How to Identify and Avoid Predatory Journals

Photo by Alice Rosen, via Flickr.

I remember receiving my first “accept” letter for a novel I was working on many years ago. In my excitement, I didn’t stop to think that it was strange that, before the editor began working with me, I would have to pay a large sum of money to get the manuscript into shape. When my euphoria died down and my skepticism shot up, I decided to submit a fake query to the same publisher, highlighting a novel that could never possibly get published. Imagine my dismay when I received the exact same acceptance letter.

So in a way, predatory publishing is not an entirely new concept. And in fact, many more or less legitimate self-publishing options for books, fiction or otherwise, still exist. But with the increasing dominance of the Web and the rise of the open access movement—established to help spread publicly funded research—a more invidious and widely pervasive form of predatory publishing has taken hold in scholarly publishing. And the stakes are far higher. While my novel probably wasn’t going to affect anyone’s life, articles published by unscrupulous publishers—especially medical and nursing literature—have a lot more power to cause damage.

Flawed, unreliable content.

Since predatory journals often forego rigorous peer review, exploit authors, fabricate their own […]

Tallying Losses and Gains of Being a Nurse, and Finding Profit

I was talking with a dear friend who was telling me how she went through a period when she had wondered whether nursing was destroying her. I can’t say what she actually meant by this for her own self, but the comment stood out to me. I found myself chewing on this notion that we can feel slowly worn down by the overall experience of nursing to a point where we feel the losses are not being offset by the gains quickly enough.

A certain loss of innocence.

Given all of the random tragedy, self-sabotage, and violence that nurses may witness in their patients’ stories, nurses can experience the loss of a more innocent, optimistic perspective about people and the world. Nurses often say there are things you cannot “un-see” in this line of work. Those experiences can darken the lens through which we see the world. The loss of faith in the assured wellness in the world can feel disheartening. It can be difficult to know how to process this in a way that does not simply leave us more fearful or cynical people.

The energy drain.

On a less philosophical level, it is no […]

What Types of Articles Do Journal Editors Want to Read?

Writing is time-consuming and difficult to do—the last thing you want is to spend time working on a manuscript that has little chance of being published. There are many strategies you can use to enhance the likelihood of publication, which we discuss throughout this series, but the first and most important is writing the type of article that journal editors want to publish.

Those opening sentences from “What Types of Articles to Write,” the third in AJN‘s ongoing Writing for Publication: Step by Step series by Karen Roush, PhD, RN, FNP, speak directly to the uncertainty that besets many would-be nurse writers (and in fact, all writers). Form is intimately tied to content. Ideally, the two should support each other, but first they have to be a good fit.

What type of article should you write?

What types of articles will get journal editors’ attention? And what will hold their attention once they open your manuscript? […]