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|Year : 2013 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 115--116
Indian Journal of Pharmacology: Milestones and the path ahead
Department of Pharmacology, B. J. Medical College, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
Department of Pharmacology, B. J. Medical College, Ahmedabad, Gujarat,
|How to cite this article:|
Desai C. Indian Journal of Pharmacology: Milestones and the path ahead.Indian J Pharmacol 2013;45:115-116
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Desai C. Indian Journal of Pharmacology: Milestones and the path ahead. Indian J Pharmacol [serial online] 2013 [cited 2023 Jun 6 ];45:115-116
Available from: https://www.ijp-online.com/text.asp?2013/45/2/115/108278
I thank you for giving me an opportunity to serve this prestigious journal as its Chief Editor. A sense of responsibility prevails as I write to you on behalf of my able editorial team at the Indian Journal of Pharmacology (I.J.P.), the official organ of the Indian Pharmacological Society (I.P.S.). I am fortunate to inherit this position from my predecessor and mentor Dr. R. K. Dikshit under whose able leadership the journal saw a radical transformation.
The I.P.S. was established in 1969, separated from its conjoint twin physiology in Association of Physiologists and Pharmacologists. The first issue of the journal was published in 1969, under the visionary leadership of Prof. K.P. Bhargava. In his first editorial Prof. Bhargava wrote "do not forget you are the society and your mouthpiece is your journal." The journey of IJP, as it is fondly and crisply called, has been illustrious since then; the path carved by its chief editors and their respective teams, each adding milestones en route. The inaugural issue carried editorials and reviews. From the second volume (1970) onwards research papers, predominantly in experimental pharmacology were also published. The first clinical trial published was "Glycyrrhiza glabra in rheumatoid arthritis."  Articles in clinical pharmacology in the form of clinical trials, bioavailability studies, pharmacokinetic studies, and drug interactions appeared in the second decade. The trend continued in the third decade; with additions such as reports, drug utilization studies, therapeutic drug monitoring, and related research. The new millennium was aptly heralded by a special article on "Evolution of pharmacology in India during twentieth century." Thus with more than four decades of scholarly dissemination in pharmacology, the journal is often referred to as the face of I.P. S. and a mirror to the pharmacology scene in India. With a subscription of more than 4000 and an extended outreach to many more readers world-wide owing to its open access policy, it has the potential to impress and express.
The journal remains one of the preferred journals by scholars to share their valuable research and viewpoints. This is reflected in a growing number of submissions to the journal each year from 197 per annum in 2003 to 850 in 2012. Currently, most contributions come from medical
and pharmacy institutions, national research institutes, with veterinary institutes, botanical and agricultural institutes, and pharmaceutical companies contributing sporadically. Scientists from Europe, the Middle-East, other Asian countries and African countries have also contributed to this journal from time to time.
A welcome shift in editorial and publication policies has been evident over the years, such as the standard IMRAD format with structured abstract, use of recent references, encouraging letters to editors to express an innovation or a differing view point on the published articles, a firm stand against plagiarism, and a transparent approach to authorship claims through meticulous implementation of copyright submissions. A change from Harvard style of referencing to the Vancouver format was made to meet the international requirements. IJP's indexing with Science Citation Index and PubMed were other major achievements in the last decade. A section on educational forum was added for the post-graduate students in pharmacology. The e-technology made its presence felt here too. Desk top publishing, submission of manuscripts on floppies and later online submissions and review made the process quicker. All these and more contributed to an impact factor of 0.727 in 2011.
While these numbers sound encouraging, a note of scepticism creeps in when we reflect on the research scenario of pharmacology In India. The membership of I.P.S. in 1969 was 220; it grew to 1500 in 1995 and is close to 4000 today. Majority of pharmacologists in India are members of this body that ranks among the largest five pharmacological societies in the world.  An analysis of the pharmacological research in India based on the I.P. S. conferences carried out in 1996 showed that the I.P.S. research index, as devised by the author, in 1969 was 0.25, which fell sharply to 0.07 in 1995.  Similar dataare not currently available and it would be premature to state whether what was observed was a temporary stalemate or a persistent phenomenon.
The type of research submitted to the journal has witnessed a radical change. Hence, we witnessed a shift from articles on indigenous plant research, and experimental animal studies to clinical studies, pharmacoepidemiology, pharmacovigilance, community pharmacology, evidence based research and outcome research, regulatory concerns in drug development and ethical issues in human and animal research. Most research yet remains a follow-up or repeat research rather than a true innovation. A welcome change has been an increased awareness and contributions toward educational research; an area, which has witnessedanecdotal reports until now. The changes in the curricula in undergraduate and post-graduate pharmacology have been shared on this platform on more than one occasion. Similarly, concerns about ethics in animal and human research have been shared and vehemently debated here. This paradigm shift reflects the changing priorities and environment of academic and research institutions in India and world-wide; and gives us an insight into the shape of things to expect in future. As we witness an addition, development, and delineation of various specialties and subspecialties such as p har maco v ig i lance, p har maco ep i d emi o lo g y, phar macogenomic s, pharmacoeconomic s, community pharmacology, rational therapeutics, educational research, and so on, an integration of these subspecialties is necessary. It is necessary to forge partnerships, set standards, and mould with the rapid changes. The globalization and rapid dissemination of research is an impetus for us to tap our hidden potential and energies in this direction. It is important that the efforts (individual and team) amalgamate to lend that wholesome yet variegated image to this journal.
At this end, we foresee a need of a robust peer review system to be able to do justice to the authors who share their valuable research with us. Hence, an earnest and sincere appeal to all to lend these services to the journal. We also invite you to share your expertise in form of review articles and articles in Educational forum. Our team is a hybrid of elder experienced scientists with years of toil and wisdom behind them, from whose advice we look forward to learn and maintain the legacies built by them. On the other hand, we also have the young blood with that enthusiasm and energy to surge ahead to meet the ever growing challenges of the competitive world of science. Our endeavours are directed to balance the regions and specialties, with a fair representation of experimental pharmacologists, clinical pharmacologists, pharmacovigilance experts, veterinary and ethno-pharmacologists, from academia, industry, national and international institutes, and regulatory bodies. We hope to draw from the experience and contributions of all. We will continue to disseminate the importance of pharmacology through this platform, will continue to adapt to change if needed and to resist what must not be changed. Let us contribute our best scientific work and efforts to this prestigious journal to satisfy the needs of its variegated reader population.
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