Just when I think a project is finished, a new idea pops into my head! That is where the Nursing Editors History Project came from.
Peggy Chinn and I have been working on a new book that will be published this summer by Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins: Writing in the Digital Age. I have also been working with Margaret Comerford Freda to produce the second edition of The Editor’s Handbook, also published by LWW and also due to come out this summer. Between these two projects, I have been thinking a lot about nursing editors and what impact our role has on the dissemination of nursing knowledge.
I have also been combing through the archives of various journals, trying to glean bits and pieces of information. And it suddenly occurred to me, as I looked at yet another incomplete archive, that very few journals have past historical information about their editors. Given the work we do, it seems a little amazing to me (and dismaying) that the historical tenure of editors for our scholarly journals in nursing is not documented.
And then a light bulb went off!
I immediately wrote Peggy who didn’t even have to think for five seconds before agreeing to jump on bandwagon. “Let’s get going,” I said. “Register a website! Create a Trello board! Make a Wufoo form!” And with that, the Nursing Editors History Project was born.
Peggy mentioned that our dear friend Suzanne Smith, long-time editor of both Nurse Educator and JONA had commented to her that there was no central repository of information about journal editors. With Suzanne’s death in 2013, her knowledge of what she did in the early days of both those journals is gone. Maybe there is someone at LWW (her publisher) who remembers. But maybe not. That is what made us realize that this project is essential and important.
At the moment, this project consists of brainstorming between Peggy and me, plus this website–and our own knowledge of our journals and some knowledge about other journals, but that’s about it. We have some ideas of how this will grow and develop, but we also realize that it may evolve in ways we never anticipated, which is very exciting. Please take some time to peruse the website and think about how you can contribute to our database. To be successful, this must be a collaborative effort. We look forward to hearing from you!