Nursing and Health Policy Perspectives Turning conference presentations into publications As I write my first editorial this year in Seoul, Republic of Korea, the clock is ticking. It won’t be long before the start of the ICN International Conference in Seoul, taking place from 19–23 June 2015. Many of my colleagues here are working hard to showcase this conference to the global world of nursing and to make attendees feel welcome. The conference description reads: ‘this international gathering of thousands of nurses will explore the importance of cross-cultural understanding and global cooperation in nursing’ (ICN 2015). For many nurses this will be their first trip to Korea and first experience of the excitement of networking and listening to nurses from many countries and cultures. And for many who received an abstract acceptance, it will be a chance to present their work. Most of you who have attended large conferences know that it is impossible to attend all presentations because many are held simultaneously due to program arrangements. This means that the good work of presenters is not heard by everyone who would like to attend. And I am sure that we as an audience suffer for this since new innovations, ideas and findings are not heard by all. In the scheme of things, audiences at conferences are small and you need wider distribution of your research or practice projects. The answer is to publish your presentation as a journal article, either in your own language or internationally in English. Publication in a peer-reviewed journal helps to ensure that your work is disseminated widely, beyond the conference. Such dissemination is critical if we are truly committed to sharing knowledge to help provide evidence for nursing practice and policy making to ultimately improve the health of people. Naturally we would like many of you to send your paper to the International Nursing Review if it fits our journal guidelines. Too often, in my experience, nurses are good at presenting at conferences and various meetings, but don’t follow through with publishing their work. This phenomenon is not confined to nursing. For example Weale et al. (2006) found that of those papers presented at two annual meetings of the Vascular Surgical Society and the British Transplantation Society, only 35% and 36% respectively had been published within two years of the meetings.
© 2015 International Council of Nurses
The reasons for not publishing presentations may vary from ‘I haven’t got time’ or ‘I don’t know how to do it’ to, sadly, ‘I couldn’t be bothered’. Or presenters might be under the misunderstanding that if their abstract is published, and they present at a conference, then they cannot write for publication. Nothing could be further from the truth. Novice researchers and authors from many countries may lack mentors to help them with their writing. If this is the case for you, one important strategy is to ask more experienced authors for help, and perhaps offer them a place as co-author on your paper. Remember conferences are for networking and learning from one another, so what better place to try to find someone who can help mentor you through your publication writing. Another strategy is to try to write your paper for publication first, and then extract your presentation from it. Since most of the writing is done, it is easier to finalise the paper for submission. These days a lot of literature is available about writing for publication, such as the very helpful chapter by Levett-Jones & Stone (in Holland & Watson 2012). Author guidelines from journals can also be a great help for novice writers. Whatever strategy you choose, work hard to get your presentation published. It’s important! Sue Turale, Editor Contact: [email protected]
Professor, Department of Global Health and Nursing Ewha Womans University Seoul, Korea
References International Council of Nurses (2015) 2015 Conference, Global Nursing, Global Citizen. Available at: http://www.icn2015.ch/en/ (accessed 5 January 2015). Levett-Jones, T. & Stone, T. (2012) Writing for publication: turning the conference paper into publishable work. In (Holland, K. & Watson, R., eds). Writing for Publication in Nursing and Healthcare: Getting it Right. John Wiley & Sons, pp. 145–161. Weale, A.R., Edwards, A.G., Lear, P.A. & Morgan, J.D.T. (2006) From meeting presentation to peer-review publication – a UK review. Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, 88 (1), 52–56.
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