Author Instructions | American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education (2023)

Author InstructionsTable Guidelines
Author ChecklistFigure Guidelines
Statistics Guidelines

When uploadinga manuscript toEditorial Manager, the manuscript document (a Microsoft Word file) should be arranged in the following order starting with a new page for each section: cover letter addressed to the editor,IRB approval or exemption documentation in English,title page, abstract, text, references, tables, figures, and appendices.

Editorial Manager allows authors to upload files with tables, figures, and appendices separately if that is more convenient. This is highly recommended for image files (ie, figures). This arrangement does not apply to Letters to the Editor and invited commentaries.

Title Page. The title page should include the following information: author(s) names, academic degrees, institution, email, phone number, keywords (up to 5), total number of words (excluding those found in tables and figures but including the number of words in appendices), tables, figures, and appendices. Include any financial disclosures and any conflicts of interest. Titles are limited to 15 words. Compound titles are not accepted.

Abstract. The maximum number of words for an abstract is 250. Do not includepvalues in abstracts.

Research Articles and Briefs:add a brief statement (1-3 sentences) foreach of the following: Objective, Methods, Results,and Conclusion.

Reviews: adda statement for each of the following sections: Objectives, Findings, and Summary.

Manuscript Headings.These should mirror abstract headings, with the addition of Introduction and Discussion sections. One subheading or subtitle per section is acceptable in research articles.

Page Numbering.Beginning with the title page, manuscripts should include page numbering at the bottom center of each page.

Non-continuous line numbering.Beginning with the title page, manuscripts should include non-continuous line numbering on the left margin of each page.

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MAINBODY OF AMANUSCRIPT

Introductionshould provide the context for the article, the objective of the study, and the hypothesis or research question, how and why the hypothesis was developed, and why it is important. It should generally not exceed 2 to 3 paragraphs.

Methodsshould include study design or type of analysis and dates/period of study, details of the sample (eg, participants and setting from which they were drawn, inclusion/exclusion criteria), outcome measures or observations, and statistical analysis. This section should be written in the past tense voice.

Resultsshould be specific and relevant to the research hypothesis. Characteristics of the study participants should be followed by the presentation of results. Do NOT include implications or weaknesses of the study in this section but do include validation measures if conducted as part of the study. Results should not discuss the rationale for the statistical procedures used. Data in tables and figures should NOT be duplicated in the text. See Standardization of Statistical Reporting.

Discussionshould be a formal consideration and critical examination of the study. The research question or hypothesis should be addressed. Results should be compared or contrasted to those of other studies. Limitations and generalizability of the results should be discussed, as well as mention of unexpected findings with suggested explanations. Type of future studies needed, if appropriate, should be mentioned.

Conclusionshould include only conclusions directly supported by results, taking into account limitations. Include implications but avoid speculation and overgeneralization. Indicate whether additional study is required before the information should be used. Give equal emphasis to positive and negative findings of equal merit.

Acknowledgmentsshould appear after the conclusion or summary of the manuscript and explicitly state what the person being acknowledged has contributed to the manuscript. Funding/support and any other disclosures should also be included in this section.

OTHERPARTS OF A MANUSCRIPT

References.TheJournalfollows theAMA Manual of Stylefor references. Whenever appropriate, authors should include citations relevant to the topic of the manuscript that appear in education-focused journals and other health profession-based publications. Excessive over-citation of articles from the Journal or reiterations of well-established historic literature should be avoided, as well as excessive self-citations. Studies mentioned in text should be referred to with author(s)’ names (eg, “Smith and colleague’s study/review”), not with phrases such as “A recent study/review.”

Tables.Tables should not duplicate information provided in the text. Instead, tables should provide additional information that illustrates or expands on a specific point the author wishes to make. Each table should include a title descriptive enough to make the table self-explanatory (ie, stand alone). Tables should not break across pages but please avoid using page breaks. Tables should be numbered using Arabic numbers following the order to which they are referred in the text. Tables should be created using Microsoft Word table formatting tools and should be in Times New Roman, 10-point type, with footnotes in 9-point type (do NOT use the tab key to form rows and columns of data as tab information is lost when the document is processed by the publisher). See Table Guidelines.

Figures.TheJournalonly accepts black & white figures, no color figures. Figures should be numbered using Arabic numbers, based on the order in which they are presented in the text. Figures must be legible to readers. Large and/or high-resolution graphic image files, saved as TIFFS, should be uploaded toEditorial Manageras separate files from the manuscript text (Word file). See Figure Guidelines.

Appendices.Although the Journal will consider publishing an appendix (only for manuscripts in Research Articles category), the publication of appendices will be the exception, not the norm, with the author needing to justify why the content is essential. Appendices will count against word limits. Any appendix should be standalone and non-duplicative of other information in the manuscript. The Journal considers the following items publishable or non-publishable as appendices:

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PublishableNon-Publishable
Items essential to transparency of model or method, such as regression analysis modelSurvey/questionnaire
Tool validated during the study

Unvalidated tool or rubric

Qualitative responses from study participants
Raw data

RESEARCH STANDARDS

For all manuscripts reporting on research involving human subjects, the author must upload to Editorial Manager all relevant institutional review board (IRB) letters, which should indicate the research has been reviewed and approved by the appropriate human research or ethics review committee, or that it has been exempted from such review. For research that has undergone such review and approval, a statement to that effect also should be included in the manuscript methods section.

Institutional Review Board. Given that many institutions require Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval or exemption to be active until time of publication, IRB documentation must be current at the time of submission. If the original approval or exemption has expired, documentation showing an unexpired renewal must be provided or documentation from the IRB stating that they do not require renewal must be provided. Additionally, if exemption had originally been provided by the IRB because the project was considered quality improvement and therefore not considered research, a current IRB approval for publication of data must be provided since the project is now being submitted for publication.

All survey research must meet criteria established by the Journal’s Editorial Board. Please refer to the following articles for guidelines:

Persky AM, Romanelli F. Insights, pearls, and guidance on successfully producing and publishing educational research. Am J Pharm Educ. 2016;80(5):Article 75. http://www.ajpe.org/doi/full/10.5688/ajpe80575

Draugalis JR, Plaza CM. Best practices for survey research reports revisited: implications of target population, probability sampling, and response rate. Am J Pharm Educ. 2009;73(8):Article 142.https://www.ajpe.org/content/73/8/142

Draugalis JR, Coons SJ, Plaza CM. Best practices for survey research reports: a synopsis for authors and reviewers. Am J Pharm Educ. 2008;72(1):Article 11.https://www.ajpe.org/content/72/1/11

Fincham JE. Response rates and responsiveness for surveys, standards, and the Journal. Am J Pharm Educ. 2008;72(3):Article 43.https://www.ajpe.org/content/72/2/43

Anderson C. Presenting and evaluating qualitative research. Am J Pharm Educ.2010;74(8):Article 141. http://www.ajpe.org/doi/full/10.5688/aj7408141

STYLISTIC CONSIDERATIONS

Style specifications for the Journal must be followed thoroughly. Below are general guidelines for manuscript format and style. If in doubt about style, authors should refer to the American Medical Association (AMA) Manual of Style or consult a recent issue of the Journal.

Text. Manuscripts must be double spaced, Times New Roman in size 11 font, with noncontinuous line numbering and no page breaks. The text should be scholarly, readable, clear, and concise. Standard nomenclature should be used. Manuscripts that were prepared for oral presentation must be rewritten for print. Excessively long introduction or discussion sections in research papers are discouraged.

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Word Style. Consult a current edition of Webster’s dictionary for guidance on spelling, compounding, and word separation. Foreign words, not in general use, should be italicized. For proper use of chemical and biochemical terms, mathematical equations and expressions, special symbols, subscripts, superscripts, or Greek letters, please refer to the AMA Manual of Style.

Capitalization. When the word “journal” is capitalized and italicized as Journal, it can refer only to the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education. In scientific writing, always capitalize the following: major words in titles and headings of manuscripts, designators for tables, figures, and appendices (eg, Appendix 1), eponyms (but not the noun that follows them, eg, Gram stain, Babinski sign), names of tests (eg, Beck Depression Inventory), genus names of organisms (but not the name of species, varieties or subspecies), acts of legislation (eg, Medicare), awards (eg, Nobel Prize), proprietary names (eg, Xerox copier), the title of a person when followed by the person’s name (eg, Chair John W. Jones), official names of organizations and institutions (eg, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), geographic places (eg, United States of America), sociocultural designations (eg, Republicans, French people), and historical events (eg, Vietnam War).

Abbreviations. Spell out or define abbreviations and acronyms on first use. Avoid ad hoc abbreviations. In instances where repeated use of an organization or chemical name would become awkward, an official or accepted abbreviation may be substituted. The abbreviation should be placed in parentheses immediately following the first use of the name in the main body of the text. Abbreviations of common pharmaceutical associations or organizations do not require periods or spaces between letters (eg, AACP). Abbreviations of “eg,” and “ie,” and “et al” should not be separated by periods. The names of countries and US states should be spelled out when they stand alone (eg, “…pharmacists throughout the United States...”). Do not use postal abbreviations for states in the text. The abbreviation “US” may be used as a modifier only when it directly precedes the word it modifies (eg, US health care). Otherwise, it should be spelled out. The names of all other cities, states, provinces, and countries should be spelled out when they occur within the text of the article. Refer to the AMA Manual of Style for additional rules regarding abbreviations. Abbreviations deemed “dangerous” or “forbidden” by the Joint Commission and/or the Institute for Safe Medication Practices should be avoided (eg, QD, SC, SQ).

Numbers. Numbers 0-9 should be written out in general. In statistical text, Arabic numeral can be used if appropriate. Arabic numerals should also be used with designators (eg, week 1, cohort 2). Numbers 10 and up should be written as Arabic numerals (unless they occur at the beginning of a sentence, in which case they should be spelled out). A number containing a decimal must be styled as an Arabic number. All fractions must be written as decimal equivalents. In p values, do not include a leading zero to the left of the decimal point.

Measurements. Use the metric system for all measurements; however, use conventional units instead of SI units. Do not use periods when abbreviating units of measure.

Reference numbers. Reference numbers cited in the text of an article should be in superscript Arabic numerals placed at the end of the sentence, outside the final period or other punctuation. Reference citations should be numbered according to their order of appearance in the manuscript. Subsequent citations to the same reference must be indicated by the same number originally assigned to that reference. Do not place parentheses around reference numbers cited in text.

MANUSCRIPT CATEGORIES

Reviews.Reviews are comprehensive, well-referenced descriptive papers on teaching or research topics directly related to entry-level and graduate or postgraduate education and training or skill development. Reviews should be systematic, include all relevant data, and should not be overly influenced by the opinions and biases of the authors. Reviews may be papers on the history of pharmacy education. Reviews should not exceed 4,000 words (double-spaced) for the body of the manuscript (excluding words in tables andfigures, but including words in appendices). Reviews should not have more than 5 tables and/or figures and 50 references.

Integrative Reviews.Integrative Reviews synthesize practical applications from scientific evidence across different domains. The goal of these submissions is to inform readers about how to improve instruction, student achievement, scholarship of teaching, or other topics directly related to academic pharmacy. They differ from Reviews in that they offer practical application of the evidence. They are not necessarily “how to” pieces but should bea compilation of evidence-based resources for researchers and instructors that can be used to improve academic pharmacy. Integrative Reviews should not exceed 4,000 words (double-spaced) for the body of the manuscript and appendices (excluding words in tables andfigures). Reviews should not have more than 5 tables and/or figures and 50 references. Some examplesinclude:

Method reviews.These reviewssummarize a method or various methods valuable to educators or educational researchers (eg.Rivers, et al.Measuring Metacognitive Knowledge, Monitoring, and Control in the Pharmacy Classroom and Experiential Settings).

Present/Future reviews. These reviews may summarize the current state of knowledge in a given area and recommend future directions for research. These recommendations aremore explicit and robust compared to ones that may be found in a commentary (eg, Cain, et al.A Primer on Audience Response Systems: Current Applications and Future Considerations).

Practical reviews. These reviews may summarize existing knowledge and translate it into practical recommendations (eg, Medina, et al.A Review of Strategies for Designing, Administering, and Using Student Ratings of Instruction).

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Best Practice reviews. These reviews summarize best practices for educators or educational researchers (eg,Farland, et al. Best Practices for Implementing Team-Based Learning in Pharmacy Education).

Research Articles.Research Articles describe experimental or observational investigations that used formal methods for data collection and reporting of results of studies directly related to pharmacy education. This category also includes novel methods for professional and graduate student instruction (lectures, laboratories, practice experiences, or courses), or informational manuscripts on programmatic and curriculum development (formerly the Instructional Design and Assessment category). Research articles should not exceed 3,000 words (double-spaced) for the body of the manuscript (excluding words in tables and figures but including words in appendices). Research articles should not have more than 5 tables and/or figures and 50 references.

Qualitative Research Articles should not exceed 4,000 words(double-spaced) for the body of the manuscript (excluding words in tables andfigures but including words inappendices). Indicate in the cover letter if your research article is qualitative, otherwise it will be automatically considered as a regular research article and the 3,000 word limit will apply.

Briefs. Briefs include small scale studies and/or pilot works of interest to others that may only be accompanied by limited outcomes data. Briefs may describe new and creative approaches to teaching and learning, curriculum, or evaluation that are of interest to others in the field, with limited assessment measures or outcomes data. For example, a brief may consist of a study at a single institution and/or include a small sample size or be limited to one cohort of students. Outcomes data in a brief may include pre- and post-data (before and after the intervention) as well as follow-up data (6-12 months after the intervention). The data should include more than participants’ perceptions, level of satisfaction, or course grades alone. Concepts within Briefs should be timely and significant. Submissions should not exceed 2,000 words for the body of the manuscript (excluding words in tables and figures. Briefs should not include more than 3 tables and/or figures and 50 references.

An example of a Brief that includes multiple data sources can be found:

Margolis A, Shah S, Kraus C, Pigarelli DW. Longitudinal Assessment of Pharmacy Students’ Confidence and Skill in Providing Evidence-based Answers to Clinical Questions. Am J Pharm Educ. 2020;84(10):7884. https://www.ajpe.org/content/84/10/ajpe7884

Commentaries. Commentaries are descriptive and intended to stimulate reflection and dialogue about issues in pharmacy education (includes previous categories of Statements, Special Articles, and Viewpoints). Commentaries are subject to peer and/or editorial review. Authors may request editorial consideration of a proposed commentary by submitting to theJournaleditor for approval a one-paragraph brief describing the proposed commentary. Commentaries can vary in length but should not exceed 2,000 words (double-spaced), and must be properly cited. Commentaries should not have more than 2 tables and/or figures and 20 references.

Letters to the Editor. Letters to the Editor serve as a forum for the expression of ideas or for commenting on matters of interest relevant to previously published articles in the Journal. Letters are also an avenue for critiquing or expanding on the information presented in a previously published manuscript. Authors are required to identify themselves. The editor reserves the right to reject, shorten, excerpt, or edit letters for publication. Letters should not exceed 2,000 words (double-spaced).

CATEGORY MAX. WORD COUNT, incl. number of words in appendicesTABLES/FIGURESREFERENCES
Reviews4,000550
Integrative Reviews4,000550
Research

3,000 (4,000 for qualitative)

550
Briefs2,000350
Commentaries2,000220
Letters to the Editor<2,0000<5

MANUSCRIPT SUBMISSION

Submit your manuscript using AJPE’s Editorial Manager online tracking system. Log in using your username and password and then follow the step-by-step instructions for uploading your files. If you do not know your username and password, send an email to ajpe@ajpe.org and a member of the editorial staff will respond to you as quickly as possible.

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