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Letters to the Editor

Comment on “If It Looks Like a Duck and Quacks Like a Duck . . . ”

ONF 2015, 42(3), 216 DOI: 10.1188/15.ONF.216

We would like to thank Anne Katz, PhD, RN, FAAN, for bringing attention to the dangers of predatory journals. As the editor emphasized, nurses easily can fall prey to these journals, but the populations even more at risk for using these journals and not realizing the limitations of the articles are undergraduate and graduate nursing students.

We would like to thank Anne Katz, PhD, RN, FAAN, for bringing attention to the dangers of predatory journals. As the editor emphasized, nurses easily can fall prey to these journals, but the populations even more at risk for using these journals and not realizing the limitations of the articles are undergraduate and graduate nursing students.

We have had the opportunity to participate in an undergraduate independent study that focuses on professional writing, which has prepared us to publish in nursing journals. Some of the first things we learned in this course were how to assess a journal to determine whether it is an appropriate place to consider publishing and a reputable peer-reviewed journal, and how to access reliable databases. This topic continues to be a challenging endeavor, as we continue to ask our faculty advisor for advice on where to submit publications and if a reference is reputable. We only can imagine the challenges experienced by other nursing students not afforded this opportunity.

More importantly, undergraduate and graduate nursing students may not recognize the quality of nursing journals they are using for references. Although many nursing schools require supporting articles for nursing care plans, literature reviews, and other projects, education is fundamentally lacking that formally teaches nursing students about the importance of recognizing quality nursing journals with accurate and trustworthy peer-reviewed information. Many of the predatory journals are open access, and nursing students may mistakenly think an article is high-quality because it was easy to find or because the title sounds impressive.

Overall, students will continue to fall victim to predatory journals as long as formal education is lacking regarding how to find journals for reliable information and how to determine in which journals to publish. Many resources are available to help students better understand how to avoid using predatory references. We were instructed to personally meet with our reference librarian, who has been instrumental in teaching and helping us find quality references. The other resources described by Katz (2015), including Jeffrey Beall’s Scholarly Open Access blog, the NursingWriting website, and Nurse Author and Editor, are tools that students and nursing faculty should be aware of and access regularly.

Nursing faculty need to carefully consider how to impart this very important information to undergraduate and graduate students. This information needs to be presented early in nursing education and needs to be reinforced multiple times. Faculty also need to be able recognize the issue of predatory journals and help nursing students make better selections for quality, peer-reviewed, indexed journals.

Katz, A. (2015). If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck . . . Oncology Nursing Forum, 42, 9. doi:10.1188/15.ONF.9

About the Author(s)

Adrienne Macchietto, Emily Schroepfer, and Katherine Wilkerson are undergraduate students in the School of Nursing at Saint Louis University in Missouri. The authors take full responsibility for the content of the article. No financial relationships relevant to the content of this letter have been disclosed by the authors or editorial staff. Macchietto can be reached at asmacchietto@gmail.com, with copy to editor at ONFEditor@ons.org.

 

References 

Katz, A. (2015). If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck . . . Oncology Nursing Forum, 42, 9. doi:10.1188/15.ONF.9