How to start Writing an Article for Publication

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An exclusive publication from Wiley Writing for Publication An easy to follow guide for nurses interested in publishing their workINTRODUCTION Wiley first produced this complimentary Writing for Publication booklet in Wiley Books and Journals 2005. It has been extremely well received by the nurse author community For more information on Wiley and read by thousands of nurses in print and online. nursing books and journals The booklet aims to provide useful information and helpful suggestions please visit: to nurses who are thinking of writing and publishing an article. This latest version has been completely updated and we hope it will be an essential subject/nursing resource for you in supporting your writing activities. While the art and science of writing has not changed substantially over the years, most Are you interested in having your journal published by journals now operate an online submission and reviewing process, with Wiley? the final version of the article assigned a DOI (Digital Optical Identifier) and published online for rapid dissemination within the community. These For Societies/Editors interested changes have been coupled with a growing awareness of the need for in finding out more about authors to focus on good practice in the standard reporting of findings publishing their journals with and to pay close attention to issues concerning publication ethics, Wiley please contact Griselda including copyright. Campbell, Associate Editorial Director: Wiley has an extremely broad range of nursing journals (for details see: and there is likely to be an appropriate journal for each type of article that you may be thinking of © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. writing. However, the guidelines in this booklet are relevant to almost All rights reserved. No part of this publication all kinds of writing, whether for our journals, for other publishers, or for may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, assignments if you are studying on a course. electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher. Wiley also provides a free online publication, Nurse Author & Editor, available at This is a ready source of advice for authors, editors and reviewers, and also reports on new developments within journal publishing. We gratefully acknowledge the following Wiley Editors for their contribution to this updated version: Jane Noyes, Geraldine Pearson, Sally Thorne, Sue Turale and Roger Watson. Thanks are extended to Christine Webb, author of the earlier versions. And thanks to the Nursing Team at Wiley: Griselda Campbell, Rosie Hutchinson, Lisa Kopac, Kathleen Mulcahy and Gareth Watkins for their contributions, and special thanks to Di Sinclair for writing, editing and keeping everyone on track. We wish you every success in your writing endeavours. Note: Throughout this booklet ‘Wiley’ includes the ‘Wiley-Blackwell’ imprint. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 1TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Writing for publication .........................................3 8. Making your article discoverable online ...........17 How do you get started? ........................................3 Search engine optimisation (SEO) .........................17 Who do you want to read your article? ...................3 Promotion on social media ....................................17 Don’t waste time and effort ...................................3 9. Copyright issues ..................................................18 How will you put your message across? ................3 What is copyright? ................................................18 Which journal to publish in? ....................................3 Copyright transfer agreements (CTAs) ..................18 How do you write? ..................................................4 What rights do you retain? ....................................18 Now you are ready to start writing ........................4 Open Access licences ...........................................18 2. Writing an empirical research article ..................5 10. Publication ethics ................................................19 Structuring the article ..............................................5 Authorship .............................................................19 Reporting guidelines – reliability and quality ...........5 Duplicate and redundant publication .....................19 3. Writing an evidence synthesis article .................6 Plagiarism ..............................................................20 Why write an evidence synthesis article? ...............6 Other important issues: ........................................20 Evidence synthesis article types and methods .......6 11. The Impact Factor ...............................................21 Which types of evidence synthesis article are likely What is an Impact Factor? ....................................21 to be published? ......................................................7 What does a journal need to do to get an Impact What are the essential points to remember when Factor? ..................................................................21 writing an evidence synthesis article? ....................7 Are Impact Factors important? If so, why? ...........21 Intellectual property and copyright ..........................8 What about those journals that do not have an Reporting guidelines and Journal specific Impact Factor? ......................................................21 guidelines ................................................................8 Alternative methods for measuring impact ...........22 4. Writing a clinical article ........................................9 Why don’t nurses read about and implement research in their practice? .......................................9 How can you avoid these pitfalls? ...........................9 Get some consumer feedback .............................. 10 5. Publishing from a research thesis ..................... 11 First steps ............................................................. 11 When should you publish from your thesis? ......... 11 Publishing strategy ................................................ 11 Is it easy to turn a thesis into articles for publication? ...........................................................12 Caution ................................................................12 6. Presentation of tables and figures ....................13 7. English and writing style....................................14 Reader friendly scholarly writing ...........................14 Singular, plural and gender ....................................14 Avoid jargon .........................................................15 Abbreviations ........................................................15 National and international audiences ....................15 When English is not your first language ...............15 Checking and re-checking your article ...................16 Useful resources ...................................................16 © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 21. WRITING FOR PUBLICATION How do you get started? article is suitable for publication. It will then be read by reviewers who will advise the editor further on your You have decided that you want to publish an article article’s suitability for publication (the Guide to Reviewing because you have something to say that you want to Manuscripts which is available at www.nurseauthoreditor. share with others. If you are uncertain about what you com/forreviewers.asp will give you some ideas about want to say it is worth spending a short time thinking what reviewers are looking for). For these reasons, it is about it – but only a short time. The sooner you start good to think first about these people as your audience writing, the better Remember, data older than five years and to ensure that you address the kinds of issues that will not be accepted by most journals. Editors look for the editor will have in mind, such as how well the article contemporary information and ideas to publish. Once you fits the journal, if the article is readable and follows start writing then your ideas should begin to flow and, the structure required by the journal, and if it makes a rather than a blank screen, you will have something to contribution to the field of knowledge in nursing. edit. How will you put your message across? Who do you want to read your article? There are several different types of article; each journal The answer to this question is crucial. It will help you to will have its preferred types and may not accept others. decide which journal is most appropriate so that you can The most common types of article are: aim your writing to increase your article’s appeal to your target readers. • Evidence synthesis articles (such as systematic review articles) If you want to reach clinical staff who give direct care, then you need to choose a journal that is attractive to and • Original research articles read regularly by this kind of readership. Articles published • Clinical articles in these journals will be written in a style that appeals • Discussion articles to them and contains the right amount of detail. They • Short reports are likely to be shorter, use less technical language, and • Case studies include easy-to-read features such as boxes and bullet points. The implications of the article for clinical practice • Opinion pieces will be clearly stated. These journals may also include In the following pages we give more guidance for writing commentaries on articles to help readers to understand the first three types of article. and critique them. If your intended readers are researchers, then a more Which journal to publish in? specialised academic journal may be appropriate. Some Researchers may choose journals based on the journal’s of these journals accept longer articles up to 5,000 Impact Factor (see page 21) as a means to help establish words, and they are structured in a conventional format their reputation, in order to win further research grants for research studies. However, some journals aimed at or to gain promotion. They may also consider whether clinicians also publish short reports, perhaps in a simpler the journal is academic or clinical in focus. Research format designed to be reader friendly for clinical staff and published in clinical journals is more likely to reach less experienced researchers. frontline practitioners, who might use it to develop their practice and contribute to policy changes, thereby Don’t waste time and effort demonstrating the impact researchers’ work can have It is important to be clear about your target readers at the on improving health. Some researchers adopt a dual outset. Many people make the mistake of writing their strategy and publish related articles in both clinical and article and then looking around to see which journal to academic journals. send it to. This can mean that time is wasted having to Before starting to write, therefore, check the aims and rewrite the article to fit a journal’s requirements. scope of a range of journals to see which would fit your However, remember that the first person to read your article best. article will be an editor who will decide quickly if your © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 3How do you write? Finally, don’t try to make your article perfect as you are writing. This stops your flow and, anyway, you can edit it One way of approaching your writing is to follow the ‘Four afterwards. Don’t try to think of the best word to express Rules’ of writing: something, often the first word that comes to mind is the • Read the author guidelines right one. Or, for example, if you cannot recall the word • Set targets and count words for ‘sphygmomanometer’, jot down in brackets ‘machine for measuring blood pressure’ and move on. You can • Seek criticism remember the name later. • Treat a rejection as the start of the next submission Seek criticism Read the author guidelines You will find it valuable to seek out a writing mentor. This Established journals usually have a website where you is someone who has published before, whose opinion will be able to find their author guidelines. To find the you respect and whom you can trust to provide honest aims and scope of Wiley nursing journals, go to feedback and guidance during the various stages of By looking writing your article. It may be a higher degree supervisor at the Author Guidelines section of the individual journals’ or a work colleague. The ideal mentor is one who will be websites you can also see how each journal editor wants a constructive critic, informed as to the intended journal articles to be presented and submitted. The main things audience, not someone who will simply assure you that to pay attention to are: it is fine. Mentors are important for all writers, novice • How long should the article be? or experienced, and especially for writers whose first • How should the article be structured – which headings language is not English. Sometimes it might be hard should be used? to find mentors who have experience of international publications, so keep looking, as it is critical to success • Which referencing system does the journal use – for novice writers. Harvard, Vancouver? Treat a rejection as the start of the next submission Set targets and count words You are likely to be rejected in your early days of writing You should not become overwhelmed with the task of and this also happens to experienced writers. The trick writing. Don’t think in terms of the finished article which here is try not to be downhearted, think ‘where next?’ may be anything up to 5,000 words; think of it in small and follow the ‘Four Rules’ again. steps to be achieved on a daily basis. Therefore, set yourself a daily target or a target every time you sit down to write. A reasonable target is 500 words and you should Now you are ready to start writing not stop until you have reached that; also, you should not We give more details about many of these aspects in the go beyond it. If you have an idea for the next 500 words following pages, so you might want to read through them then note them on the text as bullet points and this will before putting pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard. give you a starting point next time you sit down to write. Don’t try to write the article from start to finish: start wherever you have an idea and move about between sections until you have reached your target. To help you do this it is a good idea to create a file with all the necessary headings and subheadings in it and then add text under these. Don’t edit as you go along; wait until a complete first draft is done and then start to edit and revise, and expect several revisions. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 42. WRITING AN EMPIRICAL RESEARCH ARTICLE When carrying out a research study you need to think standardised reporting guidelines. Its aim is to improve carefully about your publishing strategy. It is best to start the quality of health research internationally, and planning this when you first begin the research to avoid to encourage the use of specific checklists such as misunderstandings as the work progresses to publication CONSORT, STROBE and PRISMA depending on the type stage, such as where to submit the articles, who will be of research study design. listed as authors and in what order they will be listed. Using standardised reporting guidelines will help to ensure that your reporting is transparent, accurate Structuring the article and presented in such a way that those reading your Consult your chosen journal’s guidelines and published article are able to evaluate the data and reach their own articles to see if there is a preferred structure or format for conclusions about it. Remember, omitting key reporting headings and subheadings. If these are not specified, see items from your paper may result in it being excluded below for a general guide to help you construct your article. from future studies that synthesise research findings, such as systematic reviews. Reporting guidelines – reliability and quality The EQUATOR Network (available at: www.equator- is a useful resource for information on INTRODUCTION• Rationale, context BACKGROUND• Should be a substantial, critical literature review • Should end with conclusions drawn from the review for the study THE STUDy Aim/s• Include research objectives/questions/hypothesis(es) if appropriate Design/Methodology• For quantitative studies this could be: survey, randomised controlled trial, quasi- experimental, descriptive, or cross-sectional • For qualitative study this could be: grounded theory, phenomenology, or ethnography Sample/Participants• Do not give findings about the sample, but include: • Type – for example random, stratified, convenience, purposive (state what purpose) • Size • Description (provide inclusion and exclusion criteria; a little about the setting) • Justification for the above • Was a power calculation done, if appropriate, and if not, why not? • Response rate Data collection• Subheadings f or different types if appropriate, eg questionnaires, interviews, observation • Pilot study – if done, what changes (if any) did this lead to for the main study? • When the data collection was undertaken Validity and reliability/• Statement of criteria used – should be appropriate to the design/methodology Rigour as appropriate• Steps t aken to ensure this – such as audit trail or peer assessment. Describe results, do not just mention what was done Ethical considerations• Conflict of interest statement • Ethics committee or institutional review board approval • Information and guarantees given to participants • Any special considerations, and how they were dealt with Data analysis• Including software used, if appropriate, and the measures used to calculate findings RESULTS/FINDINGS• Start with description of actual sample studied • Subheadings as appropriate • For qualitative research – findings and discussion/literature may be integrated DISCUSSION• Start with limitations • Must be linked to the literature CONCLUSIONS• Real conclusions, not just a summary/repetition of the findings • R ecommendations for practice/research/education/management/policy as appropriate, and consistent with the limitations © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 53. WRITING AN EVIDENCE Sy NTHESIS ARTICLE Why write an evidence synthesis article? Evidence synthesis article types and methods Being able to undertake and report a high quality There is now a suite of synthesis approaches and evidence synthesis, or being able to interpret and use methodological guidelines, ranging from non-systematic a report of synthesised evidence, is considered an to systematic, to help you in developing and writing essential skill in nursing and healthcare. High quality your article. Method specific reporting guidelines are evidence syntheses are those which contain a high level developed, published and updated over time as methods of systematic processing, interpretation of evidence or and reporting standards evolve. theory development and which make a significant new The available synthesis approaches vary in the degree to contribution to understanding or knowledge. which they are classified as systematic, and depending Evidence synthesis articles have many purposes, such as to: on the approach can include different types of evidence (eg quantitative, qualitative, mixed-method, non-empirical • Discuss a phenomenon of interest or grey literature). Evidence synthesis approaches also • Determine the current evidence base vary in the degree to which evidence is synthesised, • Identify theories of interest interpreted and theorised. For example: • Develop theory • Knowledge maps and scoping reviews tend not • Better understand context to be informed by theory and aim to report the range and type of evidence on a specific topic without • Better understand complexity and heterogeneity quality appraisal and with low level (if any) synthesis of • Develop an intervention findings. • Identify outcomes of interest • Narrative literature reviews tend not to be informed • Determine the psychometrics of instruments by theory, or include quality appraisal, and aim mainly to • Determine intervention effectiveness aggregate evidence on a phenomenon of interest. • Determine cost-effectiveness • Concept analyses and clarifications in nursing are • Describe implementation barriers and facilitators usually located within a nursing theory and aim to produce a new understanding of a concept. • Describe stakeholder experiences • Qualitative meta-ethnographies are likely to be • Report a review of reviews undertaken with a conceptual/theoretical framework • Report a rapid review or proposition with the aim of interpreting synthesised • Clarify a concept evidence to develop a new theory. The reasons you have for undertaking an evidence • Cochrane reviews of effectiveness begin with a synthesis may vary widely from being an academic proposition or theory as to how the intervention works. requirement for a programme of study, a personal The level of synthesis or ability to perform a meta- interest or research focus, or meeting a contractual analysis will depend on the availability of clinical trials agreement with a funder. Conducting a systematic reporting similar interventions with similar populations review on what is known is now considered by key with the same outcome measures. Assessment of risk authors and funders as a prerequisite to obtaining any of bias is essential. new research funding (Clarke et al 2010). Finally, a good reason for writing evidence synthesis articles, especially high quality systematic reviews, is that these are the articles which are most likely to be read and cited by other people. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 6Which types of evidence synthesis article are likely Make sure that you: to be published? • Select a journal that publishes evidence syntheses of Academic journals are more likely to publish high the type/length/scope that you have undertaken and quality evidence syntheses which contain a high level can accommodate the number of essential figures and of systematic processing, interpretation of evidence or tables integral to your article. theory development and which make a significant new • Follow the journal reporting requirements. contribution to understanding or knowledge. Evidence • Articulate a clear question, objective and purpose. syntheses are most commonly rejected due to poor planning, design, conduct and reporting. Syntheses with • Report a named and cited evidence synthesis method/ systematic processing of evidence usually require more design/process to address the specified question/ than one author to complete. objective/purpose that is appropriate for synthesising and interpreting the available included evidence. Also be aware that searches for evidence are time • Do not overstate the interpretation of evidence or limited and very quickly become obsolete as new make any conclusions or recommendations that are not evidence is published. Reviews that have taken a long supported by the evidence synthesis. time to complete can require updating before they are publishable.• Follow the methodological guidance for conducting the specific evidence synthesis. • Make clear the strengths and limitations of the What are the essential points to remember when evidence synthesis and the applicability of findings to writing an evidence synthesis article? different contexts. Your team should include members who have knowledge, experience and expertise with evidence synthesis. • Follow reporting standards for conducting searches for Other key success factors include using a high quality evidence. methodological guide for the selected approach, following • Follow the reporting standards for the specific this faithfully, and making transparent any adaptations or evidence-synthesis type (if available) and make deviations. Producing a high quality evidence synthesis transparent all methods and processes. may take far longer than anticipated and can be as • Follow generic reporting standards if method specific complex as undertaking primary research. The design reporting standards are not available. and methods must be the most appropriate to address • Mention any conflicts of interest that may have an the question and accommodate the available evidence. impact on interpretation of evidence. For example, if addressing an effectiveness question and • If appropriate, develop a plan for updating the review as there is a reasonable pool of clinical trials then it is more new evidence is published. appropriate to undertake a systematic Cochrane-type review, rather than an integrative review with a lower Before you submit your article, ask an experienced level of systematic processing. colleague to proofread for factual, abstraction and typographical errors, and obtain pre-submission peer review from experienced authors. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 7Intellectual property and copyright Reporting guidelines It is easy, inadvertently, to infringe intellectual property or Visit the ‘Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency copyright law when synthesising and reporting evidence Of health Research’ (EQUATOR) network website for from published sources. Copyright law varies from updated reporting guidelines for your type of review: country to country, as does guidance on extraction and reproduction of copyright work in reports of evidence synthesis. If re-using published sources, it is your Journal specific guidelines responsibility as the author to find out which permissions Journal of Advanced Nursing: are required and which acknowledgements need to be made. 2648/homepage/systematic_review_or_other_type_of_ If in doubt, check with the journal editor as to which review_paper.htm copyright legislation applies and, if appropriate, confirm with the copyright holder. 2648/homepage/concept_analysis.htm Further information is available at: Reference Clarke M., Hopewell S., Chalmers I. (2010) Clinical trials should begin and end with systematic reviews of relevant evidence: 12 years and waiting, The Lancet 376 (9734), 20-21. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(10)61045-8 © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 84. WRITING A CLINICAL ARTICLE Writing a clinical article is an important way of getting Your publication strategy might include writing two your message to frontline healthcare staff who are articles on the same topic – one in a professional or expected to implement evidence-based practice. clinical journal aimed at practitioners and another in Frontline healthcare staff are looking for ways to improve a more academic journal for researchers, but see the their practice and if this can be found in well-written advice on Publication Ethics (page 19). articles which explain clearly what benefits the results Many of the suggestions in other parts of this booklet will have and how they can be used, then this is likely to have help with this, but here are some points to bear in mind a positive impact on healthcare. In addition, research when planning and writing a clinical article: funders are also looking at the outputs from research • Make the article easy to follow. that demonstrate an impact on improving health, such as policy changes. Therefore, taking into consideration • Use headings and subheadings to point the way for the frontline users of your research when writing is an readers. important part of any researcher’s publication strategy. • Use bullet points, boxes, trigger questions and other means to liven up the article and stimulate readers’ interest. Why don’t nurses read about and implement research in their practice? • Use simple and direct language. Unfortunately, we know from a wealth of studies on • Write in the first person. implementing evidence-based guidelines and other • Address readers directly, eg ‘in your clinical area you research material that some practising nurses: may like to consider…’ • do not read research articles • Avoid research jargon and if technical terms are • do not read nursing journals regularly needed, explain them or give explanations in a glossary or box. • are ‘turned off’ when they do try to read them • Do not make the article longer than it needs to be – • find the language too complicated and full of jargon include only the essentials. • do not understand statistics because they are not • Say why the points you are making are important and used to them how they might be used to improve nursing practice. • cannot evaluate the quality of the research • Explain why the research you are quoting is rigorous You can read more about these problems and and suitable for clinical application, if appropriate. suggestions for overcoming them in: • Consider whether the technical details you plan to Brown, C.E., Ecoff, L., Kim, S.C., Wickline, M.A., Rose, include are really needed and understandable by non- B., Klimpel, K. and Glaser, D. (2010), Multi-institutional specialists, eg research methodology, statistics. study of barriers to research utilisation and evidence- • Consider omitting technical material, but giving a based practice among hospital nurses. Journal of reference to another article reporting this aspect in Clinical Nursing, 19: 1944-1951. doi: 10.1111/j.1365- more detail. 2702.2009.03184.x • Give clinical examples. Thompson, D.S., O’Leary, K., Jensen, E., Scott-Findlay, • State the clinical relevance of what you are writing S., O’Brien-Pallas, L. and Estabrooks, C.A. (2008) The about. relationship between busyness and research utilization: • Give suggestions about how to find out more about the it is about time. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 17: 539-548. topic, including websites. doi: 10.1111/j. 1365-2702.2007.01981.x For more advice on English and writing style, see page 14. How can you avoid these pitfalls? If busy clinical nurses are to read research, understand and evaluate it, and consider whether it is suitable to be implemented in their practice areas, articles need to be made as reader friendly as possible. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 9Get some consumer feedback Consider their feedback carefully and not defensively, and make the necessary changes, checking back with them Find some practitioners who are potential readers of your again. Put their names in an acknowledgement to the article. Tell them about your ideas and ask them what article – this will reward them and encourage them to they would like to read about in the article. Draw up your help you again next time. Give them a copy of the article plan based on their suggestions and then check back with when it is published. them again. When you have written your first draft, consult your mentor, and perhaps also ask at least a couple of your potential readers to read it and tell you frankly what they think: • Can they understand it? • Is it interesting? • Is it relevant to their practice? • Ask them to write in suggestions, corrections, comments – whether positive or negative. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 105. PUBLISHING FROM A RESEARCH THESIS First steps It is essential to discuss this with your supervisor(s) to judge whether it is a good idea to write an article at this It is important to discuss a publication strategy at the very stage, or whether it would divert you from the main beginning of your work for a master degree dissertation objective of finishing the project or thesis. It may also be or doctoral thesis. Your supervisor(s) will play a major role premature to publish ideas or data that later need to be in helping to develop your ideas, carry out the work, and modified. write up the thesis. Therefore, it is appropriate that issues such as co-authorship have been discussed and agreed. This may be the biggest piece of work you will ever do, and it is vital to publish your findings while they are Journals are likely to have a policy on who can be still fresh and relevant. It is tempting, once the relief included as an author and who should be acknowledged of finishing the thesis, having the examination and as making a contribution, but not as an author (see celebrating your success are over, to move on to new Publication Ethics on page 19). When your supervisor(s) work. However, be aware that journals may be reluctant has participated in writing an article, then it is probably to publish ‘old’ material; and data collected over five years most appropriate that you are the first named author, ago may be considered to be too out of date to publish. followed by the name of your supervisor(s) in the order agreed. It is conventional that the first named author is recognised as doing the major part of the work, and Publishing strategy the others are seen as making a lesser contribution. Discuss with your supervisor(s) how many articles you Authors should adhere to journal rules about authorship will write, what will be included in each, the timetable for convention rather than those of individual universities. writing and submitting them, and how you will collaborate on the writing. When should you publish from your thesis? From your work you may write: It is usual to wait until your thesis is finished before • a literature review article writing articles for publication – unless you are • a methodological article undertaking a doctorate by publication. It might be appropriate to publish an article while you are still working • one or more articles on study results. on the study: However, it is important to bear in mind that you should • if you are doing a multi-stage study and one part is not submit for publication small sections of a study completed in several separate articles (sometimes called ‘salami slicing’). See Publication Ethics (page 19). • if you have material for a methodological article • if it is a requirement of your doctoral programme that you publish articles before the examination or defence of your thesis. Please bear in mind, however, that the time from submission to publication varies from journal to journal, and journal editors won’t take into account your doctoral programme deadlines. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 11Is it easy to turn a thesis into articles for Caution publication? Unfortunately, not all student projects are suitable for Sometimes quite major modifications are needed before turning into an article for publication. Some are just too a thesis can be submitted as an article. small-scale and/or local. This does not mean that your work was not valuable – after all, you were awarded A journal article is quite different in many respects from a the degree But a piece of work done for one purpose thesis in terms of: does not always lend itself to another. If in doubt about • length and amount of detail needed on a topic whether to spend time turning your work into an article, write an abstract of the proposed article and email it to • depth of methodological discussion needed the journal editor asking if it will be suitable. • language and style • interest value of the material • audience. This brings us back to several vital issues: • Work on the publications with your supervisor(s) – he/ she is likely to be an experienced writer and so will be able to guide you on how to develop articles from the thesis. • Consult libraries or journal websites to identify the most appropriate journals for your articles. • Make sure that you follow the journal’s author guidelines closely to improve the chances of acceptance of your article. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 126. PRESENTATION OF TABLES AND FIGURES Here are some tips to help you with designing tables and For tables figures for your article. • Make sure that numbers, especially if they have decimal points, line up properly – using tabs or right justification for these columns is the easiest way to do All tables and figures this; do not use the space bar. • Simple and easy to follow tables and figures are best. • Round numbers to two decimal places, except for Too much detail can get in the way of understanding statistical significance levels. your main message. • If you are indicating that some numbers represent • Chec k the journal guidelines: statistically significant differences, give the test used - Is there a limit on the number of tables or figures and significance level – preferably in columns of the you can use? table rather than footnotes. - Does the journal use colour, or black and white? • Give column and row totals where appropriate. - What guidelines should be followed when producing • Do not use lines to separate columns. electronic artwork? • Only use lines to separate rows if the rows deal with - If your article includes many tables and/or figures, different types of variable, eg age, income, nursing does the journal offer the option of posting qualification. supplementary material online? • Place the tables and figures at the end of the article. For figures Do not put them in the text – they will be placed appropriately when the printer prepares the page • With figures, avoid backgrounds, eg shading, patterned proofs. bars – use plain white, grey or black. • Refer to all tables and figures in the text, for example • Label both axes of figures in a sans-serif font (eg Arial). ‘See Table 1’, ‘Figure 2 shows that…’ • If multiple parts exist in a figure then each part should • In the text of the article, pick out the highlights or main be labelled with (a), (b), (c), etc and have an explanation points that the table/figure is telling your readers. in the legend. • Number tables and figures in separate sequences, eg Table 1, 2, etc, Figure 1, 2, etc. • Give each table/figure a concise heading that summarises its content. • Try to avoid abbreviations. If they are essential, give them in full in a footnote to the table, even if you have already explained them in the text. • Each separate table/figure should stand alone, that is, it should be understandable without having to refer back to the text. • Give the number of cases/sample size to which the table/figure refers, eg N=120. • Do not put a border around tables and figures. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 137. ENGLISH AND WRITING STy LE It is important to write in a manner that is accessible As a general rule of thumb, write in the first person – ‘I’ to your intended audience, so that readers can easily or ‘we’ – rather than the third person – ‘the author’ or ‘the understand and enjoy reading your article. As you may researcher’. So in a research-based paper, for example, have noticed, each journal describes its aims and scope write ‘We interviewed patients postoperatively…’ and positions itself toward a particular audience – rather than ‘The researchers interviewed patients frontline practicing nurses in general, nurses in a specific postoperatively’. Similarly, using the active voice creates speciality field, nurse educators, nurse philosophers, and better clarity and flow of your ideas than does overuse so on. In your writing, it is important to develop a writing of the passive voice in your writing. For example, ‘We voice that is appropriate to the style of each journal in interviewed patients…’ is better than ‘Patients were reaching its intended audience. interviewed’ and ’We found that this population had…’ rather than ‘This population was found to have…’ Whilst not all journals are explicitly international in their aims and scope, the fact that the majority of them are available online means that many of their readers will Singular, plural and gender not have English as their first language. This is a further In general it is best to avoid stereotyping with gender- reason to ensure that you use a clear writing style. specific language. For example, be especially careful to avoid defaulting to the feminine pronoun (she/her) for nurses and the male pronoun (he/his) for patients Reader friendly scholarly writing The best scholarly writing communicates complex ideas Writing in the plural avoids: in a straightforward, clear and elegant manner. Being • frequent repetition of his/her or she/he. Instead, use the y . truly scholarly in your writing does not require writing in a • overuse of ‘the’, as in ‘the patient with diabetes…’ dense or obtuse manner. or ‘the nurse should…’ Instead, write ‘patients with In many studies of nursing research utilisation diabetes…’ or ‘nurses should…’ and knowledge transfer, it has been reported that It is also important to ensure that there is consistency in uninteresting or overly complex writing, or too much your use of singular or plural nouns, for example ‘When use of language that requires interpretation puts people patients were intubated, they…’ is grammatically correct, off reading journals. So if your intended audience is a whereas ‘When the patient was intubated, they….’ is clinical population, clear language and direct messaging incorrect. is especially important. Simple, short sentences may work better than long and convoluted ones. Avoid trying If your paper has multiple authors be careful to write in to impress people with long words, and if you don’t fully the first person plural rather than singular. If there are understand the meaning of a term, don’t use it (overuse sections of the paper where you are using first person of the thesaurus has got many authors into trouble). singular because only one author voice is required, be explicit about why this is so. The principles for readability are the same as those that you may have used already when writing patient information leaflets and health education materials – simple words, short sentences, direct speech, and no jargon. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 14Avoid jargon Remember that ways of expressing ideas that are commonplace to you, in your region, may not be One person’s jargon is another person’s specialist, self-evident to others, even within a speciality field. technical language. Sometimes shortened terms are For example, don’t use the single word ‘nurses’ as used within specialist areas or even abbreviations are shorthand for ‘nursing staff’. Generally, ‘Nurse’ refers commonplace, but these need to be explained or written to a Registered Nurse (note the capital letters). If other out in full to make sure that non-specialist readers kinds of worker are included, such as nursing aides, then can understand them. Examples of jargon are ‘D & E ‘nursing staff’ would be the correct expression. grades’ instead of ‘staff nurses’, and ‘scope’ instead of ‘endoscope’. Some journals focus on expert, informed Avoid using ‘etc’ at the end of a group of examples. audiences, however, so not all scholarly writing needs to be accessible to a non-expert reading audience. National and international audiences Although writing with simplicity and using commonly Some journals, such as national speciality journals, clearly understood terms may work best for reaching the aim for a primarily local audience. In writing for these widest audiences, if you are writing for a journal with a journals you can safely assume that your readers have specialised audience attempting to be overly simplistic some knowledge of the local context and will understand may detract from the quality of your argument. For your references to local conditions (popular policy example, in a philosophical or theoretical article, precise frameworks, names of health authorities and professional use of complex terminology may be an essential organisations, and so on). However, many journals aim to ingredient to a logically defensible claim. So the choice of communicate with an international audience, assuming language and expression is highly related to the journal that their intended readers will come from a range of you are writing for and its intended audience. Ensuring communities and cannot be familiar with local context. you are familiar with the journal’s author guidelines and In this case, you should use accessible language and reading a selection of recently published articles will help provide sufficient detail to allow all readers to easily you feel more confident in your assessment of how best understand what you mean, and follow your ideas. to write for a successful outcome. When English is not your first language Abbreviations If fluency in English is an issue for you, it is advisable Explain abbreviations the first time you use them, for to try to prepare your draft article in English. Even if example: this is somewhat difficult for you, it tends to make for a National Service Framework (NSF) more successful article than writing it in your preferred language and having it translated into English afterwards. American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) If there are problems with the English writing, most National Health Service Executive (NHSE) journals will strongly encourage you to obtain editorial and/or proofreading advice prior to initial submission. If Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) your article is not written in clear English, it is more likely Where the location is not self-evident in the title, and to be rejected. There are now many services available, the intended audience extends beyond your local region, regardless of your location, to provide this work, and you may also need to provide further explanation (eg ‘In help you make the text as clear and comprehensible as the United Kingdom (UK), the National Health Service possible. Most health research units and universities (NHS) is….’). have departments to facilitate this process, including services by native English copyeditors. If this is not locally available, Wiley offers a service that you may wish to take advantage of. Visit for details. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 15Checking and re-checking your article Useful resources Use spelling and grammar checkers to help you avoid Hall, George M. (Ed.) (2012) How To Write a Paper, 5th most of the common errors. edition. Oxford: BMJ Books When you think you have finished writing your article, Holland, K and Watson, R (Eds.) (2012) Writing for there are still several steps to be taken. Publication in Nursing and Healthcare: Getting it Right. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell Read it out aloud to yourself to check that it makes sense, has a logical order, and the punctuation is in the right Nurse Author & Editor (Wiley): places. Writing for Publication (International Academy of Nursing Ask your writing mentor to review the article for you. You Editors): may also want to find someone to represent your target publication/ readers, such as a staff nurse if it is a clinical paper or EASE Guidelines for Authors and Translators of Scientific a new researcher if it is a research report. Ask them to Articles to Be Published in English, available at read the article and tell you where you may need to write more clearly or in more detail. If they have contributed Writing Resources for Nursing Faculty and Students significantly to the writing of the article, then remember (University of Florida College of Nursing): http://nursing. to thank them in the Acknowledgements section. They will usually be more likely to help you and others in for-nursing-faculty-and-students/ future. of-words-turning-base-manuscripts-into-golden-articles/ © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 168. MAKING yOUR ARTICLE DISCOVERABLE ONLINE Search engine optimisation (SEO) Headings Increasing the readership of your article will raise the Headings for the various sections of your article tip off visibility of your research. Search engine optimisation search engines as to the structure and content of your (SEO) is a key factor in ensuring your research is article. Incorporate your keywords and phrases in these discovered and available to read or download. headings wherever it’s appropriate. Here are a few tips to help you with this. Cite your own or your co-authors’ previous publications Make sure you have a SEO friendly title for your Cite your previous work as appropriate because citations article of your past work factor into how search engines rank The title needs to be descriptive and must incorporate your current and future work. a key phrase related to your topic. Put your keywords within the first 65 characters of the title. Promotion on social media Carefully craft your abstract using keywords Once your article is written and published, you can promote it on your academic and social networks. Linking • Choose the appropriate keywords and phrases for your to your article on platforms such as those listed below article. Think of a phrase of 2-4 words that a researcher will also influence search engine rankings. might search on to find your article. • Consider looking up specific keywords on Google • LinkedIn Trends to find out which search terms are popular. • Facebook • Repeat your keywords and phrases 3-4 times • Twitter throughout the abstract in a natural, contextual way. • Your blog, or websites that you contribute to • BUT don’t go overboard with repetition as search • Your institution’s repository engines may un-index your article as a result. • Your academic institution’s website • Mendeley Provide at least five keywords or phrases in the keywords field • ResearchGate Include the keywords and phrases you repeated in your abstract. Provide additional relevant keywords and Resources synonyms for those keywords as they relate to your You may find the following posts on the Wiley Exchanges article. Keywords are not only important for SEO, they blog useful: are also used by abstracting and indexing services as a ‘Search Engine Optimization and Your Journal Article’ mechanism to tag research content. Stay consistent with authors’ names engine-optimization-and-your-journal-article-do-you-want- the-bad-news-first/ Refer to authors’ names and initials in a consistent manner throughout the article and make sure you’re ‘Optimizing Abstracts for Search Engines’ referring to them in the same way they’ve been referred to in past online publications. abstracts-for-search-engines/ 10 easy ways to make sure your article gets read ways-to-make-sure-your-article-gets-read/ © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 179. COPyRIGHT ISSUES What is copyright? What rights do you retain? The general purpose of copyright is to provide the holder The essential features of a CTA are usually as follows: with rights to control the way in which the material they • You will be identified as the author whenever and own can be used. The rights can cover any number of wherever your article is published. things including how material is distributed, copied and • You or, if applicable, your employer, retains all adapted. proprietary rights (other than copyright), such as Each publisher and journal will have its own copyright patent rights, in any process, procedure or article of transfer agreement, which is a legal document generally manufacture described in your article. used to transfer the copyright of journal articles from one • You retain various rights related to reuse and self- party to another. Open Access journals, or journals which archiving. These vary between publishers and journals, offer an Open Access publication option, will instead ask so you should check the exact terms on the journal’s authors to sign the relevant Open Access licence. Once website before submission. signed, the signatory is contracted to the rules governing • All requests by third parties to re-use or adapt your the agreement. article in whole or in part will usually be handled by the publisher. Copyright transfer agreements (CTAs) It is a legal requirement for publishers to receive a signed Open Access licences CTA before publication of an article can proceed. Each journal that offers an Open Access publication There are a number of reasons why a CTA is sought; option will again have its own licence, which you should not least the fact that under European copyright law a check on the journal’s website. Many Open Access publisher must have explicit authority from the copyright licences are based on the Creative Commons Licences holder to post an article online. If publishers did not have ( Creative this authority for all articles, it would prevent them from Commons have several licences, although not all journals being able to easily disseminate articles in electronic will offer all of them, and these allow different levels of format, and, consequently limit the amount of exposure re-use (eg commercial/non-commercial re-use). articles receive. Publishers adopting a policy of obtaining Some funding bodies and universities have policies that CTAs also has the following advantages: require any authors funded or employed by them to • It facilitates international protection against publish their work under certain licences. Open Access infringement, libel or plagiarism. is a relatively new and rapidly-changing movement, and • It enables the most efficient processing of licensing it is therefore important to fully understand the different and permissions in order that the article can be made options and requirements, and what they mean for the available to the fullest extent both directly and through re-use of your article. intermediaries, and in both print and electronic form. • It enables publishers to maintain the integrity of an article once refereed and accepted for publication, by facilitating centralised management of all media forms including linking, reference validation and distribution. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 1810. PUBLICATION ETHICS Ethical issues are important for everyone involved Normally, the person who has played the major role in journal publishing, including authors, reviewers, in research design, data generation and analysis, and editors and publishers; adhering to a standard of ethical in writing the article, will be the first named author. authorship and publication is good practice and furthers Research teams may divide up the publications so that the concept of good science. Violation of publication each member has one for which he/she is the first named ethics standards could have serious implications for your author. Publications resulting from student projects career and reputation, so it is important to address ethical should have the student as the first named author, and issues carefully – at the time of writing your article. This the supervisor(s) afterwards, but only if he/she has made section outlines some of the key ethical considerations a major contribution both to the work and to the article. for you as an author, but publication ethics is a complex If not, the supervisor(s) should be acknowledged, but not subject and we recommend that you access the listed listed as co-authors. resources for further information. Other people who you may wish to acknowledge, rather The Wiley Best Practice Guidelines on Publication Ethics than list as authors, could be managers who have granted can be accessed at: research access, or graduate students who have checked the accuracy of references. Wiley, like many publishing companies, is a member You may like to read this editorial about authorship: of the Committee for Publication Ethics (COPE). COPE Hayter, M., Noyes, J., Perry, L., Pickler, R., Roe, B. and offers a wide array of guidelines and flow sheets to assist Watson, R. (2013), Who writes, whose rights, and who’s editors in managing the ethical issues they confront in right? Issues in authorship. Journal of Advanced Nursing, their roles. COPE is also available to authors and can 69: 2599–2601. doi: 10.1111/jan.12265 be accessed at Academic writers are encouraged to visit the site and make use of Duplicate and redundant publication the resources that are free to all. If you are preparing more than one article from the same If you have queries or concerns which aren’t answered by study, these should be submitted as separate articles. referring to the above website, it’s a good idea to contact Each article should address different aspects of the study, the editor of the journal to which you are planning to or report the study in distinctly different ways for different submit your article. readerships. When there are several articles from the same study you should alert the editor to this in your Authorship covering letter for each article at the time of submission. Journals’ definitions as to what constitutes authorship You should not submit for publication small sections of will vary, so it is important to consult the specific a study in several separate articles (sometimes called journal’s guidance about this. Definitions are also ‘salami slicing’). When more than one article is prepared provided by various bodies including the International from the same study there should be minimal duplication Council of Medical and Journal Editors (ICMJE) which and no cut and paste of material across the articles. offers guidance on authorship issues, in this case for It might be appropriate, for example, to describe the submissions to biomedical publications: research methods fully in one article and give a summary of these in a second article, with reference to the fuller Establishing authorship and order of authors at the start description in the first article. However done, there must of your project can help to avoid embarrassment and always be direct referencing to any other articles from the confusion at the later stages. You should not list people same study that have been published (or are ‘in press’). as authors who have had little or no part in the research. Similarly, it is unethical to leave out the names of individuals who contributed substantially to the research. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 19

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