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September 2013, Volume 40, Number 5
Anne Katz, RN, PhD • Editor
Behind the Scenes
Each year in July, during the week before the Oncology Nursing Society’s (ONS’s) Leadership Weekend meetings, the editorial advisory boards (EABs) of the Oncology Nursing Forum and the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing (CJON) meet for two days of reflection and planning. I always look forward to meeting with the talented and hard-working associate editors who make up the EAB and, of course, it also is an opportunity to meet with ONS staff, particularly those who work on the publications.
For me, the meetings this year were so very different compared to last year. I had just started my tenure with the journal in 2012 and, frankly, I was slightly terrified! I have copious notes from those meetings—I think I was so afraid of missing something important that all people saw was the top of my head as I scribbled away in a brand new notebook purchased particularly for the occasion. I do recall that, on my flights home, it felt as if my head was going to burst!
I returned to Pittsburgh this year with a much better sense of the workings of the journal and greater confidence in my ability as editor. My time started with a brief but intense meeting with CJON Editor Deborah Mayer, PhD, RN, AOCN®, FAAN; Elizabeth M. Wertz Evans, PhD, RN, MPM, CPHQ, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, FACMPE, executive director of Professional Practice and Program and publisher; Bill Tony, BA, CQIA, our new director of Publications; and Leslie McGee, BA, managing editor of the journals. We discussed strategic issues related to journal publishing and, as usual, there was a lot to learn. So much more goes into journal publishing than the printed version you now hold in your hands or the articles you see online. For example, advertising revenues dictate page budgets, which, in turn, influence whether an article is published in print or as an online exclusive. And advertising itself is related to general trends in advertising sales or new drug and device approvals. In addition, the group dreamed and schemed about the upcoming Connections: Advancing Care Through Science conference November 8–10 in Dallas, TX, and how we could enrich attendees’ experiences and maximize our own learning regarding how to meet the needs of our readers.
Later that afternoon, the members of the two EABs met to discuss ideas and opinions about a wealth of topics, including the use of social media in promoting the journals and the potential for these platforms to connect us more closely with our readers. A highlight of the joint meeting was a short video filmed by Leslie McGee at the printing press where this journal is produced. Did you know that the full color cover is comprised of just four colors?
One of my favorite parts of the EAB meeting is the opportunity to meet informally with the copy editors of the journal. These are the people who make me look better on the page and who help our authors polish and refine their articles. Their work is detailed and painstaking and, given that they are not nurses, can be challenging at times. They create tables and help figures make sense, and overall make a significant contribution to the success and readability of this journal.
The individual EAB meeting for each journal took place the next morning. This is the only opportunity we, the members of the EAB, have to meet face-to-face each year and to review and reflect on where we have been and where we plan to go or dream to be in the upcoming year. Although we have a formal agenda, my intent is to always have a free and open exchange of ideas.
As readers, you will see the changes we decided on starting in January 2014 (Volume 41, Issue 1). Some features—as we call the columns—will be changing. We may add a new feature (I’m going to leave you in suspense over this!) or reformulate an existing one. Some changes may be obvious and others more subtle; however, we don’t make change for change’s sake. Each decision is carefully considered and undertaken to make this journal the best that it can be.
But, of course, the work of the journal is really a year-round process. For the copy editors, our editorial assistant Natalie Aitken Tooch, the managing editor, the director, and myself, this work is a daily effort. Yes, it is paid work, but it also is a source of great pride. I hope that you find this journal and its contents one of the most important benefits of membership to ONS and a source of relevant information and evidence. Ultimately, that is why we do what we do.
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.