When you read a feature-length article in Women’s Healthcare, you can be assured that it took considerable effort on the part of the authors, editor in chief, peer reviewers, and managing editor. It is not uncommon for manuscripts that are eventually published to go back and forth several times for revisions before the final version is ready. In an initial evaluation, I look at relevance of the information to NPs providing women’s and gender-related healthcare and whether it adds to current knowledge for readers. After this is established, I often ask the authors for additional information or clarification to confirm accuracy and completeness, which is crucial to the purpose of the manuscript, and assess whether references are adequate and up to date. An important part of my role is to place information in a logical flow that is a fit for the journal and will facilitate the readers’ understanding and learning. I may suggest revision of information that is not congruent with the purpose of the manuscript as well as adding a table or box. Then, the manuscript goes to two peer reviewers chosen for their knowledge of the topic who are asked to review the same components and provide constructive feedback from their perspective. Another round of revision is often needed to reach the final draft that will become an article for publication. Perseverance and willingness to accept critiques meant to help prospective authors meet journal standards and format will help them be successful.
Our department format articles go through rigorous review by me and resultant back and forth revisions. These are shorter than feature-length articles, ranging from 600 to 2,500 words including references and graphics, typically require fewer references, and do not go through peer review. Department format articles provide readers with valuable information in a more succinct read and can be a good writing option for both new and experienced authors who have information to share but do not have the time to devote to a feature-length article. The submission to publication time may be shorter.
Among these department format articles is one called “On the case,” which provides an opportunity for authors to interweave assessment, diagnostic considerations, and management within a case scenario (real or fictional) to challenge and inform the reader about a complex women’s or gender-related health situation. The situation may be complex because of comorbidities and/or psychosocial, cultural, or ethical dimensions that complicate diagnosis and management. Or it may be complex because the case represents a high risk for a poor outcome if points of assessment, diagnosis, and management are missed. Authors walk the reader through each step from initial presentation to making the diagnosis to the planning of care. Complex women’s health situations recently covered in this format include Clostridioides difficile in pregnancy, severe headache in a young woman, and in this issue, a patient with actinomyces.
Another department format to consider is “Clinical resources,” which includes articles focused on new or updated practice guidelines, screening and diagnostic tests, and condition-specific resources that can be readily applied in clinical practice. In this journal issue, there is one on long Covid. Other recent topics include colorectal cancer screening and identification and treatment of trafficked persons.
Commentaries also provide a unique forum for authors to share their perspective on a topic of importance to women’s and gender-related healthcare and relevance to NPs providing this care. A commentary may propose thought-provoking ideas that challenge current practice, reflect on insights gained from challenging clinical experiences, or highlight specialty care and expanded services being provided. Recent commentary topics include vicarious trauma, destigmatizing abortion in primary care settings, and current barriers to LARC removal.
We also value department format articles that focus on professional development and foster continuing learning or quality improvement in clinical practice or promote the business aspect of being an NP. Such topics covered in recent issues of the journal include PhD-prepared WHNPs and the generation of women’s health science and continuation of quality improvement initiatives after DNP completion.
Our author guidelines are detailed and provide guidance on organization and content for each format. You may send a brief email query to managing editor Gretchen L. Schwenker (firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or editor in chief Beth Kelsey (email@example.com) to determine whether your chosen topic is likely to be of interest to journal readers.
Beth Kelsey, EdD, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAANP