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Writing & Citing

The following links provide access to the various guidelines for preparing and submitting manuscripts to specific journals. Journals each have their own requirements, so be sure to check and adjust your articles when submitting to different journals for publication.


  • Unambiguous   
  •  Reflects content of the article
  •  Understandable


  • Provide contact information
  • The ICMJE (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors) recommends that authorship be based on the following 4 criteria:
  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND 
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  • Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.



  •  Briefly describe: Who, What, Where, Why and How
  •  Include Issue, Methods, Findings, and Implications


  •  Helps to position the research
  • Explains why the study was needed
  • Answers the research objectives
  • States motivation for study
  • Thoroughly review previous literature
  • State limitations of previous research in concise manner
  • Start general - gradually focus
  •  Include IRB statement


  • Based on literature review
  • Reflective of study outcomes
  • Watch for disconnects between objectives and content


  • Be thorough
  • Details help future researchers continue the process
  • Include information about the study design, inclusion/exclusion criteria, sample size, number of characteristics, data analysis, statistical tests, software used, and variables (dependent and independent)


  • Ensure sufficient sample sizes
  • Consult an expert if needed
  • Check appropriateness of test and of level of error
  • Comparison of non-respondents/respondents for Survey based statistics







Survey, Diagnosis




Practice Settings, Practice Type, Geographic Location




Timeframe of study (months, years,etc.), prospective vs. retrospective




Self-reported, Trained Interview/Intervention, Study Investigator (Faculty, Students, Paid Investigation)


  • Most important data should be presented first
  • Mention all figures and tables in main body of manuscript
  • Avoid redundancy
  • Provide appropriate statistical analysis results


  • Answer your research questions and objectives
  • Compare results with published data, as objectively as possible
  • Provide clinical significance vs. statistical significance
  • Required - Discuss limitations
  • Highlight main findings
  • Support conclusions with data
  • What are the take home messages?


  • Acknowledgements
  •  People who contribute substantially but cannot be regarded as co-authors
  •  Sources of funding

  •  Conflicts of interest

  •  Copyright permissions

  • References
  •  Cite appropriately

  •  Representative of the literature


The information on this page was provided by the following group of Pharmacy Journal Editors during the 2015 AACP & AFPC Annual Meeting presentation, "Considerations in Publishing: Guidance and Panel Discussion with Pharmacy Journals" on July 13, 2015. 

Thank you to the following editors:

Gayle A Brazeau, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief, American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Daniel J. Bobaugh, Pharm.D., DABAT, FAACT, Editor-in-Chief; American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy

Milap Nahata, M.S., Pharm, D, FCCP, FAPhA, FASHP, Editor-in-Chief;  Annals of Pharmacotherapy

Robin Zavod, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief; Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning

Andy Stergachis, B.Pharm, M.S., Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief; Journal of the American Pharmacists Association

Jeanine P. Abrons, Pharm.D., M.S., Associate Editor; Journal of the American Pharmacists Association



  • Thoroughly review the literature pertinent to the topic area in advance
  • Check for correlations in other health professions
  • Check for correlations in other general fields (ERIC Database)
  • Become familiar with Pharmacy Journals - a review of Table of Contents provides the focus of the journal
  • Become familiar with Reporting Guidelines (EquatorNetwork)

Have a Focus & Vision

  • Establish clear idea of manuscript's relevance and contribution to the literature
  • Be able to summarize two or three key points to someone not familiar with the content the current knowledge on the topic, any relevant background, how the manuscript adds to the existing knowledge on the topic
  • Indicate in the introduction how the article adds to the scientific literature
  • Write with clarity - writing an outline of points before writing the article is helpful
  • The organization of the manuscript should not detract for the readability of the manuscript

Other Writing Tips

  • Limit to one idea per paragraph
  • Use short vs lengthy sentences
  • Write in active voice
  • Check for consistency of terms/pronouns
  • Avoid personal pronouns - do not use "I", "me", or "mine"
  • Define abbreviations first
  • Avoid redundancy
  • Include footnotes or endnotes after punctuation
  • Use tables sparingly and thoughtfully
  • Avoid grammatical and spelling errors
  • Ask friend or colleague to review manuscript for clarity and grammatical issues

Researcher Academy

Research Preparation Writing Publication Peer Review  Communicating Research
  • Funding
  • Research data management
  • Research collaborations
  • Research design
  • Sex & gender equity in research
  • Fundamentals of manuscript preparation
  • Writing skills
  • Technical writing skills
  • Fundamentals of publishing
  • Finding the right journal
  • Ethics
  • Open science
  • Chemical sciences publication
  • Publishing in premium journals
  • Research metrics
  • Fundamentals of peer review
  • Becoming a peer reviewer
  • Going through peer review
  • Certified peer reviewer course
  • Social impact
  • Ensuring visibility
  • Inclusion and diversity for researchers


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