DTB Editorial Processes


From DTB’s launch in 1962 to August 2018 the way that articles were produced was gradually refined but the essential principles remained unchanged. While each article started as a draft commissioned by the editorial team and written by an expert, the finished article was the result of detailed scrutiny, collaboration and revision involving a wide range of commentators and several editing stages. The editing process put most store on data from scientifically valid clinical trials; the opinions of commentators were also taken into account. The conclusions reflected interpretation by a team of impartial editors and represented a weighted assessment but not necessarily a consensus. To allow others to make independent interpretations, the facts on which each conclusion is based were given in the text and references. Articles were unsigned because by the end of the process no single author could be defined.

The editorial process typically involved the following stages:

For further information please see:

How Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin produces articles. DTB 1997; 35: 73-4.

Joe Collier’s editorship of DTB. DTB 2004; 42: 47-8.

Andrew Herxheimer retires: the end of an era. DTB 1992; 30: 27-8.


The absence of an author’s name from DTB articles has meant that our content is not as easily found as we would like and may not show up in literature searches. In addition, reader focus groups that we ran recommended that we provide greater transparency over the provenance, development and authorship of our articles. Readers also suggested that we make DTB easier to navigate to help busy clinicians find our key messages. In response to these requests, we are implementing some key changes to DTB’s content and appearance. From September 2018 onwards, we are including the names of our authors, improving the layout and navigation of the journal, as well as changing its colour.

What won’t change is our commitment to providing independent evidence-informed articles. In line with our colleagues in the International Society of Drug Bulletins, we will maintain a strict conflict of interest policy. Authors will need to declare any financial or advisory relationship (paid or unpaid) with the pharmaceutical industry or related healthcare products industry (eg, medical devices or diagnostics), including the conduct of industry funded clinical trials, for the last 3 calendar years. Content will continue to be commissioned by the DTB editorial team, edited, circulated and peer-reviewed. More details of DTB’s editorial policies and processes can be found on our about page.

For further information please see:

Cave J. What’s in a name? DTB 2018; 56: 98.