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January 2013, Volume 40, Number 1
Barbara A. Sigler, RN, MNEd—Publisher
40 Years in the Making
Believe it or not, the Oncology Nursing Forum (ONF) celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2013, and the first question that many of you may have is, “How can ONF be entering its 40th year when the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) is only 38 years old?” In short, those wise leaders who determined the need for an organization of nurses specializing in the care of patients with cancer began their efforts in 1973 with a newsletter called the Cancer Nursing Newsletter. That first newsletter changed names rather rapidly, becoming the Oncology Nursing Newsletter in 1974, the Newsletter of the Oncology Nursing Society in 1975, and the Oncology Nursing Society Newsletter in 1976. Finally, in 1977, it was renamed Oncology Nursing Forum.
As the changes in the care of patients with cancer have occurred, so have the changes in ONF. The first editor, Daryl Maas Mathers, BS, MA, oversaw the newsletter until 1979 when Susan Baird, RN, MPH, MA, transitioned the publication to an official journal of ONS—working only on a typewriter and pasting pages together at her kitchen table. Common content during that time period included nurses’ roles in clinical trials, the effects of cancer on the family, postmastectomy rehabilitation, and approaches to an “out-reach” program for patients. Susan held the editorship from 1980–1990 until the reins were turned over to Rose Mary Carroll-Johnson, RN, MN.
During Rose Mary’s tenure, ONF refocused itself from being a general oncology nursing journal to becoming a research journal. This led to the launch of ONF’s sister publication, the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing. After Rose Mary passed away in 2011, Assistant Editor Susan Moore, RN, MSN, ANP, AOCN®, carried on the work until the next (and current) editor, Anne Katz, RN, PhD, took over in March 2012. Anne is a thoughtful steward of the journal and I am confident that she will carry on the tradition of high-quality oncology nursing research set forth by the remarkable nurses who came before her.
ONF has been at the forefront of many initiatives. ONF was indexed in the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature and the International Nursing Index in 1978, followed by acceptance into Index Medicus in 1990. The next milestone was in 2007 when ONF received the # 4 ranking in the Journal Citation impact factor for nursing journals. In 2007, the nursing category consisted of 32 journals; comparatively, when ONF topped the rankings in 2011, the category had 97 journals.
To be published in ONF was and still is a dream for many oncology nurses. Many of the authors from the journal’s early days are still publishing with us. The biggest difference from then to now, other than the topics changing from clinical to research, is the many ways we can now access ONF content. MetaPress (http://ons.metapress.com/content/0190-535X) houses our current issue for online access while being an archive for past content. And, in early 2012, ONF was offered in a digital edition format (www.ons.org/Publications/ONF) for the first time, which allows our readers to access the content from their smartphones or tablet devices.
Who knows how the next 40 years will affect the mission of the journal and ONS overall. I suspect that ONF will continue to bring high-quality oncology nursing research to those in the field. And I have no doubt that the journal will continue to adapt to the needs of its readers.
In closing, I want to take this opportunity to say farewell to all of you. I have been on the publishing staff at ONS for the past 17 years in various roles, including publisher since 2011. I am retiring, but my involvement with ONS will continue in the role of volunteer. Thank you for helping to write a wonderful final chapter to my career. I never thought of the places my nursing career would take me over the span of 40-plus years. What a wonderful career I have had. Thank you!
Barbara A. Sigler, RN, MNEd, is the director of publishing and publisher at the Oncology Nursing Society in Pittsburgh, PA.