Author Guidelines

Following a review of the first two years of posts, including those that were most read, circulated, discussed, and built upon, the following guidelines were put into place.  The change occurred in late 2019. As a result, posts prior to this time period may not exemplify these standards.

Self-Evaluation of Content

Globally, the post:

  • focuses on an educational challenge
  • grounds the suggestions or approach in evidence
  • provides a call to action or inspires educational change
The content makes a scholarly contribution.

The post contributes to one or more steps of the process of scholarly inquiry (Graphic in Richlin, 2001), which may include:

  • defining a teaching-learning or programmatic problem/opportunity with specificity, 
  • providing information garnered from consulting the literature, 
  • discussing the selection and application of an educational intervention, 
  • sharing information on investigative methods (i.e., conducting systematic observations and documenting them), 
  • sharing processes for or results from data analysis,
  • sharing processes for or results from peer evaluation, 
  • identifying key issues from the findings, and/or
  • putting key issues into the context of the existing knowledge base.  
The content is credible.  

Authors should establish themselves as credible by positioning their content relative to what is already known in pharmacy education.  The content should be current, selectively referenced with seminal or foundational works, and well-contextualized within the field. The author’s knowledge of the field of inquiry should be evident.

The content is evidence-informed.

The post uses evidence to support its message.  This evidence might include: theories, models, frameworks, literature reviews, best practices articles, and previous studies.

The content extends existing thought.

The content should not merely describe and summarize existing thought on an educational challenge; it must extend our understanding.  The content must be significant (has important meaning to pharmacy educators) and consequential (has the power to produce an effect). It should help us to advance the practice of education by exploring a nuanced, relevant factor in learning (or teaching) and/or opening new areas for investigation.

 

Self-Evaluation of Clarity

Contains 400-800 words (strict requirement)

Content should be concise and give readers a clear overview of the topic.  The word count includes any text included within tables, but excludes the acknowledgements section.

The content is aimed at pharmacy educators.
The title is brief, well-aligned with the message, and catches attention.

The title fairly represents the content and avoids being long, overly descriptive, or academic.  Titles should catch the reader’s attention and compel them to read more. Titles are recommended to be 10 words or less.

The introduction draws the reader in and presents a clear goal for the post.

The aim of article should be clear after reading the first few sentences. Authors should seek to answer the question, “What is the overall purpose of this article?” early in the post (but this does not have to be stated explicitly).

The post is complete, the flow is efficient, the writing is direct, and a conversational tone is used.

Writing is grammatically correct.  Irrelevant and tangential content has been removed. Confusing and redundant content has been minimized.  The flow is logical and highlighted by appropriate headings. Compared to a manuscript, the tone of a Pulses post should be more warm and conversational. The use of personal pronouns is acceptable and encouraged.

Dense areas of text have been managed with section headers, selective bolding, bullets, tables, and graphics.

At least two headers have been used.  Heavy text has been converted to bullets to aid readability.  Main points are highlighted through selective bolding. Consideration has been given to graphics or tables that convey or reinforce information quickly.  Permission has been obtained for use or modification of any tables or graphics.

Readers have been directed to additional content through the use of hyperlinks.

Authors have linked to learning resources for the reader that help to further define terms, explain teaching processes, describe research methods and/or advocate for a particular approach.  If these sources are used to supplement your material (vs. support or substantiate it), these do not need to be included within your references section.  Links to relevant Pulses posts, as well as other resources, are encouraged.

References are formatted in AMA Style and cited sequentially within the text.

The titles within the references section are linked to the original articles online (when available).  A maximum of five references is allowed. 

Acknowledgements

With their permission, if other collaborators were involved in the project you are writing about but do not meet all of the ICMJE authorship criteria, please add 1 sentence acknowledging their contributions.