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Ten years ago, academic journal impact factor was a concept that was poorly understood by many hospital pharmacists. Partly, this was because most pharmacists did not consider publishing and they generally looked to medical journals for their professional development. The world has changed and now many more pharmacists not only seek to publish their research but also want to publish in a journal with a reasonable impact factor.
With that in mind, I am pleased to inform readers that European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy (EJHP) has recorded an impact factor of 2.537 (2020 journal impact factor1). This was achieved with over 1100 citations of EJHP articles, reflecting both the increased quality of submissions and of publications. To put this into context, 10 years ago, the impact factor was well below 1. Pharmacy journals will always lag behind the major medical journals where impact factors can reach heady heights; however, compared with other pharmacy journals, EJHP is now near the top of the leaderboard. This is good news for successful authors as it should help with career development as well as improve chances of gaining research grants.
There have been critics of impact factors especially where specific journals encourage submitting authors to cite that journals papers – so called self-citation (which we actively discourage). A systematic review from researchers involved in Cochrane seemed to suggest that a good impact factor was not necessarily related to reliable results or even methodological robustness though they admitted that the findings were uncertain.2 There is other evidence that suggests that a higher impact factor correlates to articles with a higher level of evidence.3
The challenge for the editorial team is to ensure that EJHP continues to publish high-quality research that is relevant to its international readership. While it is important that EJHP not only maintains the current level and ideally sees the impact factor increase further, we must ensure that articles support hospital pharmacists with good evidence and continue to promote progress in hospital pharmacy practice internationally. There is some evidence to show that as the impact factor increases, so do the number of submissions but with the caveat that it has to be supported by a good peer review process.4
The challenge for potential authors is to ensure that their submissions are methodologically sound, well written and of interest to readers of EJHP. There will always be space for good material.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.