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ACCP Report - November 2019

Pharmacotherapy Update

Written by C. Lindsay DeVane, Pharm.D., FCCP, BCPP Editor-in-Chief, Pharmacotherapy


The Annual Meeting of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy is an ideal time to review the progress of Pharmacotherapy, one of the two official journals of ACCP. The event includes an annual report by each editor-in-chief during the business meeting. For interested readers and ACCP members who were unable to attend the 2019 Annual Meeting, this column summarizes this year’s presentation and provides additional updates on Pharmacotherapy.

One of the chief metrics of how Pharmacotherapy is viewed in the world’s biomedical literature is the journal’s impact factor (IF), a numerical value reflecting the number of citations in other articles to publications in the journal. The Clarivate Analytics’ database used to calculate IF includes over 8000 biomedical journals. For 2 consecutive years, Pharmacotherapy has exceeded an IF of 3.0. For 2018, the current year of reporting, the value was 3.045. This value places the journal in 97th place among 267 journals in the category of pharmacology and pharmacy. In achieving this level of impact, the journal has benefited from increased worldwide marketing by its publisher, a continued increase in the number of high-quality submissions, and the contributions of a renowned editorial board and knowledgeable reviewers.

Of the hundreds of reviewers who are asked each year to evaluate the suitability of submitted manuscripts for publication, many are critically important in their advice to the journal’s scientific editors for making editorial decisions for publication. Each year, some of these individuals are honored as “Outstanding Reviewers” for their significant contributions to the journal’s mission. At the 2019 ACCP Annual Meeting, four individuals were identified: Betsy Blake, Pharm.D. (University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy); Kimberly Claeys, Pharm.D. (University of Maryland School of Pharmacy); Nimish Patel, Pharm.D., Ph.D. (UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences); and Kevin Sowinski, Pharm.D. (Purdue University, College of Pharmacy).

The role of reviewers is increasingly important as the journal continues to receive a record number of submissions. Over the past few years, Pharmacotherapy has received an increasing number of new manuscripts each month. The number of submissions originating from outside the United States and from non-pharmacist authors continues to rise. The journal publishes about 150 manuscripts each year, spread over monthly issues, with 716 manuscripts received in 2018. This editorial process requires a rejection rate of around 84%. Authors submitting to Pharmacotherapy receive a rapid editorial decision. The average time for a decision transmitted to the author of a manuscript was 11 days in 2018, and the time for decision for a peer-reviewed manuscript was 23 days. These turnaround times are highly valued by authors when deciding where to submit their work for publication and are also highly competitive.

Although IF is an important metric of a journal’s status within its field, Pharmacotherapy's editors are increasingly aware that the use and potential value of articles published in the journal, regardless of the number of yearly citations, are characteristics that reflect the journal’s importance in influencing optimal drug therapy for countless patients. Metrics that reflect these values of Pharmacotherapy include the number of article downloads and the journal’s mentions on social media. Indeed, the number of article downloads this year is expected to exceed 400,000, and the number of Twitter and Facebook followers continues to increase. Related to its presence on the Internet, Pharmacotherapy is committed to promoting its authors with podcast interviews. Monthly publication of an author interview conducted by one of the scientific editors has become a standard procedure. These can be found at anchor.fm/accp-jrnls, or by subscribing to the ACCP JRNLS podcast from your favorite platform. Overall, the principal indicators suggest that Pharmacotherapy provides important knowledge for the world’s drug therapy decision-makers.

Pharmacotherapy relies heavily on the proficiency of its editorial board and is pleased to add Qing Ma, Pharm.D., Ph.D. (University at Buffalo) to its existing panel of experts. In 2019, Pharmacotherapy moved to an online-only publication status. The reception of this transition has been unremarkable. Pharmacotherapy continues to be an important conveyor of knowledge in human pharmacology and drug therapy to researchers and end users. Both of ACCP’s two official journals, Pharmacotherapy and Journal of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (JACCP), advance pharmacotherapy and promote the progress of the clinical pharmacy profession. This has been a good year.