Quality of Author Guidelines in Nursing Journals.
PURPOSE: The aims of this study were to (a) describe the information provided in author guidelines in nursing journals, (b) assess the completeness of this information, and (c) identify the extent and types of reporting guidelines used in nursing journals. DESIGN: Content analysis of author guidelines for 245 nursing journals included in the Directory of Nursing Journals maintained at the International Academy of Nursing Editors website. METHODS: Using Research Electronic Data Capture, data on 19 criteria for completeness were extracted from published author guidelines. Additional details about journal requirements, such as allowed length of manuscripts and format for the abstract, were also recorded. Reliability was established by simultaneous review of 25 journals (10%) by the research assistant and a senior member of the research team. FINDINGS: Author guidelines were easily accessible at journal websites or through links to download the information. A majority (73.5%) had completeness scores of 75% or higher; six journals had guidelines that were 100% complete. Half of the journals used the American Psychological Association reference style, and 26.3% used the American Medical Association style. Less than one fourth had stated requirements to use reporting guidelines such as Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) and Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). CONCLUSIONS: Author guidelines for nursing journals are generally complete and informative. Although specific reporting guidelines such as CONSORT and PRISMA improve the accuracy and completeness of manuscripts on various types of studies, most nursing journals do not indicate use of these for manuscript preparation. Editors who want to improve their author guidelines should use the 19 criteria for completeness as a gauge for updating and revision. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Nurses rely on the published literature to inform their practice and ensure that it is based on evidence. Guidelines for publishing in the scholarly literature assist clinicians and scholars to ensure that published articles are complete, current, concise, and accurate.
Oermann, MH; Nicoll, LH; Chinn, PL; Conklin, JL; McCarty, M; Amarasekara, S
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