Guide for Authors

  • All journal information and instructions compiled in one document (PDF) in just one mouse-click Author information pack

    INTRODUCTION
    • Types of papers
    BEFORE YOU BEGIN
    • Ethics in publishing
    • Informed consent and patient details
    • Conflict of interest
    • Contributors & Acknowledgements
    • Changes to authorship
    • Copyright
    • Role of the funding source
    • Funding body agreements and policies
    • Open access
    • Language (usage and editing services)
    • Trial or other study registration
    PREPARATION
    • Simplified Submission Service
    • Double-blind review
    • Review process
    • PREPARATION OF THE MANUSCRIPT
    • Artwork
    • AudioSlides
    • Supplementary data
    • Queries
    AFTER ACCEPTANCE
    • Proofs
    • Offprints
    AUTHOR INQUIRIES



    The International Journal of Nursing Studies (IJNS) provides a forum for publication of scholarly papers that report research findings, research-based reviews, discussion papers and commentaries which are of interest to an international readership of practitioners, educators, administrators and researchers in all areas of nursing, midwifery and the caring sciences.

    Papers should address issues of international interest and concern and present the study in the context of the existing international research base on the topic. Those which focus on a single country should identify how the material presented might be relevant to a wider audience and how it contributes to the international knowledge base. Selection of papers for publication is based on their scientific excellence, distinctive contribution to knowledge (including methodological development) and their importance to contemporary nursing, midwifery or related professions.

    Submission to this journal proceeds totally online and you will be guided stepwise through the creation and uploading of your files. The system automatically converts your files to a single PDF file, which is used in the peer-review process.

    Amongst the many submissions received we recognise that some will have been previously formatted for another journal. The Simpler Submission service (described later) means that authors can submit these papers to the IJNS without worrying about formatting the manuscript again to exacting specifications.

    The IJNS also offers a rapid review service for newsworthy papers under our 4* submission service.

    Types of papers

    The IJNS publishes original research, reviews, and discussion papers. In addition we publish editorials and letters.Where a case is made we will also publish protocols of trials which meet our general criteria for interest and significance.

    Editorials — 1,000–2,000 words
    Authors who have ideas for editorials which address issues of substantive concern to the discipline, particularly those of a controversial nature or linked directly to current/forthcoming content in the journal, should contact the Editor in Chief (ijns@kcl.ac.uk)

    Research Papers — 2,000–7,000 words
    Full papers reporting original research can be a maximum of 7000 words in length, although shorter papers are preferred. Research papers should adhere to recognised standards for reporting (see guidance below and the Author Checklist).

    Reviews and Discussion Papers — 2,000–7,000 words
    • Reviews, including:
    - systematic reviews, which address focussed practice questions;
    - literature reviews (scoping reviews, narrative reviews), which provide a thorough analysis of the literature on a broad topic;
    - policy reviews, i.e. reviews of published literature and policy documents which inform nursing practice, the organisation of nursing services, or the education and preparation of nurses and/or midwives).
    • Discussion Papers, i.e. scholarly articles of a debating or discursive nature.

    Letters to the editor — upto 1,000 words
    Designed to stimulate academic debate and discussion, the Editor invites readers to submit commentaries or comments on papers recently published in the IJNS. Contributions that are of general interest, stimulating and meet the standards of scholarship associated with the Journal may be selected for publication. Contributions should be submitted as in the usual way.

    CONSIDERATIONS SPECIFIC TO TYPES OF RESEARCH DESIGNS
    The editors require that manuscripts adhere to recognized reporting guidelines relevant to the research design used. These identify matters that should be addressed in your paper.. The checklists identify essential matters that should be considered and reported upon. They are not quality assessment frameworks and your study need not meet all the criteria implied in the reporting guideline to be worthy of publication in the journal. For example, a controlled trial may or may not be blinded but it is important that the paper identifies whether or not participants, clinicians and outcome assessors were aware of treatment assignments.

    You are encouraged to submit a checklist from the appropriate reporting guideline together with your paper as a guide to the editors and reviewers of your paper.

    Reporting guidelines endorsed by the journal are listed below:
    •Observational cohort, case control and cross sectional studies - STROBE - Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology http://www.equator-network.org/index.aspx?o=1032
    Quasi-experimental/non-randomised evaluations - TREND - Transparent Reporting of Evaluations with Non-randomized Designs http://www.equator-network.org/index.aspx?o=1032
    Randomised (and quasi-randomised) controlled trial - CONSORT - Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials http://www.equator-network.org/index.aspx?o=1032
    Study of Diagnostic accuracy/assessment scale - STARD - Standards for the Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies http://www.equator-network.org/index.aspx?o=1032
    Systematic Review of Controlled Trials - PRISMA - Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses http://www.equator-network.org/index.aspx?o=1032
    Systematic Review of Observational Studies - MOOSE - Meta-analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology http://www.equator-network.org/index.aspx?o=1032

    Qualitative researchers might wish to consult the guideline listed below:
    Qualitative studies - COREQ - Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research.

    All research papers reporting the development or testing of scales must include a copy of the full scale as a Supplementary file at submission stage so it can be published as an appendix online; the IJNS does not accept scale development papers which are not accompanied by a copy of the full scale. Authors are required to obtain written permission from the copyright owner of the scale to reproduce it, and ensure that it is credited appropriately and the correct copyright line qualifying the permission to use/translate the scale is supplied underneath the submitted scale. If authors want to retain copyright of their scale they can mark it as reproduced with their permission.

    If the scale is in a language other than English, then it must be accompanied by an English translation. If the newly developed scale is a translation of an existing scale then the IJNS requires author(s) to obtain written permission from the copyright owner of the original scale to publish the translated version with full credit given also to the original scale (an English translation is still also required).

    Ethics in publishing

    The IJNS is a signatory journal to the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals, issued by the International Committee for Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), and to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) code of conduct for editors. Our guidelines should be read in conjunction with this broader guidance. The ICJME requirements can be found at http://www.icmje.org/ and the COPE's guidelines at http://publicationethics.org/files/u2/New_Code.pdf.

    All studies must be conducted to a high ethical standard and must adhere to local regulations and standards for gaining scrutiny and approval. The work described in your article must have been carried out in accordance with The Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association (Declaration of Helsinki) for experiments involving humans http://www.wma.net/en/30publications/10policies/b3/; EC Directive 86/609/EEC for animal experiments http://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/lab_animals/legislation_en.htm. This must be stated at an appropriate point in the article. The approving body and (if relevant) approval number should be identified in the Author Checklist.

    For information on Ethics in Publishing and Ethical guidelines for journal publication see http://www.elsevier.com/authorethics and http://www.elsevier.com/ethicalguidelines.

    The IJNS would like to make authors aware that on occasions it may participate in independent third party academic (non-commercial) research which supports the development of high quality scholarly publishing. In some cases, authors may also be invited to participate. Participation will always be voluntary and will not impact on any future editorial decisions on the manuscript.

    Informed consent and patient details

    Studies on patients or volunteers require ethics committee approval and informed consent, which should be documented in the paper. Appropriate consents, permissions and releases must be obtained where an author wishes to include case details or other personal information or images of patients and any other individuals in an Elsevier publication. Written consents must be retained by the author and copies of the consents or evidence that such consents have been obtained must be provided to Elsevier on request. For more information, please review the Elsevier Policy on the Use of Images or Personal Information of Patients or other Individuals, http://www.elsevier.com/patient-consent-policy. Unless you have written permission from the patient (or, where applicable, the next of kin), the personal details of any patient included in any part of the article and in any supplementary materials (including all illustrations and videos) must be removed before submission.

    Conflict of interest

    All authors must disclose any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence (bias) their work. Examples of potential conflicts of interest include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding. See also http://www.elsevier.com/conflictsofinterest. Further information and an example of a Conflict of Interest form can be found at: http://help.elsevier.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/286/p/7923.

    Contributors & Acknowledgements

    All authors should have made substantial contributions to all of the following: (1) the conception and design of the study, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, (3) final approval of the version to be submitted.

    In the covering letter to the editorial office, we ask you make a true statement that all authors meet the criteria for authorship, have approved the final article and that all those entitled to authorship are listed as authors. We ask that roles for each and every author be individually described, with reference to the criteria for authorship. Those who meet some but not all of the criteria for authors can be identified as 'contributors' at the end of the manuscript with their contribution specified. All those individuals who provided help during the research (e.g., collecting data, providing language help, writing assistance or proofreading the article, etc.) but who do not meet criteria for authorship should be acknowledged in the paper.

    Papers with large numbers of authors (e.g. 10 or more) should contact the editorial office before submission. Although only 10 authors can be added in the electronic system all authors can be listed in the manuscript. For papers with many authors we may ask that you give a corporate name for the research group (e.g. ATLAS Research Group) to appear at the front of the article and list all authors [as defined above] at the end of the paper. Any contributors and acknowledgements should be listed additionally, as described above.

    Changes to authorship

    This policy concerns the addition, deletion, or rearrangement of author names in the authorship of accepted manuscripts:
    Before the accepted manuscript is published in an online issue: Requests to add or remove an author, or to rearrange the author names, must be sent to the Journal Manager from the corresponding author of the accepted manuscript and must include: (a) the reason the name should be added or removed, or the author names rearranged and (b) written confirmation (e-mail, fax, letter) from all authors that they agree with the addition, removal or rearrangement. In the case of addition or removal of authors, this includes confirmation from the author being added or removed. Requests that are not sent by the corresponding author will be forwarded by the Journal Manager to the corresponding author, who must follow the procedure as described above. Note that: (1) Journal Managers will inform the Journal Editors of any such requests and (2) publication of the accepted manuscript in an online issue is suspended until authorship has been agreed.
    After the accepted manuscript is published in an online issue: Any requests to add, delete, or rearrange author names in an article published in an online issue will follow the same policies as noted above and result in a corrigendum.

    Copyright

    This journal offers authors a choice in publishing their research: Open access and Subscription.

    For subscription articles
    Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' (for more information on this and copyright, see http://www.elsevier.com/copyright). An e-mail will be sent to the corresponding author confirming receipt of the manuscript together with a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' form or a link to the online version of this agreement.
    Subscribers may reproduce tables of contents or prepare lists of articles including abstracts for internal circulation within their institutions. Permission of the Publisher is required for resale or distribution outside the institution and for all other derivative works, including compilations and translations (please consult http://www.elsevier.com/permissions). If excerpts from other copyrighted works are included, the author(s) must obtain written permission from the copyright owners and credit the source(s) in the article. Elsevier has preprinted forms for use by authors in these cases: please consult http://www.elsevier.com/permissions.

    For open access articles
    Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete an 'Exclusive License Agreement' (for more information see http://www.elsevier.com/OAauthoragreement). Permitted reuse of open access articles is determined by the author's choice of user license (see http://www.elsevier.com/openaccesslicenses).

    Retained author rights
    As an author you (or your employer or institution) retain certain rights. For more information on author rights for:
    Subscription articles please see http://www.elsevier.com/journal-authors/author-rights-and-responsibilities.
    Open access articles please see http://www.elsevier.com/OAauthoragreement.

    Role of the funding source

    At the end of your article, you are requested to identify who provided financial support for the conduct of the research and/or preparation of the article and to briefly describe the role of the sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement then this should be stated.. If you received no external funding (i.e. other than your main employer) please state 'no external funding'. Please see http://www.elsevier.com/funding.

    Funding body agreements and policies

    Elsevier has established agreements and developed policies to allow authors whose articles appear in journals published by Elsevier, to comply with potential manuscript archiving requirements as specified as conditions of their grant awards. To learn more about existing agreements and policies please visit http://www.elsevier.com/fundingbodies.

    Open access

    This journal offers authors a choice in publishing their research:

    Open access
    • Articles are freely available to both subscribers and the wider public with permitted reuse
    • An open access publication fee is payable by authors or their research funder
    Subscription
    • Articles are made available to subscribers as well as developing countries and patient groups through our access programs (http://www.elsevier.com/access)
    • No open access publication fee

    All articles published open access will be immediately and permanently free for everyone to read and download. Permitted reuse is defined by your choice of one of the following Creative Commons user licenses:
    Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA): for non-commercial purposes, lets others distribute and copy the article, to create extracts, abstracts and other revised versions, adaptations or derivative works of or from an article (such as a translation), to include in a collective work (such as an anthology), to text and data mine the article, as long as they credit the author(s), do not represent the author as endorsing their adaptation of the article, do not modify the article in such a way as to damage the author's honor or reputation, and license their new adaptations or creations under identical terms (CC BY-NC-SA).
    Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND): for non-commercial purposes, lets others distribute and copy the article, and to include in a collective work (such as an anthology), as long as they credit the author(s) and provided they do not alter or modify the article.

    Elsevier has established agreements with funding bodies, http://www.elsevier.com/fundingbodies. This ensures authors can comply with funding body open access requirements, including specific user licenses, such as CC BY. Some authors may also be reimbursed for associated publication fees. If you need to comply with your funding body policy, you can apply for the CC BY license after your manuscript is accepted for publication.

    To provide Open Access, this journal has a publication fee which needs to be met by the authors or their research funders for each article published open access.
    Your publication choice will have no effect on the peer review process or acceptance of submitted articles.

    The publication fee for this journal is $2,500, excluding taxes. Learn more about Elsevier's pricing policy: http://www.elsevier.com/openaccesspricing.

    Language (usage and editing services)

    Please write your text in good English (American or British usage is accepted, but not a mixture of these). Authors who feel their English language manuscript may require editing to eliminate possible grammatical or spelling errors and to conform to correct scientific English may wish to use the English Language Editing service available from Elsevier's WebShop (http://webshop.elsevier.com/languageediting/) or visit our customer support site (http://support.elsevier.com) for more information.

    Submit your article
    Please submit your article via http://ees.elsevier.com/ijns.

    Trial or other study registration

    We encourage the prospective registration of studies. Where a study has been registered please give the number in your Author Checklist (e.g. ISRCTN) and include the registration number within the title, abstract or body of the paper as appropriate.

    Simplified Submission Service

    As part of the Simplified Submission Service, you may choose to submit your manuscript as a single file to be used in the refereeing process. This can be a PDF file or a Word document, in any format or lay-out that can be used by referees to evaluate your manuscript. It should contain high enough quality figures for refereeing. If you prefer to do so, you may still provide all or some of the source files at the initial submission. Please note that individual figure files larger than 10 MB must be uploaded separately. The manuscript must be blinded for the peer review process and a separate title page (with author details and affiliations must be uploaded as a separate file). Please see further guidance below under PREPARATION OF THE MANUSCRIPT.

    The IJNS offers a rapid review service for 4 Star papers, i.e. those papers referred by the author to the Editor and which are judged as highly topical and newsworthy by the Editorial Committee. Authors should indicate this in the covering letter.

    Revised submissions and standard submissions in the house style
    All authors submitting papers in the journal style¸ or submitting revised submissions previously submitted via the Simplified route above, will be required to complete Parts 1 and 2 of the Author Checklist during the submission process to assist them in ensuring that the basic requirements of manuscript submission are met, including details of the roles of funding sources and any conflicts of interest. The Author Checklist is designed to be a self-assessment checklist to assist authors in preparing their manuscript and the link is found in the full Author Checklist.

    PRE-SUBMISSION CONSIDERATIONS

    Authors should submit to the journal online via the journal's home page or at http://ees.elsevier.com/ijns. You will be guided through the creation and uploading of the various files, including the Author Checklist. Once the uploading is done, the system automatically generates an electronic (PDF) proof, which is then used for reviewing. All correspondence, including notification of the Editor's decision and requests for revisions, will be by e-mail. Submitted papers should be relevant to an international audience and authors should not assume knowledge of national practices, policies, law, etc. Authors should consult a recent issue of the journal for style if possible. Since the journal is distributed all over the world, and as English is a second language for many readers, authors are requested to write in plain English and use terminology which is internationally acceptable.

    Submission Declaration

    Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published previously (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture or academic thesis), that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, that its publication is approved by all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out, and that, if accepted, it will not be published elsewhere in the same form, in English or in any other language, without the written consent of the copyright-holder.

    Other/multiple and parallel publications

    The journal seeks to publish original papers that make a substantial novel contribution. Generally the generous word limits of the IJNS permit authors to publish all aspects of a study within a single paper. However we recognize that this is not always possible. Please see our editorial on multiple papers from single studies and duplicate publication http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2008.07.003. To aid editorial decisions about distinctiveness and to avoid inadvertent duplication please upload copies of all previous, current and under review publications from this study and / or give full detail in the Author Checklist.

    All published and in press accounts of the study from which data in this paper must be referred to in the paper and the relationship between this and other publications from the same study must be made clear. It is not sufficient to simply cite a prior publication - the text must state that results are from the same study. Citation of publications 'in press' is acceptable, provided that full detail is given.

    If other publications are under review or in preparation this should be mentioned in your letter to the editor and you should give an undertaking that you will take all possible steps to ensure subsequent publications contain a reference to your IJNS publication if you are successful. The study should be referred to by a distinctive name which will be used in any future publications to identify that it is the same study.

    Double-blind review

    This journal uses double-blind review, which means that both the reviewer and author name(s) are not allowed to be revealed to one another for a manuscript under review. The identities of the authors are concealed from the reviewers, and vice versa. For more information please refer to http://www.elsevier.com/reviewers/peer-review. To facilitate this, please include the following separately:
    Title page (with author details): This should include the title, authors' names and affiliations, and a complete address for the corresponding author including telephone and e-mail address.
    Blinded manuscript (no author details): The main body of the paper (including the references, figures, tables and any Acknowledgements) should not include any identifying information, such as the authors' names or affiliations.

    Review process

    The decision to publish a paper is based on an editorial assessment and peer review.

    Initially all papers are assessed by an editorial committee consisting of 2 or more members of the editorial team. The prime purpose is to decide whether to send a paper for peer review and to give a rapid decision on those that are not.

    Editorials and Letters may be accepted at this stage but in all other cases the decision is to reject the paper or to send it for peer review. Papers which do not meet basic standards or are unlikely to be published irrespective of a positive peer review, for example because their novel contribution is insufficient or the relevance to the discipline is unclear, may be rejected at this point in order to avoid delays to authors who may wish to seek publication elsewhere. Occasionally a paper will be returned to the author with requests for revisions in order to assist the editors in deciding whether or not send it out for review. Authors can expect a decision from this stage of the review process within 2-3 weeks of submission.

    Manuscripts going forward to the review process are reviewed by members of an international expert panel. All such papers will undergo a double blind peer review by two or more reviewers, plus an Associate Editor. We take every reasonable step to ensure author identity is concealed during the review process but it is up to authors to ensure that their details of prior publications etc. do not reveal their identity. Authors who reveal their identity in the manuscript will be deemed to have declined anonymity and the review will be single blind (i.e. authors do not know reviewers' identities).

    We aim to complete the review process within 8 weeks of the decision to review although occasionally delays do happen and authors should allow at least 12 weeks from submissions before contacting the journal. The Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to the final decision regarding acceptance.

    PREPARATION OF THE MANUSCRIPT

    Submission to this journal proceeds totally online and you will be guided stepwise through the creation and uploading of your files. The system automatically converts source files to a single PDF file of the article, which is used in the peer-review process.

    DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED FOR SIMPLER SUBMISSIONS

    As part of the Simplified Submission service, you may choose to submit your manuscript as a single file to be used in the refereeing process. This can be a PDF file or a Word document, in any format or lay-out that can be used by referees to evaluate your manuscript. It should contain high enough quality figures for refereeing. If you prefer to do so, you may still provide all or some of the source files at the initial submission. Please note that individual figure files larger than 10 MB must be uploaded separately. The manuscript must be blinded for the peer review process and a separate title page (with author details and affiliations must be uploaded as a separate file).

    There are no strict requirements on reference formatting. References can be in any style or format as long as the style is consistent and complete. Author(s) name(s), journal title / book title, article title, year of publication, volume and issue / book chapter and the pagination must be present. The reference style required by the journal will be applied to the published version by Elsevier.

    Formatting requirements:
    There are no strict formatting requirements but all manuscripts must contain the essential elements needed to convey your manuscript, for example Abstract, Keywords, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Conclusions, Artwork and Tables with Captions. You may wish to consult the requirements for standard submissions in advance as you will need to ensure that your manuscript adheres to these at a later stage.

    If your article includes any Videos and/or other Supplementary material, this should be included in your initial submission for peer review purposes.

    Divide the article into clearly defined sections. Tables and figures can be included in the appropriate part of the text. It is not necessary to format your manuscript in double column layout, even if the journal has a double column layout.

    In addition you will be prompted during the online submission process to confirm Ethical Approval has been obtained where appropriate, and to provide "Contribution of the Paper".

    For “Simpler Submissions” you are not required to complete and return the Author Checklist but you may find reference to this in the submission process helpful.

    References - The reference style required by the journal will be applied to the published version by Elsevier but if you wish to format references yourself they should be arranged in a name/date citation style and should be consistent throughout. Avoid citation of personal communications or unpublished material. Citations to material in press (i.e accepted for publication) is acceptable. Citation of material currently under consideration elsewhere (e.g. "under review" or "submitted") is not.

    DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED FOR STANDARD SUBMISSIONS IN THE HOUSE JOURNAL STYLE

    (please refer to the Author Checklist for further guidance on preparing your manuscript).

    Manuscripts must be electronic files. The manuscript with a font size of 12 or 10 pt double-spaced with wide margins (2.5 cm at least) and numbered pages. Depending on the paper type this should include the title, abstract, key words, "what the paper adds", text, references, tables, figure legends, figures, appendix. You will need to prepare the following files for submission:

    Covering letter — to the editor in which you detail authorship contributions and other matters you wish the editors to consider.

    Title page — Include full name, job title, highest academic and professional qualification and institution for each author. Indicate an e-mail address for the corresponding author. Include acknowledgements to key contributors. Author Checklist — Parts 1 and 2.

    MANUSCRIPT LAYOUT

    Title — The title should be in the format 'Topic / question: design/type of paper' and identify the population / care setting studied.(e.g. The effectiveness of telephone support for adolescents with insulin dependent diabetes: controlled before and after study).

    Required for all papers (with the exception of Letters) is a clear summary of the 'Contribution of the Paper'. This should take the form of a clear summary of ''What is already known about the topic?' and 'What this paper adds', identifying existing research knowledge relating to the specific research question / topic and a summary of the new knowledge added by this study. Under each of these headings, please provide clear OUTCOME statements in the form of two or three bullet points for each. Do NOT give process statements of what the paper does. eg. This review demonstrates that nurse-led intermediate care reduces hospital stay but increases total inpatient stay (outcome) NOT This review considers the impact of nurse-led intermediate care on acute stay and total inpatient stay (process).

    References - The reference style required by the journal will be applied to the published version by Elsevier but if you wish to format references yourself they should be arranged in a name/date citation style and should be consistent throughout. Avoid citation of personal communications or unpublished material. Citations to material in press (i.e accepted for publication) is acceptable. Citation of material currently under consideration elsewhere (e.g. "under review" or "submitted") is not.

    All publications cited in the text should be presented in a list of references at the end of the manuscript. In the text refer to the author's name (without initials) and year of publication (e.g. "Since Peterson (1993) has shown that?" or "This finding is supported by results obtained later (Kramer, 1994)"). For three or more authors use the first author followed by "et al.", in the text. For one or more references in the text to support a single idea, the names should be organized alphabetically (Bryman, 2004, Lincoln and Guba, 2000, Onwuegbuzie and Leech, 2005). No more than three references should be used to support a single idea.

    Reference management software

    This journal has a standard template available in the reference management package EndNote (http://www.endnote.com/support/enstyles.asp). Using plug-ins to wordprocessing packages, authors only need to select the appropriate journal template when preparing their article and the list of references and citations to these will be formatted according to the journal style which is the Harvard reference style.

    The list of references should be arranged alphabetically by authors' names. References should be arranged first alphabetically and then further sorted chronologically if necessary. More than one reference from the same author(s) in the same year must be identified by the letters "a", "b", "c", etc., placed after the year of publication.

    References should be given in the following form.
    Arthur, D., Sohng, K.Y., Noh, C.H., Kim, S., 1998. The professional self concept of Korean hospital nurses. International Journal of Nursing Studies 35 (3), 155-162.

    Barnes, B., Bloor, D., 1982. Relativism, rationalism and the sociology of knowledge. In: Hollis, M., Lukes, S. (Eds.), Rationality and Relativism. Basil Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 21-47.

    Dijkstra, A., Buist, G., Dassen, Th.W.N., 1996. Nursing-care dependency: development and psychometric testing of the NCD-scale for demented and mentally handicapped in-patients. In: Proceedings of the 8th Biennial Conference of the WENR, Research on Nursing throughout the Lifespan, vol. 1. Ekblad and Co, Vastervik, pp. 117-126.

    Gower, B., 1997. Scientific method: an historical and philosophical introduction. Routledge, London.

    Reference links Increased discoverability of research and high quality peer review are ensured by online links to the sources cited. In order to allow us to create links to abstracting and indexing services, such as Scopus, CrossRef and PubMed, please ensure that data provided in the references are correct. Please note that incorrect surnames, journal/book titles, publication year and pagination may prevent link creation. When copying references, please be careful as they may already contain errors. Use of the DOI is encouraged.

    Web references
    As a minimum, the full URL should be given and the date when the reference was last accessed. Any further information, if known (DOI, author names, dates, reference to a source publication, etc.), should also be given. Web references can be listed separately (e.g., after the reference list) under a different heading if desired, or can be included in the reference list.

    Royal College of Nursing (2012) New RCN initiative to shape nursing's future. http://www.rcn.org.uk/newsevents/news/article/uk/new_rcn_initiative_to_shape_nursings_future accessed 5/12/2012

    REVISED SUBMISSIONS

    Regardless of the file format of the original submission, at revision you must provide us with an editable file of the entire article. Keep the layout of the text as simple as possible. Most formatting codes will be removed and replaced on processing the article. The electronic text should be prepared in a way very similar to that of conventional manuscripts (see also the Guide to Publishing with Elsevier: http://www.elsevier.com/guidepublication). See also the section on Electronic artwork. To avoid unnecessary errors you are strongly advised to use the 'spell-check' and 'grammar-check' functions of your word processor.

    Revised submissions should be accompanied by a letter which responds point by point to the reviewers' and editors' comments, and changes to the revised paper should be highlighted so they can be spotted easily by the reviewers to whom the paper is normally returned for further review/comment.

    DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED FOR REVISED SUBMISSION STAGE

    Manuscripts must be electronic files. You will need to prepare the following files for submission:

    Author Checklist — completed reporting guidelines for the relevant research design.

    Contribution of the Paper — statements of what is known already about the topic and what the paper adds.

    Covering letter — to the editor in which you detail authorship contributions and other matters you wish the editors to consider.

    Title page — Include full name, job title, highest academic and professional qualification and institution for each author. Indicate an e-mail address for the corresponding author. Include acknowledgements to key contributors. Author Checklist — Parts 1 and 2.

    Manuscript — The manuscript with a font size of 12 or 10 pt double-spaced with wide margins (2.5 cm at least) and numbered pages. Depending on the paper type this should include the title, abstract, key words, "what the paper adds", text, references, tables, figure legends, figures, appendix.

    Response to Reviewers (only for revised manuscripts) — a) Responses to the reviewers' and editors' comments; b) A revised paper with changes clearly highlighted.

    GENERAL GUIDANCE FOR ALL SUBMISSIONS

    Abstract — Abstracts should be less than 400words, and should not include references or abbreviations. Abstracts of research papers must be structured and should adopt the headings suggested by the relevant reporting guidelines (see below). In general they should include the followingBackground; Objectives; Design; Settings (do not specify actual centres, but give the number and types of centre and geographical location if important); Participants (details of how selected, inclusion and exclusion criteria, numbers entering and leaving the study, relevant clinical and demographic characteristics); Methods; Results, report main outcome(s)/findings including (where relevant) levels of statistical significance and confidence intervals; and Conclusions, which should relate to study aims and hypotheses. Abstracts for reviews should provide a summary under the following headings, where possible: Objectives, Design, Data sources, Review methods, Results, Conclusions. Abstracts for book review articles and discussion papers should provide a concise summary of the line of argument pursued and conclusions.

    Key Words — Provide between four and ten key words in alphabetical order, which accurately identify the paper's subject, purpose, method and focus. Use the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®) thesaurus or Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health (CINAHL) headings where possible (see http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/meshhome.html ).

    Abbreviations — Avoid the use of abbreviations unless they are likely to be widely recognised. In particular you should avoid abbreviating key concepts in your paper where readers might not already be familiar with the abbreviation. Any abbreviations which the authors intend to use should be written out in full and followed by the letters in brackets the first time they appear, thereafter only the letters without brackets should be used.

    Statistics — Standard methods of presenting statistical material should be used. Where methods used are not widely recognised explanation and full reference to widely accessible sources must be given.

    Exact p values should be given to no more than three decimal places. Wherever possible give both point estimates and 95% confidence intervals for all population parameters estimated by the study (e.g. group differences, frequency of characteristics) Identify the statistical package used (please note that SPSS has not been "Statistical Package for the Social Sciences" for many years).

    Table and figures — There should be no more than five tables and figures in total and included in a separate file. All tables and figures should be clearly labelled. If your manuscript includes more than 5 tables in total, or for very large tables, these can be submitted as Supplementary Data and will be included as such in the online version of your article.

    Appendices — Ordinarily there should be no appendices although in the case of papers reporting tool development or the use of novel questionnaires authors must include a copy of the tool as an appendix unless all items appear in a table in the text.

    Informed consent — Where applicable authors should confirm that informed consent was obtained from human subjects and that ethical clearance was obtained from the appropriate authority.

    Permissions - Permission to reproduce previously published material must be obtained in writing from the copyright holder (usually the publisher) and acknowledged in the manuscript.

    Word limits - Our experience suggests that all things being equal, readers find shorter papers more useful than longer ones. Given this, and competition for space in the Journal, shorter papers of between 2,000 and 3,500 words are preferred. However, full papers may be up to 7,000 words in length, plus tables, figures, and references. Ordinarily there should be no appendices although in the case of papers reporting tool development or the use of novel questionnaires it is usual to include a copy of the tool as an appendix.

    Artwork

    Electronic artwork General points
    • Make sure you use uniform lettering and sizing of your original artwork.
    • Embed the used fonts if the application provides that option.
    • Aim to use the following fonts in your illustrations: Arial, Courier, Times New Roman, Symbol, or use fonts that look similar.
    • Number the illustrations according to their sequence in the text.
    • Use a logical naming convention for your artwork files.
    • Provide captions to illustrations separately.
    • Size the illustrations close to the desired dimensions of the printed version.
    • Submit each illustration as a separate file.
    A detailed guide on electronic artwork is available on our website:
    http://www.elsevier.com/artworkinstructions
    You are urged to visit this site; some excerpts from the detailed information are given here.
    Formats
    If your electronic artwork is created in a Microsoft Office application (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) then please supply 'as is' in the native document format.
    Regardless of the application used other than Microsoft Office, when your electronic artwork is finalized, please 'Save as' or convert the images to one of the following formats (note the resolution requirements for line drawings, halftones, and line/halftone combinations given below):
    EPS (or PDF): Vector drawings, embed all used fonts.
    TIFF (or JPEG): Color or grayscale photographs (halftones), keep to a minimum of 300 dpi.
    TIFF (or JPEG): Bitmapped (pure black & white pixels) line drawings, keep to a minimum of 1000 dpi.
    TIFF (or JPEG): Combinations bitmapped line/half-tone (color or grayscale), keep to a minimum of 500 dpi.
    Please do not:
    • Supply files that are optimized for screen use (e.g., GIF, BMP, PICT, WPG); these typically have a low number of pixels and limited set of colors;
    • Supply files that are too low in resolution;
    • Submit graphics that are disproportionately large for the content.

    Text graphics Text graphics may be embedded in the text at the appropriate position. If you are working with LaTeX and have such features embedded in the text, these can be left. See further under Electronic artwork.

    AudioSlides

    The journal encourages authors to create an AudioSlides presentation with their published article. AudioSlides are brief, webinar-style presentations that are shown next to the online article on ScienceDirect. This gives authors the opportunity to summarize their research in their own words and to help readers understand what the paper is about. More information and examples are available at http://www.elsevier.com/audioslides. Authors of this journal will automatically receive an invitation e-mail to create an AudioSlides presentation after acceptance of their paper.

    Supplementary data

    Elsevier accepts electronic supplementary material to support and enhance your scientific research. Supplementary files offer the author additional possibilities to publish supporting applications, high-resolution images, background datasets, sound clips and more. Supplementary files supplied will be published online alongside the electronic version of your article in Elsevier Web products, including ScienceDirect: http://www.sciencedirect.com. In order to ensure that your submitted material is directly usable, please provide the data in one of our recommended file formats. Authors should submit the material in electronic format together with the article and supply a concise and descriptive caption for each file. For more detailed instructions please visit our artwork instruction pages at http://www.elsevier.com/artworkinstructions.

    Queries

    For questions about the editorial process (including the status of manuscripts under review) please contact the editorial office ijns@kcl.ac.uk . For technical support on submissions please contact http://epsupport.elsevier.com.

    Proofs

    One set of page proofs (as PDF files) will be sent by e-mail to the corresponding author (if we do not have an e-mail address then paper proofs will be sent by post) or, a link will be provided in the e-mail so that authors can download the files themselves. Elsevier now provides authors with PDF proofs which can be annotated; for this you will need to download Adobe Reader version 9 (or higher) available free from http://get.adobe.com/reader. Instructions on how to annotate PDF files will accompany the proofs (also given online). The exact system requirements are given at the Adobe site: http://www.adobe.com/products/reader/tech-specs.html.
    If you do not wish to use the PDF annotations function, you may list the corrections (including replies to the Query Form) and return them to Elsevier in an e-mail. Please list your corrections quoting line number. If, for any reason, this is not possible, then mark the corrections and any other comments (including replies to the Query Form) on a printout of your proof and return by fax, or scan the pages and e-mail, or by post. Please use this proof only for checking the typesetting, editing, completeness and correctness of the text, tables and figures. Significant changes to the article as accepted for publication will only be considered at this stage with permission from the Editor. We will do everything possible to get your article published quickly and accurately – please let us have all your corrections within 48 hours. It is important to ensure that all corrections are sent back to us in one communication: please check carefully before replying, as inclusion of any subsequent corrections cannot be guaranteed. Proofreading is solely your responsibility. Note that Elsevier may proceed with the publication of your article if no response is received.

    Offprints

    The corresponding author, at no cost, will be provided with a personalized link providing 50 days free access to the final published version of the article on ScienceDirect. This link can also be used for sharing via email and social networks. For an extra charge, paper offprints can be ordered via the offprint order form which is sent once the article is accepted for publication. Both corresponding and co-authors may order offprints at any time via Elsevier's WebShop (http://webshop.elsevier.com/myarticleservices/offprints). Authors requiring printed copies of multiple articles may use Elsevier WebShop's 'Create Your Own Book' service to collate multiple articles within a single cover (http://webshop.elsevier.com/myarticleservices/booklets).



    You can track your submitted article at http://help.elsevier.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/89/p/8045/. You can track your accepted article at http://www.elsevier.com/trackarticle. You are also welcome to contact Customer Support via http://support.elsevier.com.

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