Guide for Authors

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

General Information
• Ethics in Publication
• Double-blind Peer review process
• Review Criteria
• Production
• Submission of Manuscripts
• Preparation of Manuscript
• Sections of Manuscript (In Order)
• Copyright
• Open Access
• Correspondence
• AudioSlides
• Virtual Microscope



Aims and scope

Collegian:The Australian Journal of Nursing Practice, Scholarship and Research is a refereed journal with an Editorial Board that meets high standards of academic and clinical expertise. The journal reflects the broad interests of nurses and the nursing profession. Papers are invited on contemporary clinical, professional and policy issues of interest to nurses such as:

  • Original clinical and educational research
  • Scholarly critique of policy and nursing issues
  • Clinical case reports
  • Historical or political critique of nursing and health care issues
In addition, Collegian: The Australian Journal of Nursing Practice, Scholarship and Research seeks to promote nursing through publication of reviews, nursing commentaries and letters.

Considerations specific to types of research designs

The editors require that manuscripts adhere to recognised reporting guidelines relevant to the research design; Randomised Control Trials, Cohort Studies, Observational studies, Non-randomised evaluations and qualitative research. Please submit a completed checklist from the appropriate reporting guidelines as an addendum to your covering letter to the editor.

Observational cohort, case control and cross sectional studies - STROBE - Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology http://www.equator-network.org/

Quasi-experimental/non-randomised evaluations - TREND - Transparent Reporting of Evaluations with Non-randomized Designs http://www.equator-network.org/

Randomised (and quasi-randomised) controlled trial - CONSORT - Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials http://www.equator-network.org/

Study of Diagnostic accuracy/assessment scale - STARD - Standards for the Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies http://www.equator-network.org/

Systematic Review of Controlled Trials - PRISMA - Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses http://www.equator-network.org/

Systematic Review of Observational Studies - MOOSE - Meta-analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology http://www.equator-network.org/

Qualitative researchers are encouraged to consult the guideline listed below:

Qualitative studies - COREQ - Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research. Tong, A., Sainsbury, P., Craig, J., 2007. Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research (COREQ): a 32-item checklist for interviews and focus groups. International Journal for Quality in Health Care 19 (6), 349-357.http://intqhc.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2007/09/14/intqhc.mzm042

Ethics in Publication

This journal follows the Committee of Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines and requests authors to familarise themselves with these guidelines at: http://publicationethics.org/resources/guidelines. A few issues that authors need to pay particular attention to are set out below.
It is ethically questionable to break up or segment data from a single study to create different papers for publication , a practice called salami slicinga™. If the authors have legitimate reasons for reporting separately on different parts of the same study, or the same data set, they should justify that to the editor at the time of submission. Equally, readers need to be aware that different aspects of the same study are being reported, thus the methods section of the submitted manuscript must clearly explain why the submitted paper is justified.

Double-blind Peer review process

"Editors review all abstracts and using a triage-type checklist will make a rapid decision about whether the article is suitable for peer review in this journal. The overall rejection rate at this stage is approximately 60% and the majority of these happen at the rapid decision stage. This rapid decision is of benefit for authors because if the paper is rejected reasons will be given and the author can consider whether to submit elsewhere without undue delay.

The most common reasons for initial rejection are:
1) not having prior institutional ethical approval for research and/or not demonstrating fully informed and fully free consent by participants;
2) not situating the research in the existing literature;
3) poor English and;
4) not following this guide for authors. "

Review Criteria

Each paper that the editor/s assess as suitable for peer review is allocated to two reviewers who are asked to assess the paper against one of the Journal's three sets of reviewing criteria:
Articles submitted for review must be original works, and may not be submitted for review elsewhere whilst under review for the Journal.
After review, the Editor-in-Chief will inform the corresponding author on whether the paper has been accepted, rejected, or needs revision.

Categories of decision

  • Accept
  • Minor revisions (accept with revisions as advised by Editors)
  • Major revisions (possible acceptance following major revision and resubmission)
  • Reject
All efforts are made to provide fair and thorough reviews as speedily as possible. If an author(s) believes that a manuscript has been wrongly rejected, a detailed appeal letter that responds point-by-point to the reviewers' comments should be sent to the Editor who, after having reviewed the referees' reports, will make the final decision.

Reviewed by Editor-in-Chief or Editorial Team only
Letter to the Editor or a short comment on any topic of current interest
For these types of submissions, the corresponding author will receive a fairly rapid decision on publication.

Production

Following acceptance of a manuscript; it will be transmitted to Elsevier's Production department.
The corresponding author will receive an acknowledgement. The paper will then be edited to comply with house style, and typeset.
The Publisher will email a proof to the corresponding author for checking before it is published.
The corresponding author is responsible for checking proofs thoroughly. By approving the proofs any editorial changes are being accepted.

Submission of Manuscripts

All manuscripts, correspondence and editorial material for publication is submitted online via the Elsevier Editorial System at http://ees.elsevier.com/coll/Authors simply need to "create a new account" (i.e., register) by following the online instructions, and using their own e-mail address and selected password. Authors can then submit manuscripts containing text, tables, and images (figures) online.

Authors can expect an initial decision, ie. to undergo peer-review, Accept or Reject on their submission within 7 business days.

Once a manuscript is accepted for publication, authors can expect web publication of the article in final version on ScienceDirect in 4 weeks. Preparation of Manuscript

Manuscirpts being submitted should not exceed more than 5000 words. For a standard discussion, review, clinical paper or quantitative research articles, the maximum length is 30 double-spaced pages, with standard margins of 2.5 cm (1 inch) all around, and 11 point font size. (Inclusive of all Tables, Figures, and References, but excluding the Structured Abstract).

Supplementary material may be added without specific page limits. The readability of the article, however, must not depend upon access to supplementary materials.

First time authors are also strongly advised to co-author with an academic supervisor or senior colleague who has been successful in writing for publication.

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'sWebShop (http://webshop.elsevier.com/languageediting/) or visit our customer support site(http://support.elsevier.com) for more informationPage numbers and line numbers should be included for the convenience of the peer-reviewers.

Please have the following items ready before you log-on to the system. Every submission, regardless of category, must include the following.

(1) A Cover letter, stating:

o Conflict of Interest:
when the proposed publication concerns any commercial product, either directly or indirectly, the author must include in the cover letter a statement (1) indicating that he or she has no financial or other interest in the product or distributor of the product or (2) explaining the nature of any relation between himself or herself and the manufacturer or distributor of the product. Other kinds of associations, such as consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interests or patent-licensing arrangements, also must be disclosed. If, in the Editor's judgment, the information disclosed represents a potential conflict of interest, it may be made available to reviewers and may be published at the Editor's discretion; authors will be informed of the decision before publication.
o Sources of outside support for research:
including funding, equipment, and drugs.

(2) An Author Agreement stating:
o that the article is the author(s) original work
o the article has not received prior publication and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere
o that all authors have seen and approved the manuscript being submitted
o the author(s) abide by the copyright terms and conditions of Elsevier and the Australian College of Nursing

(3) An Ethical Statement for all Research papers, providing the following information:
o Whether the submitted manuscript involved human or animal research.
o If human or animal research was involved, whether Ethical Approval was granted for the Study as either (A) A quality assurance or practice improvement project, OR(B) A scientific research study. Note that research studies that do not have ethical approval prior to being conducted will not normally be published. We will consider publication, however, if the relevant Institutional Ethics Committee provides you with a letter saying that they do not normally provide ethical approval for studies such as the one you conducted.
o If the submitted manuscript is based on a research study which was subjected to a full review by an institutional ethics committee, please provide the following information:
- The name of the ethics committee
- The approval number
- The date of approval



Note: If the manuscript is based on a quality assurance or practice improvement project this must be made clear in the text of the paper and address ethical issues concerning informed and free consent and confidentiality, as relevant.

If an Ethical Statement is not applicable, this must also be specified.

(4) Title Page should contain:

o Title. Short (12 words or fewer) and descriptive of the content of the article.
Abbreviations must not be used in the title.

o Running Head. Short title of 30 characters and spaces.
o Authors. List all authors by first name, all initials, family name and highest academic degree only using "RM, PhD" for holders of both qualifications.
List the address of all institutions where the work was done. List departmental affiliations of each author affiliated with that institution after each institutional address. Connect authors to departments using numbered superscripts.
o Corresponding Author. Provide the name, exact postal address with zip or postal code, telephone number, fax number and e-mail address of the author to whom communications, proofs, and requests for reprints should be sent.

(5) The complete manuscript, arranged as follows: (1) structured Abstract and Keywords (2) manuscript, including Acknowledgments/Disclosures (see below) and References, (3) Tables (each complete with title) and (4) Figures.

In addition, the following must be submitted direct to the Editorial Office if applicable:

o Written permission from the publisher (copyright holder) to reproduce any previously published table(s), illustration(s) or photograph(s) in both print and electronic media.
o Written permission from unmasked patients appearing in photographs.

Sections of Manuscript (In Order)

o Abstract & Keywords

The structured abstract should be under 250 words.

The structure of the abstract should be:
o Problem, or
o Background
o Question, Hypothesis or Aim
o Methods
o Findings
o Discussion
o Conclusion

The structured Abstract must not include references. Avoid abbreviations and acronyms. Ensure the name of the hospital or health service is not mentioned.

Keywords: Provide up to six keywords, at least three of which should be selected from those recommended by the Index Medicus Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) browser list (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/meshhome.html).

o Main Text

For Original Research Articles references should not be more than 30, except with specific permission from the editor prior to submission), text should be organised as follows:

- Summary of Relevance. Before the Introduction, use the following headings to summarise (in 100 words or less) the contribution of your paper to the existing literature:
o Problem or Issue
o What is Already Known
o What this Paper Adds

An example of a Summary of Relevance:
Problem
Little is known about how nursing students manage exposure to horizontal violence. What is Already Known

Horizontal violence is widely reported in the nursing literature. Nursing students are vulnerable to horizontal violence from health professionals during their clinical placements.

What this Paper Adds
Evidence that nursing students often do not report episodes of horizontal violence due to lack of knowledge about supports available to them. In addition, many choose not to report this in order not to jeopardise future employment opportunities.

- Introduction (including problem, theoretical and/or research background, hypothesis or guiding question, definitions of key terms)
- Literature Review (critical but brief review of directly related literature)
- Participants, Ethics and Methods (described in detail).
- Findings or Results: for qualitative research results should be concisely reported in tables and figures, with brief text descriptions. For qualitative research a balance must be struck between conciseness and sufficient data to support the discussion and conclusion.
- Discussion (clear and concise interpretation of results)
- Conclusion (summarise key points)
- Acknowledgments and Disclosures Other requirements:
- Cite references, illustrations and tables in numeric order by order of mention in the text.
- Avoid abbreviations. Minimise abbreviations to no more than four. Do not use abbreviations in the title. Define abbreviations at first appearance in the text.
- Measurements and weights should be given in standard metric units.
- Language should be standard UK English

Regulatory Requirements in the Methods section:
o Research Protocol
Authors must state that the protocol has been approved by the appropriate Ethics Committee (state which).

o Human Investigation
The ethical guidelines that were followed by the investigators must be included in the Methods section of the manuscript. In Australia, all work should conform to the "Statement on Human Experimentation" by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia. State clearly that the subject gave informed consent. Anonymity should be preserved.

o Humane Animal Care
The Methods section must contain a statement assuring that all animals received humane care in accordance with the "Statement on Animal Experimentation" by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, or its equivalent in other Countries (for example the "Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals" published by the National Institutes of Health).

Acknowledgments
This section is compulsory. Grants, financial support and technical or other assistance are acknowledged at the end of the text before the references. All financial support for the project must be acknowledged. If there has been no financial assistance with the project, this must be clearly stated.

The role(s) of the funding organisation, if any, in the collection of data, its analysis and interpretation, and in the right to approve or disapprove publication of the finished manuscript must be described in the Methods section of the text.

o References
The author is responsible for providing accurate references. Referencing must follow the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.), 2001 format. The reference list must include details only of those works cited in the text, and all references cited in text must be listed.

For more detailed information contact:

Editor-in-Chief, Collegian: The Australian Journal of Nursing Practice, Scholarship and Research, Australian College of Nursing, PO Box 219, DEAKIN WEST ACT 2600 Telephone: 02 6283 3400, Fax: 02 6282 3565, Email: Collegian@acn.edu.au

o Tables

Tables should be double-spaced on separate sheets (one to each page). Do not use vertical lines. Each table should be numbered (Arabic) and have a title above. Legends and explanatory notes should be placed below the table. Abbreviations used in the table follow the legend in alphabetic order. Lower case letter superscripts beginning with "a" and following in alphabetic order are used for notations of within-group and between-group statistical probabilities. Tables should be self-explanatory, and the data should not be duplicated in the text or illustrations. Tables must be submitted as part of the text file and not as illustrations.

o Figure Legends

Figure legends should be numbered (Arabic) and double-spaced in order of appearance beginning on a separate sheet. Identify (in alphabetic order) all abbreviations appearing in the illustrations at the end of each legend. Give the type of stain and magnification power for all photomicrographs. All abbreviations used on a figure and in its legend should be defined in the legend. Cite the source of previously published (print or electronic) material in the legend.

o Illustrations or Figures

Images or figures are submitted online as one or more separate files that may contain one or more images. Within each file containing images, use the figure number (eg, Figure 1A) as the image filename. The system accepts image files formatted in TIFF and EPS. Powerpoint (.ppt) files are also accepted, but you must use a separate Powerpoint image file for each Powerpoint figure.

Symbols, letters, numbers and contrasting fills must be distinct, easily distinguished and clearly legible when the illustration is reduced in size.

Black, white and widely crosshatched bars are preferable; do not use stippling, gray fill or thin lines.

Written permission from unmasked patients appearing in photographs must be obtained by the authors and must be surface mailed or faxed to the editorial office once the manuscript is submitted online.

Detailed Response to Reviewers

When submitting a revised manuscript, a Detailed Response to Reviewers must accompany the revision. This document must not contain any of the Author(s) details. The most common error is uploading this document on an organisation's letterhead, or the Author signing off with their name and contact details.



The easiest way to format this document is to either (a) respond underneath each point raised by the reviewer, or (b) create a 2-column table and copy each point raised by the reviewer into the first column, and respond against each point in the second column

Highlight any changes made on the revised manuscript to make it easy for the peer-reviewers to see where these have occurred. Also, remember to include page and line numbers to the manuscript as this makes the peer-review process easier.

Copyright

Papers accepted for publication become the copyright of the Australian College of Nursing, and authors will be asked to sign a transfer of copyright form, on receipt of the accepted manuscript by Elsevier. This enables the Publisher to administer Copyright on behalf of the Authors and the Society, whilst allowing the continued use of the material by the Author for Scholarly communication.

Open Access

This journal offers you the option of making your article freely available to all via the ScienceDirect platform. To prevent any conflict of interest, you can only make this choice after receiving notification that your article has been accepted for publication. The fee of USD 1,700 excludes taxes and other potential author fees such as color charges. In some cases, institutions and funding bodies have entered into agreement with Elsevier to meet these fees on behalf of their authors. Details of these agreements are available at http://www.elsevier.com/fundingbodies. Authors of accepted articles, who wish to take advantage of this option, should complete and submit the order form (available at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/openaccessform.pdf). Whatever access option you choose, you retain many rights as an author, including the right to post a revised personal version of your article on your own website. More information can be found here: http://www.elsevier.com/authorsrights.

Correspondence

All correspondence relating to the journal should be directed to: Editor-in-Chief, Collegian: The Australian Journal of Nursing Practice, Scholarship and Research at the above Email address.

Elsevier supports responsible sharing
Find out how you can share your research published in Elsevier journals.

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. Authors of this journal will automatically receive an invitation e-mail to create an AudioSlides presentation after acceptance of their paper.

Virtual Microscope

The journal encourages authors to supplement in-article microscopic images with corresponding high resolution versions for use with the Virtual Microscope viewer. The Virtual Microscope is a web based viewer that enables users to view microscopic images at the highest level of detail and provides features such as zoom and pan. This feature for the first time gives authors the opportunity to share true high resolution microscopic images with their readers. More information and examples. Authors of this journal will receive an invitation e-mail to create microscope images for use with the Virtual Microscope when their manuscript is first reviewed. If you opt to use the feature, please contact virtualmicroscope@elsevier.com for instructions on how to prepare and upload the required high resolution images.