The Journal of the American Pharmacists Association (JAPhA) welcomes original research, review, and experience articles that crisply and concisely report on meaningful developments and advances in pharmacy practice. These articles may introduce information about new medications and emerging therapeutic trends, new technologies, or research or 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.
accepts for consideration papers prepared in accordance with the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals1
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. For guidance in preparing manuscripts, refer to the Chicago Manual of Style
, 16th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 2010)2
; the American Medical Association Manual of Style
, 10th ed. (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press; 2007)3
; and Stedman's Medical Dictionary
, 28th ed. (Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins; 2006).4
Any word-processing system that produces files with the extensions .doc or .rtf can be used for manuscript preparation. All accepted manuscripts are edited to conform to JAPhA
Manuscripts also can be submitted initially in portable document format (PDF) files, although revised manuscripts must be in .doc or .rtf format. If accepted, the main document is converted to a PDF file; therefore, use of common typefaces will decrease the chance of problems with fonts, special characters, chemical formulae, and equations.
JAPhA general formatting considerations can be summarized as follows:
- 11- to 12-point type font
- Double spaced
- Left justified (ragged right)
- Suitable for printing on 8.5-by-11-inch paper
- Times New Roman font recommended
Articles must be submitted in a single word-processing file (additional detail is provided in the subsequent text):
- Title page
- Article relevance and contribution to literature
- Article text
As noted below, tables and figures, for all categories of submission, should be placed and uploaded via separate files.
Specific information contained in the title page should include names of participating authors; their corresponding degree abbreviations; job titles; current and past affiliations at the time of the manuscript and/or project completion; funding support (financial or material); previous presentations of the work (e.g., professional meetings); and any present conflicts of interest. Conflicts of interest may include but are not limited to involvement in peer-reviewed publication and personal or financial interests that may bias actions. Financial interests consist of grants, employment, gifts, stock holdings, honoraria, consultancies, expert testimonies, patents, and/or other royalties. Potential conflicts of interest must be clearly stated. For guidance on inclusion of conflicts of interest, authors are referred to www.icmje.org/ethical_4conflicts.html
In addition, correspondence-related information should be provided for one author. This information should include current mail and e-mail address, as well as fax number.
Abstracts are limited to 250 words total. Specific subheadings are required in the abstract depending on the section of manuscript submitted (see below). If a required subheading does not apply, please write “not applicable” below the corresponding subheading. Abstracts are required with the exception of submissions to the Departments category (i.e., Letters and Viewpoints).
Research. Objective, Design (e.g., randomized controlled trial, crossover trial, cross-sectional study or survey, cohort study, case–control study), Setting, Patients (or, if appropriate, Participants), Intervention, Main outcome measure(s), Results, Conclusion, Keywords.
Research Notes. Objective, Methods, Results, Conclusion, Keywords.
Reviews/Tools for Advancing Pharmacy Practice. Objective, 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, Setting, Practice description (Patient description for clinical case reports), Practice innovation (Case summary for clinical case reports), Main outcome measure(s), Results, Conclusion, Keywords.
Commentary. Objective, Data sources (if applicable), Summary, Conclusion, Keywords.
Keywords. Keywords are terms that the author believes are representative of major topics or themes covered within the article. One or more terms may broadly describe the context of the article despite the specific term not appearing in the text (e.g., pharmacokinetics, medications use process, pharmacotherapy). The Web-based system used for submission of JAPhA manuscripts allows authors to provide five to seven keywords. Keywords must be based on MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) used for indexing articles for PubMed.
Article relevance and contribution to literature
For manuscripts in the Research, Research Notes, and Experience sections, authors are required to prepare a summary of 250 words or less describing the article's relevance and contribution to the literature in pharmacy practice or the pharmaceutical sciences. This text is to summarize how the study advances existing knowledge on the topic (i.e., relevance) and the importance of the work and why it should be published (i.e., contribution to literature). Questions that should be considered in the formation of this text include: What do we know, and what is missing or controversial in the current literature? What improvements are needed in practice or research to fill the gap or mitigate the controversy? How does this study answer the specific question or assist in improving practice or science? What are the next steps for pharmacy practice or the pharmaceutical sciences?
Headings are used by JAPhA
to introduce an article's main sections, as represented in the abstract headings and described in
. Within the text of an article, medications should be referred to by their generic name. For single-source products or to identify a specific product, place the brand name followed by the manufacturer in parentheses following the generic name: generic name (brand name—manufacturer). Trademark symbols should not be used. Articles involving human participants are required to state approval or exemption by an institutional review board (IRB). If a waiver or modification of consent was previously granted by an IRB, briefly describe in the text the rationale for the modification. Articles not containing this statement will be rejected until IRB status is determined. IRB decisions will not be “second guessed”; however, every article must contain this information before commencing peer review. Table 1
The use of footnotes should be avoided within the text. If absolutely necessary, use lowercase letters (a, b, c, etc.) to denote the use of a footnote within text.
Automatic endnote and reference numbering features of word-processing systems, although useful, are not compatible with current JAPhA typesetting systems. Authors must convert references and corresponding callouts to a JAPhA compatible format in submitted manuscript versions. Specifically:
- Journal and book names should not be italicized.
- Only the first letter of the first word of a book name should be capitalized.
- If an article has one to four authors, all authors' names should be listed. If an article has five or more authors, list the first three authors followed by the words “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 appropriately referenced styles include the following:
- Journal article. Sathers BC, Forbes JJ, Starck DJ, Rovers JP. Effects of a personal automated dose-dispensing system on adherence: a case-series. J Am Pharm Assoc. 2007;47:82–5.
- Book (if applicable, cite specific chapter or pages used). 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/news magazine article. Bright B. Seniors satisfied with Medicare drug plan. Wall St J. 2007(Dec 12): B1.
- Web-published article. Sheffer J. FDA advisory committee recommends additional study of phenylephrine. Accessed at www.pharmacist.com/AM/Template.cfm?Template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=14747, December 30, 2008.
- Website or webpage. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccines and immunizations. Accessed at www.cdc.gov/vaccines, December 30, 2008.
- Personal communications. Personal communications should not be included in the formal reference list. References should be obtained only from literature that is published or “in press” (i.e., accepted for publication). Personal communications may, however, be included parenthetically in text with the date of communication (month, year) and whether the communication was written (including electronic message) or oral.
The number of accepted tables and figures varies by category of article submission. Please refer to
for specific criteria. Tables and figures, for all categories of submission, should be placed and uploaded via separate files to Table 1JAPhA's
Manuscript Central website (see WEB-BASED MANUSCRIPT SUBMISSION). Within figures or texts, numbers in integers should appear in the same order as in the body of text.
Tables. Tables must be created using the “Insert Table” command in Word. Please do not use tabs or spaces to create tables, columns, or rows or to indicate indentation. Images embedded within a Word file will not be accepted for consideration as a table. Authors must consecutively number and cite appearance of tables within the body of text. Careful consideration should be taken to ensure that tables do not merely repeat information included in the text. Only the most significant data or highlights should be provided in table format. Authors must consider whether a table stands alone. The table itself should contain all information needed to convey the intended meaning without need for the reader to refer to the text. This should include careful consideration that all acronyms and/or abbreviations used within the table are defined in a footnote below the table. For math and calculations displayed in table format, math totals must be correct. For ease of interpretation of the table appearing with column headings, these headings should be appropriately labeled.
Description of Journal sections
Figures. Similar to submission of tables, care must be taken to ensure that figures are submitted in a format compatible with current JAPhA typesetting systems. Figures should not be uploaded that contain images embedded in a Word document. Specifically, charts and graphs should be submitted in their native, editable format (usually Excel, Word, or PowerPoint). Submission in this format allows Journal editors and staff to perform basic house-style edits, such as changing fonts in label axes. To accomplish this, Journal editors and staff must be able to “click” into figure files to edit the file to conform to house standards. Photos or illustrations submitted as a figure should be provided in TIFF or JPEG formats in 300 dots per square inch (dpi) for color images or 600 dpi for black and white images.
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. Manuscripts submitted without the accompanying survey instrument will be immediately rejected. 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.6
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 must clearly describe the sample selection process because the results of the survey can only be generalized to the population from which the sample was selected. Convenience and quota samples are not random samples and thus have major weaknesses that must be addressed in the article text by the researchers for the reader to consider. 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 Method7
and Salant and Dillman's How to Conduct Your Own Survey8
are recommended resources. Detailed response rates must be reported. This report 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 useful in deciphering response rates. Manuscripts describing the results of surveys with very low response rates may not be sent out for peer review based on staff review.
Going hand-in-hand with low response rate is the concept of nonresponse bias. Generally speaking, the lower the response rate, the more nonresponse bias threatens the validity of 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.9
Early versus late responders, intense follow-up of a sample of the non-responders, and comparisons on demographic or other relevant variables of responders to non-responders are some of the more common methods., 7, 810
At a minimum, authors must address the serious weaknesses of very low response rates in the limitations section of the article.
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., 1112
In addition, authors using selected items from scales in existing instruments should justify their use and properly test them. Finally, authors must provide a description of the pretesting of the survey instrument and instrument procedures used.
Statistical techniques and analyses must 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 non-parametric method. In addition, authors are reminded of the potential use and enhancements gained by analyzing discrete data via the Rasch model, which bypasses many of the assumptions typically 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.
has a Web-based manuscript submission and author communication system. Manuscript Central is hosted by ScholarOne, Inc., in Charlottesville, VA (http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/japha
). This system prompts authors to enter required information in a standardized way to increase the consistency of information available during peer review. A help center for the site (http://mchelp.manuscriptcentral.com/gethelpnow
) has answers to frequently asked questions and an author guide. All submissions (with some exceptions noted in
) must be made through the website. Table 1
Submission through the ScholarOne Manuscript Central system allows the manuscript submission package to be created gradually during several visits to this website. Access the site early in the writing process to register in the Author Center and become familiar with the way that information is requested. Build the paper over several days or weeks before submitting it. Authors receive information about manuscripts by accessing the website at any time as the paper moves through the staff review, peer review, and decision-making processes.
All manuscripts are initially screened by the editor and/or associate editors in a staff review process for overall originality, quality, utility, value, and relevance to pharmacy practice and research. Manuscripts are selected for peer review that are within the scope of the Journal and have a greater likelihood of acceptance. Authors of manuscripts that are not selected for peer review are generally notified of this decision within 4 weeks after submission.
JAPhA uses a partially open peer review process in which the identities of authors are disclosed but reviewers' identities are masked. During Web submission, authors may 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. After critiques are received from multiple reviewers, the corresponding editor considers these reviews in reaching an initial decision to accept, request minor or major revisions, reject, reject and resubmit, or obtain additional reviews. The time from initial submission to first decision notification is 6 to 12 weeks. During the past several years, the average time for this process has been between 6 and 7 weeks.
An alleged violation of any of the basic rules of scientific ethics, in accord with the procedures set forth in the American Medical Association Manual of Style (10th ed.), will be investigated confidentially. If the violation is deemed sufficiently serious, the editor will request a written explanation from the authors. If an explanation is not provided by the authors, or the explanation is unsatisfactory, such that the Journal's editor and associate editors believe that the evidence clearly shows that scientific misconduct occurred, the editor will promptly reject the manuscript or proceed to retract a published manuscript. In addition, the editor reserves the right to notify the authors' institution of the violation of the Journal's scientific ethics policy. The editor also reserves the option to request that the authors' institution initiate a formal investigation into the alleged violation of scientific ethics and to report back to the Journal in a timely manner. If the formal institutional investigation confirms scientific misconduct, the editor will promptly reject a pending manuscript or proceed to retract a published manuscript. Further, the JAPhA editor reserves the right to impose punitive actions (e.g., ban on publishing in the Journal) on authors proven to have violated any of the basic rules of scientific ethics.
If your paper is selected for publication in the Journal, a signed paper form will be required from each author that includes information regarding copyright, authorship, acknowledgments, and conflict of interest statements.
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.
International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals. N Engl J Med. 1997;336:309.
Chicago Manual of Style. 16th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 2010.
American Medical Association Manual of Style. 10th ed. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press; 2007.
Stedman's Medical Dictionary. 28th ed. Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins; 2006.
International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals: ethical considerations in the conduct and reporting of research: conflicts of interest. Accessed at www.icmje.org/ethical_4conflicts.html
, December 15, 2011.
Draugalis JR, Coons SJ, Plaza CM. Best practices for survey research reports: a synopsis for authors and reviewers. Am J Pharm Educ. 2008;72:11.
Dillman DA. Mail and Internet surveys: the tailored design method. 2nd ed. (2007 update). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons; 2007.
Salant P, Dillman DA. How to conduct your own survey. New York: John Wiley & Sons; 1994.
Schutt RK. Investigating the social world: the process and practice of research. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press; 1999.
Harrison DL, Draugalis JR. Evaluating the results of mail survey research. J Am Pharm Assoc. 1997;NS37:662–6.
Streiner DL, Norman GR. Health measurement scales: a practical guide to their development and use. 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press; 2003.
Kimberlin CL, Winterstein AG. Validity and reliability of measurement instruments used in research. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2008;65:2276–84.[CrossRef][PubMed]
Mulrow CD. Systematic reviews: rationale for systematic reviews. BMJ. 1994;309:597–9.[CrossRef][PubMed]