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Posts from the ‘Commentary’ Category

Authorship


Unless you are preparing a manuscript all alone with absolutely no other person involved in any way, you are likely faced with the challenges involved in deciding who actually qualifies as an author, and once that decision is made, deciding whose name should be first, second, third and beyond.  The first and vitally important guideline for this process is this: early discussion and open negotiation among all parties involved.  This discussion can be initiated by any individual involved in a project – and hopefully that person is already familiar with the resources presented here as guidelines for the discussion.

This is no simple challenge.  In fact, matters of authorship are the most common cases presented for discussion by COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics).  Their excellent discussion paper on Authorship should be at the top of your reading, and re-reading list every time you embark on a new project!  When you initiate an early discussion with your collaborators who might also become authors, if you start with a review of the widely accepted guidelines for authorship described here, you by-pass, or at least lessen the temptation to get involved in arguments and disagreements based purely on personal preferences and motivations.

For ANS, we subscribe to the guidelines for authorship provided by ICMJE (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors), which require that anyone who is included as an author on a manuscript must meet four essential criteria:

  1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  3. Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  4. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

During the submission process for ANS, all authors must confirm that they meet these four criteria, and soon, you will also be required to include a statement for each author that describes the specific contributions that they have made to the work (criteria #1).  The fact remains that there are typically people who have made a contribution of some type to the conception or design of the work, but have not participated in all of criteria 2, 3 or 4; thus they do not qualify as an author, but they should be acknowledged as non-author contributors in the “acknowledgements” that are published with the article.

The matter of the order in which authors’ names appear is even more difficult to determine. The earlier you can settle this matter, the better for all concerned.  Further, whatever the decision, you will have a much more comfortable working relationship throughout the entire process if everyone involved is fully “on board” with the order in which authors’ names appear.  You can base this decision on the relative contributions of each person, or, if all contributions are roughly equal, you can use an alphabetical or reverse-alphabetical order.

There is a specific situation that many ANS authors face – that of the role of the dissertation or thesis committee members who have worked with a student who ultimately is expected to produce publishable manuscripts based on the scholarly project required for the degree.  The ANS editorial and publishing team concur with the recommendations that have emerged from ICMJE and COPE – faculty advisors do not qualify for authorship based on their advisory role alone. Even though it is typically the case that faculty advisors make significant contributions to the development of the dissertation project, and in turn the content that emerges in a publishable article, faculty advisors rarely meet all of the criteria 2, 3 and 4 above.  Therefore they should be acknowledged for their contribution as an advisor to the project required for the degree, but not as authors.  Of course, in the event that faculty advisors do actively participate and meet all four criteria, they should be authors. However, in my opinion, the student (or former student), as the sole author of the dissertation or thesis, would typically be named as the first author based on their relative investment in the project.

I welcome your comments and responses related to this important issue!  Leave your ideas below – I will respond!

“Editor’s Picks” available now!


We have added a new feature to the ANS web site … Editor’s Picks from the current issue.  The Editor’s Picks will change every couple of weeks, and while an article is featured, it will be available for a free download!  Each week I will post information on this blog about one of the articles on the current “Editor’s Picks” list, giving some background and information about the article that I believe makes the article important for our readers.

Barbara Reigel (University of Pennsylvania), with her colleagues from Sweden Tiny Jaarsma and Anna Strömberg (Linköping University) are the authors of one of our first features, titled “A Middle-Range Theory of Self-Care of Chronic Illness.”  The theory was developed from self-care studies that the authors have conducted in several countries around the world; the article cites the studies so that you can trace the specific evidence on which the theory is based.

The authors address a central concern of nursing practice – the nature of the relationship between a nurse and a patient.  They explain the connection between that relationship and self-care of chronic illness as follows:   “When providers interact with patients their intention is that the partnership they form will motivate patients to engage in self-care that can be incorporated into their lifestyle. It is within this context of a mutually rewarding relationship that the self-care of chronic illness takes place.”

This theory was developed from sound research evidence, and in turn it provides an important resource to guide nursing practice.  It is based on deep analysis and clarification of some of the most persistent challenges that nurses face in building relationships with people living with chronic illness. This article  is an exemplar of one approach to the development of nursing theory that serves to guide nursing practice.

Check out the article now and add your ideas and thoughts about this article by replying to this post!  I look forward to hearing from you!

Health & Human Rights: A Vital Connection


As is the tradition of ANS, this current issue of the journal contains articles that will quite likely prompt many interesting

April -June 2012

April-June 2012

discussions! The issue of human rights might seem to be primarily one that belongs in the realm of politics and policy, but as the authors of the articles in this issue of ANS  so aptly demonstrate, human rights are invariably linked to health and well-being.  Falk-Rafael and Betker cite a report that says it best: “Social justice is a matter of life and death.”

The connection goes even further to encompass the matter of health and illness.  The article by Lee titled “Family Homelessness Viewed through the Lens of Health and Human Rights” makes this point very clear – their findings support the conclusion that being treated with dignity and respect is vital to health and well-being.

As nurses we face a fundamental challenge that requires honest reflection on what interests we serve not only in health care, but in the larger society.  Florence Nightingale laid a foundation for western nursing as fundamentally serving the best interests of society. By tending to the needs of those who are ill, at risk for illness, vulnerable, or whose well-being is challenged, we also tend to the needs of society.  But as nurses worldwide recognize, our social obligation goes beyond tending to individuals, to also taking bold steps to improve the social conditions under which people live and work and to shape public policy that creates those conditions.

In many countries around the world, the basic human needs and rights of the most vulnerable individuals have been undermined by the greed and desires of the few.  This is an issue that as nurses we cannot ignore if we take our social duty seriously.  It is time to step up to the challenge that faces our communities and nations, and to use our knowledge and our insights to advocate for social justice for all.  Take a look at the complete Table of Contents of this current issue of ANS.  This is the kind of evidence that nurses provide as a framework from which to build strong arguments that shape strong policies in favor of social justice.  Indeed, it is a matter of life and death, of health and illness.

Nursing, politics, and the economy


The month of May typically prompts some attention to nursing in most Euro-centric countries, given that May 12th was Florence Nightingale’s birthday, and the second week of the month has been designated as Nurses’ Week in the United States. May is also the month of Mother’s Day in the U.S. — a parallel fact that I see as not altogether accidental.  All too often the attention drawn to mothers and to nurses comes in the form of gratuitous and token recognition of nurses in the “Hallmark card” tradition .. flowers, cards and small gifts that convey appreciation.  I certainly do not question the sincerity of these expressions of appreciation, and in fact believe that such messages are notably absent in places and at times when they could make a huge difference in a relationship.  However, when a culture depends on a designated yearly “day” or “week” to prompt recognition of contributions that are as vital as those of nurses and mothers, and at the same time fails to endow those vital contributes with social and cultural markers of  significant value, something is terribly awry.

Two articles appeared in the last couple of weeks that shed light on the persistent failure of dominant social systems to recognize the actual value of nurses and nursing, despite glaring evidence to the contrary.  The first of these articles, titled “Why Nurses Need More Authority” by John W. Rowe, MD, appeared in The Atlantic on May 7, 2012.  The second, titled “The Power of Nursing” by journalist David Bornstein, appeared on May 16, 2012 in the New York Times. Both articles provide ample evidence, which nurses have known for decades, of the effectiveness of a strong nursing influence and presence in health care.  They both make a strong case for nursing to have a much larger and prominent role in creating the changes that need to happen in health care in the United States.

At the risk of seeming to discount the importance of both of these article, what stood out for me as I read each of them were the many ways that each of these articles also reflected the dynamics that sustain the dominant imbalances of power in health care, and the fundamental issues that keep nursing on the periphery and yes, even in a relatively subservient role in the delivery of health care.  On the surface, it might seem that part of the problem has to do with the fact that both of the authors of these articles are not nurses and certainly that fact does shape the perspective that each author brings to the topic.  But we need strong allies, and each of these articles reflect the intention of both of these authors to come to the table as strong allies of nurses and of nursing.  The markers of sustained attitudes and assumptions that perpetuate the problem lie beneath the fact that the authors are not nurses, and in fact, are attitudes and assumptions that many nurses might also bring to the table.  They are part of the hegemonic climate within which health care in the United States and other western cultures exist.  I will only address a couple of the glaring issues that stood out for me as I read these articles.

In Rowe’s article “Why Nurses Need More Authority” he uses the recent Institute of Medicine (IOM) “Future of Nursing” report in part as a spring-board for making the case that advanced practice nurses should be “allowed” to have an expanded role in health care. He points to the opposition that organized medical groups have launched against the recommendations of the IOM report, and rightfully argues that this opposition makes no sense, and that state laws that restrict APRN practice need to be changed.  The concept of being “allowed” to practice to the full extent of our education (the first recommendation of the IOM report) is the first red flag.  It is true that laws and traditions do place restrictions on nursing practice, but the issue is not one of someone simply “allowing” nurses to practice .. it is an issue of making social change that removes restrictions, a process in which we as nurses are quite capable of being full and equal participants.  The other red flag that stands out for me is that the IOM report recommendations are not limited to advance practice only … the report calls for all nurses at all levels of education to practice at the level they are prepared, and it calls for improvements in the education system that give nurses from all levels of education and practice access to furthering their education.  Advanced practice nurses do have a critical role in providing quality health care in the United States, but so do general practice nurses who have earned associate degrees and baccalaureate degrees.  Yet, at each of these levels of practice, policies and traditions restrict what all nurses contribute.  These are barriers that need to be dismantled, not by having a benevolent “father” figure declaring that we are now “allowed” to practice in a certain way, but by social and political processes, in which nurses play a key role, to shape new policies, practices and laws.

David Bornstein’s article focuses more on the provision of the Affordable Care Act that calls for Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Programs, and the evidence of the effectiveness of a Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) program established at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center by David Olds, MD.  What is not acknowledged in Bornstein’s article is the vital interdisciplinary nature of the program, and the dominant role that nurses have played over the years in the conception, the research, program design and implementation.  Bornstein’s article is a brief opinion piece and is not designed as comprehensive report of the project, and I would not expect to see that kind of coverage in an opinion piece.  The red flag is not in the article itself, rather, it is the reminder of how dominant the realm of medicine is in being credited for an achievement like this, even those that are shaped in vital ways by nurses – nurse researchers, educators and practitioners (as was the Univeristy of Colorado NFP project).  This tradition of granting attribution to the dominant medical discipline is a huge factor that is shaped and sustained not only within the health care system and its practices, but also by the media and the public.  But it is not immutable .. it can change.

Nurses … it is time for us to mobilize the recognize these dynamics, and to claim the power, and the authority that is our!

Nursing and the Environment


Valentine’s Day edit: Here is a link to narrated slides from the presentation I gave last week. Redefining the Metalanguage of Nursing Presentation

“Lost Souls” by Richard Cowling ~ 2002 NurseManifest Research Study

I just watched the film “The Politics of Caring” featured on the nursemanifest.com website and oh, does it make some powerful statements about politics in nursing that are still relevant today! A core messages in the film is the importance of improving hospital working conditions, both for the nurses, and for the safety and health of patients. Growing out of my involvement in the NurseManifest Project, much of my current work directly focuses on research about the nursing work environment, including nurse staffing and management practices.

One of the defining moments of my nursing education was learning about the concept of “Upstream Thinking” in my senior year Community & Public Health Nursing course. We learned about John Snow’s classic work on the London Cholera epidemic of 1854 and read Patricia Butterfield’s seminal “Thinking Upstream” article (Adv Nurs Sci 1990;12(2):1-8) that challenged nurses to think beyond one-to-one caring relationships and embrace the social, environmental and political determinants of health. This was reinforced the following year in my graduate nursing theory course, with the addition of Butterfield’s then new paper, “Upstream Reflections on Environmental Health” (Adv Nurs Sci 2002;25(1):32-49). While nursing education programs are working to integrate new content in (epi)genetics, (epi)genomics and environmental health it is more important than ever to emphasize the interconnectedness (or integrality) of human beings (including nurses!) and the environment.

The macro-level and micro-level ways that human beings, including nurses, are interconnected with their environment and each other will be the main focus of a free webinar/seminar that I’m giving next week and hope you will be able to attend. The presentation is titled Redefining the Metalanguage of Nursing Science: Contemporary Underpinnings for Innovation in Research, Education and Practice and will be on Wednesday, Feb 8, 2012 (12-1:30 EST) at the University of Pennsylvania, Barbara Bates Center for the Study of Nursing History. This presentation will utilize images and narrative to explore the ideas presented in my new paper, The Integrality of Situated Caring in Nursing and the Environment, currently featured on the Advances in Nursing Science website.

To register for the webinar: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/210662026

Why ANS is a Topical Journal


One of the unique features of ANS is that it has maintained the “Issue Topic” focus for each issue.  When we began publication in 1978, the publisher at the time (Aspen Publishers) wanted all of their journals to conform to a topical format.  Since this was my first experience as a journal editor, and was primarily focused on getting the journal Health focusunderway, I happily agreed!  As an aside, the Aspen managing editor I worked with, Wally Hood, also designed the ANS cover, which has remained constant as well.

When Lippincott, Wolters & Kluwer assumed publication of the journal in 2002, they were open to making changes in the journal and we discussed several options.  Our Senior Publisher, Sandy Kasko, agreed that the cover design should remain the same because of the distinctive identification it brought to the journal.  We also agreed that the topical format should remain as a distinctive feature of the journal, and the Advisory Board members have remained committed to our topical format.

The primary reason remains this: our topics call forth scholarship that might otherwise be neglected in nursing’s literature.  It encourages prospective authors Read more

Challenges and changes in scholarly publishing


Whatever your interest is in the realm of scholarly publishing, one thing is clear – the landscape is changing dramatically!  The most challenging aspect of what is happening is that nobody knows exactly how things are going to evolve and what direction will be thePublishing of the future? most viable in the future.  What we do know is that the internet is destined to play an increasingly important role, but we can only imagine exactly how the internet will eventually shape the future of scholarly publishing.  Here are two important changes that I am anticipating, and the scope of change that seems possible:

  • The roles and responsibilities of publishers. The internet is making it possible for almost anyone to become a publisher, and is changing the ways that traditional publishers do business.  Publishers play a significant role in assuring certain standards of quality in their publications.  They cover the cost of getting the publication from manuscript to print and they manage the task of distribution of the product.  The internet provides Read more

Lasting influence


A few days ago we sent out an email giving the latest ANS ranking of 15th out of 85 nursing journals, with a new 5-year impact factor ranking of 1.587.  Beverly HallBeverly Hall's article in ANS responded with congratulations and a story illustrating the lasting influence of her article published in ANS titled “An Essay on an Authentic Meaning of Medicalization:  The Patient’s Perspective” (2003, Vol 26:1).  Here is what Beverly shared:

I took a copy of my medicalization article in to my physician 3 years ago when I first hooked up with him and asked him to read it. He not only read it, he said it changed his whole way of relating to patients. He mentioned it again a few weeks ago when I went in to see him.  Thanks to Advances for publishing this.

The physician is Alan Weiss, and he also sent me a personal message affirming how significant Beverly’s work has been:

Beverly’s work and meeting her made me rethink how people, in our current medical system, often become not people with certain conditions to address, but become and are related to as their diagnosis by the medical community. And often by others. This can be dehumanizing and certainly not empowering. Beverly is one of those rare examples who refused to let this happen and she is now committed to sharing her experience with others and showing them a way to stay true to themselves while dealing powerfully with their illness.

This account is one of many examples of the lasting influence of what we publish in the journal.  In fact ANS has many articles that are recognized as classic and timely long after the date of publication.  I have identified many of these in the “Classics Collection” that appears on the ANS web site.  There are a number of other Collections that give a listing of significant articles by topic – articles that were published in the first two decades of the journal and that have retained lasting significance.

If you have not yet discovered this treasury of timeless and thought-provoking articles, visit the web site now!  When you find something that is important to you, share it with others.  We cannot imagine how powerful the ideas that speak to us as individuals might be for others as well!

How to list your credentials and title when you publish


Updated resource (Sept. 12, 2019)
APA “Misuse of the PhD(c)

Here is a topic that is not often discussed, but remains a persistent issue for many!  “What is the proper way to list my credentials?  Which should come first, RN, PhD, MS?”  Most folks have very strong opinions about this and will most certainly object if you list their credentials in an order other than what they prefer.  TheyDiploma and notebook will typically give you very good reasons for why they feel one credential or another should be first.  Therefore, as an Editor, my guideline for this is that each person’s credentials should be listed exactly as they prefer them to be listed!

However, there is one “credential” that is frequently indicated that we will not use — the non-credential “PhD(c).”  I am not sure how this convention started, but it is one of my particular pet peeves.  And in many formal and informal polls of other editors, by far the majority agree — this is not an acceptable credential.  Yes, the little (c) does indicate that a person has passed Read more

Nurse scholars shape the future – funding opportunities pending


The groundbreaking report release last fall by the Institute of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on the Future of Nursing.  This report provides a blueprint for action to shape a stronger, more effective nursing presence in health care.   It also opens doors of opportunity for nurse scholars. Nurse researchers played a key role in shaping the substance of the report, and in the months ahead, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will publish a national research agenda based on the report’s recommendations.  You can sign up for alerts on funding opportunities related to this agenda at www.rwjf.org.

I recently invited Lori Melichar and Susan B. Hassmiller to share their thoughts about the role of nurse scholars in fulfilling to vision of the future that the report sets forth.
Here is their message for the ANS blog:

Nurse researchers played a crucial role in producing the evidence that resulted in the recommendations from the landmark Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing HealthNow they must play Read more

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