Dr. Rachel Webster is a Principal Director and the Oncology team lead at DRG, sitting in London. In 2014, Dr. Webster published an article in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery journal for the first time—and it took about a year to negotiate publication with their editor. Since then, she has built a relationship between DRG and the academic journal such that DRG will have a hand in ten published articles to date.
Nature, as it's known for short, is a peer-reviewed academic publication covering drug discovery and development. It's incredibly influential in the medical drug community; its journal impact factor, which measures the number of times articles from a publication (published in the past two years) have been cited in the current year, is almost 60. Of the 12,000+ journals tracked using this metric, only 25 of them have an impact factor of 30 or higher—putting Nature in the top .002% of these journals for impact on the medical community. They publish monthly, and shy away from publishing multiple articles from a single author too often to maintain a diversity of knowledge and authorial voices. The journal publishes by relevance to current events in the medical drug industry, so having expertise in the drug landscape is crucial.
When Dr. Webster—who has now been with DRG for nearly ten years—got an opportunity in 2014 to write an article on melanoma cancer, she worked tirelessly with Nature to get it published. When it finally was, she proposed other topics to their staff as well—and got radio silence in response. It was an entire year of these proposal emails from her before Nature reached out and let her know that they had a brainstorming session for articles they wanted to commission in the coming year and wanted her involvement.
Since that breakthrough, she has published 2 to 3 articles in Nature per year, highlighting the drug market and major events happening in certain diseases. The staff at Nature now follows her lead on timing for publishing these pieces, and she has included multiple other DRG analysts to write them. "For analysts, it's a really nice opportunity to apply their knowledge in a different way to producing syndicated reports writing," Dr. Webster said, "and writing these fits in well with the drive throughout DRG to do more thought leadership and increase the visibility of DRG as a go-to partner for navigating treatment landscapes." The new and most recent editor of Nature said of Webster, "she is a fantastic author and great to work with!" The DRGer continues to maintain a strong relationship and after nine Oncology publications since 2014, the present Editor has sought DRG commissions via Dr. Webster in other therapy areas.
While Nature's audience is academic, the articles DRG analysts have written are commercially focused—and attract the attention of existing and new potential pharma clients. Webster mentioned that, "One 2018 therapy article led to direct emails from pharma companies, and not
all of them were existing clients of DRG. Another analyst and I hopped on a call about one of the leads and it led to the company purchasing tens of thousands of dollars in products and services from us—as a direct result of the article and because they were impressed by the depth of our knowledge. To see the articles drive greater client engagement and actual revenue is really exciting." She will be proactively securing more article slots in Nature for 2019, and analysts from around DRG will continue to be featured in the influential journal.