Producing the Surgeon General's Report on the Health Consequences of Smoking: 50 Years of Progress.

Cygnus has provided scientific publishing and knowledge translation services for the Surgeon General’s Report (SGR)​, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC ) for more than 20 years and includes this 50th anniversary report.

In order to ensure timely, accurate, and authoritative information, each of these reports has required a remarkable level of scientific subject matter expertise and writing capabilities, exceptional quality control, and reliable management. Our contract has been renewed numerous times based on Cygnus’s consistent high level of performance, our cooperative and capable staff, our strong commitment to customer satisfaction, an adherence to contract schedule and budget, and our superior standards of quality control.

There were six production phases:

  • The first involved selecting a Senior Scientific Editor and authors and having a first draft prepared;
  • Phases 2–6 involved successive rounds of preparing and sending the report out for review and clearance, carefully editing and making the changes requested by the CDC Task Order COTR (TOC) and SSE, preparing front- and back-matter elements, and preparing the final report for printing then converting it to a Section 508-compliant document for posting on CDC’s and the Surgeon General’s Web sites; and 
  • Phases 5 and 6 included the preparation, editing, and review of the executive summary.

Completing the 6 phases involved the successful completion of many tasks, including:

Meeting and conference call coordination and facilitation, effective and timely e-mail communication, facilitation of the submission and review and clearance of manuscripts, conversion of manuscripts into appropriate formats, incorporating editorial and author changes, creating tables, literature searches, document delivery, verification of references, and copyediting and indexing of the text.

We also provided the following knowledge translation services:

  • Verified more than 1,000 references requiring online and offline source searches of health and tobacco literature;
  • Coordinated levels of review and OMP clearance to the Secretary of Health and Human Services;
  • Integrated and edited comments from reviewers at each of five levels of review;
  • Provided high level scientific and biochemical subject matter review and support in identifying and drawing chemical structures;
  • Prepared scientific illustrations and graphic representations;
  • Proofread, edited, and formatted author drafts and final documents, tables, graphics, charts, and figures, which included Section 508 compliance, for consistency and SGR style; and
  • Prepared desktop publishing of the Report.

The report’s release scheduled on the exact day of the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health presented significant challenges, intensified by a government shutdown and CDC/HHS clearance and comments requiring extensive revisions to the report. In order to respond to peak demand times, Cygnus used a staff cross-trained in several publications functions (i.e., reference verification, layout, etc.) which offered the team the flexibility to increase task capacity within a short period of time as needed.

Due to the highly technical nature of the SGR, we provided high-level scientific subject matter expertise for various project tasks, including having our Senior Chemist, Dr. Yao-Ren Dai, review a number of chapters to ensure the correct usage of terms, genes, and proteins as part of the editing process. 

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