A twinning arrangement is a one-to-one relationship of support between an established bulletin and a small or newly formed bulletin. Some drug bulletins in Western countries have more than 30 years of experience. Their knowledge of work organization, the editorial process, dissemination of the drug bulletin, financing and fundraising are valuable resources. Even if it is necessary or more appropriate to do things differently in your country, you are likely to gain a lot from this wealth of experience. Developing twinning arrangements between one of the experienced journals and a new or small drug bulletin can benefit both partners. It can also stimulate an established bulletin to learn about pharmaceutical issues new to them or to view their own national situation in a new light.
Some twinning arrangements are particularly successful between bulletins sharing the same language or close languages (e.g. la revue Prescrire, France and La Lettre du Cedim, Burkina Faso; la revue Prescrire, and Dialogo sui Farmaci, Italy). Other examples have been successful despite linguistic differences.
Such twinning arrangements can be organized directly or through ISDB. A systematic approach to this type of support helps to ensure that the arrangement benefits both partners. One type of twinning programme is on-the-job training for new editors. The steps for developing such an arrangement would be to:
• identify needs;
• identify who can provide the needed support;
• establish contact with the organizations or institution;
• reach either a formal or informal agreement about collaboration;
• review and revise the agreement periodically.