The amount of work needed to produce a bulletin differs according to how often it is published, how many pages and sections it contains, etc. However, some basic principles generally apply:
• You need to plan the content of an issue as much in advance as possible, and especially plan lead articles well ahead of time (see Chapter 6).
• In choosing articles for different sections of the same bulletin, aim for a balanced result. For example, you can include a complex article in one section, simpler articles in another. Including a diversity of topics makes a bulletin easier and more interesting to read, but you may occasionally also want to publish a special issue on one important topic.
• Set some space aside for last minute news or brief reports, which will make the bulletin livelier and help to establish it as a source of relevant current information on drugs.
• Clearly distinguish between writing and editorial work. Authors should be given enough time to work and not have the stress of planning bulletin issues. This is the editor's task. If bulletin editors are also acting as authors, as is often the case, they will have to get used to a schizophrenic work-style!
• Editors need to have a sufficient number of good quality articles available as replacements in case an author is late or if new controversial information or evidence becomes available (see Chapter 6).
• The appearance of the bulletin, its layout, titles and sub-titles, and illustrations, lend value to the contents and are obviously of great importance. There is no universal recipe for a bulletin’s style and tone. The local team, who knows the readers and cultural context, must determine this (see Chapter 9).