Welcome to Drugs in Context, an open access, international journal offering readers immediate access to information, findings, commentary and guidelines relating to modern clinical practice and healthcare delivery. The journal offers an international publishing platform for balanced and rational information on therapeutic and diagnostic technologies, both in current practice and in the development pipeline. The journal publishes a range of article types, including original research, reviews and perspectives, together with practical and actionable content in the How to Manage article series.


Drugs in Context is an open access, peer-reviewed, continuous publication of international standing. It is listed on PubMed and free-to-view/download on PubMed Central.

Aim: Drugs in Context primarily publishes high-quality, peer-reviewed original research papers and topical review articles covering the latest evidence and innovations in drug treatment across all therapeutic areas.

Scope: Drugs in Context covers all phases of original research: laboratory, animal and human/clinical studies, health economics and outcomes research, and post-marketing studies. Original research that shows positive or negative results are welcomed. Review articles may cover single-drug reviews, drug class reviews, latest advances in drug therapy, therapeutic-area reviews, place-in-therapy reviews, new pathways, and classes of drugs. In addition, systematic reviews and meta-analyses are welcomed and may be published as original research if performed following accepted guidelines. Editorials of key topics and issues in drugs and therapeutics are welcomed. We will also consider manuscripts of interest in areas such as technologies that support diagnosis, assessment and treatment. EQUATOR Network reporting guidelines should be followed for each article type. GPP3 Guidelines should be followed for any industry-sponsored manuscripts. Other sections may include Editorials, Case Reports, Conference Reports, Letters to the Editor, or articles in our new Educational Section.


Drugs in Context follows single-blind peer review with comments from at least two peer reviewers. We aim to provide a first editorial decision within 4 weeks of manuscript submission; online publication within 3-4 weeks of acceptance.


SJR/Scimago (2019):
equivalent Impact Factor = 3.56
Q2 title; H index = 15; SJR = 0.848
Ranked 20 of 84 open access pharmacology journals worldwide (based on SJR eIF)

Indexing of Drugs in Context:
Listed on PubMed
All articles free-to-view on PubMed Central
All articles are available immediately on our website (no restrictions)
All articles forwarded to the Directory of Open Access Journals (doaj.org)
Indexed on Embase and Scopus
All articles are archived in PubMed Central, PubMed Central Canada, Europe PubMed Central and the British Library
eISSN: 1740-4398


Standard track: Article Processing Charge (APC) for an unsolicited manuscript is US$1900 / £1500 / €1680 + VAT (where applicable). This applies to Reviews, Original Research, Case Series and Meeting Reports. Case reports and Editorials qualify for a 50% APC discount. There are no additional charges. Submitting a manuscript costs nothing. If your manuscript is rejected after peer review, you have nothing to pay. Charges are reviewed annually.

Fast track: We can prioritise a manuscript through peer review and production. The manuscript still receives our usual peer review and checks, and we do not pay peer reviewers to do this work. An additional fee applies in the case of fast-track publication (Fast Track APC €3500 + VAT, where applicable) in view of the resources required to give the manuscript priority during review and production procedures. Please contact the Editorial Office if you wish to discuss this option. See timings below.


Standard track:
This option is eminently suitable for most manuscripts and consists of robust and efficient peer review and production processes, as follows:

  • Initial peer review and first decision = aim for <4 weeks
  • Author prepares and submits revision = 2–4 weeks
  • Check/approve revision and make final decision = 1–2 weeks
  • Production and online publication = 3–4 weeks
  • Total = 9–14 weeks

Fast track:

  • Initial peer review and first decision = aim for <3 weeks
  • Author prepares and submits revision = 1–2 weeks
  • Check/approve revision and make final decision = <3 days
  • Production and online publication = 2–3 weeks
  • Total = 6–9 weeks

Any delays are usually to make sure we have the right peer reviewers on board and for our Editorial team to make the right decisions. Our aim is to ensure that your article receives high-quality peer review and that all accepted articles are of the highest standard and published without delay.


For full details, click the INSTRUCTIONS FOR AUTHORS tab at the top of this page.

Submit your manuscript via Manuscript Manager: www.manuscriptmanager.net/dic


Inquiries and unsolicited submissions are welcome on any of the following article types:

  • Original research – all phases of research are welcomed. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses may also be published in this category if they are reported according to recognised reporting guidelines
  • Review – perspective, narrative, critical, or literature review styles are welcomed
  • Case report and case series
  • Editorial
  • Meeting report – a summary from a conference, conference session, symposium, or any other relevant presentation


Drugs in Context publishes mostly REVIEW articles and ORIGINAL RESEARCH articles. Most authors contact the Editorial Office before submission for an initial appraisal of their article. This helps both authors and the journal to make good decisions on where to publish before actual submission. This personalised approach reduces an unnecessarily high rejection rate (the ‘rejection rate’ is used by many other journals as a cavalier indication of its quality, whereas we like to think that the end product speaks for itself). Since Drugs in Context became open access in May 2012, around 25% of article submissions to our journal are rejected before peer review, mainly because of misalignment with the Aims and Scope of the journal.


We apply either of two different copyright licenses depending upon how the article has been funded.

Publicly funded research – Creative Commons License Deed CC BY 4.0

This allows anyone including you to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt the article provided it is properly attributed in the manner specified by Drugs in Context (but not in any way that suggests that Drugs in Context endorses you or your use of the work).

Key features

  • Full-text PDFs of all articles deposited in PubMed Central, Europe PubMed Central & PubMed Central Canada immediately upon publication
  • No embargoes
  • Authors retain copyright
  • Authors can self-archive and the journal would appreciate a link to the original online version of the article on the Drugs in Context website

Private or commercially funded research – Creative Commons License Deed CC BY NC ND 4.0

This allows anyone including you to copy, distribute and transmit the article provided it is properly attributed in the manner specified by Drugs in Context (but not in any way that suggests that Drugs in Context endorses you or your use of the work). The CC BY NC ND License Deed forbids the production of derivatives and commercial use of articles without the express permission of the Publisher.

Key features

  • Full-text PDFs of all articles deposited in PubMed Central, Europe PubMed Central & PubMed Central Canada immediately upon publication
  • No embargoes
  • Authors retain copyright
  • Authors can self-archive provided that a link is given to the original online version of the article on the Drugs in Context website

Under this license, Drugs in Context reserves the exclusive right to market authors’ articles to commercial users worldwide and to levy fees as appropriate for their reproduction, translation and dissemination in printed and any other form. For the avoidance of doubt, under CC BY NC ND 4.0 License Deed, agreeing to our Terms and Conditions of Publication (TCP) assigns an exclusive commercial re-use rights license to the Publisher of all the material. And any commercial use or re-use of the Work without the Publisher’s written consent will be a breach of the TCP and any author or third party acting in breach of these terms will be liable to the Publisher for such an amount as the Publisher would have charged for providing permission for commercial re-use of the Work plus all legal/recovery costs. Statutory fair use and other rights are in no way affected by the above.

For further information on commercial use, please contact the Editorial Office.

How to correctly attribute Creative Commons articles

The copyright license for publicly funded research is Creative Commons License Deed CC BY 4.0 Example of a correct attribution:
Copyright © 2013 Schwartz TL, Goradia V. http://dx.doi.org/10.7573/dic.212259. Published by Drugs in Context under Creative Commons Attribution License Deed CC BY 4.0.

The copyright license for privately funded research is Creative Commons License Deed CC BY NC ND 4.0. Example of a correct attribution:
© 2013 Altin M, El-Shafei AA, Yu M, Desaiah D, Treuer T, Zavadenko NN, Gao HY. http://dx.doi.org/10.7573/dic.212260. Published by Drugs in Context under Creative Commons Attribution License Deed CC BY NC ND 4.0.


Drugs in Context is compliant with access policies of the public funders of research such as the US National Institutes of Health, The Wellcome Trust and the UK Medical Research Council. These require articles to be published under the Creative Commons License Deed CC BY 4.0 the key features of which are:

  • Full-text PDFs of all articles deposited in PubMed Central, Europe PubMed Central & PubMed Central Canada immediately upon publication
  • No embargoes
  • Authors retain copyright
  • Authors can self-archive

Further information

The Wellcome Trust and the UK Medical Research Council
SHERPA Funders’ and Authors’ Compliance Tool
The US National Institutes of Health


We follow the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing: available here.

Editorial Board

We work with a prestigious external Editorial Board of Associate Editors to formulate article ideas, facilitate robust peer review and maintain the quality of articles. Our Associate Editors do not receive payment for any journal work.

Rigorous & supportive peer review

Our peer-review process is very rigorous yet constructive, supportive and respectful of authors’ efforts. As a member of the Committee of Publication Ethics (COPE), we follow COPE’s Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. We urge all of our peer reviewers to adopt a positive attitude and to support authors with constructive advice and helpful suggestions. BioExcel Publishing Ltd does not influence the editorial decisions made on Drugs in Context. The Editorial Board and any peer reviewers receive no fees to perform peer review. Instead, we encourage peer review recognition with Publons.

Further information about the peer review process is given in the Author, peer review section of the website.

Ethics & quality

Committee on Publication Ethics

Drugs in Context is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and abides by the COPE Code of Conduct. It provides advice to editors and publishers on all aspects of publication ethics. All COPE members are expected to follow the Code of Conduct for Journal Editors. COPE will investigate complaints that members have not followed the Code. COPE also funds research on publication ethics, publishes a quarterly newsletter and organizes annual seminars in the UK and the USA. COPE has also created an audit tool for members to measure compliance with its Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors.

Malpractice Policy

Drugs in Context follows the ICMJE’s Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, and COPE’s Code of Conduct for Journal Editors, and Code of Conduct for Journal Publishers. Authors should always refer to these three documents follow the best-practice guidelines on ethical behaviour contained therein.

Archiving Policy

Drugs in Context undertakes full participation in the deposition of all published articles to the PubMed Central free full-text archive.

Plagiarism Policy

All submitted articles are screened with iThenticate software prior to further processing.


CrossRef is an independent membership association and its mission is to improve access to published scholarship through services that require collective agreement among scholarly and professional publishers. CrossRef enables citation linking in journals using the Digital Object Identifier, or DOI. The CrossRef DOI is paired with the object’s electronic address, or URL, in a central DOI directory that is easily updated. The CrossRef DOI is published in place of the URL to prevent link attrition while allowing the content to move as needed.

International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE)

We follow the ICMJE’s recommendations for the conduct, reporting, editing and publication of scholarly work in medical journals.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

Drugs in Context is listed in the DOAJ, which provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.  All data are freely available.

Industry-funded research and manuscripts

Drugs in Context endorses GPP3 and it is a requirement of submission, where relevant, for authors to confirm that their paper complies with GPP3.

Mandatory disclosure for authors, peer reviewers & Editorial Board members

Drugs in Context is committed to transparency and the avoidance of bias at all levels of the publishing process. Therefore, all authors/editors/reviewers must declare all relevant competing interests for consideration during the review process by signing a formal statement of interest.

A competing interest is anything that interferes with, or could reasonably be perceived as interfering with, the full and objective presentation, peer review, editorial decision-making or publication of research or non-research articles submitted. Competing interests can be financial or non-financial, professional, or personal. Competing interests can arise from a relationship to an organization or another person.

Everyone involved in authorship, funding, review and editorial decision-making of submitted articles must declare any and all relevant competing interests.

Failure to declare competing interests at submission, or when an article is commissioned, may result in immediate rejection of the paper. If a competing interest comes to light after publication Drugs in Context will issue a formal correction or retraction of the whole paper, as appropriate.

Full disclosure is part of the submission process.

Examples of competing interests


  • Paid employment or consultancy
  • Patent applications (pending or actual), including individual applications or those belonging to institutions to which authors/funders/reviewers/editors are affiliated and which those entities may benefit from
  • Research grants (from any source, restricted or unrestricted)


Non-financial competing interests include but are not limited to:


  • Acting as an expert witness
  • Membership in a government or other advisory board
  • Relationship (paid or unpaid) with organizations and funding bodies, including non-governmental organizations, research institutions or charities
  • Membership in lobbying or advocacy organizations
  • Writing or consulting for an educational company


  • Personal relationships with individuals involved in the submission or evaluation of a paper
  • Personal convictions (political, religious, ideological or other) related to a paper’s topic that may interfere with an unbiased publication process (at the stage of authorship, peer review, editorial decision-making or publication)

Standards of reporting science – important sources of information

Drugs in Context recommends that peer reviewers and authors are familiar with the content made available at the following websites:

Authorship & contributorship

Drugs in Context recognises the differences between authors and contributors and fully adopts the new Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals published in August 2013 (updated December 2017) by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors.

Appeal against editorial decisions

If at any time during the editorial process the author wishes to appeal against editorial decisions, in the first instance please contact the Editorial Office.

Suspected misconduct or disputed authorship

Drugs in Context uses the Committee of Publication Ethics flowcharts to deal with cases of suspected misconduct or disputed authorship.


Advertising in the journal is permitted in accordance with our policies. Please contact David Hughes david.hughes@bioexcelpublishing.com
You may access our Advertising Policy here.


Please contact David Hughes david.hughes@bioexcelpublishing.com


Drugs in Context is an international journal published by BioExcel Publishing Limited which is a company registered in England (Number 10038393) with headquarters in the UK. The Editorial Board reflects the international scope of the journal and includes representatives from many countries.

Publisher address
BioExcel Publishing Limited, Plaza Building, Lee High Road, London, SE13 5PT, UK