University of Tasmania

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Assessing the quality of pharmacy journals accessible to community pharmacists

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 23:37 authored by Schwertmann, C, Colin CurtainColin Curtain, Gregory PetersonGregory Peterson

What is known and objective: Low-quality journals are problematic for the scientific community. They may not provide thorough editorial and peer review services, and may spread low-quality information. Community pharmacists are limited in research time and resources, and are particularly at risk to access low-quality information published in some journals. This may negatively impact their professional decision-making and patient care. This study aimed to assess pharmaceutical journals readily accessible to community pharmacists and classify those journals using multiple quality criteria.

Methods: A Google search was performed using defined English and German keywords. The following quality indicators were utilized: (i) whether the journal was listed on a blacklist or whitelist, (ii) whether the journal or its publisher was a member of a publishing organization, (iii) evaluation of details on the journal's website, (iv) indexation of the journal, and (v) use of journal metrics.

Results and discussion: Three hundred and eight journals were analysed; 105 (34%) were classified as “high-quality” and 203 (66%) were classified as “other”. Fortysix journals (15%) were listed on a blacklist and 152 journals (49%) were listed on a whitelist. Most journals were headquartered in India (39%), followed by the USA (24%) and Europe (20%). Journals classified as “high-quality” charged higher open access article processing charges (APCs) (median APC: USD $960; interquartile range (IQR): USD $27 to USD $3,000) than journals classified as “other” (USD $100, IQR: USD $13 to USD $547), p = 0.003. Similarly, journals indexed in established databases (MEDICUS, MEDLINE, PUBMED, Embase, Science Citation Index Expanded, or SCOPUS) charged higher APCs (median APC: USD $600, IQR: USD $4 to USD $2,500) than journals indexed in non-standard databases (median APC: USD $100, IQR: USD $41 to USD $581), p = 0.001.

What is new and conclusion: The results indicate that community pharmacists are at risk of accessing journals of questionable quality. Patient care may be negatively impacted by community pharmacists basing their professional decisions on evidence gained from some sources of lower quality. Community pharmacists and other pharmacists and researchers can use the tools and quality indicators provided in this study to preliminarily determine the quality and reliability of a journal to assist their professional decision-making and patient care.


Publication title

Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics










School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology


Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Place of publication

9600 Garsington Rd, Oxford, England, Oxon, Ox4 2Dg

Rights statement

Copyright 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Efficacy of medications; Community health care

Usage metrics

    University Of Tasmania


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