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November 2012, Volume 39, Number 6



Anne Katz, RN, PhD—Editor


Change Equals Opportunity


When I took over the role of editor of this journal, I had some ideas about what I would like to see done differently. Most new editors do this—it is almost expected. It’s like moving into a new house—the bones of the place are usually good (that’s why you bought it in the first place), but it could do with a new coat of paint or even a kitchen renovation. Making changes in a publication like Oncology Nursing Forum (ONF) that is both respected and loved can be a sensitive task and, of course, the changes need to make sense. Change for change’s sake is never a good idea. Therefore, I took my ideas to the editorial advisory board at our annual meeting in July.


I had not met this group of people before and I want to thank them for their warm welcome and willingness to listen to the newbie. In short, the members of the editorial board had no reluctance to make change and we soon had decisions on a number of areas. The results of these decisions will be seen, in part, in this issue, and future changes will take place in Volume 40, starting in January 2013. Some of the changes are behind the scenes, whereas others will be more visible to you, the reader. Some affect potential authors, which I hope will be many of you in the coming months and years.


So what is new?


The most significant change is one that you won’t necessarily see but is integral to the reputation of this journal. The staff has begun to check every accepted manuscript for plagiarism using the CrossCheck™ software program. This program detects instances of overlapping and similar text. Manuscripts found to include plagiarism will be barred from publication. Plagiarism, both of self and others’ work, is not uncommon and may in some cases be inadvertent. However, plagiarism is not acceptable and now we have software to help identify instances where overlap with other publications exists. But, we do not rely on the software alone. Every manuscript with suspicious overlap also is checked by me and the publications staff to ensure that the overlap is meaningful and not a common phrase such as, “Descriptive statistics were generated to. . . .”


Another exciting change is publishing one article per issue electronically ahead of print. This advanced print exclusive will allow you and others who are not yet members of the Oncology Nursing Society to view one cutting-edge article before it appears in the print issue. The article will be available through open access on MetaPress in its own section (http://ons.metapress.com/content/0190-535X/) until it appears in print. We will evaluate usage over time and perhaps make more articles available as advanced print exclusives from each issue in due course.


Significant time was spent at the editorial board meeting talking about the regular feature columns that appear in each issue of the journal. These feature columns are shepherded by members of the board (our associate editors) and considerable thought and effort go into each one. However, it was time for a change for a few of the feature columns. In particular, People and Events seemed to be out of place in a research journal and, although many of us liked reading about awards and accolades of members, this function may be better served elsewhere. So we bade farewell to that feature column. Instead, Associate Editor Lisa Aiello-Laws, RN, MSN, AOCNS®, APN-C, will shepherd in a new feature focusing on genetics. We all are very excited about this and you will see the first installment of the genetics feature column starting in January 2013. In addition, Oncology Update needed a revision; you can see the new version on page 618 of this issue. Instead of reports of medications, this feature will be dedicated to new and exciting findings reported in other oncology journals that many readers may not have access to or have the time to read. I have written the first column; however, a new associate editor will be appointed soon.


Lastly, one small but important change will be coming to our full-length articles, too. At the end of every article’s abstract, you will see a new feature descriptor—knowledge translation. This section will highlight the unique and innovative learning flowing from each published article. The Instructions for Authors (www.ons.org/Publications/ONF/AuthorInfo) contains directions on how authors can format this new section, and it is gratifying to see that many potential authors have taken heed and are already incorporating this information into new submissions.


These changes will likely not be the only ones you see in the pages of ONF in the coming years. The world of publishing is a dynamic one, as is the world of nursing research. But change will not be made without considerable thought, discussion, and planning. The intent of change is to present you with new opportunities for knowledge acquisition and sharing. The journey is just beginning.


Anne Katz, RN, PhD, is a clinical nurse specialist at the Manitoba Prostate Centre, an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Manitoba, and a sexuality counselor for the Department of Psychosocial Oncology at CancerCare Manitoba, all in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Katz can be reached at ONFEditor@ons.org.