[Frequency and characteristics of letters to the editor published in Farmacia Hospitalaria (1995-2006)]

Farm Hosp. 2007 May-Jun;31(3):156-60. doi: 10.1016/s1130-6343(07)75363-1.
[Article in Spanish]


Objective: To describe the frequency and bibliographical characteristics of letters to the editor published in the Farmacia Hospitalaria journal (hospital pharmacy) between 1995 and 2006.

Method: Descriptive and comprehensive study on documents classified as letters to the editor, which were published between 1995 and 2006. Using journal issues as a source, the following variables were identified: number of letters/year, main content, text length (words), language, use of graphs, number of authors and their professional experience, number of participating institutions, origin in terms of autonomous community, number of bibliographical references and their origin. Descriptive statistics were used.

Results: A total of 82 letters were identified, with a mean of 7 per year and 1.1 per journal. They were more frequent during the last two years, 43 (52%) of the total, following their practical non-existence between 1998 and 2003. The majority of the letters, 52 (63%), were regarding clinical cases while 23 (28%) were related to publications or were replies to the letters themselves. All letters met the requirements regarding text length, language and use of graphs. The mean number of authors was 3, and in 12 letters (14%) the limit on the number of authors was exceeded. In 56 cases (64%), the letters were written by hospital pharmacists only, however 26 (32%) were written in conjunction with hospital doctors. In 16 of the letters (20%), the authors belonged to one or more institutions. The letters mainly came from Valencia, Catalonia, Madrid and Andalusia. A total of 411 supporting references were gathered. The mean was 5 citations per letter to the editor, between 0 and 15 references, and in 17 cases (21%), the number of references was higher than the accepted limit. Of the total citations, 255 (60%) were from foreign publications.

Conclusions: Letters to the editor in Farmacia Hospitalaria significantly increased during the last two years of the period studied and were practically non-existent before this. It is worth noting that many of the letters were written in collaboration with other health professionals and with the support of a number of institutions. It is compulsory that the letters meet publishing requirements, with the exception of a number of authors and references which were published without being thoroughly checked beforehand.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Authorship
  • Bibliometrics*
  • Correspondence as Topic*
  • Periodicals as Topic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pharmacy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spain