Author's Guide
Home Author's Guide Forthcoming Topics Review Panel Advisory Board

To submit your manuscript, go to:

Editorial Manager Web site for Submission



For more information, contact Peggy L. Chinn, RN, PhD, Editor

Last updated: April 15, 2006

Table of Contents

Purpose of the Journal
Ethical and Legal Considerations
Copyright Transfer
Permission to Use Previously Published Material
Manuscript Preparation
Writing Style
Manuscript Submission
Submitting Letters to the Editor
After Submission
After Acceptance

Related documents

Copyright Transfer Form
Reprint Permission Request


Purpose of the Journal

The primary purposes of Advances in Nursing Science (ANS) are to contribute to the development of nursing science and to promote the application of emerging theories and research findings to practice. Articles deal with any of the processes of science, including research, theory development, concept analysis, practical application of research and theory, and investigation of the values and ethics that influence the practice and research endeavors of nursing sciences. Acceptance or rejection of an article is based on the judgment of peer reviewers. Each issue is focused on a general topic, and manuscripts must be submitted by the date indicated for an identified issue topic. Forthcoming issue topics are provided for the upcoming 4 to 6 issues. A general description of the focus and suggested content for different types of articles follows:

bullet Research articles: Empirical research (descriptive, quasi-experimental, experimental, basic) should include a clear and concise summary of the purpose and problem, a statement of the hypothesis tested, background and significance, theoretical framework, design, methods and procedures, analyses of data, findings, conclusions, and implications for further research and nursing practice. Historical research articles dealing with the history of nursing practice or nursing science, or related phenomena that have influenced the development of nursing practice and nursing science. 
bullet Theory and philosophy articles: Development of theory and philosophy are considered foundational for the development of nursing knowledge, and should include a review of literature upon which the work builds. Implications for nursing research and for development of nursing theory should also be included. Theory analyses and development is an in-depth analysis of existing theory and development of extensions or alternative theory based on the existing theory; comparative analyses of different related theories. A summary of implications for nursing research or nursing practice should be included.

Beginning in June of 2006, each issue ANS has paper and on-line articles. All articles are listed in the Table of Contents for both the paper and on-line versions. The Table of Contents in the paper volume includes the titles of all on-line articles, the names of all authors, and a condensed abstract. A link going directly to the article online will be provided at the end of the abstract. All articles are available on Ovid and are indexed with CINHAL, ISI, and all other indexes in which ANS appears.

Ethical and Legal Considerations
A submitted manuscript must be an original contribution not previously published (except as an abstract or a preliminary report), must not be under consideration for publication elsewhere, and, if accepted, must not be published elsewhere in similar form, in any language, without the consent of Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Each person listed as an author is expected to have participated in the study to a significant extent. Although the editors and referees make every effort to ensure the validity of published manuscripts, the final responsibility rests with the authors, not with the Journal, its editors, or the publisher.

All authors must sign a copy of the Journal’s “Authorship Responsibility, Financial Disclosure, and Copyright Transfer” form and submit it at the time of manuscript submission. This form can be downloaded and signed. You can submit this form one of two ways: 1) Scan the signed document and save as a PDF file; attach the file to your submission as a submission item. OR 2) FAX the signed form to the journal editor at (815) 366-8239.

Authors must submit written permission from the copyright owner (usually the publisher) to use material being borrowed or adapted from other sources, including previously published material of your own, along with complete details about the source. Any permissions fees that might be required by the copyright owner are the responsibility of the authors requesting use of the borrowed material, not the responsibility of Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. You can download our file to use for this purpose, or use the letter of permission you obtain from the publisher. You can submit this form one of two ways: 1) Scan the signed permission and save as a PDF file; attach the file to your submission as a submission item. OR 2) FAX the signed permission to the journal editor at (815) 366-8239.

Authors must obtain written permission for the following material:

bullet All direct quotes of 300 words or more from any full-length book
bullet All direct quotes of 200 words or more from a periodical article
bullet All excerpts from a newspaper article or other short piece
bullet Any passage from a play or a song
bullet Two or more lines of poetry
bullet Any borrowed table, figure, or illustration being reproduced exactly or adapted to fit the needs of the subject.

Preparation of Manuscript
Manuscripts that do not adhere to the following instructions will be returned to the corresponding author for technical revision before undergoing peer review.

Abstract : The Abstract is inserted into a designated box during the submission process. You can compose the abstract using your word processor and copy and paste into the designated box on the web. Limit the abstract to 100 words. Do not cite references in the abstract. Limit the use of abbreviations and acronyms. The abstract should briefly summarize the major issue, problem or topic being addressed, and the findings and/or conclusions of the article. 

Key words: Key words are inserted into a designated box during the submission process.   Provide up to ten key words that describe the contents of the article like those that appear in Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) or The National Library of Medicine's Medical Subject Headings (MeSH). The key words are used in indexing your manuscript when it is published.

Title page: The title page will be submitted as a separate file when you are instructed to attach files to your submission. Compose your title page using your word processor, then attach this file when you reach the "attach files" step in the submission process. Include on the title page (a) complete manuscript title; (b) authors’ full names, highest academic degrees, and affiliations; (c) name and address for correspondence, including fax number, telephone number, and e-mail address; and (d) any acknowledgements, credits or disclaimers. Include acknowledgement of all sources of funding. NOTE: We do not allow the use of "PhD(c)" as a degree.

Manuscript: The manuscript will be submitted as a separate file when you are instructed to attach files to your submission. Do not include any identifying information in your manuscript. If you are citing your own works, list them as "Author, YYYY" in the citation and the reference list in order to maintain your anonymity for the review process. Compose your manuscript using your word processor, then attach this file when you reach the "attach files" step in the submission process.

NOTE: If your word processor tracks changes in your manuscript, then these may be visible to reviewers and will reveal your identity. To assure the anonymity of your manuscript, BE SURE to approve (or remove) all changes in your word document before uploading. In MS Word, go to the tools menu, then select "track changes". You can either highlight the changes (to check them before you approve them), or go directly to "approve or reject changes". Once you approve the changes, then they are no longer visible, and they will not show up on the pdf file that is built in the ANS Editorial Manager system.

Please note the following guidelines for preparing your manuscript:

bullet Prepare the article double spaced in PC formatted Windows95 version of Microsoft Word 7.0 (or later version). Leave a one-inch margin on all sides. Do not right justify.
bullet Type all headings on a separate line.
bullet Number all article pages consecutively in the upper right-hand corner (text and references, followed by illustrations on separate pages).
bullet All legends for Tables and Figures are to be included with the manuscript; include these at the end of manuscript after the list of references. Tables and Figures are attached as separate files when you reach "attach files" in the submission process. Prepare tables and figures in a format ready for reproduction. Further instructions for preparing figures are given below.
bullet Manuscript length (including all references, tables, figures) should be within a range of 15 to 30 pages (standard 8.5 x 11 inch page size). Excessively long manuscripts are seldom published in order to accommodate as much diversity as possible within each issue.
bullet Use the American Medical Association Manual of Style, Ed. 9, Copyright 1998, for citations and references. See detailed guidelines for citations and references below.
bullet The list of references is not to exceed 50 entries.
bullet No identifying information (authors' names) should be included on the manuscript. If you cite your own works, list them as "Author, YYYY" in the citation and the reference list in order to maintain your anonymity for the review process.

Abbreviations: Write out the full term for each abbreviation at its first use unless it is a standard unit of measure.

References: The authors are responsible for the accuracy of the references. Key the references (double-spaced) at the end of the manuscript. Cite the references in text in the order of appearance. Cite unpublished data—such as papers submitted but not yet accepted for publication and personal communications, including e-mail communications—in parentheses in the text. If you cite your own works, list them as "Author, YYYY" in the citation and the reference list in order to maintain your anonymity for the review process.

    The citations and  reference list is to be styled according to the American Medical Association Manual of Style, Ed. 9, Copyright 1998, AMA. Examples of citations within the text and reference list style are as follows:

    Citation: Reliability has been established previously,1,2-8,19

    Citation following a quote: Jacobsen concluded that "the consequences of muscle strength..."5(pp3,4)

    Reference list: Books

    1. Gregory CF, Chapman MW, Hanse ST Jr. Open fractures.  In: Rockwood CA Jr, Green DP, eds. Fractures. Philadelphia: JB LIppincott Co; 1984: 169-218.

    2. Yando R, Seitz U, Zigler E., et al. Imitation: A Developmental Perspective. New York: John Wiley & Sons; 1978.

    Reference list: Journal articles (with abbreviated journal names)
    3. Stevens, PE, Hall, JM. Appyling critical theories to nursing in communities. Public Health Nurs. . 1992; 9(1):2-9.
    Reference list: unpublished material
    4. Sieger M. The nature and limits of clinical medicine. In: Cassell EJ, Siegler M., eds. Changing Values in Medicine. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. In press.
    Reference list: dissertation and thesis
    5. Raymand CA. Uncovering Ideology: Occupational Health in the Mainstream and Advocacy Press, 1970-1982.  Ithaca, NY: Cornell University; 1983. Thesis.
    Reference list: World Wide Web
    6. Health care Financing Administration. 1996 Statistics at a glance.  Available at Accessed December 2, 1996.
    Reference list: Online Journal
    7. Harrison CL, Schmidt PQ, Jones JD. Aspirin compared with acetaminophen for relief of headache. Online J Curr Clin Trials [serial on-line]. January 2, 1992; doc 1.

Figures: Figures will be submitted as a separate file when you are instructed to attach files to your submission. Electronic art should be created/scanned and saved and submitted as either a TIFF (tagged image file format), an EPS (encapsulated postscript) file, or a PPT (Power Point) file. Do not use screens, color, shading, or fine lines. Line art must have a resolution of at least 1200 dpi (dots per inch), and scanned images must have a resolution of at least 300 dpi. If fonts are used in the artwork, they must be converted to paths or outlines or they must be embedded in the files. Please note that artwork generated from office suite programs such Corel Draw and MS Word and artwork downloaded from the Internet (JPEG or GIFF files) cannot be used. Cite figures consecutively on the site, and number them in the order in which they are discussed.

Figure legends: Include legends for all figures. They should be brief and specific, and they should appear on a separate manuscript page after the references.

Tables: Tables will be submitted as a separate file when you are instructed to attach files to your submission. Create tables using the table creating and editing feature of your word processing software (eg, Word, WordPerfect). Do not use Excel or comparable spreadsheet programs. Group all tables in a separate file. Cite tables consecutively in the text, and number them in that order. Each table should appear on a separate page and should include the table title, appropriate column heads, and explanatory legends (including definitions of any abbreviations used). Do not embed tables within the body of the manuscript. They should be self-explanatory and should supplement, rather than duplicate, the material in the text.


ANS insists on readability addressed to a wide audience. The tone of the article should be scholarly but not "stiff." The approach should be both informative and interpretive with some emphasis given to the implications of information presented and to the provision of fresh insights. First person pronouns are acceptable for manuscripts that require an active author's voice. Research papers should include all pertinent information related to the study, including the purpose of the study, a brief summary of background literature and justification of the study, a summary of the theoretical framework on which the study is based, the research problems or hypotheses, methodology and design, analysis of data, and a summary of conclusions and recommendations for further research and for nursing practice. Articles that deal with research methodologies and designs, concept analysis, theory analysis, and value or ethical problems, or application of theory and/or research findings in practice should be organized in a logical manner consistent with the author's purpose.

Here are a few tips to help you improve your language related to ethnicity, illnesses, disabilities and handicaps:

bullet Always put the person first, then the descriptor. Say or write "person with a disability" rather than disabled person.
bullet Use disability to describe a functional limitation that interferes with a person's ability to walk, hear, see, talk, learn. Use handicap to describe a situation or barrier imposed by society, the environment, or oneself.
bullet Don't be concerned if you find yourself using words like "see" to a person who is blind, or "hear" to a person who is deaf. These words won't offend.
bullet Do not refer to a person in a wheelchair as "confined" to a wheelchair. It's better to say or write "uses a wheelchair."
bullet Do not say "normal person" as compared to a person with a disability. Say able-bodied or nondisabled.
bullet Avoid such words as victim, oppressed, stricken with, crippled, mute, deaf and dumb, or afflicted. For example, refer to a person who has had a stroke as a stroke survivor, not as a stroke victim.
bullet Do not say arthritic or cerebral palsied. It's better to say "he has arthritis" or "she has cerebral palsy."
bullet Do not say birth defect. It's better to say a person who has a disability since birth; a congenital disability.
bullet Remember that a person with a disability is a person like anyone else--they just happen to have a disability.


Manuscript Submission

On-line Manuscript Submission.
All manuscripts must be submitted on-line through the ANS Editorial Manager Web site at You are required to indicate the issue topic for which your manuscript is being submitted when you reach the "category" section in the submission process. We recommend that you submit manuscripts no more than four months in advance of the deadline date, but no later than the deadline, for the particular issue for which the article is to be considered. Please consult the list of forthcoming issues on the "Information for Authors" page for further information on the topics planned and the deadline dates for submission. Articles must be received by the manuscript due date.

To submit your manuscript on the ANS Editorial Manager web site:

First-time users: Click the "Register" button from the main menu (on the upper banner) and enter the requested information. On successful registration, you will be sent an e-mail indicating your user name and password. Save a copy of this information for future reference. Then log into the system as an author.

Return users : If you have received an e-mail from us with an assigned user ID and password as an author or as a reviewer, do not register again. Just log in as an author. Once you have an assigned ID and password, you do not have to re-register, even if your status changes (that is, author, reviewer, or editor).

After you log in as an author, you can submit your manuscript according to the step-by-step instructions on the web. You will be able to track the progress of your manuscript through the system. If you experience any problems, please refer to the detailed "Author Tutorial" guide available on the Editorial Manager web site. If you still need assistance, contact the Editorial Office e-mail:

Submisson of Letters to the Editor

We encourage letters to the editor as a way to promote dialogue, challenge and alternative perspectives to articles published in ANS. Letters to the Editor are also submitted on-line through the ANS Editorial Manager Web site at When you are asked for the article type, select the "Letter to the Editor" option. Use the first available forthcoming issue topic as the issue for which your manuscript is being submitted when you reach the "category" section in the submission process.

After Submission

There are three stages of manuscript review prior to final publication of the article. They are as follows:

I. Editorial peer review to determine the scholarly merit of the article. All manuscripts are reviewed by three members of the Editorial Review Panel. Members of the board evaluate the manuscripts based on the following criteria:
bullet concise, logical ordering of ideas;
bullet sound argument and defense of original ideas;
bullet accuracy of content and adequacy of documentation;
bullet use of sound methods of research or other forms of scholarly investigation; and
bullet consistency with the purposes of the journal and the projected issue topic for which the article is  intended.

II. Determination of eligibility for publication. Upon completion of the peer review, the editor makes a decision regarding the eligibility of the article for selection based on the comments and recommendations of the editorial board reviewers. At least two reviewers must recommend the article for publication if the article is to be eligible for selection. Based on the peer review, the editor makes one of the following decisions:

bullet Article is eligible for selection as submitted.
bullet Article is eligible for selection after completing minor revisions suggested by the reviewers and the editor.
bullet Article must be revised and resubmitted for review by the deadline date provided by the editor.
bullet Article rejected based on the reviewers' evaluation.

 III. Selection of articles for publication. Because ANS is a topical journal, final selection of articles for each issue is made approximately four months prior to publication of each issue. Selection of articles is made from those articles that have been determined to be eligible for publication based on the results of the first two stages of the review process. This review is made by the editor and the editorial staff. The selection is based on the following criteria

bullet Strength of the reviewers' comments and recommendations for publication.
bullet Congruence of the content of the article with the projected issue topic.
bullet Overall balance and diversity in the type of articles selected for inclusion. For example, an attempt is made to include a balance of theory-related and research articles, and a diversity in the focus of the selected articles.
bullet Space available for inclusion in the projected issue.

The corresponding author of each article that is eligible for selection is notified by the editor of the status of the article for publication approximately four months prior to the projected publication date. If an article has been determined to be eligible for selection but is not selected, the rights of the article revert to the author(s). Unless the article is considered to be of exceptional merit by the reviewers and the editor, it cannot be held for future publication in ANS.

After Acceptance

Page proofs and corrections: Corresponding authors will receive electronic page proofs to check the copyedited and typeset article before publication. Portable document format (PDF) files of the typeset pages and support documents (eg, reprint order form) will be sent to the corresponding author by e-mail. Complete instructions will be provided with the e-mail for downloading and printing the files and for faxing the corrected page proofs to the publisher. Those authors without an e-mail address will receive traditional page proofs. It is the author’s responsibility to ensure that there are no errors in the proofs. Changes that have been made to conform to journal style will stand if they do not alter the authors' meaning. Only the most critical changes to the accuracy of the content will be made. Changes that are stylistic or are a reworking of previously accepted material will be disallowed. The publisher reserves the right to deny any changes that do not affect the accuracy of the content. Authors may be charged for alterations to the proofs beyond those required to correct errors or to answer queries. Proofs must be checked carefully and corrections faxed within 24 to 48 hours of receipt, as requested in the cover letter accompanying the page proofs.