Journal of Clinical Nursing

Cover image for Vol. 25 Issue 3-4

Edited By: Editor-in-Chief: Debra Jackson Editors: Sue Barnason, Carol Haigh, Leslie Gelling and Graeme D Smith

Impact Factor: 1.255

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2014: 31/109 (Nursing (Social Science)); 35/111 (Nursing (Science))

Online ISSN: 1365-2702

Author Guidelines



1. General, 2. English Language, 3. Ethical Guidelines, 4. Copyright, 5. Submission of Manuscripts, 6. Manuscript Types Accepted, 7. Manuscript Format and Structure, 8. After Acceptance, 9. OnlineOpen, 10. Appeals


Please read the guidelines carefully for details on the submission of manuscripts, the journal's requirements and standards as well as information concerning the procedure after a manuscript has been accepted for publication in JCN. Authors are encouraged to visit Wiley Blackwell Author Services for further information on the preparation and submission of articles and figures.

1.1 Essential Criteria

The Editors welcome papers that develop and promote knowledge that is directly relevant to all spheres of clinical practice in nursing around the world. Therefore, papers must demonstrate clinical application and international relevance, and make an important and novel contribution to the field. The Editors are also looking for papers which will be widely read and cited, thereby having an impact on nursing knowledge and practice. Manuscripts undergo an initial review by the Editor-in-Chief and the Editors before peer review, to assess whether they meet these essential criteria. There is no process of appeal against rejection at this stage.

1.2 Statistics

The advice of a statistician should always be sought for quantitative studies, and this person should be acknowledged in the acknowledgement section if the paper is accepted for publication. Where other than simple descriptive statistics are used, a statistician should be included as one of the authors or identified as such when submitting the paper. Please also refer to our statistical guidelines.

1.3 International Relevance

Papers submitted should be relevant to the Aims & Scope of JCN and written in a way that makes the relevance of content clear for JCN's international readership. For a discussion of what international relevance means and what makes a paper internationally relevant, please see Watson et al.'s editorial on ’What makes a JCN paper international?’

Before submitting your paper, please ensure that:

• A reader in a region or country very different from your own will be able to make sense of everything in your paper;
• You have clearly outlined the relevance of your paper to the subject field internationally and also its transferability into other care settings, cultures or nursing specialities;
• Papers exploring focussed cultural or other specific issues have clearly placed the discussions within an international context;
• When you are discussing clinical issues, you have made the relevance to other geographical regions and cultural contexts clear.

Specific requirements to ensure the paper is clearly relevant to an international audience are as follows:

• Country names are only to be included in titles where it is made clear the content is being compared and contrasted to the International arena.
• Ensure that cited sources are available in English.
• Relevant international literature should be cited, so that studies are embedded in the context of global knowledge on the topic.
• Explain any policies, practices and terms that are specific to a particular country or region.


JCN manuscripts should be written in good English and the Editor-in-Chief strongly advises authors whose first language is not English to have a native English speaker revise their manuscript prior to submission. All authors are advised to consult the European Association of Science Editors (EASE) website for a copy of EASE Guidelines for Authors and Translators of Scientific Articles to be Published in English in their own language. It is preferred that manuscripts are professionally edited. Visit our site to learn about the options. Please note that using the Wiley English Language Editing Service does not guarantee that your paper will be accepted by this journal.

Papers may need to be sent back to authors for language editing more than once. Editors strongly encourage authors to use the Wiley Editing Services (WES) who will happily re-edit the same paper free of charge providing the paper has not been changed since the original edit. If a paper has been through the WES once and the Editors feel that the language is not at an acceptable standard for the journal as a result of changes made during revisions on the paper, then authors will be required to re-address the English Language in the article either by going through a native English speaking co-author or back to the WES. If the latter, WES will quote a reasonable price on the second round of editing providing authors highlight any changed text since the paper underwent the original edit with WES.


For information about publication ethics, please see Wiley’s Best Practice Guidelines on Publishing Ethics.

If you have any questions that are not answered by the information provided, please email the Editorial Office at

3.1 Authorship and Acknowledgements

Authorship: JCN adheres to the definition of authorship set up by The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). According to the ICMJE, authorship criteria should be based on:

1) substantial contributions to conception and design of, or acquisition of data or analysis and interpretation of data,
2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content and
3) final approval of the version to be published.

Authors should meet conditions 1, 2 and 3.

Acknowledgements: Under Acknowledgements please specify contributors to the article other than the authors accredited. Please also include specifications of the source of funding for the study. Suppliers of materials should be named and their location (town, state/county, country) included.

3.2 Ethical Approval All studies should include an explicit statement in the Methods section identifying the review and ethics committee approval for each study, if applicable. The Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to reject papers if there is doubt as to whether appropriate procedures have been used.

3.3 Clinical Trials: should be reported using the CONSORT guidelines. A CONSORT checklist should also be included in the submission material; this and the template for the flow diagram which should be included as a figure in your manuscript can be downloaded from the CONSORT website.

3.4 Conflict of Interest and Source of Funding

It is the responsibility of the authors to disclose to the Editor-in-Chief any significant financial or personal interests they may have in products, technology or methodology mentioned in their manuscript. This information will be deemed confidential and will only be disclosed to manuscript reviewers if, in the opinion of the Editor-in-Chief, the information is directly pertinent for an informed review. A statement regarding conflict of interest should follow the Contributions to the manuscript.

3.5 Permissions

If all or parts of previously published illustrations are used, permission must be obtained from the copyright holder concerned. It is the author's responsibility to obtain these in writing and provide copies to the Publishers.


Copyright Transfer Agreement

If your paper is accepted, the author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login into Author Services; where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be able to complete the license agreement on behalf of all authors on the paper.

For authors signing the copyright transfer agreement: If the OnlineOpen option is not selected the corresponding author will be presented with the copyright transfer agreement (CTA) to sign. The terms and conditions of the CTA can be previewed in the samples associated with the Copyright FAQs below:

CTA Terms and Conditions.

For authors choosing OnlineOpen: If the OnlineOpen option is selected the corresponding author will have a choice of the following Creative Commons License Open Access Agreements (OAA):

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License OAA.

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial -NoDerivs License OAA.

To preview the terms and conditions of these open access agreements please visit the Copyright FAQs hosted on Wiley Author Resources

If you select the OnlineOpen option and your research is funded by The Wellcome Trust and members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) you will be given the opportunity to publish your article under a CC-BY license supporting you in complying with Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK requirements. For more information on this policy and the Journal’s compliant self-archiving policy please visit:

For RCUK and Wellcome Trust authors click on the link below to preview the terms and conditions of this license:

Creative Commons Attribution License OAA.

To preview the terms and conditions of these open access agreements please visit the Copyright FAQs hosted on Wiley Author Resources


Manuscripts should be submitted electronically via Authors may track the status of their own manuscripts. Complete instructions for submitting a paper are available online and below. Further assistance can be obtained from:

Full instructions and support for submission are available on the ScholarOne site and a user ID and password can be obtained on your first visit. Support can be contacted by phone: (1 434 817 2040 ext. 167) or by e-mail (

5.1 Getting Started

Go to the journal's online submission site: Log-in or click the 'Create Account' option if you are a first-time user

  • If you are creating a new account.
    o After clicking on 'Create Account', enter your name and e-mail information and click 'Next'. Your e-mail information is very important.
    o Enter your institution and address information as appropriate, and then click 'Next.'
    o Enter a user ID and password of your choice (we recommend using your e-mail address as your user ID), and then select your area of expertise. Click 'Finish'.
  • If you have an account, but have forgotten your log in details, go to Password Help on the journals online submission system and enter your e-mail address. The system will send you an automatic user ID and a new temporary password.

5.2 Submitting Your Manuscript

  • After you have logged in, click the 'Submit a Manuscript' link in the menu bar. Enter data and answer questions as appropriate. You may copy and paste directly from your manuscript and you may upload your pre-prepared covering letter. • Click the 'Next' button on each screen to save your work and advance to the next screen.
  • You are required to upload your files.
    o Click on the 'Browse' button and locate the file on your computer.
    o Select the designation of each file in the drop-down menu next to the Browse button.
    o When you have selected all files you wish to upload, click the 'Upload Files' button.
  • Review your submission (in HTML and PDF format) before sending to the Journal. Click the 'Submit' button when you are finished reviewing the files.

5.3 Manuscript Files Accepted

All parts of the manuscript must be available in an electronic format and, where possible, the main text, figures and tables should be combined into a single document, with the tables and figures appearing after the reference list. Please note that we are unable to accept any manuscripts uploaded as a PDF file. GIF, JPEG, PICT or Bitmap files are acceptable for submission, but only high-resolution TIF or EPS files are suitable for printing. The text file must contain the entire manuscript including title page, structured abstract, text, references, tables, and figure legends, but no embedded figures. Figure tags should be included in the file.

Full instructions and support for submission are available on the site and a user ID and password can be obtained on the first visit. For help please contact the JCN Editorial Assistant, Tara Noonan on 44 (0)1865 476540 or by email: (

5.4 Blinded Review

All manuscripts submitted to JCN will be reviewed by at least two experts in the field. JCN uses double-blinded review. The names of the reviewers will thus not be disclosed to the author submitting a paper and the name(s) of the author(s) will not be disclosed to the reviewers. To allow double-blinded review, please submit (upload) your main manuscript and title page as separate files. Please upload:

  • Please ensure that any references to your own work are referenced in the third person, as you would any other paper. This ensures that your work is not easily distinguished from others and helps to maintain anonymity during the peer review process.
  • Your manuscript without title page under the file designation 'main document'
  • The title page, Acknowledgements and Conflict of Interest Statement where applicable, should be uploaded under the file designation 'title page'

5.5 E-mail Confirmation of Submission

After submission you will receive an e-mail to confirm receipt of your manuscript with a manuscript number which you must use in all communications regarding your manuscript. If you do not receive the confirmation e-mail after 24 hours, please check your e-mail address carefully in the system. If the e-mail address is correct please contact your IT department. The error may be caused by spam filtering software on your e-mail server. Also, the e-mails should be received if the IT department adds our e-mail server ( to their whitelist.

5.6 Manuscript Status

You can check ScholarOne Manuscripts any time to see the status of your manuscript. The Journal will inform you by e-mail once a decision has been made.

5.7 Submission of Revised Manuscripts

Locate your manuscript under 'Manuscripts with Decisions' and click on 'Submit a Revision' to submit your revised manuscript. Please remember to delete any old files uploaded when you upload your revised manuscript. Please also remember to upload your manuscript document separate from your title page. We do not accept tracked changes for this journal.


Please note that quotations are included in the overall word count of articles.

Original Articles: should be less than 8,000 words long, double spaced with a wide margin (at least 2cm) on each side of the text. The main text should be structured as follows: Introduction (putting the paper in context - policy, practice or research); Background (literature); Methods (design, data collection and analysis); Results; Discussion; Conclusion; Relevance to clinical practice. The number of words used, excluding abstract, references, tables and figures, should be specified. Pilot studies are not suitable for publication as original articles. We also ask that authors limit their references to 50 in total and all references must be available in English.

Review Articles: Qualitative and quantitative literature reviews on any area of research relevant to clinical nursing are welcomed. Submissions should not exceed 8,000 words, excluding abstract, tables, figures, and reference list. Quotes are included in the overall word count of the main text. Authors are advised to explain their methodology clearly (e.g., overall approach, literature search strategies, data analysis). The PRISMA checklist and flow diagram should be used to guide manuscript development. Systematic review methods are evolving and authors are urged to cite supporting references. The main text should be structured as follows: Introduction, Aims, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusion, and Relevance to Clinical Practice. We also ask that authors limit their references to 50 in total and all references must be available in English.

Discursive papers: including position papers and critical reviews of particular bodies of work which do not contain empirical data or use systematic review methods are also welcomed. These should be structured as follows: Aims; Background; Design (stating that it is a position paper or critical review, for example); Method (how the issues were approached); Conclusions, Relevance to clinical practice.

Please note JCN does not currently publish case reports. These can instead be submitted to Clinical Case Reports.

The minimum word count for articles is 3000.


7.1 Structure

All manuscripts submitted to JCN should include a covering letter stating on behalf of all the authors that the work has not been published and is not being considered for publication elsewhere. If the study that is being submitted is similar in any way to another study previously submitted/published or is part of multiple studies on the same topic, a brief sentence explaining how the manuscript differs and that there is no identical material should be stated in the cover letter upon submission.

No identifying details of the authors or their institutions must appear in the manuscript; author details must only appear on the title page and will be entered separately as part of the online submission process.

Title Page: (needed for all manuscript types) must contain both a descriptive and concise title of the paper; names and qualifications of all authors; affiliations and full mailing address, including e-mail addresses, contact telephone number (and Twitter username if you would like this published). The title page must also contain details of the source(s) of support in the form of grants, equipment, drugs or all of the above.

Structured Abstract: (needed for all manuscript types) should not exceed 300 words and should accurately reflect the content of the paper. The abstract should not include references or abbreviations and should be provided under the headings: Aims and objectives; Background (stating what is already known about this topic); Design; Methods (for both qualitative and quantitative studies state n); Results (do not report p values, confidence intervals and other statistical parameters); Conclusions (stating what this study adds to the topic); Relevance to clinical practice; Keywords. Please note that you are asked to add your abstract and keywords into a box when submitting your paper, but both abstract and set of keywords should also appear at the beginning of your actual manuscript (main document) file.

Summary box: (needed for all manuscript types) should contain 2-3 bullet points under the heading 'What does this paper contribute to the wider global clinical community?'

Keywords: (needed for all manuscript types) the keywords that need to be entered within your manuscript (up to 10), are words associated with the paper, which will allow it to be easily cited after acceptance. These are different from the keywords chosen from a list during the submission process; these keywords are to assist the Editors in searching for reviewers to review the manuscript.

Headings and Sub Headings: (needed for all manuscript types): please present headings in the manuscript in bold capitals, sub-headings in lower-case and bold, and subsequent headings in italics.

7.2 Search Engine Optimisation

Many students and researchers looking for information online will use search engines such as Google, Yahoo or similar. By optimising your article for search engines, you will increase the chance of someone finding it. This in turn will make it more likely to be viewed and/or cited in another work.

Please see the Tips Sheet for optimising the discoverability of your article and promoting it post-publication, and this Wiley Exchanges blog post for advice on choosing keywords for your article.

7.3 References

The editor and publisher recommend that citation of online published papers and other material should be done via a DOI (digital object identifier), which all reputable online published material should have – see for more information. If an author cites anything which does not have a DOI they run the risk of the cited material not being traceable.

We recommend the use of a tool such as Reference Manager for reference management and formatting.

References within the text should cite the authors' names followed by the date of publication, in chronological date order, e.g. (Lewis 1975, Barnett 1992, Chalmers 1994). Where there are more than two authors, the first author's name followed by et al. will suffice, e.g. (Barder et al. 1994), but all authors should be cited in the reference list. 'et al.' should be presented in italics followed by a full stop only. Page numbers should be given in the text for all quotations, e.g. (Chalmers 1994, p. 7). All references should be cited from primary sources.

Where more than one reference is being cited in the same pair of brackets the reference should be separated by a comma; authors and dates should not be separated by a comma, thus (Smith 1970, Jones 1980). Where there are two authors being cited in brackets then they should be joined by an '&', thus (Smith & Jones 1975).

When a paper is cited, the reference list should include authors' surnames and initials, date of publication, title of paper, name of journal in full (not abbreviated), volume number, and first and last page numbers. Example: Watson R, Hoogbruin AL, Rumeu C, Beunza M, Barbarin B, MacDonald J & McReady T (2003) Differences and similarities in the perception of caring between Spanish and United Kingdom nurses. Journal of Clinical Nursing 12, 85-92.

When a book is cited, the title should be stated, followed by the publisher and town, county/state (and country if necessary) of publication. Example: Smith GD & Watson R (2004) Gastroenterology for Nurses. Blackwell Science, Oxford. Where the reference relates to a chapter in an edited book, details of author and editors should be given as well as publisher, place of publication, and first and last page numbers. Example: Chalmers KI (1994) Searching for health needs: the work of health visiting. In Research and its Application (Smith JP ed.), Blackwell Science, Oxford, pp. 143-165.

The edition (where appropriate) of all books should be identified, e.g. 2nd edn. References stated as being 'in press' must have been accepted for publication and a letter of proof from the relevant journal must accompany the final accepted manuscript. Please provide access details for online references where possible: Example: Lynaugh JE (1997) The International Council of Nurses is Almost 100 years old. University of Pennsylvania, PA. Available at: (accessed 12 December 2002). The reference list should be prepared on a separate sheet and be in alphabetical order and chronological order by first authors' surnames.

7.4 Tables, Figures and Figure Legends

Preparation of Electronic Figures for Publication: Although low quality images are adequate for review purposes, print publication requires high quality images to prevent the final product being blurred or fuzzy. Submit EPS (line art) or TIFF (halftone/photographs) files only. MS PowerPoint and Word Graphics are unsuitable for printed pictures. Do not use pixel-oriented programmes. Scans (TIFF only) should have a resolution of at least 300 dpi (halftone) or 600 to 1200 dpi (line drawings) in relation to the reproduction size (see below). Please submit the data for figures in black and white or submit a Colour Work Agreement Form (see Colour Charges below). EPS files should be saved with fonts embedded (and with a TIFF preview if possible).

For scanned images, the scanning resolution (at final image size) should be as follows to ensure good reproduction: line art: >600 dpi; halftones (including gel photographs): >300 dpi; figures containing both halftone and line images: >600 dpi.

Always include a citation in the text for each figure and table. Artwork should be submitted online in electronic form. Detailed information on our digital illustration standards is available on the Wiley website.

Permissions: If all or parts of previously published illustrations are used, permission must be obtained from the copyright holder concerned. It is the author's responsibility to obtain these in writing and provide copies to the Publisher.

Colour Charges: It is the policy of JCN for authors to pay the full cost for the reproduction of their colour artwork. Therefore, please note that if there is colour artwork in your manuscript when it is accepted for publication, Wiley Blackwell require you to complete and return a Colour Work Agreement Form before your paper can be published. Any article received byWiley Blackwell with colour work will not be published until the form has been returned. Please return all original hard-copy forms to:

The Production Editor
Journal of Clinical Nursing
Journal Content Management
Wiley Blackwell
Wiley Services Singapore Pte Ltd.
1 Fusionopolis Walk
Solaris South Tower
Singapore 138628

Note to NIH Grantees: Pursuant to NIH mandate, Wiley Blackwell will post the accepted version of contributions authored by NIH grant-holders to PubMed Central upon acceptance. This accepted version will be made publicly available 12 months after publication. For further information, see NIH Public Access Mandate.


Upon acceptance of a paper for publication, the manuscript will be forwarded to the Production Editor who is responsible for the production of the journal. In accepting your paper, both JCN and Wiley Blackwell give no commitment about date of publication. Therefore, while we can inform you of a likely date in the event of an enquiry, we are unable to accommodate individual requests to have papers published at a particular time to coincide with, for example, the requirements of grant awarding bodies or promotion boards.

8.1 Proof Corrections

The corresponding author will receive an e-mail alert containing a link to a website. A working e-mail address must therefore be provided for the corresponding author. The proof can be downloaded as a PDF (portable document format) file from this site.

Acrobat Reader will be required in order to read this file. This software can be downloaded (free of charge) from the Adobe website. This will enable the file to be opened, read on screen, and any corrections to be added in. Further instructions will be sent with the proof. Hard copy proofs will be posted if no e-mail address is available; in your absence, please arrange for a colleague to access your e-mail to retrieve the proofs.

8.2 Early View (Publication Prior to Print)

JCN is covered by Wiley Blackwell's Early View service. Early View articles are complete full-text articles published online in advance of their publication in a printed issue. Early View articles are complete and final. They have been fully reviewed, revised and edited for publication, and the authors' final corrections have been incorporated. Because they are in final form, no changes can be made after online publication. Early View articles are given a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), which allows the article to be cited and tracked before allocation to an issue. After print publication, the DOI remains valid and can continue to be used to cite and access the article.

The Editor will decide on the time of publication and retain the right to modify the style of a contribution; major changes will be agreed with the author(s) before production of proofs.

8.3 Author Services

Online production tracking is available for your article through Wiley's Author Services. Author Services enables authors to track their article - once it has been accepted - through the production process to publication online and in print. Authors can check the status of their articles online and choose to receive automated e-mails at key stages of production. The author will receive an e-mail with a unique link that enables them to register and have their article automatically added to the system. Please ensure that a complete e-mail address is provided when submitting the manuscript.

For more information on article preparation, submission and services for authors please visit Wiley Author Services.

8.4 Author Material Archive Policy

Please note that unless specifically requested, Blackwell Publishing will dispose of all hardcopy or electronic material submitted two months after publication. If you require the return of any material submitted, please inform the editorial office or production editor as soon as possible.

8.5 Offprints and Extra Copies

A PDF offprint of the online published article will be provided free of charge to the corresponding author, and may be distributed subject to the Publisher's terms and conditions. Additional paper offprints may be ordered online. Please click on the following link, fill in the necessary details and ensure that you type information in all of the required fields:

If you have queries about offprints please e-mail


OnlineOpen is available to authors of primary research articles who wish to make their article available to non-subscribers on publication, or whose funding agency requires grantees to archive the final version of their article. With OnlineOpen, the author, the author's funding agency, or the author's institution pays a fee to ensure that the article is made available to non-subscribers upon publication via Wiley Online Library, as well as deposited in the funding agency's preferred archive. For the full list of terms and conditions, see

Any authors wishing to send their paper OnlineOpen will be required to complete the payment form available from our website at:

Prior to acceptance there is no requirement to inform an Editorial Office that you intend to publish your paper OnlineOpen if you do not wish to. All OnlineOpen articles are treated in the same way as any other article. They go through the journal's standard peer-review process and will be accepted or rejected based on their own merit.


Any appeals about a paper should be filed within 28 days of notification of the decision. The appeal should be in the form of a letter addressed and submitted to the JCN Editorial Office. The letter should include clear and concise grounds for the appeal, including specific points of concern. The appeal will then be assessed by the JCN management team, led by the Editorial Office, and informed by the subsequent editorial communications.

You will be informed of the outcome of the appeal in writing, normally within 28 days. The decision will be final.

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