The impact of a journal scan assignment on advanced pharmacy practice experience students’ confidence in evaluating pharmacy/medical journals in the United States

Maria D Kostka-Rokosz, Lana Dvorkin Camiel, Gary Tataronis, Tulip Schneider, William W McCloskey


Aims: To evaluate how a journal scan assignment improves students’ overall confidence and comfort in discussing journals.

Method: Pharmacy students in the fourth professional year (PY4) selected a journal and evaluated scope of coverage, nature of articles and advertisements.

Results: Students completed an anonymous pre (n=42) and post (n=41) assignment survey. Sixty-four per cent subscribed to journals, 5% reported reading the entire issue “often”. Students could describe at least one topic section (33% pre, 98% post; p=0.001), what is found in the original contribution/research section (33% pre, 88% post; p=0.001), review section (38% pre, 90% post; p=0.001), editorial section (26% pre, 71% post; p=0.001) and patient pages (10% pre, 66% post; p=0.001), could identify quality of the journal based on advertisements (12% pre, 83% post; p=0.001) and could discuss journals with colleagues (14% pre, 68% post; p=0.001).

Conclusion: The journal scan assignment was well received and increased students’ knowledge of journal elements, topic sections and confidence discussing journals with colleagues. 


Experiential Education, Journal Scan, Literature Evaluation

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