Do You Want to Publish in OJNI? Here are some tips for Success!

By June Kaminski, RN MSN PhD(c), Editor in Chief


Kaminski, J. (Summer 2019). Do You Want to Publish in OJNI? Here are some tips for Success! Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI), 23(2).  Available at

For 23 years, the Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI) has encouraged nurses to submit manuscripts related to nursing and health informatics. Since the OJNI has a focus on nursing informatics, all submissions are expected to somehow relate to informatics. Since this field continues to expand, the lens of your research or paper can vary within a wide range of topics, for instance mobile health, electronic health records, telehealth, system planning and implementation, education, technological tools, big data and analytics, IoT, informatics specialists, competencies, privacy and confidentiality, new innovations, and so on. The key is to ensure your topic relates to informatics in some way.

Over the years we have perfected the submission process, including the use of a streamlined Submittable interface at

Manuscripts are submitted into one of two categories: General and Student Submissions.

General Submissions

Most submitted manuscripts fit into the General submissions category. This includes all nurses who are not currently an undergraduate or graduate level (Masters and early Doctoral) student. All manuscripts in this category are submitted for double blind peer review, a process that is consistent with many other nursing journals. Writers submit their blinded document for review, and two peer reviewers are assigned to carefully evaluate the submission for relevance, clarity, scholarship, organization, readability and logical presentation.

The two peer reviewers read each manuscript with the following questions in mind:

  • Is the content appropriate for the OJNI?
  • Is the subject relevant and interesting to our readers?
  • Is the manuscript well organized and logically presented?
  • Does the manuscript cite appropriate literature and provide proper credit to existing work on its topic?
  • Is the content clear, concise and easy to read?
  • Do tables, graphs or images enhance the manuscript content?
  • Does the paper represent an original, interesting and meaningful contribution to the topic?
  • Are references complete, current, and appropriate and in APA format?
  • Does the abstract explain the content clearly and concisely?

If both reviewers decide that a manuscript does meet these criteria, the editorial staff will work with the author to guide them to refine their work for final publication.

Student Submissions

Student submissions are accepted from undergraduate, Master’s and early Doctoral level students. Student articles are peer reviewed by the Editor in Chief, who works with the student to prepare their manuscript for final review and publication. To submit in this category,  choose “True” for Student Submission in Submittable.

NOTE: Doctoral dissertation related manuscripts should be submitted as a general submission (so choose “False” for Student Submission in Submittable).

Preparation Tips

The Editorial team is eager to solicit higher numbers of submissions in the coming months. We would like to see more nurses take the leap, sit down and write up their research and experiences, or their recommendations for nursing informatics evolution. To further encourage submissions, I offer some tips from an editor’s perspective to help you to do this successfully.

  • Outline your work so that your writing flows logically. You do not need to follow a set section pattern but the way you present your work should seem intuitive and make sense to the reader. There are resources available to help you to do this. Also, the more you write, the better you will get. Practice does indeed make perfect with writing.
  • OeDB’s 150 Resources to Help You Write Better, Faster, and More Persuasively:
  •  Paradigm Online Writing Assistant:
  • Poynter’s Writing Tools:
  • Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL):
  • Refine your work until your grammar, sentence structure and spelling are impeccable. A handy tip to help you with this – read your work out loud to yourself.  Awkward sentences are easy to hear, but are often missed during proofreading, especially for new writers. It also helps to have a second set of eyes review your work before submitting. Ask a friend or mentor to read your work and offer helpful feedback. Another tip – avoid jargon and make sure to spell out all acronyms the first time they are used.

Here are some resources that can help with this:

Here are some resources that target nurses specifically.

Here are some APA related resources:

To publish your work professionally on the HIMSS site, we ask that you use a modified APA layout. Please follow these steps to ensure the best appearance of your published work.

  • Modified APA Format Required
  • Align all content including headings to the left of the page.
  • Use Times New Roman size 12 font, double spaced for all text.
  • Title of Manuscript (use H1 font)
  • By Principal Author and Credentials e.g. Your Name, RN MSN PhD (italics)
  • Any Secondary Authors
  • Role and Institution (directly below each author, e.g. Director, University of Aragon)
  • Abstract (keep brief, use sections e.g. Background, Purpose, Design, Results)
  • Keywords
  • Introduction
  • Content – to accommodate the online formatting please modify your content as indicated:
    • Paragraphs double spaced, all left aligned, no indentation
    • Use American spelling and be sure to pay attention to your word processing program’s alerts about spelling and grammar.
    • No numbering with Headings e.g. VI. or 1.
    • Headings Level One for titles and Key sections with subsections (left aligned)
    • Headings Level Two for routine headings (left aligned)
    • Headings Level Three and on – use as needed (all left aligned)
    • Flag areas where figures (images) and tables need to be inserted clearly, e.g. use yellow highlight tool - so the insert point stands out readily e.g. INSERT FIG 1.
    • Include all figures and tables as individual graphics in either jpg or png format. Do not embed them in your manuscript. Ensure all spelling, etc. is correct on them and presentation is camera ready. Upload each to Submittable as a separate file.
    • Have a peer review your work and ensure that your formatting, spelling, grammar, and clarity are all polished before uploading to Submittable.
    • All within-content referencing must be done using APA e.g. (Name, 2009).
    • All quotes from the literature must include full citation with page number e.g. (Name, 2009, p.2).
    • If a reference is available online, include a link within the citation, e.g. (Name, 2009, p.2)
    • Make your reference list. Cite as per APA EXCEPT do not indent any lines – left align all and use single spacing, e.g.: Toews, D. (2003) The New Tarde: Sociology after the end of the social theory. Culture & Society, 20 (5), 81-98.
    • Author Bio(s): Include a brief (one paragraph) biographical sketch of all authors, including current position and full credentials at the end of your manuscript. You may also include an Acknowledgement section at the end, if appropriate.

Final Files for Submission

Before you submit ensure you have prepared the following files to upload:

  • Copy of your manuscript with no author names for blind review.
  • Cover page with full author details including credentials.
  • Author bio page with one paragraph brief biographies of each author.
  • Cover Letter introducing your work. If you are submitting as a student, include your school name, program and level you are currently in.
  • All figures and tables as separate image files (jpg or png format).

Manuscript submission can be a challenging and daunting endeavor, but it is also a very rewarding and acknowledging one. We encourage you to write, to contribute, to take up the challenge. You may well find the experience both fulfilling and edifying. Once published, your visibility as a professional instantly improves. Please consider writing and sharing your knowledge and experience by submitting to OJNI.