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Western Journal of Nursing Research

An International Forum for Communicating Nursing Research

University of Missouri, Columbia

The Official Journal of the Midwest Nursing Research Society


Manuscript Requirements

Provide a descriptive manuscript title of no more than 12 words.

Number all pages, beginning with abstract page and including references, tables, and figures. Research reports may be 16 pages, review articles generally may be 20 pages, and grantsmanship papers may be 7 pages. (Title page, abstract, references, tables, and figures do not count towards total.)

Do not use bold or italics in the manuscript for text other than headings, subheadings, and references. Use one inch margins and 12-point typeface. Double space the entire document including tables and references. Do not include line numbers. Use three or fewer abbreviations in the manuscript text. Additional abbreviations may be necessary in some complex tables.

Prepare a blinded manuscript file that does not contain any author information. Do not include a title page in this file. When blinding references, replace the citations and author list with “Authors,” but retain the rest of the reference entry for reviewers.

Include an abstract in paragraph form without citations as the first page of the manuscript file in addition to filling in the required abstract text box on the online system. Abstracts should focus on methods and results, with much less space devoted to background and discussion. Limit the abstract to 150 words. Do not use headings or abbreviations in abstracts. Include four to five keywords at the bottom of your abstract for indexing. Use MeSH terms if possible.

The organization for WJNR research reports is as follows:

  • Use APA style for levels of headings to distinguish main headings (methods, results, and discussion) from subheadings (such as sample, measures, intervention, procedures, data analyses). 
  • Introduction: Do not use a heading. No more than one paragraph about the study topic.
  • Statement of the Problem: Use a substantive, descriptive heading which describes the topic; do not use “Literature Review” or “Statement of the Problem” as the heading. Include rationale for the study, any conceptual framework, and literature review.
  • Purpose: Most manuscripts would benefit from this heading. State specific research questions or hypotheses which name all variables in the study.
  •  Most manuscripts would benefit from this heading. State specific research questions or hypotheses which name all variables in the study.
  • Methods: Specify design, participants/sampling, data collection/measures, interventions, procedures, and/or analysis plans as relevant. Intervention reports are welcome and are allowed 4 additional pages over the 16 page limit for detailed description. Please use the CONSORT guidelines ( when developing intervention manuscripts (flow charts are generally not necessary). Provide extensive details regarding any interventions (see Conn, WJNR 34, 427-433 for intervention details to report).
  • Results: Describe sample attributes then present results by research questions or hypotheses. When statistical tests are performed, provide test statistics and exact p values. Report means and measures of variability for important variables. Report numbers of subjects included in analyses, if this varies.
  • Discussion: The last heading, do not use subheadings in this section. The section should include findings interpreted in the context of other research, conceptual frameworks, or design.
  • References: Use the most recent APA Manual of Style for citations and reference lists. References for research reports are generally limited to 30 citations; reviews may include more citations.
  • Include any acknowledgement statement on the title page file, not the manuscript file. Do not state authors’ names in acknowledgements. Limit to major contributions. Be brief.

Tables and figures are encouraged when they convey information not presented in the text. Tables andfigures should display unique information; do not report the same information in figures and tables. Figures are optional, must be camera-ready, and black and white; WJNR does not publish color figures. No more than one figure per page. APA rules mandate that each table have only one kind of data (e.g., do not place frequencies and continuous data in the same table). Produce tables in word processing programs and eliminate any dividing lines within tables. Group tables and figures at the end of the manuscript file or in a separate file. Avoid tables longer than one page. Research reports should contain no more than 3 tables or figures total, but exceptions are possible. Review articles may contain additional tables.

  • Follow APA format for tables. New authors should work with experienced authors or statisticians to construct tables.
  • Each column in a table must contain only one kind of data (e.g., frequencies and means cannot be in the same column).
  • Tables must have column labels which indicate the kind of data in that column (e.g., means(SD), n(%), r(p)).
  • Do not create small tables with few rows and columns, these data may be better presented in the text.
  • Tables should always contain information about the number of subjects in the analyses. If all subjects are included in all cells, this may be designated parenthetically at the end of the title such as (N = 451) otherwise designate sample sizes in column headings or in a footnote.
  • In tables and text, upper case ‘N’ designates the entire sample. Lower case ‘n’ denotes a subsample.
  • Report exact p values (instead of p less than values) whenever possible in tables and text.
  • Limit information in tables to essential content. Tables over two manuscript pages in length should be rare.

Review papers should address health problems or nursing practice issues with high significance for many patients or nurses. Reviews should synthesize previous findings as well as suggest future research and practice. Review articles should be organized in a manner consistent with the content area and have appropriate headings and subheadings. The extent of previous research determines the number of references and tables.


Papers should only be submitted for consideration once consent is given by all contributing authors. Those submitting papers should carefully check that all those whose work contributed to the paper are acknowledged as contributing authors.

The list of authors should include all those who can legitimately claim authorship. This is all those who:

(i) made a substantial contribution to the concept and design, acquisition of data or analysis and interpretation of data,

(ii) drafted the article or revised it critically for important intellectual content,

(iii) approved the version to be published.

(iv) agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Please refer to the ICMJE Authorship guidelines at

Any acknowledgements should appear first at the end of your article prior to your Declaration of Conflicting Interests (if applicable), any notes and your References.

All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an ‘Acknowledgements’ section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support. Authors should disclose whether they had any writing assistance and identify the entity that paid for this assistance.


To comply with the guidance for Research Funders, Authors and Publishers issued by the Research Information Network (RIN), WJNR additionally requires all Authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading. Please visit Funding Acknowledgements on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding or state in your acknowledgments that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Declaration of conflicting interests

It is the policy of WJNR to require a declaration of conflicting interests from all authors enabling a statement to be carried within the paginated pages of all published articles.

Please include any declaration at the end of your manuscript after any acknowledgements and prior to the references, under a heading ‘Conflict of interests’. If no declaration is made the following will be printed under this heading in your article: ‘None declared’. Alternatively, you may wish to state that ‘The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’.

When making a declaration the disclosure information must be specific and include any financial relationship that all authors of the article has with any sponsoring organization and the for-profit interests the organization represents, and with any for-profit product discussed or implied in the text of the article.

Any commercial or financial involvements that might represent an appearance of a conflict of interest need to be additionally disclosed in the covering letter accompanying your article to assist the Editor in evaluating whether sufficient disclosure has been made within the Declaration of Conflicting Interests provided in the article.

For more information please visit the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

Research ethics

All papers reporting animal and human studies must include whether written consent was obtained from the local Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board. Please ensure that you have provided the full name and institution of the review committee and an Ethics Committee reference number.

We accept manuscripts that report human and/or animal studies for publication only if it is made clear that investigations were carried out to a high ethical standard. Studies in humans which might be interpreted as experimental (e.g. controlled trials) should conform to the Declaration of Helsinki and typescripts must include a statement that the research protocol was approved by the appropriate ethical committee. In line with the Declaration of Helsinki 1975, revised Hong Kong 1989, we encourage authors to register their clinical trials (at or other suitable databases identified by the ICMJE (see Clinical Trials Registration). If your trial has been registered, please state this on the Title Page. When reporting experiments on animals, indicate on the Title Page which guideline/law on the care and use of laboratory animals was followed.

Patient consent

Authors are required to ensure the following guidelines are followed, as recommended by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals. Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information, including patients' names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that a patient who is identifiable be shown the manuscript to be published.

Identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve, however, and informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients is inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic pedigrees, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning and editors should so note. When informed consent has been obtained it should be indicated in the submitted article.

Contributor’s publishing agreement

Before publication, SAGE requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. SAGE’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive license agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants SAGE the sole and exclusive right and license to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than SAGE. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit our Frequently Asked Questions on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

WJNR and SAGE take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of articles published in the journal. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked using duplication-checking software. Where an article is found to have plagiarized other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article (removing it from the journal); taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author’s institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; banning the author from publication in the journal or all SAGE journals, or appropriate legal action.


Authors are responsible for obtaining permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

WJNR is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

Submit manuscripts online at 

WJNR Editor Vicki Conn or Assistant Sandra Dearlove may be contacted at 

WJNR Welcomes Outstanding Review Manuscripts

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Frequency: Monthly eISSN: 1552-8456 ISSN: 0193-9459
Months of Distribution: January , February , March , April , May , June , July , August , September , October , November , December Current Volume: 37 Current Issue: 7
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