Once, the practice change has been implemented and found to be a success, the next step in the process is to disseminate your findings. This is important because it adds to the knowledge base of patient care and allows others to contemplate implementing the practice change in their environment. The way to reach the largest audience is by publishing your work. Many find this process intimidating but if you break it down and plan accordingly the process can be a bit easier.
Anytime you decide to publish, it is always good to talk with colleagues on your unit or in the organization that has published. These individuals can serve as mentors and answer any questions you may have.
A good set of criteria for determining who should be an author on a paper are the criteria that have been established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). The ICMJE has four stated criteria for authorship:
1) Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
2) Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
3) Final approval of the version to be published; AND
4) Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
All of those who are authors need to meet all four criteria and anyone else involved with the publication should be acknowledged (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors). Establishing authorship early is a good way to help plan out a paper and assign different tasks to various team members as authorship brings with it responsibility.
When it comes to determining where to submit a manuscript there are several things to consider:
Journal Citation Reports (JCR) - Social Sciences Edition / JCR Tutorial
Provides citation data on 1,700+ journals including highest impact journals, most frequently used journals.
Most journals are open to queries from potential authors but some are not. To determine how open a journal is to queries, go to the journals website and read the author guidelines section. Many times the query policy will be stated as well as what should be included in the query as well as who all queries should be addressed to, which is normally the editor of the journal. (Milner, 2014)
(Milner, 2014;Alexander, 2011;CTSA, 2011)
All manuscripts, when submitted to a journal, are reviewed by peer reviewers who are in the field and know something about the topic of the manuscript. Many times during the peer review process the author(s) will receive feedback concerning what reviewers liked and what they did not in reference to the manuscript. Until the critical comments are addressed to the satisfaction of the editor, the paper will not be published. When responding to reviewers, be sure to keep in mind the following:
Alexander, M. (2011). Organizing the article. In C. Saver (Ed.), Anatomy of writing for publication for nurses (pp. 65-82). Indianapolis, IN: Sigma Theta Tau International.
Center for Clinical & Translational Research. New Author's Discussion Forum. (2011). Tompkins-McCaw Library, Virginia Commonwealth University.
International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Defining the Role of Authors and Contributors. (2016). Retrieved January 5, 2016, from http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/roles-and-responsibilities/defining-the-role-of-authors-and-contributors.html
Milner, K. A. (2014). 10 STEPS from EBP project to publication. Nursing, 44(11), 53-56. doi:10.1097/01.NURSE.0000454954.80525.8c
Saver, C. (2011). How to select and query a publication. In C. Saver (Ed.), Anatomy of writing for publication for nurses (pp. 34-50). Indianapolis, IN: Sigma Theta Tau International.