Turn Your Idea into a Pharmacy Publication: 5 Tips


Publishing research is a great way to share your findings with colleagues and enhance your professional growth.

Publishing research is a great way to share your findings with colleagues and enhance your professional growth. Whether you’re practicing in a community, hospital, or academic setting, these 5 tips can help turn your idea into a great pharmacy publication.

1. Conduct a literature search to see what’s published on your topic.

Congratulations on selecting your research topic! The first step is to conduct some research to see what information is available on your topic. Conduct a literature search on PubMed to determine whether any studies exist on your idea. This can help you formulate your study objective. The great thing about research is that it can also expand upon already existing studies. Your research may look at a different patient population or measure an outcome in a distinctive way, both of which are a value to the research community.

2. Determine whether you need institutional review board (IRB) approval.

An IRB is generally established at pharmacy facilities to review and approve all research involving human subjects. The purpose is to ensure that the study is ethical and that patients are protected. Whether you’re measuring the effect of a diabetes medication on blood glucose or surveying pharmacists about their attitudes toward prescription drug monitoring programs, it’s important to create a research protocol and submit the information to your IRB. Research should never be conducted until you receive IRB approval. Studies that are considered low risk, such as an anonymous survey, may be exempt. If you’re working with 2 different practice sites (eg, university and hospital), then you may need IRB approval from both facilities.

3. Carefully select an effective research team.

This is crucial to your success. Interprofessional research is looked highly upon in the pharmacy world. Also, student pharmacists benefit tremendously by being involved in research. It’s best to select colleagues with whom you can work well. Research can sometimes take a few years, and you’ll enjoy the experience more when your team collaborates efficiently.

4. Seek out grant opportunities.

Grants can help to provide funding for your research. Check with your facility to see if they offer any internal grants that you can apply for. The National Institutes of Health also provides great research grants. Pharmacy organizations such as the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) offer research grants as well.

5. Select a pharmacy journal to submit your research to for publication.

When conducting your research, it’s always important to have publication as your ultimate goal. Disseminating your research will provide innovative information to your colleagues and enhance the existing body of knowledge on the topic. If your topic is about pharmacy education, then consider the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education. Pharmacy residents can consider publishing their research projects in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy Residents Edition. Whatever journal you decide on, check the website to make sure that it’s peer-reviewed. This helps to ensure that you’re publishing in a reputable journal. Review the journal’s author style guide to confirm that you follow the guidelines. If your article is accepted contingent upon the peer reviewer recommendations, then it’s important to make the corrections in your manuscript. Respond to all peer reviewer comments. Don’t be discouraged if your article isn’t accepted by the journal; sometimes, it takes a few submissions to find the right fit. Select another journal with a similar research focus to submit your manuscript.

The best of luck on your research and publication journey!

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