Mapping pharmacy journals: A lexicographic analysis

Res Social Adm Pharm. 2019 Dec;15(12):1464-1471. doi: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2019.01.011. Epub 2019 Jan 19.


Background: Pharmacy journals constitute a heterogeneous group that can be map to identify Pharmacy scientific subareas.

Objective: This study aimed to objectively map Pharmacy journals by means of a lexicographic analysis of the titles of published articles.

Methods: Active journals between 2006 and 2016 containing any of the terms 'pharmacy', 'pharmacist*', 'pharmaceut*', 'pharmacol*', or 'pharmacotherap*' in their titles were searched in four databases (01/15/2018): Medline, PubMed Central, Science Citation Index expanded/Social Sciences Citation Index expanded (SCIe/SSCIe), and Scopus CiteScore Metrics. The titles of all the articles (Jan-2006 to Dec-2016) in the identified journals were gathered into a single text corpus. The following analyses were performed (Iramuteq 0.7): lexicographic analysis to determine the number, frequency and distribution of active words; descending hierarchical classification (DHC) to categorize active words and journals into lexical classes; factorial correspondence analyses (FCA) to obtain bi- and tri-dimensional graphs.

Results: A total of 285 journals comprising 316,089 articles (median 70.4 articles [IQR 34.0-141.0] per journal per year) were included for the analyses. The journals were indexed in Scopus (90.2%) with a median CiteScore of 1.16 (IQR 0.28-2.55); in SCIe/SSCIe (44.6%) with a median impact factor of 2.410 (IQR 1.629-3.316); and in PubMed (65.7%). The DHC of active words produced three major groups (A, B, C) with two lexical classes each, representing six Pharmacy subareas depicted by the FCA as: Group A comprising 'Cell Pharmacology' (20 journals) and 'Molecular Pharmacology' (46 journals), Group B with 'Clinical Pharmacology' (57 journals) and 'Pharmacy Practice' (67 journals), and Group C with 'Pharmaceutics' (35 journals) and 'Pharmaceutical Analysis' (60 journals). Coverage of the classes in bibliographic databases and impact metrics is unbalanced.

Conclusions: Pharmacy journals that can be objectively classified into six different classes that represent different research subareas with uneven coverage in bibliographic databases.

Keywords: Bibliometrics; Periodicals as topic; Pharmacy; Principal component analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Bibliographic
  • Journal Impact Factor
  • Periodicals as Topic*
  • Pharmacology*
  • Pharmacy*