Slow and Steady…

It’s been just over a month since Peggy and I introduced the Nursing Editors History Project. We have not been flooded with entries, which is a good thing, because we are discovering there can be quite a bit of work associated with documenting the information for each journal. Some of the challenges that we have discovered are establishing the dates of tenure for the editor(s) of a journal, as well as determining if some older editors are still alive and happily retired or if they have passed on. If you are reviewing a journal entry and see information that needs correction, please let us know! We want this database to be as accurate as possible.

We are including the first editorial for a journal, whenever possible. Personally, I find reading these old editorials to be fascinating, as the editor often shares his/her vision for why the journal was founded and struggles that needed to be overcome to get to the point of a first issue. Looking at these editorials from the perspective of 20, 30, or 40 years later, it is interesting to see how the journal has stayed true to its original mission. Were the editors clairvoyant in identifying a niche and then creating the perfect journal to meet that need? With our very limited database, right now that seems to be the case. It will be interesting to see if this trend holds true as more editors and journals are added to the list.

Perhaps the journals that did not meet a need correctly–or met a need that subsequently disappeared–are those that are not longer published. We want to include journals that have ceased publication although we have not received any entries for these so far. If know of a “retired” journal that you can share information about, please let us know!

I had a very sad experience last month when my good friend and colleague, Margaret Freda, died on April 27th. Margaret had been Editor of MCN: The American Journal of Maternal-Child Nursing for 17 years and if my memory serves me correctly, she was only the second editor after it was founded. I had asked her for some information for this project but she told me she her vision was too blurry and she wasn’t able to help. That’s the moment that I knew she was not doing well. I was also very disappointed that she was not able to view the site and see what we hope to accomplish, because I know Margaret would’ve had great enthusiasm about this project.

When editors, like Margaret, die, their knowledge of journal history goes with them, which is a further impetus for the importance of the NEHP. Marilyn Oermann and I were working on the history of Nurse Educator and struggling to document its early years. We both knew that Suzanne Smith had been the editor from very early on, but was she the founder? (The answer is no.) Imagine my surprise when I found an article written by Suzanne from 1997 that documented her history with Nurse Educator and JONA–what a find! It was almost like she was standing right next to me and speaking to me! We have added this article to Suzanne’s listing on the departed editors page. I encourage everyone to take a minute and read it–she makes important points about editorial leadership and the role that editors play in “transforming their corner of the world.” I also need to add that it was something written by Margaret Freda that led me to this article, which I might never have found otherwise, since it was published and indexed under “Blancett,” Suzanne’s married name for a period of time. I always say, you have to pay attention to how the universe works!

Thanks to everyone for your support to date. If you are an editor, publisher, past editor, or someone else involved with a journal, please take a minute to complete the data form and submit, so we can add your information to the NEHP Database. Thanks in advance for your help!

Leslie H. Nicoll, on behalf of Peggy Chinn for the NEHP

Reference:

Blancett, S.S. (1997). Nursing journalism leadership. Nursing Administration Quarterly22(1), 16-22.

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