Getting to Know Your Journal


The Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health (JMWH) has been through several transitions in the last year, and we want to update our readers and potential authors on what has occurred. We also want to provide information regarding some of the common inquiries we receive about JMWH. This editorial will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about JMWH, discuss recent news and changes, and give suggestions for contributions to those of you who want to become more involved in the Journal.

JMWH is the official journal of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM). The Journal is owned by the ACNM and published by Elsevier. In order to preserve scientific integrity, it is important for a journal to have editorial independence from its owner whether that owner is a professional society, as in the case of JMWH, or a publisher. The owner gives the editors and editorial board responsibility, authority, and accountability for the editorial content of a journal.1 The relationship between JMWH and ACNM is one of mutual respect and meets the highest standards for the professional autonomy needed for a peer-reviewed journal. The journal's policy for editorial independence is available by request.

JMWH is published bimonthly with two continuing education (CE) theme issues each year. For these theme issues, readers have the option of receiving CE credit for a fee. The topics covered in the theme issues are selected by the Editorial Board. Topic ideas from readers are welcome, so please send us any suggestions that you have. Each CE theme issue has a Guest Editor who assists with the solicitation of manuscripts. Initial submissions are due 1 year before the publication date for the issue. The theme issue topics are posted on the JMWH Web site ( in the “For Authors” section. Please contact us if you are interested in contributing to one of our theme issues.

All JMWH issues contain standing columns for which we always welcome submissions. Two columns I'd like to highlight for new authors who want to get started writing are Clinical Rounds and Media Reviews. Our readers consistently rate the Clinical Rounds column as one of their favorites. These articles begin with a description of a case that is unusual, educational, or highlights an area for which the management is controversial, followed by a brief review of the evidence for management and/or discussion of the controversy. Media reviews help readers stay abreast of current books and audiovisual resources that address topics in clinical practice, education, and research. Reviewers are sent a copy of the material for review, and the book or audiovisual resource is theirs to keep pending receipt of the completed review.

We are pleased to announce a new column, Global Exchange, which was developed for the purpose of having a forum for women's health reports from settings outside of the United States. Articles published in this online column are typically about specific populations and/or specific women's health issues that may not be generalizable to larger populations at this time. However, we believe these articles have merit. They are of interest to clinicians, have implications for health care policy, and might be generalizable to larger populations as more research is conducted. We welcome contributions and look forward to sharing these manuscripts with our readership. The Global Exchange column will debut in our September/October 2008 issue.

All manuscripts for JMWH are now submitted via EES, an online editorial system, which can be found at http:ees.elsevier.comjmwh or We completed our transition to this system in January 2008. EES is fast, efficient, and offers step-by-step guidance through the submission process. Authors can now upload their manuscripts and revisions wherever they have Internet access. The system provides authors with a personalized author center where authors can check the status of their manuscripts, make changes to current submissions, and contact the editorial staff. There is an extensive customer support Web site for EES as well as 24/7 telephone support.

EES is also very helpful for our peer reviewers, who now complete all reviews online. The Journal has been refereed since 1981,2 and today we have more than 120 peer reviewers who review manuscripts submitted to JMWH. Reviewers assess the quality of submitted manuscripts and their appropriateness for JMWH. The peer review process assists the Editorial Board in deciding which manuscripts to accept and which ones to reject. In recognition of the time, effort, and expertise they contribute, peer reviewers receive CE credits for completed reviews. If you are interested in joining the JMWH Peer Review Panel, please send a letter of interest and your current curriculum vitae to

As a peer-reviewed journal, JMWH is eligible to be indexed in bibliographic databases. These databases are important because they allow readers and authors worldwide to identify articles in JMWH when they are searching the scientific literature. In May 2008, JMWH was accepted for indexing in PsycINFO, which is an abstract database of psychological literature. We are excited about the potential this offers for those who might not use some of the other databases in which JMWH is indexed to find the Journal. JMWH is also abstracted/indexed in MEDLINE; Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature; International Nursing Index, Nursing Abstracts; Current Contents–Social Sciences Citation Index; Current Contents–Social and Behavioral Sciences; Nursing Citation Index; and MIDIRS. In addition to searching via these databases, the JMWH Web site has a search engine specifically for the Journal.

While databases provide access to JMWH abstracts, many readers and authors want online access to full-text articles. All JMWH articles and articles from the 1975–1999 issues of the Journal of Nurse-Midwifery (JNM), which was JMWH's predecessor, are available via Science Direct, Elsevier's online digital library. All ACNM members and JMWH personal subscribers have online access to all JNM and JMWH full-text articles as part of their subscriptions to this Journal. Information on accessing online subscriptions can be found on the JMWH Web site.

This Journal would not come to fruition without the work of the dedicated members of the Editorial Board. We have two Deputy Editors: Tekoa King, CNM, MPH, and Patricia Aikins Murphy, CNM, DrPH. The Deputy Editors work with authors and provide me with advice and guidance. There are six Associate Editors who, along with the Editor-in-Chief and Deputy Editors, make decisions about JMWH policies and journal issues. They also frequently review manuscripts, guest edit CE theme issues, write editorials and other manuscripts, and recruit authors. There are currently three Contributing Authors who oversee specific columns. Last but certainly not least, we have 10 Consulting Editors who provide advice and reviews relevant to their areas of expertise. The Editorial Board members are listed in each issue of JMWH.

Hopefully you have learned more about JMWH from this editorial. We certainly learn a great deal from our readers and authors. Please continue to let us know what you think about your Journal.