Nursing Inquiry

Cover image for Vol. 24 Issue 1

Edited By: Sally Thorne

Impact Factor: 1.141

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2015: 45/114 (Nursing (Social Science)); 48/116 (Nursing (Science))

Online ISSN: 1440-1800

Author Guidelines

Content of Author Guidelines: 1. General, 2. Manuscript Format and Structure, 3. Submission of Manuscripts, 4. Ethical Guidelines, 5. After Acceptance

Useful Websites: Submission Site, Articles published in Nursing Inquiry, Author Services, Blackwell Publishing’s Ethical Guidelines, Guidelines for Figures

Ithenticate LogoNursing Inquiry employs a plagiarism detection system. By submitting your manuscript to the Journal you accept that your manuscript may be screened for plagiarism.


1.1 Overview

Nursing Inquiry is an international peer-reviewed Journal of interest to nurses, health care professionals, social scientists and health policy makers on ideas and issues pertaining to nursing and healthcare. Established as a vehicle for critical reflection and substantive dialogue on topics of emerging interest internationally, it aims to foster debate and dialogue, advance new conceptualizations, and challenge current thought on a wide range of nursing and health phenomena. The Journal publishes original research, discussion papers, review articles and commentaries on topics consistent with its aims and scope (see below).

Authors submitting a manuscript do so on the understanding that the work constitutes original scholarship that has not been published before either as a whole or in part, and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Nursing Inquiry requires that authorship and acknowledgement conforms to ethical guidelines for publication and research (details below), and that authors are satisfied that bias was avoided.

1.2 Aims and Scope

Nursing Inquiry aims to stimulate examination of nursing's current and emerging practices, conditions and contexts within an expanding international community of ideas. The journal aspires to excite thinking and stimulate action toward a preferred future for health and healthcare by encouraging critical reflection and lively debate on matters affecting and influenced by nursing from a range of disciplinary angles, scientific perspectives, analytic approaches, social locations and philosophical positions. Toward this end, the Editor welcomes original research and discussion articles on a wide range of topics. Examples of the kinds of manuscripts that may be considered for publication include the following:

1. Substantive research that draws upon ideas from the humanities or social science perspectives to investigate and interpret nursing and healthcare practices, technologies and trends.
2. Substantive research that uses methodological innovation within empirical investigation to shed new light on health phenomena.
3. International or comparative perspectives on health, health care delivery, human health resources, health promotion or health planning from a global perspective.
4. Policy analysis that critically examines controversial or timely matters such as evolving health labour workforce, transitions in service delivery systems, or trends in health funding patterns.
5. Advancement of methodological approaches and frameworks to enrich and extend the capacity of nursing and healthcare inquiry.
6. Ethical inquiry that illuminates or challenges the assumptions underlying the everyday practices and policies affecting nursing and healthcare.
7. Philosophical inquiries that stimulate thought, deconstruct ideologies or challenge conformities related to the nature and expression of nursing and healthcare.
8. Historical research that revisits the assumptions upon which professional narratives have been built.
9. Critical integrative reviews of the current state of scientific and/or non-scientific knowledge in relation to conceptualization, practice, delivery or planning of health systems.
10. Discussion or opinion papers providing critical commentary on current trends, policies or practices in nursing.

Authors uncertain as to the fit between their ideas in progress and the journal's aims and scope are invited to send a letter of inquiry to

To submit a manuscript, please follow the instructions below.


2.1. Format

As of March, 2016, Nursing Inquiry’s format, structure and language use generally follow those set out in the 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA). However, given the international aims and scope of Nursing Inquiry, and the diversity of manuscripts it publishes, a few exceptions and variations apply, as set out below.

Language: The language of the publication is English. Authors for whom English is a non-dominant language should consider having their manuscript professionally edited by an English speaking person before submission to make sure the English is of sufficiently high quality to allow for rigorous review of the ideas. 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.

Spelling: Spelling may follow either British, USA or Australian conventions, but must be consistent throughout the manuscript. Occasional foreign words used in the text may be identified through the use of italics and, if necessary, include English translation following in square brackets

Manuscripts should be consistent throughout in presentation and style.

Word Limits: Original Articles and Reviews are normally between 5000 and 6000 words, not including tables, figures and references. Invited Commentaries tend to be shorter pieces, often of a more discursive or polemic nature, and usually range from 1000 to 3000 words. Authors submitting papers beyond the normal word limits are advised to provide a compelling justification in their cover letter of the need for additional space.

2.2 Structure

All manuscripts submitted to Nursing Inquiry should include: title page, abstract and keywords, text, acknowledgements, references, figure legends, figures and tables. Please do not number your pages, as the uploaded manuscripts will be automatically paginated upon submission. The author(s) name(s) should not appear on the manuscript itself and any identifiable references or information should also be deleted from the main document. Layout should be double-spaced.

Title Page: The title page should contain the category of the article, the title and word length of the paper (with and without references and tables etc). The title should be short and informative and may contain the major keywords. A short title (up to 40 characters including spaces) should also be provided. The title page document should include correspondence details of the author(s) as well as any acknowledgements or conflict of information as may be required (Nursing Inquiry does not normally publish conflict of interest statements). Material in the title page will not be available to blind reviewers.

Abstract and Keywords: All full manuscript submissions must include an unstructured abstract of 150-200 words, which describes the intent of the paper, generally its aims, approach and main conclusions. The abstract should be an original synopsis of the manuscript, not a duplication of material in the main text. It should not contain subheadings, abbreviations or references. Up to eight (8) key words (chosen from the CINAHL thesaurus, if possible) should also be provided. Authors are encouraged to be strategic in selecting keywords that will optimize search access.

Manuscript Style: Nursing Inquiry manuscripts focus on the development of ideas, not merely the presentation of technical information. Therefore the narrative flow of the ideas is a priority. Avoid or minimize the use of bullet points or numbered lists. Ensure that your paper ends with a thoughful narrative conclusion regarding what can be learned from the ideas you are working with.

Headings/ Subheadings: Nursing Inquiry does not use a standardized research reporting style, and encourages the creative use of headings and subheadings to effectively showcase the ideas contained in your manuscript. Depending on whether the Original Article or Review paper is based on a study report or is a discursive consideration of an idea, you are encouraged to structure your manuscript according to the logical flow of the main arguments you are making in presenting the work to your audience. Please structure your arguments such that they build toward your concluding remarks, which should be presented in narrative form rather than a list.

Main Document: The main document you submit for consideration should not include acknowledgements, conflict of interest, or author contributions information.

Optimizing Your Abstract for Search Engines

Many students and researchers looking for information online will use search engines such as Google, Yahoo or similar. By optimizing 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. We have compiled these guidelines to enable you to maximize the web-friendliness of the most public part of your article.

Acknowledgements: Acknowledgements should be brief and formal. Relevant sources of financial and key logistical support must be referenced. Where individuals are named as having contributed to the work, authors are expected to have obtained their prior permission. Authors must clear the copyright of material they wish to reproduce from other sources and this should normally be acknowledged. A copy of any documentation granting permission to reproduce material must be enclosed with the final version of the manuscript. Acknowledgements may be included either in the title page document or prepared as a separate file submitted as a 'Supplementary File not for Review'.

2.3 References

In text citations

Citations in the body of the text identify the author and date of publication, with full details of the source in the list of references. Refer to APA referencing style (6th edn) for specific format requirements.

Personal communications should rarely be necessary as a reference source. Exceptions could include essential factual information that is unavailable through published sources. Secondary citations should also be avoided unless primary sources are clearly unavailable.

Although in-text citation does not normally include author first names, where appropriate, such as in a historic account, author first names may be included as part of the narrative account.

Footnotes are permissible but are to be used sparingly.

Reference list

Full references are listed in alphabetical order at the conclusion of the manuscript using APA 6th edition formatting requirements.


Albanese, M. A., Mejicano, G., Anderson, M. W., & Gruppen, L. (2008). Building a competency-based curriculum: The agony and the ecstasy. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 15, 439-454.


Grant, G., Elbow, P., Ewens, T., Gamson, Z., Kohli, W., Neumann, W., … Riesman, D. (1979). On competence: A critical analysis of competency-based reforms in higher education. San Francisco, CA: Josey-Bass Publishing.

Chapter from a Book

Clark, F. W. (1976). Characteristics of the competency-based curriculum. In M. L. Arkava & E. C. Brennen (Eds.), Competency-based education for social work: Evaluation and curriculum issues (pp. 22-46). New York, NY: Council on Social Work Education.

Unpublished paper presented at a meeting

Lanktree, C., & Briere, J. (1991, January). Early data on the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children (TSC-C). Paper presented at the meeting of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, San Diego, CA.

Unpublished thesis

Willey, D. E. (1989). Interpersonal analyses of bulimia: Normal weight and obese. Unpublished thesis, University of Missouri, Columbia.

Electronic reference

Author, A. A. (2000). Title of work. Retrieved from

For publications available in Early View (prior to publication) format, please record publication date as "in press" rather than assigning a year.. This is important as the publication date may change, compromising future search capacity.

We recommend the use of a tool such as Reference Manager for reference management and formatting. Reference Manager reference styles can be searched for here

It is the author’s responsibility to carefully review all in-text and reference list information for accuracy, completeness, and consistency with formatting requirements prior to submission.

2.4. Tables, Figures and Figure Legends

: Tables should be self-contained and complement, but not duplicate, information in the text. Tables should be numbered consecutively and have self-explanatory titles.

Figures: Figures must be of high-quality reproductive art or in electronic form ready for reproduction. Figures should each be on a separate page, be numbered consecutively and have self-explanatory titles. They should be sized to fit within the column (80 mm) or full text (170 mm) width. Written permission to publish must be obtained from any subjects recognisable in photographs and for any copyright material. Please see

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 programs. 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). 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.

Further information can be obtained at Wiley-Blackwell Publishing’s guidelines for figures:

Check your electronic artwork before submitting it:

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: Nursing Inquiry is published in an online only format, there is no cost to authors for the publication of colour images.

To read PDF files, you must have Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. If you do not have this program, this is available as a free download from the following web address:

Figure Legends: In the full-text online edition of the journal, figure legends must be truncated in abbreviated links to the full screen version. Therefore, the first 100 characters of any legend should inform the reader of key aspects of the figure.


Manuscripts should be submitted electronically via the online submission site. The use of an online submission and peer review site enables immediate distribution of manuscripts and consequentially speeds up the review process. It also allows authors to track the status of their own manuscripts. Complete instructions for submitting a paper are available below and on the site; a user ID and password can be obtained on the first visit. Support can be contacted by phone ( 1 434 817 2040 ext. 167) or at If you cannot submit online or have a general query, please contact the Editorial Office via e-mail at

3.1. Getting Started
Launch your web browser (supported browsers include Internet Explorer 6 or higher, Netscape 7.0, 7.1, or 7.2, Safari 1.2.4, or Firefox 1.0.4) and 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.
- After clicking on 'Create Account', enter your name and e-mail information and click 'Next'. Your e-mail information is very important.
- Enter your institution and address information as appropriate, and then click 'Next.'
- 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. 

 Log in and select ‘Author Center’

3.2. 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.
- Click on the 'Browse' button and locate the file on your computer.
- Select the designation of each file in the drop-down menu next to the Browse button.
- 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.

3.3. Manuscript Files Accepted

Manuscripts should be uploaded as Word documents or Rich Text Format (.rft) files (not write-protected) only plus separate figure files. GIF, JPEG, PICT or Bitmap files are acceptable for submission, but only high-resolution TIF or EPS files are suitable for printing. The files will be automatically converted to HTML and PDF on upload and will be used for the review process. The main document text file must contain the manuscript; abstract; references; tables and figures legends, but no imbedded figures, these should be uploaded as separate files. Figure tags should be included in the file. Manuscripts should be formatted as described in the Author Guidelines below.

*Update (25 May 2012): Please note that we now accept .doc and .docx files.

3.4. Blinded Review

Manuscripts submitted to Nursing Inquiry will normally be reviewed by at least two experts in the field. Nursing Inquiry 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 format your main manuscript in such a manner that your identity is concealed, such as replacing the name in a citation to your prior work with "[author]".

Please upload:

Your manuscript without title page under the file designation 'main document'

Figure files under the file designation 'figures'

The title page, Acknowledgements and Conflict of Interest Statement where applicable, should be uploaded under the file designation 'title page'

All documents uploaded under the file designation 'title page' will not be viewable in the HTML and PDF format you are asked to review at the end of the submission process. The files viewable in the HTML and PDF format are the files available to the reviewer in the review process.

3.5. Suspension of Submission Mid-way in the Submission Process

You may suspend a submission at any phase before clicking the 'Submit' button and save it to submit later. The manuscript can then be located under 'Unsubmitted Manuscripts' and you can click on 'Continue Submission' to continue your submission when you choose to.

3.6. E-mail Confirmation of Submission

After submission you will receive an e-mail to confirm receipt of 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.

3.7. Manuscript Status

You can access Manuscript Central any time to check your Author Center for the status of your manuscript. The Journal will inform you by e-mail once a decision has been made.

3.8. Submission of Revised Manuscripts

Revised manuscripts must be uploaded with 6 months of authors being notified of either the need for revision and reconsideration or for conditional acceptance pending satisfactory revision. Failure to do so will necessitate that the manuscript is submitted as a new submission, subject to further review. 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.

3.9. Supporting Information

Nursing Inquiry is able to host online Supporting information. Such material must be important ancillary information that is relevant to the parent article but which does not appear in the printed edition of the Journal. Supporting information will be published as submitted and will not be corrected or checked for scientific content, typographical errors or functionality.

Supporting information should be submitted to ScholarOne Manuscripts as 'Supplementary materials for review'.

3.10. Appeal of Decision

The decision on a paper is final and cannot be appealed.


Nursing Inquiry endorses the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE)'s Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts, which can be found at and adheres to the below ethical guidelines for publication and research.

4.1 Authorship and Acknowledgements

Authors submitting a paper do so on the understanding that the manuscript has been read and approved by all authors and that all authors agree to the submission of the manuscript to the Journal. ALL named authors must have made an active contribution to the conception and design and/or analysis and interpretation of the data and/or the drafting of the paper and ALL must have critically reviewed its content and have approved the final version submitted for publication. Participation solely in the acquisition of funding or the collection of data does not justify authorship and, except in the case of complex large-scale or multi-centre research, the number of authors should not exceed six.

Nursing Inquiry adheres to the ICMJE authorship criteria, 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 must meet all three conditions.

It is a requirement that all authors have appropriate accreditation upon submission of the manuscript. Contributors who do not qualify as authors should be mentioned under Acknowledgements.

Acknowledgements: Acknowledgements should be brief and must include reference to relevant sources of financial and logistical support. Acknowledgements should be prepared as a separate file submitted as a 'Supplementary File not for Review'.

4.2. Permissions

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


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.

5.1. Copyright

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 License 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 Services and visit See the OnlineOpen section below for more information.

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:

5.2. OnlineOpen

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.

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

5.3. 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 following website: . This will enable the file to be opened, read on screen, and printed out in order for any corrections to be added. 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.

Proofs should be returned to within a week of receipt. If further time is required, authors are requested to notify the Production Editor (

Major changes will not be entertained and authors may be charged for excessive amendments at this stage. Excessive changes made by the author in the proofs, excluding typesetting errors, will be charged separately. Other than in exceptional circumstances, all illustrations are retained by the publisher. Please note that the author is responsible for all statements made in their work, including changes made by the copy editor.

5.4 Author Services

Online production tracking is available for your article through Wiley-Blackwell'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. Visit for more details on online production tracking and for a wealth of resources including FAQs and tips on article preparation, submission and more.

5.5. Early View

All papers which have been fully copy- edited and peer reviewed are published online prior to the print edition of the journal publishing. Authors may sign up for e alerts in Author Services to be informed when a new issue of this journal is published online.

5.6. Author Material Archive Policy

Please note that unless specifically requested, Wiley-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.

5.7. ELocators

This journal now uses eLocators. For more information, please visit the Author Services eLocator page here.

5.8. PDF offprint

Free access to the final PDF offprint of your article will be available via Author Services only Please therefore sign up for Author Services if you would like to access your article PDF offprint and enjoy the many other benefits the service offers.

5.9. 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