Logan/Siegel: Health Literacy

Cover: Health Literacy

Cover: Health Literacy


Robert A. Logan (NASW member) and Elliot R. Siegel, eds.
IOS Press, October 31, 2017, $167
ISBN-10: 1614997896; ISBN-13: 978-1614997894
Ebook: 978-1614997900

For this column, NASW book editor Lynne Lamberg asks NASW authors to tell how they came up with the idea for their book, developed a proposal, found an agent and publisher, funded and conducted research, and put the book together. She also asks what they wish they had known before they began working on their book, what they might do differently the next time, and what tips they can offer aspiring authors. She then edits the A part of that Q&A to produce the author reports you see here. Publication of NASW members’ reports in Advance Copy does not indicate NASW’s endorsement of their books. NASW welcomes your comments, and hopes this column stimulates productive discussions.

Logan reports:

The book began in spring 2015 when my co-editor Elliot Siegel told me about a publishing initiative from IOS Press called “Studies in Health Technology and Informatics.”

I’m a member of the senior staff of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and a professor emeritus at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism. Elliot is the director emeritus of NLM’s Office of Health Information Programs Development. We did not use an agent.

After IOS Press accepted our proposal, Elliot and I invited 24 potential contributors, 23 of whom eventually wrote chapters. The impressive participation by the original authors suggests the pent-up demand to write a book about diverse aspects of health literacy research and practice. Elliot and I benefitted from contributor acceptance, perseverance, cooperation, and enthusiasm.

The book’s 24 chapters explain the diversity and reach of health literacy research and report international efforts to engage patients, caregivers, and the public more meaningfully in health care decisions. The book notes how health literacy research parallels existing fields that seek to boost patient engagement, patient activation, and shared decision making, as well as health communication and education.

Robert A. Logan

Robert A. Logan

For science writers, I recommend a chapter that details the low health literacy in European Union nations, written by Juergen Pelikan and Kristin Ganahl, University of Vienna-Austria, and a chapter about improving health literacy research from Rima Rudd, Harvard University. These chapters cover both the importance of improving public health literacy and the challenges of doing so. The book is edited for health literacy researchers and practitioners rather than the general public.

Overall, the book’s authors represent diverse nations, including Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, India, Israel, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The authors also discuss health literacy initiatives in North America, South America, Western Europe, Northern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and Asia.

While the book took 28 months to finish, it was a stimulating and collegial experience from end to end.

Contact Info:

Robert A. Logan Ph.D., logrob@gmail.com, Twitter: @jourral
IOS Marketing Coordinator: Esther Mateike, +31 (0)20 688 33 55, e.mateike@iospress.nl

Buy this book now in the ScienceWriters bookstore. Your purchase helps support NASW programs and services.

NASW members: will your book be published soon? Take advantage of this opportunity for shameless self-promotion. Submit your report for Advance Copy.

Tell your fellow NASW members how you came up with the idea for your book, developed a proposal, found an agent and publisher, funded and conducted research, and put the book together. Include what you wish you had known before you began working on your book, or had done differently.

See https://www.nasw.org/advance-copy-submission-guidelines.

Thinking of writing a book? If you are a NASW member, you may access a list of more than 150 books and online resources to help you craft your book proposal, find an agent and funding sources, negotiate your contract, learn about self-publishing, publicize and market your book, and more at https://www.nasw.org/article/write-book.

Send book info and questions about book publishing to Lynne Lamberg, NASW book editor, llamberg@nasw.org.

Dec. 20, 2017

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