Quick Guide to Publishing your EBP, QI, or Research Project

Publishing your EBP, QI, or research project has many benefits for patients, nurses, and healthcare organizations. By publishing your work you will add to the evolving body of knowledge that guides nursing practice, helping to ensure that nurses everywhere deliver the best possible care to patients. Publishing your work contributes to your professional development and career advancement, helps your organization achieve or maintain Magnet© designation, and helps the nursing profession be recognized for important contributions to patient care. This guide is designed to provide a general overview of how to publish your work. For assistance with readying your manuscript for publication, please contact CNRI@mountsinai.org.

Who should be an author on my publication and does the order of authors matter?

The person who does the majority of the writing is typically the first (primary) author. The person who provided mentorship for the project is typically the last (senior) author. Other authors are listed in the middle, either in order of how much they contributed to the work, or alphabetically. The corresponding author is the person who will receive communications from the journal about the status of the publication. If the paper is accepted, this person’s contact information will be listed on the article when it is published.

Some journals provide specific criteria for who should be included as an author in their submission guidelines, however most journals use the criteria published by The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). If the journal does not specify, it is best practice to follow the ICJME criteria.

How do I choose which journal to submit my work to?

Many considerations go into choosing a journal. The following tips can help you find the right fit. In addition, you can review tips from the Levy Library.

Identify your target audience. Think about who might be most interested in reading your paper, and who could get the most benefit from knowing the information. For example, if project is specific to critical care nursing and most relevant to nurses practicing in that setting, you might choose a focused journal like Critical Care Nurse over a more general journal like the Journal of Clinical Nursing. On the other hand, if your work applies to nursing in any setting, a more general nursing journal may be a better fit. Keep in mind that you are not limited to publishing in nursing journals; in some cases your work might be best suited for journals with a specific disease focus and interdisciplinary readership. There are also journals that focus specifically on management, economics, education, theory, and other areas of professional expertise.

Familiarize yourself with journals in your field. Use the Levy Library journal search function to browse journals based on keywords like “nursing” or specific areas of clinical practice. Review your list of references to see where other authors have published similar work. You can also use the Journal/Author Name Estimator (JANE) search tool to identify possible matches based on an analysis of your title or abstract.

Beware of predatory journals. Predatory journals are publications that provide misleading or false information about their editorial practices, peer review process, editorial board members, readership, author publication charges, or other unscrupulous business practices. Predatory journals use many tricks to make themselves appear legitimate, such as choosing a name that is close to that of a legitimate journal, or e-mailing prospective authors to solicit articles. Please review the Levy Library guide to spotting predatory journals. When in doubt, contact CNRI@mountsinai.org or the Levy Library to see if the publisher is legitimate.

Practical Implementation of Nursing Science (PINS)

Did you know that Mount Sinai Nursing publishes a journal in partnership with the Levy Library Press? Practical Implementation of Nursing Science (PINS) is open access, peer-reviewed journal for nurses engaged in clinical practice. The journal encourages contributions from clinical nurses and nurse leaders who advance the science and practice of nursing by adopting, refining, or innovating nursing care in the practice setting.

Can I submit to more than one journal at a time?

No. You can only submit your work to one journal at a time. If a journal reviews your paper and chooses not to publish it, you can then submit it to another journal.

How should I format my manuscript?

Each journal has their own style and guideline for submission. Check the author guidelines of journals you are considering to learn about the types of articles the journal accepts, the preferred length, the number of allowable tables and figures, and whether or not they require the use of specific headings and sub-headings. If you have already written your manuscript, decide whether your paper can be easily edited to meet these criteria, or whether you want to make major changes to fit the style; if not, you may prefer to choose a different journal. If you have not yet written your manuscript, make sure to draft it with the author guidelines for your target journal in mind.

How and when will I know whether my manuscript has been accepted for publication?

The journal editor will correspond with you via e-mail. Typically, journals will conduct an initial review of your paper to determine whether they are interested in the topic and whether it meets their formatting and quality standards. If the editor determines that your paper does not meet these criteria, you should hear relatively quickly (anywhere from a few days to a few weeks) that they are not interested in your paper. If the editor determines that they are interested in your paper, they will send it out for peer review. Peer review usually takes between 8-16 weeks, depending on the journal. After the paper has been peer-reviewed, you will receive a decision from the journal. The journal will either accept your paper without revisions (this is rare!), accept your paper following satisfactory completion of minor revisions based on the reviewers’ comments, agree to re-review your paper after you make major revisions based on the reviewers’ comments, or decide not to accept your paper. If revisions (major or minor) are requested, be sure to check the due date and communicate with the editor if you anticipate needing an extension. When you submit your revisions, include a cover letter thanking the reviewers and editorial team for their comments, and provide a courteous point-by-point response to each comment describing where and how you changed the manuscript to address their critique. If a reviewer makes a suggestion you are unable to address, or if you strongly disagree with the reviewer’s suggestion, provide a polite and well-reasoned rationale.  Adhere to the journal’s instructions regarding submitting a revised manuscript: some publishers will request tracked changes or bold text to illustrate where changes were made. If your manuscript is not accepted, even after you have made revisions, do not give up! Use the reviewers’ suggestions to revise your manuscript and submit to another journal. If you would like guidance with revising your manuscript, please email CNRI@mountsinai.org.