• Jane Robinson

  • Editor


Thirty papers feature in this October issue. The same number will be repeated in November, with 29 in December. The latter leaves some space for the author and key word indexes that are always published at the end of each volume. These three issues will complete a year where the average number of papers per issue has crept steadily upwards. Of these, almost 40% may be found in the Issues and Innovations in Nursing Practice category. Table 1 shows the distribution of papers since categorization was first introduced in July 1998.

Table 1.   Categorization of papers in issues between July and June in 1998/1999 and 1999/2000Thumbnail image of

Publication rates for 1998 and 1999 were 42% and 39%, respectively of all papers submitted. The manuscript acceptance figure could be even higher if all authors who are requested by the editors to modify their papers, always returned them.

All of this information discussed at a recent International Editorial Board meeting, is good news. It shows that JAN continues to receive and to publish, a large number of papers on diverse issues of global importance to nursing and midwifery. JAN also continues to give high priority to practice issues, to encourage new authors, and above all to promote internationalism amongst authors, subscribers, and the readership in general.

In response to suggestions from Editorial Board members, and the market in general, and looking forward to the future, JAN will have a new look from January 2001. Published fortnightly with 15 papers in each issue this will replace the current monthly journal of up to 30 papers. Four volumes each year will replace the current two. It is hoped that in this new format JAN will be easily digestible. We would welcome readers’ comments once the new style has become familiar. We shall continue to update readers on changes envisaged, using this section to pass on information.

Returning to this month's issue, October 2000, papers are published under six of the nine category headings.

Methodological Issues in Nursing Research is an increasingly popular area for publication and this month the section has four papers. Two of the papers feature the use of the Delphi survey technique. The first provides clear guidelines whilst the second, using empirical examples, considers exactly what ‘consensus’ means in relation to what happens between rounds. The third paper provides an extremely useful analysis of some of the advantages, but also the problems and pitfalls, of conducting international collaborative research in Europe. Finally, a fourth paper from Scandinavia reports on a study where a model representing quality of life in old age was tested on a sample of 300 subjects aged 75 and over. The results give preliminary support to the model, but the authors point out that further studies must pay attention to its conceptual and theoretical validity. This is a good example of research development work in progress and, as such, will encourage others struggling to develop their ideas and their methods.

A paper from Canada under Issues and Innovations in Nursing Education presents a picture of a consortium approach to nurse practitioner education that will raise many questions for British readers working within a theoretically similar system. To what extent, for example, does the Canadian model of a consortium and its contribution to nurse education, mirror that in use in the United Kingdom? A very different paper on nurse education in Lithuania illustrates the struggles that nurses in countries that constituted part of the former USSR are having to face in order to modernize their nurse education systems. Two papers on education are from England. One, a follow-up study of graduates from Birmingham will add to a growing body of knowledge in the UK on this section of the nursing labour force. The second, considers the uncertainty regarding the characteristics of Master's level performance, and suggests that current conservative approaches to this level of nurse education should be questioned.

Thirteen papers under Issues and Innovations in Nursing Practice represent 43% of the whole issue. Their clinical subject matter is diverse. One paper considers emotional labour problems found in the role of specialist nurses working with patients having bone marrow transplants. Two others consider issues following death, one on nursing and medical students’ attitudes to organ donation, and a second on the attitudes of nursing staff to the hospital autopsy. All three raise important issues for nurses and medical staff concerning their roles in aspects of death and dying.

Another important practice issue is addressed in a paper on the relevance of the biological sciences to mental nursing, including a health service users’ stakeholder perspective. Some serious shortcomings in the current preparation for mental health practice are identified, and a restructuring of this aspect of the curriculum is suggested. Yet another highly relevant practice paper concerns the factors affecting influenza vaccination rates in older people admitted to hospital with acute medical problems. That patients with coexisting cardiac, respiratory or endocrine diseases were no more likely to have been vaccinated than those without these diseases, raises serious questions concerning the efficacy of primary health care immunization vaccination programmes.

Other categories in the October 2000 issue of JAN include five papers on Health and Nursing Policy Issues, one on Nursing and Health Care Management, and three in the category Nursing Theory and Concept Development. Of the latter, two are from the same authors on aspects of classifying clinical decision-making. These are an example of an important and extensive study divided into two linked papers for the purposes of reporting the findings. Both the content and the approach are commended to our readers. The latter shows how extensive work may be divided into manageable parts so that individual papers do not exceed 5000 words, and justice is done to the scale of the enterprise.

We hope that there will be much of interest for all our readers in this October 2000 issue of JAN.