Journal of Advanced Nursing

Cover image for Vol. 73 Issue 9

Edited By: Editor-in-Chief: Roger Watson; Editors: Robyn Gallagher, Mark Hayter, Jane Noyes, Rita Pickler & Brenda Roe

Impact Factor: 1.998

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2016: 12/114 (Nursing (Social Science)); 13/116 (Nursing (Science))

Online ISSN: 1365-2648

Protocol for a research study or systematic review

Last updated: November 2015

Authors considering submitting a manuscript under this category are advised to consult and follow the SPIRIT statement for clinical trial protocols and the PRISMA-P guidelines for systematic review protocols. For qualitative studies, authors are advised to check SRQR which is a synthesis of recommendations for reporting qualitative research and to follow the COREQ checklist for interviews and focus groups.

JAN publishes high quality funded protocols of empirical studies and systematic reviews that are relevant to the journal’s Aims & Scope and of potential value to its readership. Protocols of randomised controlled trials should follow the CONSORT guidelines and must have a trial registration number included as the last line of the abstract. The month and year of obtaining ethical approval must be mentioned in the abstract and main manuscript.

JAN has signed up to the All Trials Agreement and trials should be registered publicly. The registration number should be provided in your manuscript, after the abstract. We cannot consider manuscripts reporting trials which were registered retroactively.

Manuscripts submitted to JAN should not exceed 5000 words for the main text, including quotations but excluding the abstract, summary statement, tables and references.

Please note that JAN only publishes funded protocols. As these will have been peer-reviewed, protocols will be sent directly to an editor for a decision. Please submit a copy of the funder letter confirming the award and the amount of money awarded and add a statement to the covering letter to the Editor confirming that the study/review was independently peer reviewed by the funder.

Organising your paper:

Separate files to be created and uploaded onto ScholarOne Manuscripts:

Title page file, to include:
Your title page should include the following information:
• Full title (maximum 25 words)
• Running head
• Author details: names (please put last names in CAPITALS), job titles and affiliations (maximum of 3 per author), qualifications (maximum of 3 per author, including RN/RM where appropriate)
• Acknowledgements (if applicable)
Conflict of Interest statement
Funding Statement

In general we do not include country names in published articles and therefore encourage you to omit these from your manuscript title.

Impact Statement
We ask all authors to prepare a short statement (approximately 100 words), using bullet points if necessary, on any impact you see your paper having in terms of patients, clinical practice, education, or wider social and economic issues. This will be seen by editors and reviewers and may be used for promotional purposes.

Main file, to include:
250 words. The abstract should include the following headings: Aim, Background, Design, Methods (include month and year of approval/funding), Discussion. The abstract should not contain abbreviations or detailed statistics.
Trial registration: for trials - list the trial registry, along with the unique identifying number.
Summary Statement: Provide 2-3 bullet points under the heading: 'Why this study or review is needed'.
Keywords: A maximum of 10, including nurses/midwives/nursing.
Main Text: To include the headings below and references.

Tables and figures should be uploaded separately.

The main text of your protocol paper should include the following headings:

Clearly identify the rationale, context, international relevance of topic.

Present the rationale, context and international relevance/significance of the proposed research/review. Include key literature to justify the need for the study/review. Describe relevant theoretical and conceptual frameworks that inform the study/review.

State the primary aim of the study/review.
Describe research/review objectives / questions / hypothesis (es).
If using a framework to develop the study/review question describe the framework and its application (e.g. Patient problem/population, Intervention, Comparison, Outcomes - PICO)

Design / Methodology
Outline the design/methodology of the proposed study/review. Describe theoretical and conceptual frameworks.

Ethical considerations
Identify any particular ethical issues that were attached to this research/review. For research protocols:

• If required, approval from an ethics committee should be obtained before submitting the protocol for publication. Provide a statement outlining research governance and ethics committee processes. Do not name the university or other institution from which ethics committee approval was obtained. State only that ethics committee approval was obtained from a university and/or whatever other organisation is relevant.
• Briefly explain what information and guarantees will be given to participants
• Indicate what type of informed consent is proposed – written, oral, or implied

Validity and reliability / Rigour
Include statement of criteria to be used – should be appropriate to the research/review design/methodology.

Include practical or operational issues involved in performing the study/review, and any other issues linked to the study/review that do not fall within the previous headings.

Acknowledge known or anticipated study/review limitations

If a conclusion is required, please outline the potential contribution of the study/review to policy/practice/research/education.