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Posts from the ‘Resources’ Category

ANS Collections Updated!

One of the most important challenges for scholars in all disciplines is finding the important classic literature related to your line of scholarship!  This is where the ANS Collections can help!  The Collections provide links to important classic articles that have student-thinking-clipart-mystery_clip_artappeared since the early days of ANS (October 1978) through 2009.  While all scholarship requires familiarity with the most recent literature in your field, it is equally important to know the history of your line of inquiry, and the important background leading up to where you are today.  But discovering this history is a major challenge, since keyword search capabilities for deep searches have changed dramatically in recent years and they do not reach back to the important historical documents.  So in addition to library key word searches, scholars also need to be intimately familiar with the content in journals that publish in your area of expertise.

I encourage you to browse these ANS Collections, organized by topics that appear regularly throughout ANS.  You just might find something you never knew existed, or long ago forgot!  This actually happened to me as I selected the articles for each Collection – articles that I had long ago forgotten suddenly came into a new light!

The Collections will be updated again, once sufficient time has passed to recognize material that stands the test of time! Meanwhile, take a virtual stroll through the Collections and discover what is there to inform you work anew!

Historical Nursing Documents Archived by City of Toronto

This update has been provided by Adeline Falk-Rafael to follow-up on the ANS article titled “Towards Justice in Health.”An Exemplar of Speaking Truth to Power.

Our article “Towards Justice in Health: An exemplar of speaking truth to power” is an analysis of 6 issues of the magazine (TJH) produced by Nurses for Social Responsibility (NSR) in Toronto, Canada, between 1992 and 1995. The article reported that the request of the magazine’s editors for archival of the magazine in the Library and Archives Canada had been denied.

A few days ago, Cathy Crowe, one of the magazine’s editors, notified us that the City of Toronto Archives has accepted both the 6 issues of the magazine and the NSR’s newsletters which predated the magazine and were alluded to in the article but were not part of the analysis. As Cathy Crowe noted, they will now be available “to aid and inspire future nurse and academic researchers on nursing and social justice.”

The vision and courage of these remarkable nurses for social responsibility is evident in some of the topics they wrote about and in which they actively sought change between 1985 and 1995. Their newsletter s and, in the later years, their magazine, covered many contentious issues that impacted health, including the environment, the sale of arms and war itself, women’s reproductive rights, health care policy, trade agreements, lesbian nurses, and needle-exchange programs, as well as issues that affected nurses in the workplace, such as working conditions and staffing mix. As we said in the article, they were exemplars in speaking truth to power and it is fortunate that the newsletters and magazines will now be available for aspiring historians and activists.

The images below of the newsletter and the magazine provide examples of the amazing topics that were addressed in this publication! Their placement in the City of Toronto archives provides a valuable resource and inspiration for nursing’s continuing social justice commitment.  For more information about Dr. Falk-Rafael’s and Dr. Bradley’s analysis of these important historical publications, see their blog message published here in August 2014.



Evaluating Web (and other) resources

In just the past few short years, the World Wide Web has become like a physical library.  Academic libraries, to a significant degree, now provide journal articles

WWW imageto their constituents as PDF files, replacing the old, large, and very popular “copy machine” room housed in their physical spaces.  A natural extension of this is the use of material “published” on the web as a resource not unlike that accessed through an academic library.

The developer of the Web (and current director of W3C, the organization that oversees Web standards) Tim Berners-Lee, established a vision of the World Wide Web as a valuable tool that would democratize knowledge, making access to valuable information accessible to all regardless of wealth, social standing, race, or any other factor. However, in many academic circles, Web resources are still regarded with skepticism and Web articles are not considered valid scholarly resources, except where a Web site is itself the subject of the investigation or is used to make a particular point.

Rather than simply dismiss Web resources, it is time to recognize the Web and its wealth of information as an opportunity to sharpen our abilities to discern a valid resource from one that is less than valid, and to refine the criteria by which we make this assessment.  Indeed, as the management team of the popular clearly states in their own guidelines on “Researching with Wikipedia”, the veracity of information published in the Wikipedia should be judged in ways similar to standards used for any other resource.

Here are “ABCSS” guidelines that I recommend in deciding on the credibility of any resource, web or otherwise:

Agency.  Is the author of the work clearly identified? Are the author’s professional affiliations and qualifications clearly identified? Is there a clearly identified way for me to contact the author if I have questions or concerns about the work? 

Bias.  Everything has a bias!  Does the author identify their perception of their own perspective on the subject?  What bias, standpoint, or perspective is implicitly embedded in the work?  How does bias potentially shape or influence what is published?

Corroboration.  How does the information in this source compare to what I find in other resources?  If it is wildly at odds with other resources, and the source can be identified as having value for my work, how can I explain the difference? 

Sponsorship.  Is the work sponsored, funded, or “commissioned” by an organization of any kind?  If so, what is the nature of that organization and do they have an explicit or implicit interest in what is published?

Scholarly value.  Do the methods used and the logic presented meet generally accepted standards of investigation, ethics and logic?  Are the sources that the author used clearly identified, and can I trace those sources accurately?

In fact, in my view the Web actually has greater power to demonstrate each of these guidelines much more explicitly than does print media.  Print media is limited by space and cost constraints that greatly constrain the kind of background information that is important to fully understand the worth of that which is published.  

In evaluating Web resources, I believe we can and should expect each and every one of the ABCSS to be clearly evident.  If they are not, unless there is some strong justification otherwise, the source needs to be eliminated from serious consideration.  What are your thoughts, and what shifts might you recommend for the ABCSS guidelines?  

Nursing Editors to meet in San Francisco

In August, the International Academy of Nursing Editors (INANE) is holding our annual conference in San Francisco at the Sir Francis Drake hotel.  Nursing journal editors worldwide attend this conference each year to discuss issues related to publishing nursing literature, to meet with other editors and publishers, and to learn the latest advances in publishing.  Our common focus, regardless of the nature of the various nursing journals, is how to improve the quality of nursing literature and enhance our service to the profession.

This year the conference will be focusing on social networking media, and how new networking tools on the internet can enhance the missions of each of our journals.  If you have been following the latest developments related to ANS, and if you are reading this blog, you will already be aware 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

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

Attention to detail

“Your great attention to detail is both a blessing and a curse”  – Chinese proverb

This message, found in a fortune cookie, inspired the folks at Oxford University Press (the Pencil and question markpublishers of the AMA Manual of Style, used by ANS), to start a blog!  The blog is the AMA Style Insider, and I highly recommend it – even for those who are not blessed with great attention to detail!  It is free of charge and anyone can visit the blog — I recommend that you subscribe to stay informed of many important issues facing writers, editors and publishers.  As they note in the announcement that circulated about the new blog, even though the AMA Manual of Style is over 1000 pages long, there are endless issues and questions that come up for writers every day.  And, the issues they address are not limited to any one approach to “style” – in fact they refer to other style manuals and traditions besides their own.

So far there are only a handful of posts on the blog, but every one of them is interesting!  They deal with topics ranging from recent FAQ’s from users of the AMA Manual of Style, to word usage (heathy vs healthful for example), placement of an apostrophe, the dangers of duplicate e-publication, and much more!  And, the information addresses not just the “facts” of how to handle problems of style, spelling, grammar, usage, and so forth, but the issues surrounding the problems and various points of view about how to deal with the issue in your own work.

Regulating Medical Loss Ratios

I was just thinking about a new paper in the American Journal of Managed Care:

Regulating the Medical Loss Ratio: Implications for the Individual Market
Jean M. Abraham, PhD; and Pinar Karaca-Mandic, PhD
(Am J Manag Care. 2011;17(3):211-218)

“Results:In 2009, using a PPACA-adjusted MLR definition, we estimated that 29% of insurer-state observations in the individual market would have MLRs below the 80% minimum, corresponding to 32% of total enrollment. Nine states would have at least one-half of their health insurers below the threshold. If insurers below the MLR threshold exit the market, major coverage disruption could occur for those in poor health; we estimated the range to be between 104,624 and 158,736 member-years.”Conclusion: The introduction of MLR regulation as part of the PPACA has the potential to significantly affect the functioning of the individual market for health insurance.”————————————————————————————————————————

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation thought enough of it to post it on their website and I did a post over there

but sometimes they don’t like them, so I’ll edit it and redo it here because I think Read more

Social Media for Researchers

Here’s a well-kept secret — there are actually many nurses using all forms of social media for a host of different purposes!  And, I am aware that the “internet” in general has become a very useful tool for nurse researchers.  But have we tuned in to what social media can really offer?  I am actually not sure!  This resource – “Social Media for Researchers” came to my attention today on Twitter!  Check it out …. even if you do not consider yourself a “researcher” (yet), this is a resource you will not want to pass up.  Check it out –

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