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?
Roush, a widely published writer and nursing professor (and a former AJN clinical editor), spells it out quickly and helpfully. Journal editors want:
- QI projects with supporting data
- clinical review articles
- systematic reviews
- thoughtful analysis of policy or clinical questions
- opinion essays
- personal narratives
But knowing the type of article to write isn’t enough. What specifically in each of these types of articles do journal editors look for? How do articles most often go off the rails? Roush breaks it down with easy-to-follow bullet points; to learn more, read the article, which is free.