Starting or Strengthening a Drug Bulletin - A Practical Manual
(2005; 165 pages) View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentPreface
View the documentHow the manual was produced
View the documentAbout ISDB
View the documentExecutive summary
Open this folder and view contents1. Introduction
Open this folder and view contents2. Rational use of medicines
Open this folder and view contents3. What are drug bulletins?
Open this folder and view contents4. Defining aims, target and type of bulletin
Open this folder and view contents5. Planning resources
Open this folder and view contents6. Planning bulletin production: schedules and timing
Open this folder and view contents7. The editorial process
Open this folder and view contents8. Reviewing a new drug: is it a therapeutic advance?
Open this folder and view contentsAnnexe to Chapter 8: Evaluating harm
Open this folder and view contents9. Design and production
Open this folder and view contents10. Dissemination
Open this folder and view contents11. Organizational and legal issues
Close this folder12. Evaluating quality and usefulness
View the document12.1 Introduction
View the document12.2 Evaluation brings many benefits
View the document12.3 Three approaches: audit, feedback and impact assessment
View the document12.4 Start with your own evaluation of the bulletin
Open this folder and view contents12.5 Assessing readers' opinions of the bulletin
View the document12.6 Evaluating the impact of the bulletin
View the document12.7 Feedback is achievable and invaluable
View the document12.8 Simple observations can tell a lot
View the document12.9 References
Open this folder and view contents13. Partnership and collaboration
Open this folder and view contents14. Keeping records and creating a memory
Open this folder and view contentsAppendix: Electronic sources of information

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.

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