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January 2014, Volume 41, Number 1
Anne Katz, RN, PhD—Editor
New Year’s Resolutions: Plans or Reality?
Writing about changes seems to be something I do a lot. A quick review of the editorials I have written since beginning my tenure indicate that I have focused on this concept twice (Katz, 2012a, 2012b) and have included the idea in an overview of prostate cancer (Katz, 2013). And, once again, I find myself mulling over change as it relates to the Oncology Nursing Forum (ONF).
The new year often is a time when people make changes—or at least try to or merely plan to! Healthy eating after the abundance of the holidays, an exercise regimen after too much relaxation in front of the television, perhaps even resolutions to be kinder or better or more empathetic with family, friends, and colleagues. These plans often turn rapidly into hopes and dreams and then are quickly forgotten by mid-February. However, that is not the case when you are planning changes for a journal.
Myself, the associate editors, and the staff at the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) work on an issue months before it arrives in your mailbox. The accepted manuscripts have been waiting for a while, usually about six months (and I would love to shorten that delay, but that’s a topic for another editorial). The manuscripts are then edited by me, copy edited by our staff, and then the issue is laid out. Any planned changes to the format or features are thought out months ahead of becoming reality, and are done after appropriate consultation with the Editorial Board at our annual July meeting, as well as senior staff in the Publications department at ONS. And, in this issue, you will see some of these changes come to fruition.
One of the more noticeable changes is the inclusion of a text box in the article layout that highlights the knowledge translation generated by studies, reviews, and syntheses so that readers can get the quick “low down” on how each article contributes to new nursing knowledge. In addition, two features have been removed. Knowledge Central, while a beloved column featuring book reviews, felt a little out of place in a research journal. Many thanks go out to Patricia Ringos Beach, MSN, RN, AOCN®, ACHPN, for taking care of the reviews for so long. She did an excellent job and her contribution to the Editorial Board and the journal is missed. The other feature to go is the podcast that accompanied one article per issue. Statistics showed decreasing usage of this feature and it took a great deal of time and energy for Diane G. Cope, PhD, ARNP, BC, AOCNP®, as well as the staff at ONS, to produce.
However, Diane’s work with the journal is far from over, and she is taking the lead of another change in Volume 41. Starting with this issue, she will be shepherding a new column titled Methods and Meanings. In this feature, Diane will comment and provide background on the methodology used in one of the studies reported on in the issue. I know that she would welcome collaboration with others who are interested in getting their feet wet in writing, so if you have graduate students who might benefit from contributing (or you are interested in doing this yourself), please contact Diane through me (ONFEditor@ons.org).
I have communicated with prospective authors in this past year about our interest in publishing integrative reviews and syntheses, and they have listened. You will see more of these types of article in upcoming issues. And while we, of course, value and encourage submission of research studies, particularly intervention studies and randomized, controlled trials, there is great value in an in-depth and analytical review of published work on topics of interest to oncology nurses. I tell my graduate students that this is a way of working smart—as they write their theses and dissertations, they should also be writing integrated reviews for publication. Chances are that, if they wait until after their research is complete and their degree awarded, they will be on to other things and writing may not be high on their list of priorities or even possible with the demands of a new position.
Please do not think for a moment that this is the end of what we have planned. Other changes are in the pipeline that we hope will make your experience with ONF more enjoyable and provide greater value for you. I can’t disclose them all just yet, but (more) change is a-comin’.
Katz, A. (2012a). Change equals opportunity. Oncology Nursing Forum, 39, 523. http://dx.doi.org/10.1188/12.ONF.523
Katz, A. (2012b). Old roots and new growth. Oncology Nursing Forum, 39, 235. http://dx.doi.org/10.1188/12.ONF.235
Katz, A. (2013). The more things change, the more they stay the same—Or do they? Oncology Nursing Forum, 40, 12–13. http://dx.doi.org/10.1188/13.ONF.12-13
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.