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 Human resources: who will do the work?

Production of a drug bulletin requires an editor or editors, writers, reviewers and part- or full-time office staff. Depending on the resources available, this may be mostly paid work or much of it may be done by volunteers.

It would be premature to set up a drug bulletin without a local team that is committed, determined and has a clear policy. Some ISDB bulletins have faced difficulties after starting an ambitious project too rapidly. The team may start with one or two people if they have enough time and energy to give to the bulletin and have the support of a network of interested colleagues. It is sometimes considered a handicap if only a few people are centrally involved in starting a bulletin. This is not true. A bulletin needs a critical mass of supporters of good quality drug information, but the group running the bulletin can be small. ISDB bulletins have functioned for years with editorial teams ranging from one or two people to around 25 people. This does not include technical staff, external reviewers or advisers. Wherever possible, editors should try their best to use the skill and expertise of other practicing professionals and academics for the benefit of the bulletin. Involvement of a wide range of experts, most often as advisers or reviewers, is likely to increase the standard, feeling of ownership, acceptance and credibility of the bulletin.

Many bulletins rely on two separate groups for direction and overall editorial policy:

the editorial team: a local team responsible for production of articles, publication of the bulletin, and ensuring that the bulletin is meeting its editorial objectives;

the advisory board: members may be local or physically distant; their role is to give guidance on the global orientation of the bulletin, its adaptation to the readers, and short and long-term priorities.

Together, the editorial team and advisory board must:

• determine the bulletin’s editorial policy;
• set priorities;
• develop rigorous but simple editorial methods;
• maintain quality in the long term;
• manage relations with readers and respond to feedback;
• evaluate the results and revise the editorial process.

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