Monday, 9 December 2013

Meet the Editor-in-Chief: Roger Watson

Ten things about Roger

1. Why did you become a nurse?
I had the experience of working as a nursing auxiliary when I was an undergraduate student at The University of Edinburgh.  I did this for four summers working a total of 12 months.  The hospital was a large ‘Goffman-esque’ total institution for people with learning difficulties where many of the staff lived in the grounds and were quite as institutionalised as the patients.  But the grounds were pleasant and the wards consisted mainly of stand-alone buildings scattered throughout.  I worked for two of those years with older people, some very disabled.  The work was very heavy, the hours were long, I look back with some distress at some of the nursing practices but I have to say that I really enjoyed the work and was very happy there.  I completed my degree in Biochemistry and decided that if I did not get a place as a PhD student I would train as a nurse.  However, I got a place to study a PhD at the University of Sheffield and forgot about nursing. I reached a personal crisis at the end of my PhD as I did not know what to do - I had no intentions of continuing with laboratory work with which I had been quite bored and unhappy - and the idea of nursing came back to me.  I enrolled on the shortened course for graduates at St George’s Hospital in London and there ensued some of the happiest years of my life.

2. Why did you become an editor?
I entered the process of editing very early in my academic career when Jim Smith, Founding Editor of JAN, invited me to join the editorial board.  I loved the privilege and the work and learned as much as I could about writing, editing and publishing.  Jim largely taught me how to write concisely and to check all my facts before committing them to writing.  I stepped over the mark once in writing about taxation, national insurance and the UK National Health Service; Jim’s marginal remark in his thick pencil - along with the copious crossings out and re-positioning of phrases that Jim was generous with - was: “you don’t really know much about social policy, do you?”  He was right!  But Jim gave me my first column, the Book Reviews column, and largely let me develop that as I wished and it later became the Media Reviews column as other forms of published material became available electronically.  I knew that editing was going to remain with me for the rest of my career and when the JAN Editor-in-Chief job came up after Jane Robinson’s retirement, I applied...and failed; Alison Tierney was appointed but I was then offered the Editorship of JCN.  I must have done something right because JCN went from six yearly to monthly, the impact factor rose, JCN became and remains the largest academic nursing journal in the world and I was able to grow the team and reach the lofty heights of being the Editor-in-Chief.  However, when the Editor-in-Chief position at JAN became available again on Alison’s retirement, I applied and was appointed to what I consider to be one of the most privileged jobs in nursing.

3. What is the best thing about being an editor?
My colleagues have pointed to being able to see the best nursing research and scholarship first and to have a hand in shaping it.  I like that but I also like that being the Editor-in-Chief of two such prestigious journals: JCN and JAN, has raised my profile internationally and I now spend a great deal of time working out of the UK specifically as a result of my editing work.

4. What makes JAN unique?
Several things: It was one of the first of its kind; in these days of specialisation it remains generic; the name has always attracted comment and even misunderstanding which is good - JAN gets talked about and you get the chance to explain what we are about to people. Of UK-based academic nursing journals, JAN has really pioneered expansion in North America as well as other regions of the world.

5. What is your favourite paper published in JAN this year and why?
My favourite paper this year is:

This is a paper I noticed at submission and passed on to an editor hoping it would survive the review process.  The paper is in my own field of study, the difficulty older people have with eating and drinking, and it struck me as being a good study methodologically and one with real clinical implications and potential impact.  They were also kind enough to cite my own work - twice! - including a previous JAN paper.  However, I only noticed this after the editor had recommended acceptance as I had only, previously, read the abstract.  The study is also multidisciplinary, involving nurses and a doctor; it is great to see the medical profession taking an interest in this aspect of care and to see nurses and doctors working together.  The study reports a randomised trial of how well older people with dementia drink either from an ordinary beaker compared with drinking through a straw.  When I was in clinical practice I never thought straws were all that effective and they were also infantilising; I hate the things myself.  Guess what? The study shows ordinary beakers are more effective.

6. What advice would you give to an author?
Follow the ‘four rules’ of writing: read the guidelines; set targets and count words; seek criticism; and treat rejection as the start of the next submission.

7. What advice would you give to aspiring editors?
Do it, take the chance if offered; if not seek out the chance by reviewing for journals, joining editorial boards and applying for editorships. We don’t have enough people who are interested and we need more. 

8. What annoys you most about poor manuscripts?
Ones that do not follow the guidelines; if I open up the file on Scholar One marked ‘Abstract’ and the abstract is a short single block of text without our prescribed set of headings then nothing can save it.  If the author has not bothered to consult the guidelines and even to check an issue of JAN to see how we do this, then they do not deserve to be considered.

9. What are the main challenges for nursing in the next decade?
The main challenges are the ones that are global and these are: the ageing of the nursing workforce; the pressure to assume advanced roles; and the organisation of nurses to respond quickly and effectively to natural disasters.

10.Who do you recommend to follow on Twitter?
Naturally, I recommend JAN and then our editors who are on Twitter: Mark Hayter; Jane Noyes; Lin Perry; Rita Pickler. Also, in terms of the publishing industry and nursing I recommend: Wiley Nursing and a whole range of other Wiley sites; the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE); and other sites concerned with publication standards such as the CONSORT Statement and the PRISMA Statement.  Finally, for a giggle each day at 1pm (except Sundays) I recommend The One O’Clock Pun from Edinburgh (e.g. “A man was arrested for stealing an Advent calendar; he got 24 days”).

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Meet the Editors: Jane Noyes

Ten things about Jane

1. Why did you become a nurse?
It’s a bit of a long story! I originally wanted to go to university straight from school but grew up in a family where no one had previously been to university and the expectation was to leave school, marry young and ‘settle down’. ‘Settling down’ when still a teenager wasn't exactly high on my agenda so I decided to stay on at school and complete the exams required for university entrance. I then left home to train as a nurse at the top nursing school at the time – the Nightingale School of Nursing at St Thomas’ Hospital, London. I had an absolute ball and once qualified set off on travelling the world and developing my own career and future.

2. Why did you become an editor?
I was lucky enough to pursue a clinical career at some of the top hospitals in London and then gain experience of working with top global clinical academic children’s research teams. I was both undertaking research and using research evidence to pioneer new innovations such as nurse-led care and services for children with complex needs. I was encouraged by medical colleagues to study for a Masters degree at the University of Manchester. My supervisor was Professor Christine Webb, former editor of the Journal of Clinical Nursing and JAN. I had a good role model, and once immersed in academia I couldn't stop reading and writing – so becoming a journal editor was a natural next step.

3. What is the best thing about being an editor?
My clinical focus is child health and I have always felt that children's research should be reviewed and managed by someone with children’s knowledge and experience. Like many child health researchers who seek to publish their work in generic academic journals, I've had my share of peer reviewers who think that children can be conceptualised in the same way as autonomous adults. If there is one contribution that I want to make to editorship it’s enhancing the quality of published children’s research by trying to ensure higher quality peer review.

4. What makes JAN unique?
JAN was a pioneering UK-based academic nursing journal, it’s stood the test of time, evolved and currently has the largest reach, readership and download figures. Just looking at the download metrics is awesome – no other journal can match JAN.

5. What is your favourite paper published in JAN this year and why?
I trained at the original Florence Nightingale School of Nursing at St Thomas’ Hospital well before Kings College London laid claim to her legacy and School. I was therefore both fascinated and horrified to read Lynn McDonald’s discussion paper on Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale. I could not stop reading until the last impassioned word!

6. What advice would you give to an author?
Read and follow the journal guidelines, ask experienced colleagues to review your work prior to submission, respond positively to constructive feedback, learn how to deal with uninformed feedback, reflect on the reasons why your work is either accepted or rejected.

7. What advice would you give to aspiring editors?
Read a lot, write a lot, travel a lot to understand different nursing contexts, cultures and health systems, learn to speed read, and be prepared to spend a lot of time editing manuscripts for which you receive lots of deadlines, little reward, but a wealth of excellent experience in editorship and authorship.

8. What annoys you most about poor manuscripts?
The authors have wasted their time in submitting a manuscript that is never likely to be published.

9. What are the main challenges for nursing in the next decade?
Having to work until we are nearly 70! I cannot imagine having the required energy levels and stamina to run around wards looking after patients long after I had originally planned for retirement at 60!

10. Who do you recommend to follow on Twitter?
The very few people who have something innovative, informative or interesting to say…

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Meet the Editors: Brenda Roe

Ten things about Brenda

1. Why did you become a nurse?
At school I was passionate about human biology and after studying it as an undergraduate I wanted to become a nurse and apply that knowledge to the care of people. I have always been interested in understanding, identifying and using evidence to inform the care of people, their families and communities. Nursing is an art and science that requires different evidence to inform clinical practice, services and policy.

2. Why did you become an editor?
Becoming an editor was a natural progression from being a researcher, writer and author. Being an editor is a form of scholarship that requires experience, creativity, precision, vision and the ability to encourage others to write well.

3. What is the best thing about being an editor?
That I get to read first hand manuscripts from all over the world on a range of different studies from individual authors to large experienced research teams working across countries. Each has the power to make a difference.

4. What makes JAN unique?
It remains true to its aims and scope, and does what ‘it says on the tin.’ It advances nursing knowledge for policy and practice through research and scholarship.

JAN contributes to the advancement of evidence-based nursing, midwifery and healthcare by disseminating high quality research and scholarship of contemporary relevance and with potential to advance knowledge for practice, education, management or policy.”

5. What is your favourite paper published in JAN this year and why?
My favourite paper in JAN this year is by Moss H & O’Neill D (2013) The aesthetic and cultural interests of patients attending acute hospital – a phenomenological study. It makes an important contribution to the emerging field of arts, health & ageing and is novel as it is in the hospital setting as opposed to the community. I enjoyed and value it so much I was inspired to write an editorial on this very topic - Arts for health initiatives: An emerging international agenda and evidence base for older populations which will accompany it in JAN.

6. What advice would you give to an author?
Write something every day even if it is a small amount of text and work to a plan. Over time the amount of text increases and takes shape and form. Text can then be edited and polished to make it more succinct and sharp with a clear message, flow and argument. Ask critical friends to comment on your work and make suggestions to polish it. Submit your work for publication and peer review.

7. What advice would you give to aspiring editors?
Perfect your craft as an author, then edit a book, become a peer reviewer for a range of journals and then apply to be on an editorial board of a journal that you most admire.

8. What annoys you most about poor manuscripts?
Authors who do not follow the journal’s guide to authors and that they do not cite and critique a range of international sources on their topic which would clearly demonstrate their knowledge, justify their study and advance evidence.

9. What are the main challenges for nursing in the next decade?
The main challenges for nursing in the next decade are increasing populations, people living longer with a range of long term conditions requiring support and care in the community, economic constraints on health and social services with a shortage of qualified nurses, particularly in communities. Having to work differently across teams of staff with a range of skills and using new technologies to deliver effective evidence based care will also be both a challenge and opportunity.

10. Who do you recommend to follow on Twitter?
Well, JAN of course!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Nightingale versus Seacole...round one!

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief

Florence Nightingale's place in the history of nursing is assured, although she is also criticised. I thought that Mary Seacole was also safe until I received a manuscript from Emerita Professor Lynn McDonald of the University of Guelph, Ontario in Canada. The manuscript, entitled Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole on nursing and health care, is online now and free to download.

Mary Seacole
I must warn you, if you are a Seacole supporter, this is not the best read you've ever had. While not critical of Mary Seacole herself or what she did, McDonald questions her allegiance to the black community and also her contribution to the development of nursing.
I was previously aware of some doubts about her nursing credentials with many seeing her more as a doctor, or 'doctress'. Certainly she did not found a philosophy of nursing or a school of nursing. But she is iconic to many and I was equally surprised to learn that, if the funds are raised to erect a statue of her in the grounds of St Thomas' Hospital, London, this will be the first statue of a black woman in the UK.

Florence Nightingale
I think that McDonald's main concern about the elevation of Seacole is that Nightingale's place in the history and development of nursing is often downplayed in juxtaposition. While I can find plenty to criticise in Nightingale myself - mostly things that were really the product of the time in which she worked - I can find no arguments against her place as the founder of modern nursing and, in my view, she made a very good job of it. What is often forgotten is that she did so much more in relation to public health. She was also a consummate politician who cleverly exerted her influence through the powerful men of the day.

Frankly, I could not resist the controversy that this paper will ignite and I have ensured that leading supporters of Mary Seacole are aware of the paper and invited to respond. I look forward to some robust - but polite - debate in the months ahead.


McDonald L (2013) Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole on nursing and health care Journal of Advanced Nursing DOI:10.1111/jan.12291

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Meet the Editors: Lin Perry

Ten things about Lin:

1. Why did you become a nurse?
My youngest child was born with a major problem and as a result I spent a lot of time in hospitals, watching, listening and talking to nurses. Having to leave your sick child in other people's care sharpens your focus and I thought a lot about the profession in whose hands I was leaving my son. When I was able to start on a career track, I chose nursing because I'd felt the value of good nursing in my own life.

2. Why did you become an editor?
I enjoy writing as an art form and have enormous respect for the power of language. I became an editor because I believe it's not just what you say but the way that you say it that's important and the editor's job is to help authors communicate better and make their work a pleasure to read. With journal and publication numbers multiplying exponentially, writing quality as well as content influences readers' attention spans, and it's a privilege to help bring good work to readers' notice.

3. What is the best thing about being an editor?
Getting to read the good stuff first! My career history, my current 'day job' and my personal research all mean my interests are broad and I love that such a rich variety of material comes over my virtual desk. I enjoy seeing the diversity of what people are doing, and the breadth of inquiry pursued to develop nursing.

4. What makes JAN unique?
Quality: the quality of the content published and the quality of the pre-publication process. I'm not just blowing the editors' trumpet here, although the whole team are focused on bringing out the best in good work. JAN reviewers include the top researchers in nursing, their feedback is of great value (submitting my own first paper to JAN I was blown away by how much help I got) and the publishing house have a slick system that wastes no time getting you 'online early'.

5. What is your favourite paper published in JAN this year and why?
Of recent papers: Twigg DE, Geelhoed EA, Bremner AP, Duffield CM (2013) The economic benefits of increased levels of nursing care in the hospital setting jumped out at me.  Not because it is a perfect paper - it isn't; there are limitations to using routinely available data and making comparisons with retrospective data collected some years earlier. I like it because it shows nursing making a serious effort to understand the implications of changes to the way we work, to patients but also in economic terms.  I like it because it makes use of routinely available data - surely a cost-effective way to address issues where other approaches might accrue prohibitive costs, resulting in no research.

6. What advice would you give to an author?
I'm with Mark on this: the first job of a writer is to read. Read widely, and look for the nuts and bolts as well as the result. If you enjoy a piece of writing - ask yourself why? How did they get that result? I'm a great believer in 'less is more' (I love Thomas Hardy but skip whole chunks of landscape description, no matter how expressive!) and not wasting words in getting your message across. Good journalism can give you good examples of succinct writing, so look at how writing in other forms works too.

The second job of a writer is to write - it's a skill and you don't get better if you don't practice. The hard job is covering the page first time round; the first revision is easier than the first draft, and subsequent revisions are easier still. But it takes that first draft - every time!

7. What advice would you give to aspiring editors?
Read a lot, review a lot, write a lot, take every opportunity to hone your critical appraisal skills and keep up to speed with what's happening in your field. The reviewers provide content and methodological advice but an editor has to find the balance (often between outright reject and immediate accept!) and be able to differentiate the duds from the diamonds, spotting the pieces that with some (or a lot!) of polish will be well read and highly cited.

8. What annoys you most about poor manuscripts?
I'm with Mark again. JAN guidelines on manuscripts are there to help authors and readers; JAN requirements are designed to make it easier for authors to communicate the essentials of their work. So, when authors don't use them, it just seems like bad manners or laziness to me. One of our previous editors, Jacqui Fawcett, had a lovely line she used in this situation: 'Note that a mark of scholarship is adherence to the author guidelines for the journal to which the paper is submitted' - so true!

9. What are the main challenges for nursing in the next decade?
As our world changes, nursing needs to take forward the best of our past and present to embrace future opportunities. Population and nursing demographics are driving practice change and over the next decades our challenge is to hang on to core values and use them to create positive workplace cultures and environments where enhancing patient outcomes and experiences count equally with cost-benefit and quality is not compromised.

10. Who do you recommend to follow on Twitter?
I'm a Twitter novice; as anyone following me will have noticed, I haven't really got it yet. But I use other social media, and I will get round to Twitter - check back again in a couple of months and I'll tell you then.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Meet the Editors: Mark Hayter

Ten things about Mark:

1. Why did you become a nurse?
I was working in youth clubs as a support worker when a colleague suggested I consider nursing as a career. I knew I always wanted to work with people and initially wanted to move into social work but the more I looked into nursing the more it appealed. At the beginning I wanted the drama of critical care but I soon came to be more interested in public health and population level health issues.

2. Why did you become an editor?
Ever since becoming a reviewer and an author I have been fascinated with academic publishing. The appeal of helping promote good research and practice was a strong motivator and also the opportunity to contribute to raising the profile of nursing internationally was important.

3. What is the best thing about being an editor?
Reading a good paper, helping the author improve it – then knowing it will soon be published and make a great contribution to a subject field.

4. What makes JAN unique?
JAN has such a broad scope of papers, incredible quality but such a range of interesting research. It showcases the best of the nursing academy. I also think it is strong in both practice and theoretical fields too.

5. What is your favourite paper published in JAN this year and why?
I really enjoyed the paper by Weaver R, Ferguson C, Wilburn M, Salomonson Y (2013) "Men in nursing on television: exposing and reinforcing stereotypes".  So much has been written about the female image of the profession and this paper redresses the balance somewhat. I also liked the paper because it employs a methodology and analysis procedure we do not often see in JAN.

6. What advice would you give to an author?
Read a lot and really observe how good writers write. Not just academic papers; - look at popular fiction and the press for examples of how to express yourself well. The other piece of advice would be; you do not have to write in a complex manner to express complex ideas.

7. What advice would you give to aspiring editors?
Take every opportunity to review papers for journals, getting this experience is vital. Publish a lot too. If you can, join an editorial board, this is very often the type of role that helps someone into editing.

8. What annoys you most about poor manuscripts?
The thing that really annoys me, every time, is when papers do not adhere to the guidelines on manuscripts; I am not talking about minor mistakes, but when authors have not taken the time to ensure that their paper has been written for JAN and it is clearly straight from a thesis or in the style of another journal.

9. What are the main challenges for nursing in the next decade?
My view would be that, firstly, nurses need to ensure that when taking on advanced roles they do not simply become medical assistants and that they carve out what is uniquely nursing about advanced practice. Secondly, we need to ensure that the high quality research taking place in nursing translates into better care for patients and communities.

10. Who do you recommend to follow on Twitter?
The JAN editors and the JAN Twitter feed of course, but for excellent sexual health tweets @CDCSTD and @INPONursing is a good international network of nursing academics.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Meet the Editors - Rita Pickler

Ten things about Rita:

1. Why did you become a nurse? 
I always thought I wanted to be a teacher, except I was not sure what I would teach. A family friend suggested I had a “nice voice for nursing” and since I had already had eight majors in my freshman year of college, I thought I may as well try it. Once I started my nursing classes, I knew I had made a good decision. I cannot imagine not being a nurse.

2. Why did you become an editor? 
I developed an interest in being an editor after years of editing papers for others as well as writing my own. I enjoy the actual “editing” process. I had some experience editing on a small scale for special issues in various journals and I have edited a column in a speciality journal for some time. When the announcement for the JAN editorship crossed my desk, I knew it was something I should pursue.

3. What is the best thing about being an editor? 
The best thing about editing is getting to read cutting edge, state of the art science before anyone else does!

4. What makes JAN unique? 
I think JAN is unique because of its broad topic and methods range. That sort of scope is pretty rare.

5. What is your favourite paper published in JAN this year and why? 
There were so many to choose from but my favourite paper this year is Lisbeth Uhrenfeldt, Hanne Aagaard, Elisabeth O.C. Hall, Liv Fegran, Mette Spliid Ludvigsen and Gabriele Meyer paper entitled, “A qualitative meta-synthesis of patients' experiences of intra- and inter-hospital transitions.” I like it because it is such an important topic for nurses and health care and its importance has only increased in recent years. This paper helps us to better understand the patient’s perspective.

6. What advice would you give to an author? 
I would advise choosing an important topic, studying it thoroughly, selecting a journal whose mission is a good fit for the topic, and then writing well.

7. What advice would you give to aspiring editors? 
I advise working your way into editing. Start by reviewing papers for journals in which you publish. Review as many papers as you can to get a feel for good (and poor) writing. Also look for opportunities to edit special issues of journals. These experiences will help you when you have an opportunity to apply for an editor position.

8. What annoys you most about poor manuscripts? 
As an editor, I read everything that comes into my inbox and so it annoys me greatly when I have to read a poorly written paper.

9.  What are the main challenges for nursing in the next decade? 
I think we will be challenged to gain or perhaps even to maintain the progress we have made as clinicians and scientists. I think this challenge will be made greater by the loss of nurses to retirement as well as the loss of potential nurse clinicians and scientists to other disciplines.

10. Who do you recommend to follow on Twitter? 
I am not an expert or frequent “tweeter.” However I do follow JAN and its editors, STTI, COPE, and other professional organizations.

Friday, 18 October 2013

‘Hospitalogenesis’ - you heard it here first

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief

Sleeping in hospital is always problematic but we usually assume that it is due to noise and bright lights from early hours until late with little control or choice over the lighting to which we are exposed.  When a paper by Bernhofer et al. (2013) from the USA entitled ‘Hospital lighting and its association withsleep, mood and pain in medical inpatients’ arrived in my inbox I assumed that this is what the authors would report.  I am always interested in potential papers on the effect of the hospital environment on patients but this one especially interested me because the results were not what I expected. 

It transpires that hospitals tend to have low light intensity and that prolonged exposure to this lowers our mood and upsets our normal sleep-wake cycles.  The effect is possibly twofold: our mood becomes suppressed in low light - like living in a dull environment for a long time - and our sleep pattern becomes disturbed.  The outcome is that patients become fatigued and also experience greater pain.

These are serious findings.  Hospitals are distressing and dangerous enough places already.  To a list that includes sensory deprivation, isolation, loneliness, malnutrition, pressure sores and cross-infection we can now add the adverse effects of poor lighting.

It was always Nightingale’s maxim that we ought to do the patient no harm.  We also know about iatrogenesis - the unintended adverse consequences of medical treatment - and I recall someone even coining the term ‘nursogenesis’ to mean the adverse effects of nursing care.  However, it is clear that, while iatrogenesis is used generally to describe the adverse effects of medical encounters, that there may well be a place for a science of ‘hospitalogenesis’ or something along those lines to describe, specifically, the adverse effects of simply being in a hospital environment, before the medical and nursing staff line up to inflict more damage.

Naturally, this will encourage the ‘something must be done’ brigade to swing into action: ‘what do we want? Bright lights’.  But this is not going to be an easy issue to solve.  The green lobby have been active in encouraging the widespread adoption of low energy light bulbs.  In Europe it is virtually impossible to purchase any other kind.  So much so, that in the UK where I live, streets and houses are markedly duller than before and entering any room in my house requires planning. First: turn on the light; second: wait for the low energy bulb to reach an acceptable level of illumination - one that prevents you walking into the furniture.

I digress, but there is a serious message here.  Hospitals tend to be huge buildings with hundreds of rooms requiring illumination; the expense of attending to the effects of poor illumination could take a significant slice of the gross national product of any country.

I will watch this line of research with interest.


Bernhofer I, Higgins PA, Daly B J, Burant CJ & Hornick TR (2013) Hospital lighting and its association with sleep, mood and pain in medical inpatients. Journal of Advanced Nursing doi: 10.1111/jan.12282

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Social capital in the nursing workplace

Lin Perry, Editor

According to the world’s press we may or may not be moving inexorably to an Armageddon of global warming. No such controversy surrounds the future of healthcare: an ageing population, a tsunami of chronic disease and the retirement of the baby boomer generation of nurses combine with global nursing shortages for universally gloomy prognostication. Intention to leave is commonly studied. Add to that the enormous publicity generated by stories of poor care, and who can blame our potential future nurses if they have second thoughts about a career in nursing?

How refreshing to get a paper with positive messages: to read about characteristics and attributes of a workplace that make it a good place to work, with ‘improved patient care and patient safety, increased economic capital, a happier, more productive nursing workforce and improved nurse retention’ cited by Read (2013) as the outcomes.

The paper claims that its findings will, ‘help guide nursing research and leadership practices that aim to create quality nursing practice environments that add value to patients, nurses and healthcare organizations by fostering nurses’ social capital in the workplace’. That aim must surely be one that readers engage with, it’s certainly part of my role. I think this is a useful paper; read it and see if you agree.


Read EA (2103) Workplace social capital in nursing: an evolutionary concept analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing. doi:10.111/jan.12251

Monday, 23 September 2013

Got a webcam?

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief

If the answer to the title of this entry is ‘yes’ and you have recently published a paper in JAN, then why not take the opportunity to promote your paper with a short You Tube video clip featuring yourself? The opportunities for promoting your work through social media, such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs are immense and YouTube is another medium. For example, see how one journal the International Journal of Clinical Practice has used YouTube on its home page.

There is nothing new about the use of these media and at JAN we have been using our Twitter page to great effect and others have been re-tweeting our entries and generating considerable interest in some papers.  For example, a recent article entitled: 'Can I get a retweet please? Health research recruitment and the Twittershpere' has, literally, been re-tweeted very effectively. At the time of writing, according to Altimetric, it has been tweeted 295 times from 259 accounts, to over 312,000 followers.

If you don't have a webcam or simply don’t like the idea of appearing in front of a camera, an alternative is the podcast where your voice is heard but you don’t have to be seen.  In case you are wondering if any respectable journals (other than JAN) are offering this facility, then look no further than The Lancet podcast page. These short presentations provide authors with the opportunity to convey their message less formally, to highlight the important points in their paper and to set their work in context. The Lancet podcasts are done with an interviewer; we can’t offer that facility, but we can point you to some guidelines for podcasts.

But back to videos (The Lancet is no stranger to YouTube either), we feel that these are an especially engaging way to convey your message and, while we will also be happy with podcasts, a video introduces more of a human factor. Our guidelines also cover making videos.

We try to lead by example at JAN and modesty does not prevent me from sharing a link with you to a short video I made recently in Australia. This was very professionally done, with an interviewer, proper lighting and excellent recording equipment. Don’t worry if you can’t reach these sorts of standards.

If you wish to take advantage of this opportunity the please contact the JAN office at

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Improving care by doing nothing...well, almost nothing

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief, JAN

I first encountered the LPZ project – the Dutch national survey of care problems – a few years ago when I invited the leader of the project, Ruud Halfens, to visit the School of Nursing & Midwifery at the University of Sheffield.  Ruud came with his close colleague Jan Hamers with whom he works at the CAPHRI (School for Public and Primary Care) at Maastricht University, The Netherlands.  Ruud and Jan presented to colleagues on this project which, on the face of it, seemed straightforward: a longitudinal study of a set range of care problems (eg pressure ulcers and falls) in care settings.  The project originated from the LOPD, the Dutch National Prevalence of survey of Pressure Ulcers, and now includes Switzerland, Austria, Germany and New Zealand.

Ruud Halfens
Ruud and Jan’s presentation outlined the origins of the project, described the methods, the range of problems and the results.  They showed, for example, that the prevalence of pressure sores in The Netherlands was declining annually over the life of the project.  I had two questions – I think Ruud was anticipating them – and these were: What is the source of funding for the project?  What is the intervention in the pressure survey?  Having played into Ruud’s hands he answered with a smile, to the astonishment of those present, that: first, there was no funding and; second, there was no intervention.

Jan Hamers
If the main presentation had not already done so, this hooked the audience.  Ruud explained, in addition to there being no funding for the project, that the participating care settings paid to be part of the study; I did not have to ask, then, why the study had not found a foothold in the UK.  This funding model is remarkable, entrepreneurial and clearly successful.  The project continues to grow and serves to illustrate that you can sell good science.  In answer to the question about the intervention, Ruud also answered in the negative: there was no intervention.  While the precise link between cause and effect is hard to claim, this could also be an illustration of what many have long suspected: if you heighten the awareness of a problem and make people measure it, you are more than half way to reducing the problem, something like the well-known Hawthorne effect.
The Hawthorne effect

I was so taken with the LPZ project that, on taking over as Editor-in-Chief of JAN, I decided to invite the LPZ team to publish their annual reports in the journal.  This year we are pleased to present their most recentreport, along with the study protocol and my editorial; all free to download.  If you want any further information on the project then you can email the LPZ project and you can download previous reports from their website.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

The impact factor season

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief, JAN

The world of editing seems to be divided into two camps: those who agree with the use of impact factors and those who don't; I get the impression that the latter is larger and growing.  However, I defy any editor of a journal on the list produced annually by Thomson Reuters to deny that they take a look to see where their journal is on the list.  I am in the camp which agrees that impact factor exists (i.e. on that I am 100% correct) and that I'll probably make the most of it whatever the score is but rejoice loudly if my journal is at the top of the list.  After all, whatever your view, a great many authors, universities and research awarding bodies use it to judge where to send a paper, how to promote individuals and to whom research funds should be awarded.

In Editor-in-Chief of JAN mode, I am happy to announce an increase in impact factor from approximately 1.4 to approximately 1.5; we do seem rather desperate when we report impact factor to three decimal places.  I am not as happy to report that we have moved down both the 'league tables' in which we appear: the Nursing (Social Science) list and the Nursing (Science) list: from 11th to 14th in the former and 12th to 16th in the latter.  Whatever we are doing at JAN to improve the citability of our papers must be working; however, whatever some other journals are doing is working even better.

'So we do try to improve the cite-ability of our papers, do we?' I hear people say.  Yes.  Of course we do.  If you publish in a journal we assume that, at the least, it will be read, at most cited and at the very most cited many times.  Lots of citations to an individual paper – even if for the wrong reasons, on very few occasions – must tell us something about the paper, about the author, and it must be related, to some extent, to the 'quality' of the journal.  Impact factor is one such measure of quality.  There are others.

For the first time there has been a concerted effort to dissuade scientists and all who have an interest in assessing the quality of research from using impact factor and this is encapsulated in the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment.  I am very tempted to say 'good luck with that one lads' as I am sure that impact factor addiction will be with us for many years.  However, it is a sincere and authoritative effort to gather all the arguments against impact factor into one place and propose that 'enough is enough'. Nevertheless, I would be more sympathetic to the cause of the declaration if they had suggested a credible – or, indeed, any – alternative to the impact factor.

Alternatives there are many and these include: the journal h-indexSCImago index; and Eigen factor.  However, these are all citation dependent.  While – with the exception of the Scopus impact factor – they use citations in different ways from the Thomson Reuters impact factor, they are all highly correlated. Plus ca change!

Finally, that old chestnut about how easy it is for editors to manipulate the impact factor.  Most editors, including me, will joke that they have been trying to do this for years...and failed.  Frankly, the penalty is too great: journals can be removed from the Thomson Reuters list for excessive self-citation and 37 were removed in 2013 and Nursing Science Quarterly remains off the list since 2009.  No editor or publisher wants that.

Editorial note: entries to JAN interactive are not reviewed and are published at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief and may be subject to editing or removal by Wiley. We welcome replies, rejoinders, comments and debate on all entries provided they are not offensive or personal.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Welcome to the JAN blog

Welcome to the Journal of Advanced Nursing blog; we hope to use this to promote discussion of issues relevant to nursing and, especially, arising from the papers published in JAN.