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
Close this folder5. Planning resources
View the document5.1 The first steps in planning
View the document5.2 Identify what is already available or accessible
View the document5.3 Make a realistic assessment of additional needs
Close this folder5.4 Human resources: who will do the work?
View the document5.4.1 The editorial team
View the document5.4.2 The advisory board
View the document5.4.3 External reviewers
View the document5.5 Maintaining the motivation of contributors
View the document5.6 Material resources - an office, equipment and references
View the document5.7 Financial resources - the key to sustainability
View the document5.8 Long-term sustainability
View the document5.9 Cost-saving strategies
View the document5.10 Key messages for starting a drug bulletin
View the document5.11 References
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
Open this folder and view contents12. Evaluating quality and usefulness
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

5.4.1 The editorial team

Whatever the size of the editorial team, its members should:

• strongly agree with the objectives of the bulletin, which means that there should be a clear and explicit editorial policy;

• have no conflict of interest with any institution, organization or company that could impair the independence of the bulletin. Some bulletins ask editors to sign formal declarations (ISDB is developing a model conflict of interests policy. Check the web site at:;

• clearly define how much time they can devote to the bulletin;

• have had relevant training in therapeutics and/or public health;

• be capable of critical analysis and synthesis of data;

• have a reasonably good knowledge of English, as many scientific articles are available only in English;

• include health practitioners, for example, doctors and/or pharmacists and/or nurses; ideally an editorial team should include different types of professionals;.

• include patients and lay people in the editorial team in addition to the above if the bulletin is aimed at the public and patients.

The editorial team is responsible for selecting and defining the outline of topics for articles, editorial planning, ensuring the necessary documentation, organizing the work of authors and reviewers, quality control, and analysis of feedback from readers. It has the overall editorial responsibility for the articles published in the bulletin and for the bulletin itself. Usually, one person acts as chief editor, and has ultimate responsibility for decisions about the bulletin’s content.

Case study: Sri Lanka Prescriber

There are no full-time members of staff; we all work part-time on the bulletin. There are three editors and an editorial board comprising pharmacologists, medical specialists and a pharmacist. We do not have a separate office for producing the bulletin. The editorial board meetings are held at the Department of Pharmacology and we use departmental computers, printers and photocopiers. The editorial board meetings are convened by the secretary to the editorial board, who is responsible for taking minutes, writing to selected authors and liaising with the publishing organization.

Contributed by Gita Fernando, Sri Lanka Prescriber [].

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