New decade, new beginnings

McKeever, Stephen (2020) New decade, new beginnings. Journal of Child Health Care, 24(1), pp. 3-4. ISSN (print) 1367-4935


Welcome to this decades first edition of Journal of Child Health Care. Before moving on I would like to take this opportunity and thank all those who have helped make the previous decade a successful one for this journal. With this New Year and decade comes some journal changes. As you may have heard Philip Darbyshire has now stepped down as Editor in Chief. I am honoured to have been offered this role. Taking on an Editor in Chief role for the Journal of Child Health Care entails attempting to fill some big shoes. Both Bernie Carter and Philip Darbyshire (Carter and Darbyshire, 2018) have their place in paediatric nursing’s hall of fame, yet they are both kind and generous with their time. Certainly both warrant being listed as part of Nursing’s ‘thriller elite’ (Darbyshire and Thompson, 2014). As Philip steps back from Journal of Child Health Care and attempts to retire, I thought I would offer some personal reflection on Philip’s impact on my career. Back in 1995, when I started my children’s nursing training, ‘Living With a Sick Child in hospital’ had just been published (Darbyshire, 1994). I devoured this book. Not least because this important research had been carried out in the same hospital that I was training to be a children’s nurse but because insights from this book helped shaped my practice as a paediatric nurse. In a foreword for ‘Living With a Sick Child in hospital’ Living Legend Patricia Benner (American Academy of Nursing, 2019) describes this book as a ‘profound work’. High praise indeed. In Alison Copley’s (1997: p 23) book review she stated that this ‘book is relevant for both the undergraduate and the post-graduate nurse’. In delivering content to aspiring, and current, children’s nurses I still continue to recommend this relevant highly book. Now out of print it is available for free from Another, more personal, impact on me was the realisation that nurses (and males) could earn the title of Doctor. This fact was part of my inspiration to start and continue my doctoral journey. It was an awkward moment in 2012 when at the International Council of Nurses Conference in Melbourne I first met Phillip and attempted to explain this in person. Later in my career, further valuable insights into nursing academia came from articles exploring Thriller and Killer Elite of nursing (Darbyshire and Thompson, 2014; Thompson and Darbyshire, 2013). Phillip, thank you for all that you have done for nursing and for the Journal of Child Health Care. As one chapter closes another edition begins. As a new Editor-in-Chief I look forward to receiving and reviewing your future manuscripts. A frustration for many authors can be publication delays. These delays can happen at multiple phases in a manuscript’s life. The Journal of Child Health Care team, and I, will endeavour to reduce these delays as far as possible. However, some delays can be reduced by authors and reviewers. During my doctoral journey I learned to edit. For a previously below par at English secondary school student, this was a new skill. Learning to edit was aided by some useful texts (Kaplan, 2012; Strunk and White, 2000) and advice from many tolerant friends. For those aspiring authors, hoping to publish with Journal of Child Health Care, you are advised to continue your editing discovery journey. This will help expedite your manuscript through our journal processes and increase your chances of manuscript acceptance. An integral and indispensable part of a peer reviewed journal are its reviewers. This is an essential element that sets journals such as Journal of Child Health Care apart from the deluge of ‘predatory’ non-journals, whose spam emails no doubt clog up your email inbox. Many frustrating publishing delays are caused by an inability to find reviewers. If we are to continue a fight against predatory publishers (Darbyshire et al., 2016; Darbyshire, 2019), when a review request is received from a reputable journal such as ours please try to say yes. This will help maintain academia’s valued peer reviewed basis and help ensure that when you read something or see something cited in ‘the literature’, that it absolutely deserves to be there.

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