the writing mind

ICMJE recommendations

2023 update to ICMJE recommendations

In May the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) updated its “Recommendations for the conduct, reporting, editing, and publication of scholarly work in medical journals.” (ICMJE consists…

6 types of editorial queries and how to respond

Great news: Your article has been accepted for publication! It’s time to celebrate and get ready for the next step in the publishing process—reviewing the edited article. When…
writing-success

A formula for writing success

Most writers are more comfortable with words than numbers, particularly when math is involved. We tend to remember English or literature classes from school more fondly than those…
publication practices

A guide for principled publishing

Nurse researchers receive much less funding from commercial companies than their physician colleagues, but those who do should be aware of a recent update on best publication practices…

Age in publishing: What’s in a name?

Elderly, seniors, aged — what’s the right terminology to use when writing about, well, older people? It’s worth considering this in an era of greater sensitivity to the…

Ask before you write: Crafting the query

Beginning authors may not realize that before submitting a manuscript, it’s a good idea to send a query—an email to the editor of a journal to see if…
accountability partners

Common questions about writing accountability partners

Given our busy lives, it can be challenging to hold ourselves accountable for our goals—including writing for publication. That’s where a writing accountability partner can help. An accountability…
create a writing habit

Cultivating the writing habit

New Year’s is a popular time for resolutions—a time to start anew. Perhaps you’ve been thinking about writing for publication but are struggling with inertia. Or maybe you’ve…

Follow the four Cs for effective writing

Developing writing skills relies on the ability to effectively use the tools of written communication. In nursing school, you learned that proteins are made up of chains of…

From school to print

You revel in the “A” you received for your latest school paper. Is the next step to publish your article? It might be, but first you’ll need to…
guidelines

Guidelines for bolstering writing success

Evidence-based guidelines, one of the hallmarks of nursing practice, are a tool that helps ensure patients achieve optimal outcomes. Guidelines also can be a tool for nurse authors,…

Is your knowledge cursing your writing?

We nurses tend to take great pride in our knowledge. After all, we exert great effort to stay on top of the latest medical and nursing developments, starting…
student

Kicking off the collaborative writing team

Writing doesn’t have to be a solitary activity; in fact, coauthors can make the process easier. I was part of a writing team for my first published article.…

Letters to the editor: Make your voice heard

Journal articles aren’t the only way you can disseminate information. Letters to the editors—if done correctly—can be a powerful way to make your voice heard not only in…
predatory journals

New report on predatory journals

A new international report on predatory journals tells an alarming tale—the organizations behind these journals are becoming more sophisticated, making detection more difficult for authors. In addition, the…
peer review

Peer review: A tool for career growth

It’s a huge understatement to say nurses are busy, so why should you add to your workload by becoming a peer reviewer? That question can be answered at…
paragraphs

Powerful paragraphs

Proteins frequently are called the building blocks of life, and paragraphs the building blocks of an article. Thoughtfully crafted paragraphs keep readers’ attention as they navigate through text.…
creating-poster

Powerful posters

Posters are an excellent way to disseminate your work, including research studies and quality improvement and evidence-based practice projects. Presenting a poster at a live or virtual local,…
resolution

Resolve to write!

Make a ‘SMART’ New Year’s resolution. It’s time to ditch the traditional New Year’s resolutions. After all, how many times can you resolve to lose weight or exercise…
Editing

Self-editing: Challenging but essential

As you finish typing those last few words of your manuscript, it’s tempting to breathe a sigh of relief, shut down the computer, call it a day, and…

Sharing your story

“Once upon a time…” Those three simple words probably conjure childhood memories of listening to your parents tell a tale of wonder or reading magical adventures in your…
outline

The awesome outline

How can an outline be awesome? When it helps you write more efficiently and more effectively. Think of an outline as a care plan for your article. You…

The power of parallelism

Writers might not have superpowers like Superman, Wonder Woman, and others in the DC Universe, but we can use powers (tools) to improve the effectiveness of our writing.…
checklist

The value of checklists

Checklists have long been recognized as providing value to nurses and other clinicians engaging in patient care, with Atul Gawande touting their use to the general public in…
predatory-journal

Three steps to avoid predatory journals

Predatory journals prey on unsuspecting authors, luring them with promises of quick peer review and publication. The catch is that these journals put profit above scientific endeavor by…

Use keywords to help readers find your work

Many journals ask authors to submit keywords (single words or phrases) as part of manuscript submission. At this stage, you’ve been working with your article a long time…

We need young writers

April 10 is National Encourage a Young Writer Day. While it might not generate the excitement of National Chocolate Day (October 28, or everyday in my house) or…
author

Who is an author?

Determining who should be named as an author for an article isn’t as simple as it might seem, yet it’s critical to those involved. Being able to list…
author

Why author guidelines matter

When asked to list their biggest frustrations with authors, most editors would put “not following author guidelines” at or near the top. I’ve commiserated many times with my…

Why the reference list matters

References are the lifeblood of an article. They support your message and enable readers to seek out additional information. But authors too often fail to give the reference…

Writing challenge: Narrow the topic

One of the greatest challenges in writing is narrowing the topic. Beginning and experienced writers alike frequently want to tackle topics that are too broad to fit into…
emails

Writing effective business emails

Have you ever had someone not respond to your email? Or fail to respond for days on end? Or not answer your question in their response? Have you…
writing-resources

Writing resources

The fourth edition of Anatomy of Writing for Publication for Nurses was released in January, and I’m thankful to the team of 28 contributors who worked on the…

Yes, you can write

I often meet nurses who say they “wish” they could write, but know they “can’t.” I counter with “Yes, you can” because I know that as nurses, they…

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