Challenges to publishing pharmacy resident research projects from the perspectives of residency program directors and residents

Main Article Content

Adriane N. Irwin
Kari L. Olson
Brigitte R. Joline
Daniel M. Witt
Rachana J. Patel


Publishing, Research, Education, Pharmacy, Graduate, Internship, Nonmedical, Pharmacists, United States


Objective: To identify barriers to completing and publishing pharmacy residency research projects from the perspective of program directors and former residents.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey of pharmacy residency program directors and former post-graduate year one and two residents. Directors of pharmacy residency programs whose residents present their projects at the Western States Conference (n=216) were invited to complete an online survey and asked to forward the survey to former residents of their program in 2009, 2010, or 2011. The survey focused on four broad areas: 1) demographic characteristics of the residency programs, directors, and residents; 2) perceived value of the research project; 3) perceived barriers with various stages of research; and 4) self-identified barriers to successful research project completion and publication.

Results: A total of 32 program directors and 98 residents completed the survey. The minority of programs offered formal residency research training. Both groups reported value in the research project as part of residency training. Significantly more directors reported obtaining institutional review board approval and working through the publication process as barriers to the research project (46.7% vs. 22.6% and 73.3% vs. 43.0%, respectively p<0.05) while residents were more likely to report collecting and analyzing the data as barriers (34.4% vs. 13.3% and 39.8% vs. 20.0%, respectively, p<0.05). Both groups self-identified time constraints and limitations in study design or quality of the study as barriers. However, while program directors also indicated lack of resident motivation (65.5%), residents reported lack of mentorship or program structural issues (43.3%).

Conclusion: Overall, while both groups found value in the residency research projects, there were barriers identified by both groups. The results of this study may provide areas of opportunity for improving the quality and publication rates of resident research projects.

Abstract 1677 | PDF Downloads 976 Untitled Downloads 211


1. Murphy JE, Nappi JM, Bosso JA, Saseen JJ, Hemstreet BA, Halloran MA, Spinler SA, Welty TE, Dobesh PP, Chan LN, Garven CG, Grunwald PE, Kamper CA, Sanoski CA, Witkowski PL; American College of Clinical Pharmacy. American College of Clinical Pharmacy's vision of the future: postgraduate pharmacy residency training as a prerequisite for direct patient care practice. Pharmacotherapy. 2006;26(5):722-733.

2. Haines ST. Making residency training an expectation for pharmacists in direct patient care roles. Am J Pharm Educ. 2007;71(4):71.

3. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. ASHP accreditation standard for postgraduate year one (PGY1) pharmacy residency programs. (Accessed 2013 Feb 28).

4. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. ASHP accreditation standard for postgraduate year two (PGY2) pharmacy residency programs. (Accessed 2013 Feb 28).

5. McKelvey RP, Hatton RC, Kimberlin CA. Pharmacy resident project publication rates and study designs from 1981, 1991, and 2001. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2010;67(10):830-836. doi: 10.2146/ajhp090090

6. Olson KL, Holmes M, Dang C, Patel RJ, Witt DM. Publication rates of abstracts presented by pharmacy residents at the Western States Conference. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2012;69(1):59-62. doi: 10.2146/ajhp110423

7. O'Dell KM, Shah SA. Evaluation of pharmacy practice residents’ research abstracts and publication rate. J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2012;52(4):524-527. doi: 10.1331/JAPhA.2012.10224

8. Hoffman JM, Thomley S, Vermeulen L, Smith KM. Pharmacy residency training in academic medical centers. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2004;61(23):2528-2533.

9. Murphy JE, Downhour N. Perceived value and outcomes of residency projects. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2001;58(10):889-895.

10. Rothberg MB. Overcoming the obstacles to research during residency: what does it take? JAMA. 2012;308(21):2191-2192. doi: 10.1001/jama.2012.14587

11. Morris CT, Hatton RC, Kimberlin CL. Factors associated with the publication of scholarly articles by pharmacists. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2011;68(17):1640-1645. doi: 10.2146/ajhp100660

12. Streetman DS, McCreadie SR, McGregory M, Ellis JJ. Evaluation of clinical research knowledge and interest among pharmacy resident: survey design and validation. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2006;63(23):2372-2377.

13. Ellis JJ, McCreadie SR, McGregory M, Streetman DS. Effect of pharmacy practice residency training on residents’ knowledge and interest in clinical research. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2007;64(19):2055-2063.

14. Bookstaver PB, Miller AD, Felder TM, Tice DL, Norris LB, Sutton SS. Assessing pharmacy residents’ knowledge of biostatistics and research study design. Ann Pharmacother. 2012;46(7-8):991-999. doi: 10.1345/aph.1Q772

15. Hasegawa GR. Publication of residency projects: another perspective. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2012;69(1):77-78. doi: 10.2146/ajhp110525

16. Hellwig T, Laible B, Remund K, Fjeldheim C. Institutional collaboration on a residency research project. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2013;70(6):484-5. doi: 10.2146/ajhp120619

17. Journal of Health-System Pharmacy Residents. (accessed 2013 June 24).

Most read articles by the same author(s)