A research team led by doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) student Katherine Hsu ’21 investigated the likelihood of first-time authors publishing in a top-tier medical journal. The team, which included Kimmy Dovan ’22 and Sachin A. Shah, PharmD, FACC, FAHA, professor of pharmacy practice, regional coordinator and director of pharmacy research and education at Travis Air Force Base, reviewed over 7,000 articles. They focused on articles published in 2019 in The New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, Nature, Journal of the American Medical Association and British Medical Journal. Their findings revealed first-time authors have less than a 22 percent chance of being published in top-tier medical journals.
“These findings provide a deeper insight into a question that stemmed from our curiosity,” said Hsu. “In addition, learning to derive a detailed and replicable methodology played a key role in reaching these findings.”
Katherine Hsu ’21
For the study, they identified articles written by a team of all new authors and segmented the articles into two categories: original research and review. Original research articles with an all new author team ranged from approximately 3 percent to 17 percent for each publication.
First-time authors have less than a 22 percent chance of being published in top-tier medical journals.
The team wanted to conduct this research to help the scientific community, and students and novice investigators in particular, strategize how to showcase their findings and reach a wider audience. The research suggests the chaperone effect can increase the likelihood of publishing in a top tier medical journal for first-time authors. They presented their findings at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibition in December 2020.
Kimmy Dovan ’22
Hsu aspires to have a career focused on rare diseases, a field where research plays a central role. “I want to advocate for patients with rare diseases and contribute to the innovation of new diagnoses and treatments for this patient population,” Hsu said. She accepted a global commercial strategy, rare diseases fellowship at Sanofi Genzyme, in partnership with Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University.
Dovan has her sights set on a career centered on the regulatory process. “I want to play a role in the regulatory processes used in drug development and marketing to circulate information important to therapeutic decision making,” she said.