- Medicine Information and Evidence for Policy > Information and Publications
- Medicine Access and Rational Use > Rational Use
(2005; 165 pages)
12.4 Start with your own evaluation of the bulletin
A logical starting place is to audit the bulletin's production process as this type of evaluation does not involve readers, is inexpensive, and once the method of data collection is established, it can easily be repeated for each bulletin issue.
First, decide what aspects of production it is most important to monitor and set an acceptable quality standard for each. For example, an editor may decide to take specific action if the number of typographical errors exceeds three per 10 pages, or if more than 10 business days elapse between the expected and actual publication dates. See Box 12.1 for further examples.
Box 12.1 Examples of areas to audit
• Grammatical and formatting errors.
• Paper and printing quality.
• Review process, e.g. what proportion of reviewers send comments back within the specified period, or at all?
• Timeliness of the information, e.g. how soon after a new drug is marketed is an article on the drug published in the bulletin.
• Coverage of significant issues e.g. including information on a serious adverse reaction.
• Editorial process, e.g. whether authors follow guidelines on writing an article, how well editorial procedures are followed.
• How long it takes to respond to readers’ letters.
• Whether the mailing list is up to date.
Next, establish who will collect the data, and how. For routinely collected data on the production process, an audit should be completed after each edition of the bulletin is distributed and action taken, if necessary, to improve quality. Also consider monitoring indicators of the bulletin's perceived value, such as subscription rates, citations in other publications, comments on feedback forms etc.