French Innovation to Improve the Publication Rate of Primary Care Studies

Maxime Pautrat, MD | Melissa Tenot, MD | Jean Yves Le Reste, MD, PhD | Jean Pierre Lebeau, MD, PhD

Fam Med. 2022;54(3):239-239.

DOI: 10.22454/FamMed.2022.935143

Return to Issue

To the Editor:

We thank Dr Winnie and Mr Jackson for their interest in our work and for sharing their innovative programs to promote publications within their research teams. In response, we would like to share our experience.

The first step in transferring scientific knowledge is to identify outstanding and potentially publishable studies from the wide pool of research produced. As Drs Mainous and Saultz reported, “traditional wisdom in academic medicine has considered peer-reviewed research presentations at scientific meetings to be the first step in a virtuous cycle that leads to peer-reviewed publications.”1 We agree with the authors that it is time to reconsider the goals of scientific meetings. The value of many studies presented at congresses is to stimulate networking, and exchange and challenge ideas with colleagues. Only a few studies have the potential to be accepted for publication in in peer-reviewed-scientific journals. However, innovative formats such as “one slide, 5 minutes” sessions have become popular to help these studies emerge. These sessions are specifically designed to quickly and proactively distinguish whether a study is robust enough to reach publication and explore appropriate journals.

The second step is to support the research team throughout the entire publication process. Drs Winnie and Jackson describe the virtual peer-supported writing program called Writing Rounds, founded by the Military Primary Care Research Network.2 Working in a small group of peers led by an experienced scientific writer, and benefiting from each other’s constructive feedback, is an effective way of improving the quality of articles. It also keeps the team motivated. Similarly, in France, a continuing professional development programme for general practitioners entitled “Write and Publish” provides adequate help to turn a completed research project into an article ready for submission.3 In parallel, to improve the reporting quality of studies, there are other hurdles to jump over during the publication process. From a sample of 1,191 French researchers, 87% would accept technical support, especially in English editing, critical editing, or formatting.4 Interregional clinical research and innovation groups (GIRCI-Groupements interrégionaux pour la recherche clinique et l’innovation) were designated by the French Ministry of Health in 2011. In western France, the west France GIRCI created a specialized team to support primary care research. One of the functions of this team is to provide medical writing assistance for those researchers who need additional support. This research support involves any part of the publication process from the study protocol to the results and publication.5 This team was created in September 2019 to structure and promote clinical research alongside local medical research teams in each and every department of the five primary care departments of western France. The team is composed of a clinical research manager, a professor of general practice and consultant statisticians and medical writers. Up until September 2021, with the support of the team, 20 articles have been published, of which one is the article Dr Winnie and Mr Jackson cited, and eight research grants worth over 1.3 Million euros have been won.


  1. Mainous AG, Saultz J. Are meeting presentations a springboard to publication? Fam Med. 2021;53(9):749-750. doi:10.22454/FamMed.2021.945009
  2. Winnie K, Jackson JT. Reply to “Are Meeting Presentations a Springboard to Publication?” Fam Med. 2021.
  3. Leruste S. Training "Write to publish" (FAF). Collège des Généralistes Enseignants de l’Océan Indien. Accessed February 3, 2022. https://cgeoi.fr/actualites/article/rediger-pour-publier
  4. Duracinsky M, Lalanne C, Rous L, et al. Barriers to publishing in biomedical journals perceived by a sample of French researchers: results of the DIAzePAM study. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2017;17(1):96. doi:10.1186/s12874-017-0371-z
  5. Primary Care Research Network. GIRCI GO. Accessed February 3, 2022. https://www.girci-go.org/reseaux/reseau-recherche-en-soins-premiers

Lead Author

Maxime Pautrat, MD

Affiliations: Department of General Practice, University of Tours, Tours, France


Melissa Tenot, MD - Department of General Practice, University of Tours, Tours, France

Jean Yves Le Reste, MD, PhD - Department of General Practice, University of Western Brittany, Brest, France

Jean Pierre Lebeau, MD, PhD - Department of General Practice, University of Tours, Tours, France

Fetching other articles...

Loading the comment form...

Submitting your comment...

There are no comments for this article.

Downloads & Info


Related Content

Pautrat M, Tenot M, Lebeau JP. A Publication Rate Comparison of Oral Communications Presented at the 2010 and 2015 French General Practice Congresses and European General Practice Network Meetings. Fam Med. 2021;53(9):754-759. https://doi.org/10.22454/FamMed.2021.447144


Searching for articles...