25 Years and Counting: The History of the OJNI

New Trends in Nursing Informatics – Share Your Expertise

CITATION: Kaminski, J. (2021). Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI), 25(1).

2021 brings the 25th year of the Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI). All of us here at OJNI are both proud and humbled to realize how long we have been active and how much further we wish to go in the future. “The Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI) was cyberborn in December of 1996. It was one of the first free online journals of nursing. The original aims of OJNI were and remain to publish peer-reviewed, original, high quality scientific papers, review articles, practice-based articles, and databases related to nursing informatics. The philosophical underpinnings for the journal arose from the commitment and drive of the Editorial Board. OJNI is committed to enhancing nursing's knowledge of nursing informatics for nurses in any healthcare setting” (McGonigle et al., 2001, p. 1).

The OJNI was the result of one nurse’s dream, supported by the dedicated and enthusiastic team she invited to join her in the fulfillment of this dream. Dr. Dee McGonigle spearheaded the journal conception, planning and production and offered it as a free open journal for all to enjoy and learn from. “Dr. McGonigle, a Registered Nurse, approached Dr. Eggers, an Instructional Technologist, with an idea for an online journal for nursing informatics (hence the name). This duo conceptualized the fundamentals of the journal eliciting the help of experts in the fields of informatics and publishing” (McGonigle et al., 2001, p. 1).

“OJNI was one of the first free nursing journals to be launched completely in an online environment” (McGonigle et al., 2001, p. 1) and the first dedicated to nursing informatics. Since it started in the 1990s, the design and interface of the journal has evolved over time. At first, housed in simple HTML pages, the OJNI eventually became more attractive and accessible in 2012 when Wordpress software was adopted as an interface “to enhance mobile access, whether by phone, tablet, or other tool” (Kaminski, 2012, p. 1). 

2014 was a pivotal year in the evolution of OJNI. “When our longstanding Editor in Chief, Dee McGonigle decided to retire from OJNI, she deliberated carefully about the fate of the journal. Her first step to ensuring that the journal would continue was to approach leaders at Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) to see if they would be willing to take over the ownership of OJNI. When they agreed, she then approached me to replace her as Editor in Chief” (Kaminski, 2014a, p. 1). One major improvement implemented by HIMSS in July 2014 was the adoption of an online submission program. Submittable was selected as our new submission platform to enhance the manuscript submission, review, and revision process. “This change will allow prospective authors to submit their manuscript directly into the workspace where managing editors and reviewers can access and review them. We anticipate this move will streamline the review process and facilitate communication between the OJNI team and authors” (Kaminski, 2014b, p. 1). Another change was the interface change of the journal as it was moved to the HIMSS website. This interface has evolved over time as well, as we continue to redesign the presentation to serve our readers better.

Under HIMSS administration and the dedication of our team spearheaded by Dr. Kathleen Mastrian (our Senior Managing Editor), Dr. Jack Yensen (our Chief Senior Editor), our Peer Reviewers, and my self, the OJNI has grown to become an active voice for nursing informatics with a wider audience. As such, prospective authors are encouraged to fine tune their submissions and consider the audience they are writing for. “Now that HIMSS publishes the journal it is fitting to point out ways that you can shape your manuscripts to suit this high profile leader in informatics and heath care technology. My first suggestion is to become a HIMSS member so you can access and take advantage of the copious amounts of resources, educational materials and updates offered. This will help you to glean understanding about the current state of informatics which can guide your writing and research. Every author wants to produce a paper that is meaningful to their audience and perhaps even present a maverick approach not seen before. Informatics is a swiftly evolving field at this present time - it takes dedication and effort to keep on top of the latest breakthroughs and accepted practices” (Kaminski, 2015, p. 1).

Another way to get involved is to attend HIMSS events, such as the global conference HIMSS21 (being held in Las Vegas August 9 – 13) or the myriad of virtual events sponsored by the organization.

A long-standing tradition of the OJNI has been to invite and encourage experts in the field to join us as Senior Editors. Beginning in 2010, “our Senior Editor columns have highlighted powerful advice, insights, forecasts, and calls to action from existing and rising informatics ‘stars’. Each Senior Editor contributes regular columns to our OJNI issues (published three times a year). Senior Editors are recruited and managed by our Chief Senior Editor, Dr. Jack Yensen. Over the years, the Senior Editor line-up has evolved and fluctuated. At times, the line-up has been a virtual who’s who of nursing informatics talent and expertise” (Kaminski, 2017, p. 1). We are always open to new Senior Editors - any expert informatics writer interested in becoming a Senior Editor should send in their interest to Dr. Yensen.

“The future of OJNI is bright. As an evolving journal, it is our intention to continue to cultivate and enhance OJNI, establishing and nurturing this cybercommunity of shared nursing informatics expertise” (McGonigle et al., 2001, p. 1). We continue to echo Dr. McGonigle’s vision for OJNI and look forward to offering you a valuable and insightful informatics journal for many more years.

Kaminski, J. (February 2012). Continuing the OJNI Evolution Saga. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI), 16 (1), Kaminski, J. (2014a). The Evolution of OJNI Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI), 18(1). Kaminski, J. (2014b). Keeping Up with the Times. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI), 18(2). Kaminski, J. (2015). A New Year, A New OJNI! Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI), 19(1).… Kaminski, J. (2017). Successful Submission Tips. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI), 21(1).… Kaminski, J. (Fall, 2017). Call for OJNI Senior Editors – Seeking Our New Bright Stars. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI), 21(3).… McGonigle, D., Seymour, R., Englebardt, S., Allen, M. & Chang, B. (2001). The Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI). Special Section: Online Journal Publication. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 6(2).…