We typically do not directly participate in the writing of the manuscript describing the study that our bioinformatics work is part of: manuscript writing is significant commitment, and requires very deep understanding of other portions of the study.
In each bioinformatics project we complete, however, our deliverables include a report that has a Methods and a Results sections. For research-type projects (see this page for distinction between research-type and engineering-type projects), a Discussion section is also often included. More often than not, researchers consider these reports adequate. When they see fit, they can copy the text from our reports to the manuscripts they write.
Occasionally, a researcher requests that our Lead Bioinformaticians (LB) play more active roles in manuscript writing. He or she is willing to cover our LB's time working on the manuscript, and offers to list our LB as a co-author. While we certainly consider it a privilege, being a co-author is also a responsibility. Moreover, our business model dictates that we should generate revenue by helping researchers with conducting bioinformatics work directly, rather than writing manuscripts. This is why we are very cautious when considering these requests. Only when we are convinced that the researcher will have real difficulty writing the manuscript without our help, AND we are confident that we can make intellectual contribution to the manuscript beyond the bioinformatics work we have already completed, do we agree to participate in writing it.
We do assist in the peer-review process of manuscripts, however, regardless of whether we have participated in writing them. We will address any critiques related to the bioinformatics work we have conducted. If reviewers insist that a particular analysis should be performed in a different way, we will do it accordingly - without additional charge to the researcher - as long as the proposed work is generally in line with the scope of work we have already completed. This is our way of giving researchers peace of mind while working with us, and demonstrating how confident we are in what we do.
See further discussion on our LBs' experiences at this page, how we assist researchers in grant writing at this page, and read how researchers have evaluated our LBs here.
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