21 years of NC-IUPHAR reviews and general publication updates

Update, 12 March.  Inspired by the propitious event described below we have taken the opportunity to update all our publication links. This covers not only IUPHAR reviews but also papers arising from the database and additional recent pubublications co-authored by Edinburgh team members.


Last week (first one in March) the Secretary General of IUPHAR, and outgoing chair of NC-IUPHAR, Michael Spedding, informed us that 21 years have elapsed since the first NC-IUPHAR publication:

Vanhoutte PM, Barnard EA, Cosmides GJ, Humphrey PP, Spedding M, Godfraind T. (1994) International Union of Pharmacology Committee on Receptor Nomenclature and Drug Classification. Pharmacol Rev. 46(2): 111-6. [PMID: 7938161]

The direct Google Scholar retrieval for IUPHAR shows impressive metrics (including at least six articles with between 1000 and 3000 citations):


Notwithstanding, in honour of the occasion, we decided to explore some additional bibliometrics. In PubMed. After some exploratory query tuning we achieved reasonable specificity  with “International[Title] AND Union[Title] AND Pharmacology[Title]” which returned 96 titles:


Inspection indicated a few false positives  as preceding the invited review model. So, by adding the restrict for “Pharmacological Rev.” we get a cleaner list of 90 true positives:


Note that no less than four of these (as of 2nd March) are already 2015 articles (PMIDs 5713288, 5713287, 25535277, 25287517).

To retrieve the equivalent list from the British Journal of Pharmacology, we used the query  “IUPHAR[Title] AND review[Title]” to retrieve 13. However (for reasons we hope to fix), PubMed left the IUPHAR tag off review number six. Consequently the query to bring all 14 invited reviews back needs to be:


By making a union of the two sets (International[Title] AND Union[Title] AND Pharmacology[Title] AND “Pharmacol Rev”[Journal]) OR (IUPHAR[Title] AND review[Title] OR 24428732[uid]) we can return what looks a like a clean list of all IUPHAR reviews indexed in PubMed (you are welcome to contact us  if you know of any false-negatives).


You can access these 104 via the following MyNCBI public collection link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/myncbi/christopher.southan.1/collections/47601391/public/ (note this should update automatically for new publications).  If you click on the “PubMed Commons Related Comments ” link from the facets on the LH side, you will find six articles have comments from curation team members pointing to marked-up entity links, effectively from the article to the GtoPdb. There are also some “pivots” you can do from this list to other entities indexed in the Entrez system. One of these answers the question, “how many PubMed Central articles cite (any one of) these 104 PMIDs?”.  The answer is a very impressive 5978 (note these are generally only ~ 30% of the Google Scholar citations for a number of reasons). A full publication list (along with database team output) is also maintained on the GtoPdb website at http://www.guidetopharmacology.org/nciupharPublications.jsp.

The GtoPdb team would thus like to echo the congratulations to all past and present IUPHAR-invited authors.

For those less familiar with our modus operandi we can point out the “virtuous circularity” between these review articles and the content of our database. As expected, authors and subcommittee members for target families overlap extensively.  Thus these authors both draw on the database for extant material to prepare  a review, while also feeding updates to the curation team.  As mentioned above, and in a previous post we are now instigating direct links back to the database for target and ligand entities mentioned in these reviews.  Note also that committee members (or potential new ones wishing to contribute)  are welcome to suggest ideas for new reviews to Eliot Ohlstein for Pharm Rev or Steve Alexander for the Br J Pharmacol.

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Publications

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: