New format for JAN


Journal of Advanced Nursing (JAN) has a new format. Papers are now being arranged in three sections – Review Papers, Research Papers and Theoretical Papers. This replaces our previous system that involved a more detailed way of categorizing the papers in each issue of JAN.

Now that JAN papers are published online through Blackwell Synergy's OnlineEarly service before their subsequent publication in a paginated issue of JAN, and because papers are now much more frequently accessed as individual articles since the advent of online access, there is less need for categorizing papers. And, for readers of the print version of JAN, we believe that the new, simpler structure will be welcomed. There is no fundamental change, however, in JAN’s Aims and Scope.

Review papers

Our new structure gives more prominence to reviews. This is in keeping with the increasingly important role of research reviews in disseminating synthesized evidence from the body of literature that has been published on a particular topic. Increasingly, review papers published in JAN are being cited in new research, both in and beyond nursing, and are contributing to the evidence base for practice, policy and education in nursing and health care. We will publish all types of literature reviews in JAN, including conventional (narrative) reviews as well as systematic reviews (qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods); meta-analyses, meta-summaries and meta-syntheses; and aggregative and interpretive reviews. This now-complex typology reflects the considerable development of ‘the literature review’ that has evolved over the past decade. This has occurred in response to recognition of the need for research reviews, now regarded as a form of research in their own right (secondary research), to adopt the same degree of rigour and an equally systematic approach as in primary research. This scientific rigour is now expected to be demonstrated not only in the conduct of reviews, but also in their reporting. Accordingly, we have updated and expanded our guidance for authors who wish to submit review papers to JAN. We hope that authors will find these new guidelines helpful. At the same time they signal our intention to ensure that review papers published in JAN are meeting the quality standards for reviews that have been established (and are continuing to be refined) as the importance of high quality of reviews is becoming recognized internationally.

Research papers

This section is subdivided into ‘Original Research’ and ‘Research Methodology’

The majority of papers being submitted to JAN are now in the form of reports of original research (or primary research as it is sometimes described). As before, and in keeping with its broad readership, JAN will continue to publish research of all types (i.e. all designs and methods) and in any field (i.e. practice, education, service delivery and evaluation and management) that falls within JAN’s Aims and Scope. Ensuring that research reports which are published in JAN are of high quality has long been an editorial priority. In recent years, for that purpose, the editorial team has been systematically expanding JAN’s guidance for authors with regard to optimal reporting of research. Various guidelines are now available on JAN’s website, including guidelines for empirical research papers, qualitative research reports and clinical trials. There is also a guideline for papers that report the development and testing of instruments. Those papers will be placed in the Research Methodology sub-section in which we will publish exactly the same kinds of papers previously published in the category called ‘Methodological issues in nursing research’. This has long been a strong feature of JAN and, over the years, JAN has published methodological papers that have come to be regarded as seminal contributions to the development of thinking and practice in the field of nursing research.

Theoretical papers

In this third section of JAN, we will publish all types of other papers that provide scholarly analysis and discussion of conceptual, philosophical, theoretical or professional issues that have relevance to JAN’s readership. Such papers were published previously across several of JAN’s categories, including ‘philosophical and ethical issues’ and ‘theory and concept development and analysis’. It was JAN’s mission at the outset to publish research and scholarship. Some of the other top-ranked international nursing journals do not publish non-research papers, so JAN’s continuing commitment to publish scholarly work is one of its distinguishing hallmarks. Many scholarly papers published in JAN over its lifetime have been influential, sometimes controversial, and we expect this to continue to be the case.

In addition to these three main sections in JAN’s new format, which you will find outlined in our revised Aims and Scope statement, JAN Forum will be a continuing feature as will the Book Reviews section. And, from time to time, we will publish Editorials and Editor's Notes. You also will notice some other more minor presentational changes, for example, in the way that author details are now formatted. We hope that all of these changes, both major and minor, are seen by readers, as we intend them to be, as positive improvements to the look and readability of JAN.

New format. Same mission. Same watch words: Quality, relevance, impact.