Mapping the literature of hospital pharmacy

Ann Barrett, Melissa Helwig, Karen Neves


Objectives: This study describes the literature of hospital pharmacy and identifies the journals most commonly cited by authors in the field, the publication types most frequently cited, the age of citations, and the indexing access to core journals. The study also looks at differing citation practices between journals with a wide audience compared to a national journal with a focus on regional issues and trends in the field.

Method: Cited references from five discipline-specific source journals were collected and analyzed for publication type and age. Two sets were created for comparison. Bradford’s Law of Scattering was applied to both sets to determine the most frequently cited journals.

Results: Three-quarters of all cited items were published within the last 10 years (71%), and journal articles were the most heavily cited publication type (n¼65,760, 87%). Citation analysis revealed 26 journal titles in Zone 1, 177 journal titles in Zone 2, and the remaining were scattered across 3,886 titles. Analysis of a national journal revealed Zone 1 comprised 9 titles. Comparison of the 2 sets revealed that Zone 1 titles overlapped, with the exception of 2 titles that were geographically focused in the national title.

Conclusion: Hospital pharmacy literature draws heavily from its own discipline-specific sources but equally from core general and specialty medical journals. Indexing of cited journals is complete in PubMed and EMBASE but lacking in International Pharmaceutical Abstracts. Gray literature is a significant information source in the field.


Abstract and Indexing; Bibliometrics; Libraries, Medical; Hospital Pharmacy

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Copyright (c) 2016 Ann Barrett, MLIS, Melissa Helwig, MLIS, Karen Neves, MA, MLIS

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