In the current project, we sought to establish the extent of the contributions of pharmacy practice faculty to the biomedical literature and the impact of the contributions for the years 2001, 2002, and 2003. In subsequent evaluations, we hope to compare the contributions from this baseline time period to future 3-year time periods. We chose 2001 as the first year of our 3-year assessment period since this was the first year that AACP started publishing the roster of pharmacy faculty members at United States Schools of Pharmacy in its current form.
We believe that this project has value for both the profession of pharmacy, colleges and schools of pharmacy, and individual faculty members. Since pharmacy practice department members are almost exclusively pharmacists, this project provides insight about the current state of clinical pharmacists as scholars. Colleges and schools of pharmacy can use this evaluation to gauge how their pharmacy practice faculty members are contributing to the biomedical literature in relation to national averages. We hope that projects such as this will provide the impetus for colleges and schools of pharmacy to support pharmacy practice faculty member's scholarly endeavors and to value the contribution that pharmacy practice members can make to the biomedical literature.
Pharmacy practice faculty members at US colleges and schools of pharmacy made substantial contributions to the biomedical literature over this 3-year evaluative period with 1896 publications. However, the contributions were not evenly distributed among pharmacy practice faculty members. The top 2% of pharmacy practice faculty members were responsible for 31% of the total number of publications and only 5% of pharmacy practice faculty members nationwide contributed an average of 2 or more publications per year.
The impact of the scholarly contributions was substantial. Overall, 53% of publications were in 10 journals that had an average impact factor of 1.9. While most were pharmacy or pharmacology journals, one third of these top 10 journals were infectious disease specialty journals with impact factors ranging from 2.7-4.4. Given the in vitro, pharmacokinetic, and modeling nature of many infectious disease projects, pharmacists may be on a closer footing with physicians in infectious disease research, which supports the greater number of publications in journals for this subspecialty. Several publications by pharmacy practice faculty members were in premier journals. The impact factor for the top 50 articles was 14.4 and the top 200 publications averaged 7.6. Pharmacy practice faculty members clearly have the capacity to publish articles with tremendous impact on the biomedical literature.
Our assessment does not account for journals that were not included in Web of Science at the time of the study so there may be scholarly works produced and published by pharmacy practice faculty members that were not included in the assessment. We are not making a judgment that such scholarly works are not peer reviewed or that they are not important to the field, just that we were unable to evaluate them given our methodology. We also did not include book chapters or textbooks, which also are important types of scholarly productivity. While these limitations are inherent in the study, they made the study feasible. Even with these limitations, our study provides a strong assessment of the general level of scholarly productivity among pharmacy practice faculty members during this time period.