1. Vessey, Judith MBA, PhD, FAAN

Article Content

Asked to write this editorial last fall by Nursing Research's editor, Molly (Mickey) Dougherty, I intended to examine the growing roles that social networking and social media are playing in the research arena and how nursing scholars can capitalize on the emerging opportunities they present. Mickey later announced that she is stepping down from her position and this issue is her last. For me, this was yin and yang-a future of possibilities contrasted to the celebration of a job well done, diametrically opposite but interconnected and interdependent.


Mickey has served as editor-in-chief of Nursing Research for 15 years. When she began, electronic library searching platforms were simplistic; Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking platforms did not exist. Now, for many of us, these platforms are an integral part of our daily communication with colleagues, students, friends, and family. We read Facebook updates and tweets on our smart phones; our journals are now available electronically. Social networking allows us to find and build networks among our colleagues who share our research interests, regardless of discipline or location. We can also conduct research with diverse populations otherwise impossible to reach. While maintaining the rigor of peer review, newly accepted articles are immediately announced in tweets and posts and reach their audiences electronically ahead of print. The list goes on; the possibilities are endless.


Under Mickey's direction, Nursing Research only began using social network platforms last year. But if Nursing Research's Facebook "wall" existed from the inception of Mickey's editorship, its public postings might read something like this:


* 1996: New editor announced[horizontal ellipsis]WELCOME Dr. Molly Dougherty!


* 2000: We are live[horizontal ellipsis]come see Nursing Research's Web site at


* 2000: Eastern Nursing Research Society and the Western Institute of Nursing adopt Nursing Research as their organizations' journal[horizontal ellipsis]bravo to Mickey's leadership.


* 2004: Our first fully funded supplemental issue "Shaping Future Directions for Incontinence Research: Reports from an International Nursing Summit."


* 2004: An insider view of the review process. Open Manuscript Review launches on the editor's Web site.


* 2006: Oldies but goodies. Nursing Research archival issues-back to 1952-go live on Ovid.


* 2007: OMG! Nursing Research's Impact Factor is now 1.748!


* 2008: Fostering global connections. Nursing Research now reaches 2,385 institutions worldwide through Ovid.


* 2009: It's all about you! Check out the new personalization features and digital tools at


* 2011: RSS feeds from the journal site filter through Facebook and Twitter.


* 2012: Nursing Research is now interactive! Follow the editor's insights at


* 2012: iTouch the future: Nursing Research is now available for your iPad!



I think I speak for all editorial board members, reviewers, and readers as we tweet goodbye: "Thanks for taking Nursing Research to the 21st century, for advancing nursing knowledge. Your leadership will be missed." @yourNRconstituencies



Judith Vessey, MBA, PhD, FAAN


Editorial Board Member


Nursing Research


Lelia Holden Carroll Professor


William F. Connell School of Nursing


Boston College


Chestnut Hill, MA 02467