• Christine Webb

My first editorial for 2001 and the first since the March 2000 issue! During 2000 we were fortunate in having five guest editorials by well-respected international nurses who are regular contributors to the Journal. Some volunteered by suggesting topics on which they would like to ‘have a say’, while others were ‘targeted’ by me because I knew of their special interest in a particular subject. We are always delighted to have guest editorials, so if you feel inspired or fired up by an issue do contact me or any Editorial Board member to discuss your idea – you are likely to receive a very positive response!

In July Inger Hallstrom of the University of Lund in Sweden contributed an editorial, reflecting the strong participation of authors from Finland, Norway and Sweden to the Journal both in that particular issue and in the Journal in general. When I took over the editorship from Mary Watkins in 1997, she told me that she tried to have at least one article from an international contributor in each issue. Now I am happy to say that I do not even have to consider this because we receive a good number of high quality contributions from non-UK countries. We have subscribers in 34 different countries but the range of countries of origin of articles is more limited. We would like to further increase our coverage in this way and we try to target speakers at international conferences and encourage them to write an article for the Journal. Not having English as a first language should not be seen as a problem because we can always help with this.

The Special Issue in May 2001 will focus on Primary Health Care. Special issues have now become an established part of the Journal and we have had one in each volume since 1998. So far we have featured Care of Older People, Nursing Developments and Clinical Competence.

Barbara Vaughan has now taken over responsibility for special issues as an Assistant Editor and the Editorial Board has decided on Cross-boundary Work for the Future as the topic for the 2002 Special Issue. As usual, this will be published in May and so we need to have the finalized articles by the end of November 2001. This may seem a long way off, but it is less than a year and so now is the time to contact Barbara (bvaughan3@compuserve.com), myself (cwebb@webbc.u-net.com) or any member of the Editorial Board if you would like to offer an article. We will remind you about this in the next few issues, but do not leave it too late!

Journal of Clinical Nursing is covered by Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Current Contents® Social and Behavioural Sciences, Research Alert®, Social SciSearch® and International Nursing Index. In 1999 it was ranked 22nd out of 42 international nursing journals. This ranking is based on a journal’s ‘impact factor’, which is a measure of the frequency with which the ‘average article’ has been cited in a particular year. It is a ratio between citations and recent items published. Thus, the impact factor is calculated by dividing the number of all current citations of source items published in a journal during the previous two years by the number of articles that that journal published in those two years. For the less technically minded – which includes me! – the fact that the Journal of Clinical Nursing started being listed in 1997 and is currently ranked so highly on the scale tells us that it is a widely recognized and popular journal which authors frequently mention in their own publications. To achieve this indicator of quality is something of which we are very proud and for which we have to thank our contributors for the high calibre of their articles. However, we do not want to rest on our laurels and always consider suggestions to improve our standards. So comments and suggestions for future developments are very welcome.

On the technology side, journal publishing is moving ahead by leaps and bounds. We now routinely receive articles on disk and most authors have an e-mail address, making communications much easier. Moves to an all-electronic system are gradually being introduced and soon it will be possible to submit articles directly in electronic form and to receive proofs by e-mail that look exactly as they will do when published in the Journal. Authors who prefer to do so will be able to continue to send in hard and disk copies of their manuscripts and to receive paper proofs in the same way as at present. For a taste of the future, try http://www.ThatNursingSite.com– Blackwell Science’s new website for nurses – or SYNERGY, an online service with searching facilities, at http://www.blackwell-synergy.com, and the Journal of Clinical Nursing’s own website which includes our guidelines for contributors on http://www.blackwell-science.com/jcn. Happy surfing!