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Updated ANS Author’s Guide: Anti-racist Guidelines


The recent spotlight on police brutality and killing of Black Americans prompted widespread reflection and change toward social justice and racial inequities in almost all sectors of society – including the realm of scholarly publishing. The “Scholarly Kitchen,” blog of the Society for Scholarly Publishing, posted a notice of an “Antiracist Framework for Scholarly Publishing” on August 6, 2020 that serves as a guide to re-shape policies and practices in the production of scholarly literature.

I am delighted to share the outcome our initiative to examine and revise guidelines and practices for Advances in Nursing Science. As Editor, I established a workgroup of scholars of color who serve on the ANS Panel of Reviewers to take a deep dive into the journal’s “Information for Authors”. Together we created major anti-racist changes that have now gone into effect.

The changes that we made begin with a fundamental acknowledgement of the power of the published word to shape thought and power structures, and the responsibility of authors in situating their work within existing power structures:

Published scholarly works play a major role in shaping thought and power structures. We encourage authors to include a standpoint statement that describes your position relative to power relations of race, gender, and class. This is particularly important if your work involves disadvantaged populations or issues of social determinants of health and health equity. Examples include: 

  • “The authors Identify as white middle-class nurses. We have drawn on literature authored by scholars of color to inform the design, interpretations and conclusions reported in this article.”
  • “Our work arises from our experiences as able-bodied nurses, as well as our identities as mixed-race descendants of immigrants from Central and South American countries.”

The following is a new section that specifically addresses guidelines related to racism:

The ANS leadership – Editor, advisory board members, peer reviewers and Publisher recognize that published scholarly works are vehicles that can challenge systemic racism and intersecting forms of power inequities.  ANS expects an explicit antiracist stance as a means to provide scholarly resources to support antiracism in research, practice, education, administration, and policymaking. To this end, we offer the following guidelines:

  • Remain mindful of the many ways in which white privilege is embedded in scholarly writing, and engage in careful rereading of your work to shift away from these explicit and implied messages.  As an example, general “norms” are typically taken to reflect white experience only; this is revealed when the experience of people of color are taken to be “other” or “unusual” or worse yet “unhealthy” 
  • When race is included as a research variable or a theoretical concept, racism  must be named and integrated with other intersecting forms of oppression such as gender, sexuality, income, and religion.
  • If your work does include race,
    • Provide a rationale that clearly supports an antiracist stance.
    • Be careful not to explicitly or implicitly suggest a genetic interpretation.
    • Explicitly state the benefit that your work contributes on behalf of people of color.
  • Refrain from any content that explicitly or implicitly blames the victim or that stereotypes groups of people; situate health inequities clearly in the context of systemic processes that disadvantage people of color. 
  • Focus on unveiling dynamics that sustain harmful and discriminatory systems and beliefs, and on actions that can interrupt these structural dynamics.

Please visit the complete ANS Information for Authors to review these changes. We welcome your feedback, comments and questions! Please respond below!

Deep appreciation to the following team of ANS peer reviewers who developed these guidelines:

Helene Berman, RN, Ph.D, University of Western Ontario

Mary K. Canales, Ph.D., RN, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire

Lucy Mkandawire-Valhmu, PhD, RN (also member of Nursology.net management team)

Margaret Dexheimer Pharris, RN, PhD, FAAN, St. Catherine University (Emerita)

Bukola Oladunni Salami, RN, MN, PhD, University of Alberta

Holly Wei, PhD, RN, CPN, NEA-BC, East Caroline University

Jennifer Woo, Ph.D., CNM, WHNP, FACNM, Texas Woman’s University (also member of Nursology.net management team)

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