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Pharmacy: Journal Club

What is a Journal Club?

A journal club is a group of individuals who meet regularly to discuss critically the clinical applicability of articles in the current medical journals.1

Linzer M. The journal club and medical education: over one hundred years of unrecorded history. Postgraduate Medical Journal. 1987;63(740):475-478.

AMA Style


Literature Evaluation

Types of Information Sources

Primary Sources 

Primary literature includes clinical research studies and reports, both published and unpublished. Not all literature published in a journal is classified as primary literature, for example, review articles or editorials are not primary literature. There are several types of publications considered primary, including controlled trials, cohort studies, case series, and case reports. 

Secondary Sources

Secondary resources refer to the literature that indexes the primary (e.g., clinical trial) or some tertiary (e.g., a review) literature found in journals, with the goal of directing the user to relevant literature. This type of resource can be used for multiple purposes; it can help a practitioner keep abreast of recently published information or help to find more recent or detailed information on a specific topic. 

Tertiary Sources

Tertiary sources provide information that has been filtered and summarized by the author or editor to provide a quick and easy summary of a topic. Thus, these resources are convenient, easy to use, as well as being familiar to most practitioners. 


Shields KM, Park SK. Drug Information Resources. In: Malone PM, Malone MJ, Park SK. eds. Drug Information: A Guide for Pharmacists, 6e New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; Accessed September 07, 2018.