Journal of Nursing Education

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EDITORIAL 

Getting Published in the Journal of Nursing Education

Janis P Bellack, PhD, RN, FAAN

Abstract

The Journal of Nursing Education is the only publication dedicated to research and scholarship in nursing education. It provides the best opportunity for nurse educators and scholars to advance the field of nursing education through dissemination of their work to JNE's national and international readership.

For aspiring or fledgling nurse educators, getting an early publishing start in one's career can cement a commitment to share one's work with a broader audience and establish a pattern that is both rewarding and reinforcing. The joy of one's first publication - seeing one's work and name in print in the scholarly literature - is not only a personal reward but offers an opportunity to share one's work and make a lasting and meaningful contribution to the field. Ideas and findings that go unshared and unpublished go nowhere and help no one, except perhaps the author if the work was completed to earn a degree.

In this vein, it is encouraging to note that JNE is receiving an increasing number of manuscripts that reflect the results of a recent thesis or research project, from both graduate students and novice faculty. This bodes well for the future of nursing education and helps establish and ensure a new generation of scholars in the field. We encourage seasoned faculty to, in turn, encourage and support students and novice colleagues to seek avenues for disseminating their work and to do so sooner, rather than later. Unfortunately for these novice scholars, too often the manuscripts they submit to JNE are returned because they simply have been recycled. Unchanged from final thesis or project report form, they are submitted to JNE for consideration. One manuscript we received recently not only carried the usual title page with the wording, "submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for...," it also included a two-page table of contents and was more than 40 pages long! Clearly, such a submission will not make it past the initial review stage, and the author's potentially useful contribution to the literature will be lost. Faculty can enhance students' and young colleagues' (and their own) chances of publishing success by advising them to follow a few general precepts:

* Review and carefully follow the Information for Authors, available on-line at http://www. journalofhursingeducation.com/about.asp.

* Ensure the manuscript is consistent with JNE's purpose. Approximately 10% of all manuscripts are rejected simply because they fall outside the scope of JNE's focus. These authors would save themselves valuable time from idea to publication by choosing an appropriate journal. For example, JNE does not publish works that relate to continuing education, staff development, or studies of the knowledge, skills, or attitudes of practicing nurses, nor do we publish clinical intervention studies. JNE's purpose focuses solely on "aspects of nursing education related to undergraduate or graduate programs in schools of nursing," at all levels.

* Develop the manuscript to fit the appropriate category (i.e., major or brief article). Again, review the Information for Authors. A substantial portion of manuscripts are returned because they do not meet the criteria for a major article. For example, small-scale studies implemented in a single school or program are more suitable as brief articles and will be returned if they exceed the page allowance (i.e., 8 pages, with no tables or figures and no abstract). We often request that these authors consider revising a lengthy manuscript according to the guidelines for brief articles and resubmitting it because the ideas or findings themselves have merit. Again, authors can save substantial time by submitting the manuscript to fit the appropriate category in the first place.

* Become familiar with the published articles…

The Journal of Nursing Education is the only publication dedicated to research and scholarship in nursing education. It provides the best opportunity for nurse educators and scholars to advance the field of nursing education through dissemination of their work to JNE's national and international readership.

For aspiring or fledgling nurse educators, getting an early publishing start in one's career can cement a commitment to share one's work with a broader audience and establish a pattern that is both rewarding and reinforcing. The joy of one's first publication - seeing one's work and name in print in the scholarly literature - is not only a personal reward but offers an opportunity to share one's work and make a lasting and meaningful contribution to the field. Ideas and findings that go unshared and unpublished go nowhere and help no one, except perhaps the author if the work was completed to earn a degree.

In this vein, it is encouraging to note that JNE is receiving an increasing number of manuscripts that reflect the results of a recent thesis or research project, from both graduate students and novice faculty. This bodes well for the future of nursing education and helps establish and ensure a new generation of scholars in the field. We encourage seasoned faculty to, in turn, encourage and support students and novice colleagues to seek avenues for disseminating their work and to do so sooner, rather than later. Unfortunately for these novice scholars, too often the manuscripts they submit to JNE are returned because they simply have been recycled. Unchanged from final thesis or project report form, they are submitted to JNE for consideration. One manuscript we received recently not only carried the usual title page with the wording, "submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for...," it also included a two-page table of contents and was more than 40 pages long! Clearly, such a submission will not make it past the initial review stage, and the author's potentially useful contribution to the literature will be lost. Faculty can enhance students' and young colleagues' (and their own) chances of publishing success by advising them to follow a few general precepts:

* Review and carefully follow the Information for Authors, available on-line at http://www. journalofhursingeducation.com/about.asp.

* Ensure the manuscript is consistent with JNE's purpose. Approximately 10% of all manuscripts are rejected simply because they fall outside the scope of JNE's focus. These authors would save themselves valuable time from idea to publication by choosing an appropriate journal. For example, JNE does not publish works that relate to continuing education, staff development, or studies of the knowledge, skills, or attitudes of practicing nurses, nor do we publish clinical intervention studies. JNE's purpose focuses solely on "aspects of nursing education related to undergraduate or graduate programs in schools of nursing," at all levels.

* Develop the manuscript to fit the appropriate category (i.e., major or brief article). Again, review the Information for Authors. A substantial portion of manuscripts are returned because they do not meet the criteria for a major article. For example, small-scale studies implemented in a single school or program are more suitable as brief articles and will be returned if they exceed the page allowance (i.e., 8 pages, with no tables or figures and no abstract). We often request that these authors consider revising a lengthy manuscript according to the guidelines for brief articles and resubmitting it because the ideas or findings themselves have merit. Again, authors can save substantial time by submitting the manuscript to fit the appropriate category in the first place.

* Become familiar with the published articles in JNE to gain a clear sense of focus, writing style, and level of sophistication, and then strive to develop a manuscript that is focused, relevant, readable, logical, accurate, conceptually grounded, and, where appropriate, evidence based. Avoid the stilted and prescribed format required for the submission of theses and dissertations and instead write to capture readers' interest and attention. The goal of publishing is to get new ideas "out there" for testing and application in other settings and, most important, to continuously improve the validity and reliability of our pedagogical and evaluation practices. To paraphrase Edith Lewis, esteemed writer and editor in nursing, "Write for the reader, she or he may need to know what you have to say."

* Finally, a simple but important guideline- make sure the manuscript conforms to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) (5th edition) guidelines for manuscript preparation. We receive many manuscripts that do not (e.g., manuscripts that are single spaced, use incorrect format for reference citations, use fonts that are too small, include pages that are not paginated). Such manuscripts will be returned to the author and, again, result in avoidable delays in the ideato-publication timeline.

As editors, we encourage experienced nurse educators, novice faculty, and graduate students in nursing education to share their ideas, innovations, and scholarly works in the pages of JNE. We welcome manuscripts on a variety of topics pertinent to undergraduate and graduate nursing education. We will, from time to time, continue to call for manuscripts for focused issues, but we also are eager to receive manuscripts on any relevant topic at any time. The nursing profession is at a point in its history where the nursing shortage has gained national prominence and is driving much of what is happening in nursing education. Unprecedented changes are occurring in the field, and we urge potential authors to take advantage of the opportunity to share their innovations with a wider audience. The pages of JNE provide authors with a captive readership for doing so, while advancing novel ideas, contributing solid educational research, and in general, expanding our knowledge of the discipline of nursing education.

Given the speed of change in society, health care, and higher education, timely publication of new ideas, trends and issues, educational research, and opinion pieces is critical to the shaping, influence, and transformation of nursing education. Consequently, we have substantially reduced the time from submission to publication to get these works into the literature as quickly as possible. Whether you are a student, a recent graduate, a novice faculty member, or a seasoned (and published!) nurse educator, we welcome you as a potential JNE author and, most important, as a contributor to the critical field of nursing education that we all share.

Note: Manuscripts can now be submitted on-line at http://www.RapidReview.com.

10.3928/0148-4834-20030201-03

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