Eminent nursing researcher shares publishing tips with MTSU nursing faculty

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Marilyn H. Oermann, the Thelma M. Ingles Professor of Nursing at Duke University, left, is shown with Jenny Sauls, director of the MTSU School of Nursing, following Oermann's talk to nursing faculty Aug. 19 about how to get published in academic journals. (Submitted photo)

One of the most prominent nursing professors in the nation has tips for MTSU nursing faculty to help them share their knowledge.

Marilyn H. Oermann, the Thelma M. Ingles Professor of Nursing at Duke University, recently spoke to an audience of health care educators in the Cason-Kennedy Nursing Building.

"She is probably one of the most highly published nurse scholars of our time," said Deborah Lee, the university's National Health Care Corp. Chair of Excellence in Nursing. "She has over 21 books. She has over 170 ... articles published in peer-reviewed journals."

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Oermann's message to the nursing professors was that sharing their information and experience with the rest of the profession is vital. Crammed teaching and laboratory schedules leave little time or energy for publishing, but Oermann suggested writing a little bit each day instead of trying to produce a paper all at once.

"In six weeks, if you take an hour and you have two paragraphs, you have a paper," Lee recalled from Oermann's presentation. "You have something to publish."

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Oermann also told the audience that their articles don't necessarily have to be based on research to become published in peer-reviewed journals.

"They can be innovative things that you're doing in the classroom or new things you're noticing in the clinical setting or quality improvement projects or literature reviews," Lee said.

Oermann also warned the professors about so-called predatory journals, which will bilk an unwary academic both out of the article and the publishing fee.

"The problem with it is that, if you submit it, and you don't know that that's what they are, they will then send you a bill for anywhere from $200 to $5,000," Lee said. "Until you pay that fee, they don't want to give you your article back."

Lee said these journals typically don't last very long, and, when they fold, articles die with them and fees are lost for good. However, Lee emphasized that there are legitimate fee-for publishing academic journals, and nursing academics should not shy away from publishing information that could help all nurses adopt best practices.

"It influences and informs our practice, and, in nursing, evidence-based practice is what we teach and what we hope our nurses are practicing," Lee said.

Oermann's Aug. 19 appearance was made possible by the Office of Dean Harold Whiteside of the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences; the Faculty Services Committee; the NHC Chair of Excellence in Nursing; and the Xi Alpha chapter of Sigma, the international honor society of nursing.

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