is a creative act with its own dynamic and it is difficult to strike a balance between the original plan and the creative process.
- Apprehension when faced with new media.
- The extra work has not been budgeted for.
What you have to gain
If you are clear about the purpose of your publication and you accept to be guided be the experiences of other professionals you have a good chance of obtaining a good result.
What you can actually do
Publications should be ready by the end of a project. Think why you want to publish and discuss it with other professionals.
Articles in journals
Try to interest publishers in your theme. Make sure you know about the conditions they impose for publications. Write to the editorial board and propose your article. For English articles in health promotion and prevention you might try the following publications:
- Sozial & Präventivmedizin
- Soziale Medizin
If you have planned to publish a book or a brochure as part of your project you have to find a suitable publisher. Think early on about copyright issues. Conclude a written agreement if the publisher or the client does not have any set conditions. Publishing companies:
- Leske + Budrich
- pro juventute
Questions for critical reflection
- Are the publications appropriate for the results that need to be communicated?