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Editorial policies

Pharmaceutical Journal Publications, including Clinical Pharmacist and The Pharmaceutical Journal, follow the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, issued by the International Committee for Medical Journal Editors, and the Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors, produced by the Committee on Publication Ethics.

Manuscript submission and processing

Clinical Pharmacist features various article types and CPD articles, as well as solicited and unsolicited authoritative literature reviews. Receipt of all manuscripts will be acknowledged within one week and authors will be notified of the Editor’s decision as to whether the article will progress to peer review. Initial screening of articles by internal editorial staff will assess the topicality and importance of the subject (including potential overlap with previously published material), the clarity of presentation, and relevance of the subject to the audience of Clinical Pharmacist.

If you have an article proposal or would like to submit an unsolicited article to Clinical Pharmacist, please contact the Editor. For article proposals, the Editor would request that a working title and brief outline of the proposed article is submitted in the first instance. Clinical Pharmacist has an active commissioning programme whereby the Editors solicit articles directly for publication.

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Peer review

Through a rigorous peer review process, Clinical Pharmacist aims to ensure that CPD and review articles are unbiased, scientifically accurate and clinically relevant. All articles are reviewed by at least two specialists, selected on the basis of experience and expertise. The end goal is to provide a constructive critique of the article and to recommend where there are opportunities to add additional value to the manuscript. Review is performed on a double-blind basis, whereby the identity of the peer reviewers and author(s) are kept confidential. Peer reviewers must disclose potential conflicts of interests that would prevent or may affect their ability to provide an unbiased review of the manuscript (See conflict of interest policy). Peer reviewers are asked to complete a template report form, to provide general comments to the Editor and both general and specific comments to the author(s).

If an author believes that an editor has made an error in declining a paper, they may submit an appeal. The appeal letter should clearly state the reasons why the author(s) considers the decision to be incorrect and provide detailed, specific responses to any comments relating to the rejection of the article. Further advice from the Editor and/or other external experts will be sought in order to determine the eligibility for re-review.

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Most manuscripts will require some degree of editing or revisions prior to formal acceptance for publication. Clinical Pharmacist requests that authors should provide two copies of the revised manuscript — one of which should highlight where changes have been made. A detailed response to the reviewer comments are also required (authors should include these sections on the report form supplied). Manuscripts may be accepted at this point, however, depending on the nature of the comments and amount of revision necessary, articles may be subject to further peer review. The final decision regarding the acceptance of an article for publication lies with the journal Editor.

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Pharmaceutical Journal Publications support authors in making their article publicly and freely available. The editors encourage all authors to post a Word version of their peer-reviewed, accepted article on their personal or institutional websites any time after publication online or in print. Your document should indicate the article’s citation and a link to the published article on website.

For authors of articles funded by one of the Research Councils UK, Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK, Arthritis Research Council, British Heart Foundation, UK Department of Health, UK Chief Scientist Office, Austrian Science Fund, or Parkinson’s UK, we offer either a “gold” open access choice with a creative commons licence after payment of an article processing charge, or a “green” open access solution — where authors can deposit the final accepted version of their paper in any repository they choose six months after publication. In addition, for authors who choose the green open access solution, we will also make the published paper free to access on our websites six months after publication. For the gold open access solution we offer a choice of creative commons licences (CC BY or CC BY-NC-ND).

These options apply only to review papers submitted for publication inPharmaceutical Journal Publications after October 2015, they will not be applied retrospectively.

Authors funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) can comply with the NIH’s public-access policy via the Journal Publishing Agreement (copyright transfer form), which is sent to the corresponding author of accepted articles. All Howard Hughes Medical Institute scientists who are authors of accepted articles can also have their accepted manuscripts deposited in PubMed Central, if they complete the relevant section of the Journal Publishing Agreement.

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Disclosure and conflict of interest policy

Authors must state explicitly whether potential conflicts do or do not exist (e.g. personal or financial relationships that could influence their actions) and any such potential conflict of interest (including sources of funding) should be summarised in a separate section of the published article. Authors must disclose whether they have received writing assistance and identify the sources of funding for such assistance. Authors who declare no conflict of interest are required to publish a statement to that effect within the article.

Authors must certify that all affiliations with or financial involvement with any organisation or entity with a financial interest in or financial conflict with the subject matter or materials discussed in their manuscript have been disclosed. Please note that examples of financial involvement include: employment, consultancies, honoraria, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, grants or patents received or pending and royalties. This list is not exclusive of other forms of financial involvement. Details of relevant conflicts of interests (or the lack of) must be declared in the ‘Disclosure’ section of the manuscript for all listed authors.

External peer reviewers must disclose any conflicts of interest that could bias their opinions of the manuscript, and they should disqualify themselves from reviewing specific manuscripts if they believe it appropriate. Should any such conflict of interest be declared, the Editor will judge whether the reviewer’s comments should be recognized or will interpret the reviewer’s comments in the context of any such declaration.

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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.

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Use of personal communications & unpublished data

Authors should avoid citing a personal communication unless it provides essential information not available from a public source, in which case include the nature and source of the cited information, using a term or terms to indicate clearly that no corresponding citation is in the reference list.

Authors can cite journal articles that have been submitted and accepted for publication that have yet to be published, however unpublished data that have not been accepted for publication are not to be cited in the reference list.

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Permissions for reproduced or adapted material

Pharmaceutical Press, the publisher of Clinical Pharmacist, is a signatory STM publisher (

If any of the figures or tables used in the manuscript require permission from the original publisher for publication, please clearly indicate this in the legend and make this known to the Editor on submission.

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Duplicate publication/submission & plagiarism

All manuscripts submitted to Clinical Pharmacist are considered for publication on the understanding that they have not been published previously elsewhere or are under consideration for publication elsewhere. Authors will be asked to certify that the manuscript represents valid work and that neither this manuscript, nor one with substantially similar content under their authorship, has been published or is being considered for publication elsewhere, except as described in an attachment, and copies of closely related manuscripts are provided.

The use of published or unpublished ideas, words or other intellectual property derived from other sources without attribution or permission, and representation of such as those of the author(s) is regarded as scientific misconduct and will be addressed as such. 

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Scientific misconduct & retraction

If misconduct by authors or reviewers is suspected, either pre-publication or post-publication, action will be taken. An explanation will be sought from the party or parties considered to be involved. If the response is unsatisfactory, then an appropriate authority will be asked to investigate fully. Pharmaceutical Journal Publications will make all reasonable attempts to obtain a resolution in any such eventuality and correct the record or archive as necessary (publishing a retraction of the article if required).

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These Author Guidelines are an iterative document as we are presently defining our policies and processes and are subject to substantial ongoing review.

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