The Journal of the American Pharmacists Association (JAPhA) welcomes original research, review, and experience articles that report crisply and concisely on meaningful developments and advances in pharmacy practice. These articles may introduce information about new medications and emerging therapeutic trends, new technologies and methods, or research and research methods with applicability to pharmacy practice in fields such as pharmaceutical care, medication therapy management, psychosocial aspects of medication use, pharmacoeconomics, pharmacotherapy, pharmacoepidemiology, pharmacy law, pharmacy management, public health, and health care financing. Before submission for JAPhA review, articles should be reviewed by one or more colleagues for accuracy, clarity, and completeness. JAPhA will consider only articles that have not been previously published, are not accepted for publication, and are not currently under consideration by other publications.
Manuscripts are considered for six peer-reviewed subsections within the Science & Practice section of JAPhA. Following peer review, articles may be pursued and accepted as either print or online publications. Abstracts of online articles are provided in the print edition's JAPhA stat! department.
The six subsections of the Science & Practice section are as follows:
Research: Papers reporting results of studies based on a scientific method or scholarly investigation. Topics may include but are not limited to outcomes studies linking science with pharmacy practice, pharmacoeconomics, clinical use of medications, and the humanistic impact of pharmacotherapy and pharmacists' interventions in patient care. All manuscripts presenting original data that were gathered in a systematic manner are included in the Research section. Length is limited to 5,000 words, including abstract, text, references, tables, and figures. A maximum of five tables and/or figures will be considered.
Research Notes: Brief research reports. Length is limited to 2,500 words, including abstract, text, references, tables, and figures. A maximum of two tables and/or figures will be considered.
Systematic summaries of articles in the primary pharmacy and biomedical literature reflecting the latest research on clinical, administrative, legal, humanistic, and economic topics. Clinical reviews must present results of systematic, comprehensive, reproducible searches in which a defined body of literature is evaluated quantitatively (using meta-analysis) or qualitatively based on objective criteria.2
Length is limited to 5,000 words, including abstract, text, references, tables, and figures. A maximum of five tables and/or figures will be considered.
Tools for Advancing Pharmacy Practice: Articles that present both information about and experience with emerging methods, measures, instruments, and other “tools” that pharmacists can use in daily practice. Emphasis is placed on adaptations of basic research and novel ideas that can be developed into useful tools for pharmacy practice. Submissions to the Tools series are handled by Contributing Editors Jean V. (Kelly) Goode, PharmD; David A. Mott, PhD; and Jon C. Schommer, PhD. Length is limited to 5,000 words, including abstract, text, references, tables, and figures. A maximum of five tables and/or figures will be considered.
Experience: Descriptive reports on topics germane to pharmacy practice. Subject matter may range from clinical or administrative case reports to practice innovations. Length is limited to 5,000 words, including abstract, text, references, tables, and figures. A maximum of five tables and/or figures will be considered.
Commentary: Articles of 2,000 words or more less expressing informed personal opinions about events, trends, or developments in pharmacy or health care. Shorter opinion pieces are published in the Viewpoint department.
Departments: Papers also may be prepared and submitted for consideration in several departments within JAPhA. These submissions are generally reviewed by staff and/or contributing editors. Departments include the following:
- Letters (maximum of 750 words
- Viewpoint (editorials; maximum of 750 words)
- Vaccine Update
- New Drugs
- Science Snippets
accepts for review papers prepared in accordance with the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals3
for current guidelines). Submitting one or more manuscript files that do not meet the requirements detailed in the below section may result in immediate rejection.
All accepted manuscripts are edited to conform to JAPhA
style. For guidance in preparing manuscripts, refer to the Chicago Manual of Style
, 15th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 2003); the American Medical Association Manual of Style
, 10th ed. (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press; 2007); and Stedman's Medical Dictionary
, 27th ed. (Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins; 2000). Any word-processing system that produces files with the extensions .doc or .rtf can be used for manuscript preparation.
Manuscripts also can be submitted initially in portable document format (PDF) files, although revised manuscripts must be in .doc or .rtf format. All pages, including title page, text, references, tables, and figures, should be prepared in 11- or 12-point type, double spaced, left justified (ragged right), and suitable for printing on 8.5-by-11-inch paper. Because the main document is converted to a PDF file after submission, use of common typefaces will decrease the chance of problems with fonts, special characters, chemical formulae, and equations. Times New Roman is recommended. In preparing the manuscript, keep the format simple. Italics (not underline or boldface type), superscripts, and subscripts are acceptable. Do not use special functions such as indents and formats.
Cover letter: Much of the information provided in traditional cover letters is now transmitted by filling in a series of fields on JAPhA's Manuscript Central website; authors also have the option of uploading a separate cover letter that is made available only to editors and staff. Information entered on the website includes the address, phone number, fax number, and e-mail address of the corresponding author, depending on whether they are to be notified about the status of manuscripts. Corresponding authors may find it useful to prepare in advance authors' names and affiliations (for copying and pasting into fields on the website) or enter these directly. Likewise, text describing the relevance and importance of the work can be either prepared in advance for copying and pasting or entered directly while working on the website.
On the website, the corresponding author will be asked whether the paper is under consideration by another publication and the nature and extent of any author's financial or personal potential conflicts of interest, including but not limited to an affiliation with any company, product, or service mentioned in the manuscript that could potentially be considered a conflict of interest. Authors can also request that a certain editor handle the paper, provide names of reviewers knowledgeable in the subject area, and request that specific reviewers not be chosen for a particular paper.
If your paper is selected for publication in the Journal, a signed paper copy of a submission form will be required from each author that includes information regarding copyright, authorship, acknowledgments, and conflict of interest statements.
Copyright: One of the following statements is to be signed by all authors:
In consideration of the American Pharmacists Association's reviewing and editing of this submission, the author(s) undersigned hereby transfer(s), assign(s), or otherwise convey(s) all copyright ownership to APhA in the event that this work is published by APhA.
I was an employee of the United States government when this work was investigated and prepared for publication; it is therefore not protected by the Copyright Act and there is no copyright that can be transferred. Copyrighted material taken from other sources must be accompanied by evidence that permission to use the material has been obtained from the publisher and the authors.
's requirement for authorship contributions is consistent with the Internal Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE; www.icmje.org/ethical_1author.html
). Authors must meet all of the following criteria: “(1) substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, and (3) final approval of the version to be published. … Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship.” For research engaging a large, multicenter group, authors should refer to ICMJE standards for guidance on authorship.
Acknowledgments: Contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed under acknowledgments along with a description of their specific contributions. Examples include individuals providing technical or writing assistance, or a department chair providing general support. Groups of persons who have contributed materially to the paper but whose contributions do not justify authorship may also be listed as indicated in ICMJE guidelines. These individuals must provide written permission to the author to be acknowledged. Acknowledgement of the assistance of a technical writer should include the source of funding, if applicable.
Conflicts of interest: Authors should disclose any personal or financial relationships that could be viewed as potential conflicts of interest in relation to the publication on the title page. For articles selected for publication, all authors will be asked to detail and sign their potential conflicts of interest.
General article layout: In a single word-processing file that is uploaded to Manuscript Central for peer review, the following elements should be included (in this order): title page, abstract, text, and references. Tables, figures, and/or survey tools should be uploaded as separate files to Manuscript Central (see below).
Title page: List the title and authors' names and provide an author identification section that contains, as relevant, the following: (1) authors; degree abbreviations; job titles; current and, as relevant, past affiliations (authors should state the institution with which they were affiliated at the time the project/manuscript was implemented and conducted, as well as state their current affiliation, if different); and location in JAPhA style (e.g., Jennifer P. Smith, PharmD, is Professor, School of Pharmacy, University of Maryland, Baltimore). (2) Correspondence address (name of corresponding author, mailing address, fax number, and e-mail address). (3) Disclosure (conflicts of interest or financial interests the authors or members of their immediate families have in any product or service discussed in the manuscript, including grants [pending or received], employment, gifts, stock holdings or options, honoraria, consultancies, expert testimony, patents, and royalties). (4) Acknowledgments (make this straightforward [e.g., To Mary R. Jones for clerical support and Robert P. Lake, PhD, for reviewing statistical methods]). (5) Funding support either financial or material. (6) Previous presentation(s) of some or all of the data at professional meetings (e.g., American Pharmacists Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, March 17, 2007).
Abstracts: All Research, Research Notes, Reviews, Tools, Experience, and Commentary articles should include structured abstracts of 200 to 250 words with the subheads shown below for the types of articles listed (include all subheads; if one or more do not apply, enter “Not applicable”). Department submissions do not require an abstract.
Research: Objective(s), Design (e.g., randomized controlled trial, crossover trial, cross-sectional study or survey, cohort study, case–control study), Setting (i.e., city, state/country or region location; general time frame during which study was conducted) Patients (or, if appropriate, Participants), Intervention(s), Main outcome measure(s), Results, Conclusion, Keywords.
Research Notes: Objective(s), Methods, Results, Conclusion, Keywords.
Reviews/Tools: Objective(s), Data sources (include indexing terms, years, and databases used in computerized bibliographic searches), Study selection (any criteria used to select studies from among all identified ones), Data extraction (guidelines used by one or more investigators to extract information and assess data quality and validity), Data synthesis (summary of contents of the article), Conclusion, Keywords.
Experience: Objective(s), Setting, Practice description (or, Patient description, for clinical case reports), Practice innovation (or, Case summary, for clinical case reports), Main outcome measure(s), Results, Conclusion, Keywords.
Commentary: Objective(s), Data sources, Summary, Conclusion, Keywords.
Keywords. Keywords are those terms that the authors believe best represent the major topics covered in the article. When prompted by the Manuscript Central system, provide five to seven keywords. Be sure to include one or more terms that describe the broad context of the article, even if each term does not appear in the text (e.g., pharmacokinetics, pharmacotherapy, drug regulation, medication use process).
Text: Use subheads to introduce the article's main sections. Research papers should be presented in this format: Introduction, Objective(s), Methods, Results, Discussion, Limitations, and Conclusion. A separate Limitations section must be provided for all Research articles. In the text, refer to medications by their generic names. On first mention of all single-source products or to identify a particular product, place the brand name and manufacturer in parentheses after the generic name: generic name (brand name–manufacturer). Trademark symbols are not allowed. In the text of all relevant articles, particularly Research submissions, state that approval was obtained from an institutional review board or similar panel. “Exempt” projects should have this status determined by an IRB. Articles involving human participants are required to note approval or exemption by IRB. No “second guessing” of an IRB decision will occur, but articles will not be published without this information present.
Also, in the text of relevant articles, state explicitly that informed consent was obtained from all patients or participants. If waiver or modification of consent was granted by an IRB, briefly describe the modification in the text.
Footnotes: Avoid using footnotes in text. If they are absolutely necessary, use lowercase letters (a, b, c, etc.) to denote them in the text.
References: While automatic endnote and reference numbering features of word-processing systems are useful during manuscript preparation, they are not compatible with typesetting systems. If authors use these in the first draft of a paper submitted for peer review, they are responsible for converting the references and their callouts to a compatible format when revised versions of the manuscript are submitted. While JAPhA generally follows the reference style of the American Medical Association, several simplifications are made. Journal and book names are not italicized, and only the first letter of the first word of a book name is capitalized. If an article has one to four authors, list all authors' names; if more than four authors, list three followed by “et al.” All references must be cited in the text and numbered sequentially in order of use. Titles of periodicals are abbreviated according to Index Medicus. Examples of reference styles follow.
1. Sather BC, Forbes JJ, Starck DJ, Rovers JP. Effect of a personal automated dose-dispensing system on adherence: a case series. J Am Pharm Assoc. 2007;47:82–5.
- Books (generally cite specific chapters or pages, not the entire book)
2. Scolaro K. Disorders related to colds and allergy. In: Berardi RR, Kroon LA, McDermott JH, et al., Eds. Handbook of nonprescription drugs: an interactive approach to self-care. 15th ed. Washington, DC: American Pharmacists Association; 2006:207–8, 219–20.
- Newspaper and news magazine articles
3. Bright B. Seniors satisfied with Medicare drug plan. Wall St J. 2007(Dec 12):B1.
5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccines and immunizations. Accessed at www.cdc.gov/vaccines
, December 30, 2008.
6. Natural medicines comprehensive database [database online]. Stockton, CA: Therapeutic Research Center. Updated December 27, 2007.
- Personal communications should not be included in the reference list; references should be from the published literature or in press (i.e., accepted for publication). Personal communications can be included parenthetically in text and should include the date of the communication (month, year) and whether the communication was in written (including electronic messages) or oral form.
Tables and figures: Place tables and figures in separate files and upload them to JAPhA's Manuscript Central site. They should be numbered in integers in the order they appear in the body of the text.
Tables: Keep table formats simple. Tables should be created using Word and the “Insert Table” command; please do not use tabs and/or spaces to create tables, columns, or rows. Tables provided as images embedded in a Word file are not acceptable. Tables must be consecutively numbered and cited in the text. Tables should not simply repeat information included in the text, and the text should include only the most significant data or highlights of the data provided in tables. All acronyms and/or abbreviations used in tables must be defined on first use or in a footnote to the table, all math totals must be correct, and if a table has column headings, then all columns should have headings. Place explanatory matter in the table's footnotes, not in the title or headings. For footnotes in tables, use lowercase letters (e.g., a, b, c; do not use asterisks and other symbols) consecutively left to right, top to bottom of table. Tables must be designed to stand alone; that is, the table itself must contain all of the information needed to convey the intended meaning, without the need for the reader to refer to the text.
Figures: Each figure should be submitted separately in a graphics file suitable for journal printing. Do not upload figure images that, for example, are embedded in a Word document. Charts and graphs must be submitted in their native, editable format (usually Excel, Word, or PowerPoint), in order to allow Journal editing staff to perform basic house-style edits, such as changing fonts in label axes. (Journal editing staff must be able to “click” into figure files to edit them to conform with house standards.) Photos or illustrations can be submitted in TIFF or JPEG formats that are 300 dots per square inch (dpi) for color and 600 dpi for black and white.
If the manuscript reports results of a survey, a copy of the survey instrument must be included in the submission. Reviewers and editors need copies of the actual survey during the review process, and increasingly the Journal is including copies of survey instruments as Web-only appendices to published reports of survey results.
The following survey method guidelines are an adaptation of the article published by Draugalis et al.4
and apply to all forms of data collection.
The sampling frame should be clearly stated. This requires a careful determination and identification of the target population. Authors should remember that the results of the survey can only be generalized to the population from which the sample was selected. The author must clearly describe the sample selection process. Convenience and quota samples are not random samples and thus have major weaknesses that must be addressed by the researchers. Finally, of important note, a large sample size is not always reflective of the population you wish to generalize to and therefore not the answer. Sample size considerations require multiple follow-ups of respondents. Dillman's Mail and Internet Surveys: The Tailored Design Method5
and Salant and Dillman's How to Conduct Your Own Survey6
are recommended resources. Surveys with very low response rates risk not having the manuscript not sent out for peer review. At a minimum, surveys with very low response rates must address this serious weakness.
Going hand-in-hand with multiple follow-ups of respondents is the concept of nonresponse bias. Generally speaking, the smaller the response rate, the more this becomes a threat to the results of the research. Nonresponse bias can occur with anything less than 100% response rate. Although no specific response rate exists at which a researcher must clearly worry about nonresponse bias, it is generally accepted that response rates less than 60% require that the researcher address the potential for nonresponse bias.7
Early versus late responders, intense follow-up of a sample of the nonresponders, and comparisons on demographic or other relevant variables of responders to nonresponders are some of the more common methods., 5, 68
A detailed description of the survey instrument, including its development, should be provided. Instrument reliability and validity must be addressed. The instrument's measurement (scale structure) should be clearly stated so that readers may properly interpret the responses reported. If a new survey instrument was created, a complete description of how it was developed and tested should be included. Guidance is available regarding the development and testing of survey instruments., 910
Additionally, authors using selected items from scales in existing instruments should justify their use and properly test them. Finally, authors should provide a description of the pretesting of the survey instrument and instrument procedures used.
Detailed response rates must be reported. This is more than just the number of respondents and nonrespondents. Knowing the number of surveys returned as nondeliverable and the number of surveys returned for which the responses made the survey unusable is helpful. All of this information is useful in deciphering response rates.
Statistical techniques and analyses should be congruent with the instrument scale construction. Special care must be placed on differentiating continuous data from discrete data. Scales generating continuous data can generally be analyzed using parametric statistical methods, whereas scales generating discrete data usually require a nonparametric method. Additionally, authors are reminded of the potential use and enhancements gained by analyzing their data via the Rasch model, which bypasses many of the assumptions needed for analyzing data using traditional methods (e.g., t tests, analysis of variance, regression analysis).
The entire survey method should be transparent. This not only allows for critical review and interpretation but also for future replication, modification, and potential improvement in the research area. Researchers that use survey instruments and survey methods must adequately address the limitations of their research. This requires more than simply stating that a limitation may exist. It is incumbent on the author(s) to help the reader interpret the results presented in light of the limitations at hand. How the limitation potentially affected the results and the actions taken by the author to potentially minimize that limitation must be elucidated.
These guidelines are designed to both improve the quality of survey research conducted by our researchers and published in the Journal. Questions regarding these guidelines or inquiries about your specific research can be directed to the JAPhA Editor and Associate Editors.