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Article types

Peer-reviewed article types

The information below provides an overview of the requirements, word limits and format for each peer-reviewed article type published in Clinical Pharmacist. Authors should also consult the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals’, in particular the section on ‘Preparing a Manuscript for Submission to a Medical Journal’, prior to submitting an article to Clinical Pharmacist.

CPD articles [Published in Clinical Pharmacist]

CPD articles provide focused, evidence-based learning content for health professionals. CPD articles are designed to meet specific learning objectives relevant to clinical practice, and are peer-reviewed to ensure they are comprehensive, authoritative and accurate. CPD articles are accompanied by an online assessment, allowing readers to test their knowledge and demonstrate evidence of their learning.

Word limit: To be agreed with the Editor at the time of commissioning.

Required Sections: (for a more detailed description of these sections see Article sections)

  • Title
  • Subtitle
  • Author(s) names and affiliations
  • Keywords
  • Introduction
  • Body of article
  • Financial disclosure/Conflict of interest statement/Acknowledgements
  • Author contributions
  • Provenance
  • References: Target of 15-25 references per thousand words, following the Vancouver style of referencing (refer to style guide).
  • Figures and tables: At least one, but no more than three figures.

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Review articles [Published in Clinical Pharmacist]

Review articles cover areas of pharmacy, medicines use and pharmaceutical science that are topical and have advanced substantially in recent years. Review articles are engaging and focused, while retaining broad relevance to the pharmaceutical community. As peer-reviewed content, they present the best available published evidence on a topic or expert analysis and offer valuable context for readers. Authors are encouraged to provide insight into future developments and a balanced take on emerging ideas and trends.

Two types of review article are accepted:

  • Narrative review: Selected studies are compared and summarised on the basis of the author’s experience, existing theories and models. Results are based on a qualitative rather than a quantitative level.
  • Literature review: Authors address a defined objective by summarising the best available evidence and providing context on the topic; they must describe their method of literature search and rationale for inclusion.

Word limit: 4,000–6,000 words (excluding references and figure/table legends) — to be agreed at the time of commissioning. The word limit may be longer at the Editor’s discretion depending on the topic.

Required sections: (for a more detailed description of these sections see Article sections)

  • Title
  • Subtitle
  • Author(s) names and affiliations
  • Abstract
  • Keywords
  • Introduction
  • Sources and selection criteria (methods)
  • Body of article
    • Findings
    • Discussion
    • Conclusion
  • Key points box
  • Financial disclosure/Conflict of interest statement/Acknowledgements
  • Author contributions
  • Provenance: Whether the article was invited, commissioned or submitted.
  • References: Target of 15-25 references per thousand words, following the Vancouver style of referencing (refer to style guide).
  • Figures and tables: At least one, but no more than three figures that help to illustrate the main findings or methods

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Research articles

Research articles give readers the opportunity to share innovations and initiatives that can improve pharmacy services. The reports can focus on any area of practice, including delivering clinical services, pharmacy administration, or new approaches to inform and engage with patients. The main criteria for accepting research articles are:

  • Results achieved: Research articles should show that they can result in one or more of the following:
    • Actual improvement in patient care living conditions;
    • Better co-ordination and integration between various sectors in healthcare;
    • Changes in local, national or regional social, economic and environmental policies and strategies;
    • Improved institutional capacity at the national, sub-national or local levels;
    • Changes to local or national decision-making, including the institutionalisation of partnerships;
    • Recognising and addressing specific opportunities and constraints;
    • Changes in the use and allocation of human, technical and financial resources at the local/national level;
    • Changes in people’s attitudes, behaviour and roles
    • reproducibility and transferability, priority and
  • Sustainability: Articles need to show how the integration of the social, economic, environmental, institutional and cultural elements of sustainability was achieved, particularly with regards to:
    • Financial: The use and leveraging of resources, including cost recovery, indicating how loans, if any, are being paid back and their terms and conditions;
    • Social and Economic: Gender equity, equality and social inclusion, economic and social mobility;
    • Cultural: Respect for and consideration of attitudes, behaviour patterns and heritage;
    • Environmental: Reducing dependence on non-renewable resources (air, water, land, energy, etc.), and changing production and consumption patterns and technology e.g. Composting, recycling etc.
    • Institutional: Legislation, regulatory frameworks, by-laws or standards formally addressing the issues and problems that have been dealt with by a practice; Social policies and/or sectoral strategies at the (sub) national level that have a potential for replication elsewhere; Institutional frameworks and decision-making processes that assign clear roles and responsibilities to various levels and groups of actors, such as central and local governmental organisations and community-based organisations; efficient, transparent and accountable management systems that make more effective use of human, technical, financial and natural resources.
  • Reproducibility and transferability: The article should describe how the initiative could be replicated, and if  the process of replication has commenced, when and by whom. 

Word limit: 4,000–6,000 words (excluding references and figure/table legends) — to be agreed at the time of commissioning. The word limit may be longer at the Editor’s discretion depending on the topic.

Required sections: (for a more detailed description of these sections see Article sections)

  • Title
  • Subtitle
  • Author(s) names and affiliations
  • Abstract
    • This should be structured like the main headings of the paper (e.g. Introduction, Methodology, Results, Discussion, Conclusion) and be 150–300 words. No references should be cited in the abstract.
  • Keywords
  • Introduction
  • Methodology
    • Situation before the initiative began
    • Establishment of priorities
    • Formulation of objectives and strategies
    • Mobilisation of resources
    • Process
  • Results
    • Results achieved
  • Discussion
    • Sustainability
    • Lessons learned
    • Transferability
    • Related policy/ies or legislation
    • Limitations
  • Key points box
    • A series of five bulleted summary points (approx. 100 words) that illustrate the main topics or conclusions of the article.
  • Financial disclosure/Conflict of interest statement/Acknowledgements
  • Patients’ rights to privacy
    • Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information should not be included unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or legal guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that the patient be shown the manuscript to be published. When informed consent has been obtained it should be indicated in the manuscript.
    • In an attempt to maintain patient anonymity, identifying details should be omitted where they are not essential. However, patient data should never be amended or falsified. Informed consent should be obtained whenever there is any doubt that anonymity can be assured.
  • Author contributions
  • Provenance
    • Whether the article was invited, commissioned or unsolicited.
  • References
    • Target of 15-25 references per 1000 words, following the Vancouver style of referencing (refer to style guide).
  • Figures and tables
    • At least one, but no more than three figures that help to illustrate the main findings or methods

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Perspective Articles [Published in Clinical Pharmacist]

The aim of Perspective articles is to stimulate debate on timely subjects within pharmacy, medicines use and the pharmaceutical sciences. The author is encouraged to be opinionated and present criticism, but will argue a clear viewpoint, based on available evidence, verified by peer review, while discussing caveats and alternative views in a balanced way. Perspective articles are forward-looking and focus on areas of advancement and or controversy.

Word limit: 4000-6000 words

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Non-peer-reviewed article types

News [Published in The Pharmaceutical Journal]

We welcome notice of matters for consideration as news items. These should be brought to the attention of the news editor (tel 020 7572 2415, email news.editor@pharmj.org.uk).

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Features [Published in The Pharmaceutical Journal]

Features are in-depth accounts of new concepts and approaches in the pharmaceutical sciences, the pharmaceutical community, or the interactions between the pharmaceutical sciences and society. This article employs a narrative to tell a story; some form direct and factual accounts, others can employ a creative form of writing. These articles aim to include illustrations, including substantive photos and infographics.

If you have an idea that you want explore with us as a feature, contact our Features Editor with a brief proposal.

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Comment [Published in The Pharmaceutical Journal]

Comment articles are authoritative and engaging expert opinion on topical issues and how they affect people, science, healthcare, politics and the law. Columns also offer authoritative views on the issues most important to the pharmaceutical community in the news. If you wish to contribute a comment or a column, please get in touch with our Opinion Editor.

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Insight [Published in Clinical Pharmacist]

Insight articles are commissioned authoritative and engaging expert opinion on medicines or clinical practice and how they affect pharmacists, researchers and patients.

Word limit: 1700 words

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Books and arts [Published in The Pharmaceutical Journal]

The Pharmaceutical Journal publishes reviews of books, films and cultural events related to pharmacy, healthcare, drug discovery and life science. Suggestions for reviews and offers to write for the section should be directed to the Opinion Editor.

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Obituary [Published in The Pharmaceutical Journal]

An account of the life and work of an individual who made an outstanding contribution to either pharmaceutical science or practice. The seminal work of such people continues to influence the world today. If you wish to submit an obituary, please get in touch with our Opinion Editor.

Correspondence [Published in The Pharmaceutical Journal]

Letters for publication should be emailed to correspondence@pharmaceutical-journal.com (we do not accept faxed or posted letters).

Letters are considered for publication on the understanding that they have been submitted exclusively to The Pharmaceutical Journal. A letter should generally be fewer than 400 words and relate to a single topic only.

We reserve the right to edit letters for clarity, brevity and style. We will not publish letters that do not meet our editorial policies or standards. 

Members of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society should supply their membership number. Other correspondents must supply a full name and address. A day‐time contact telephone number should always be provided.

If a correspondence is critical of individuals or organisations, details of the correspondence will be sent to those concerned and a response may be published alongside the original correspondence. In such cases, the identity of the correspondents will not be disclosed until publication.

Anonymity will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances. These circumstances will be at the discretion of the editors and the decision made in consultation with the correspondent.

Correspondence accepted for publication will appear on pharmaceutical-journal.com. At the editors’ discretion, correspondence may be selected for publication in the print edition of The Pharmaceutical Journal.

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Blogs [Published in The Pharmaceutical Journal]

We welcome guest bloggers. If you wish to join us as a blogger, please get in touch with our Opinion Editor.

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Learning articles [Published in The Pharmaceutical Journal]

Learning articles are commissioned articles, written by experts, on topics related to pharmacy practice and pharaceutical sciences. Learning articles focus on timely issues as well as new guidelines, as well as soft skills that pharmacists and scientists need in order to succeed in their careers.

If you wish to submit a learning article please contact our Learning Editor.

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Careers [Published in The Pharmaceutical Journal]

Career features cover a variety of topics that affect pharmacy professionals’ careers at all stages, from studying to retirement. These articles can include survey results and statistic-based reports. They may also focus on career advice from experts, business development and management, improving working conditions, use of information technology, and more.

Career profiles provide an in-depth look at the career and achievements of a particular pharmacy professional.

Q&A articles, pharmacy professionals and pharmaceutical scientists answer questions about their career or specific areas of knowledge.

If you have an unusual or exciting role or have been involved in a recent and successful project that you would like to share, please contact our Careers Editor.

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Announcements [Published in The Pharmaceutical Journal]

The Pharmaceutical Journal is the official journal of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS). The announcements, featured in the Your RPS section, contain official notices from the RPS to its members and information about upcoming events organised by the RPS. Notices of the deaths of members and former members of the RPS are also published here, together with tributes from their colleagues and relatives. Tributes celebrating the work of non-RPS members can also be submitted if the individual has made a substantial contribution to the pharmacy profession. For tributes, we ask for between 150 and 400 words to be sent to the RPS Correspondent.

If you would like to contribute an announcement or notify The Pharmaceutical Journal about the death of a colleague or relative, please contact the RPS Correspondent directly.

Please note that while all accepted announcements are published online, they are allocated to print in the order in which they are received. If there is not sufficient space in print the announcement will either be published online only, or be allocated to the next available print issue.

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With the exception of certain government employees all authors will be required to grant an exclusive licence to Pharmaceutical Journal Publications. To find out how to grant this licence, click here. Readers may make single copies of items for their personal use. Permission should be sought from the editor to make multiple copies or to republish material, for which a charge may be made (email permissions@pharmj.org.uk).

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