Dennis Douroumis: “We focus on new and innovative research”

The most important attribute of a newspaper editor is enthusiasm and experience in his subject, and Dennis Douroumis has both of these things in spades.

Douroumis has just been appointed editor-in-chief of a new pharmacy journal, RPS Pharmacy and Pharmacology Reportswhich is the first open access journal published by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

This is an exciting development which should broaden the evidence base for pharmacology and pharmacy in the UK and overseas, and Douroumis is particularly keen to provide young researchers with the opportunity to publish their work.

“There are young researchers who may have difficulty, for different reasons, in having their work accepted and we will apply a fair system for these people in the evaluation process,” he explains.

Douroumis himself started with a BSc in Chemistry, followed by a PhD in Pharmaceutical Technology at the Department of Pharmacy, University of Patras, Greece in 2000, specializing in pharmaceutical nanotechnology.

He then joined the Greek army for two years of military service, before continuing his postdoctoral career in Germany on a project funded by Novartis. Here he worked for two years trying to make “nano dispersions” for anti-epileptic drugs.

More recently, Douroumis has worked in industry and academia in the UK. Since 2007 he has been based at the University of Greenwich and studies, among other things, 3D printing of pharmaceutical products.

“We have made a lot of progress, and if all goes well, in December 2022 we will have a clinical trial with some hospitals,” he explains. “People have different needs: for example, children often don’t adhere to medication, and for this reason we have developed whimsical designs that resemble Haribo.”

It is this experience that Douroumis brings to his new role; to learn more about his projects, The Pharmaceutical Journal interviewed him on Zoom.

RPS Pharmacy and Pharmacology Reports is a new newspaper: can you tell me a bit about it? How is this journal different?

It is a multidisciplinary journal and it is not very easy to find this type of journal. We cover pharmacology and pharmacy. Pharmacy is a very broad field, it covers drug delivery systems, clinical pharmacology, pharmacognosy, analytical technologies, analytical pharmacy: so there is a wide range of fields. Academics now tend to publish journals online because it is easier to disseminate their research and they also attract citations. So it’s a good approach for academics.

We only focus on research that is new and innovative, and has substantial evidence. If people provide good proof of their original work, we are happy to publish. There is a sister newspaper, Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology (JPP), but the idea was to have an open access system. The JPP does at some point, but we wanted a pure open access journal.

What is the difference between the two journals?

We will overlap in some areas, but JPP now focuses a bit more on clinical applications. We won’t look much at clinical applications; we will look for a proof of concept. If anyone has clinical data, that’s fine – we’d be very happy to, but it won’t be a prerequisite for submitting it to the journal.

Who should consider submitting their research to this journal?

As a new journal, we don’t have an impact factor yet, but I would say people around the world are welcome to apply. There are young researchers who may have difficulty, for different reasons, in having their work accepted and we will apply a fair system for these people in the evaluation process.

You won’t have to wait long to see your work published

We’ve also sped up the publishing time, so you don’t have to wait ages to see your work published: because that’s what happens quite often, even if your work is on top. Everyone is invited to apply, but especially young researchers who want to communicate quickly about their work.

Could you tell us about the fees involved?

There is a handling charge of around £2,000 for developed countries, but we also have a system in place where underdeveloped countries get free posting and there are deep discounts for some other countries, where they are not fully developed. We have measures in place to try to make things fair.

We have a few other ideas: for example, if someone wants to organize a special issue, they can get, for ten articles, two free articles.

Some of our editorial board members are well known in the research field, but we also have young people — or “rising stars”, as I call them.

How did you select the editorial board?

We wanted it to be diverse, with a balance between men and women, because women are underrepresented not only in other journal committees, but also in universities. We have also reviewed different universities around the world and have editorial board members from China, USA, Australia and Europe.

We also have a mix of backgrounds on the board: some are experienced and well known in research, but we also have young people — or “rising stars”, as I call them — who were well known, but there is still a way for them to leave. I think in September 2022 we will start expanding the editorial board again.

When will the first issue be released?

We have already started the commissioning and we have invited colleagues from very different backgrounds to submit. Recently, we’ve had submissions that have come in out of the blue, so it looks like the review is getting noticed, which is really good. We expect the first issue to come out at the end of August 2022, with around 10-16 articles, which is a very good number.

In a year, we expect to get about 30 articles in total in each issue, before we start going to Scopus and PubMed and the other databases.

Is there anything else you would like people to know?

We promise scholars that the editorial board and I will work hard to make it a success. There is a good team behind the newspaper; that he will make it prosper and make itself known. It is our personal commitment.

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