1. Section Editor(s): Rodts, Mary Faut DNP, CNP, ONC, FAAN
  2. Editor

Article Content

Information can be found anywhere and at any time, day or night. With just a quick click of a mouse, information is instantly available. Eighty-seven percent of American adults report that they use the Internet (Pew Research Center, 2014). When that is taken one step further, in a different study performed in 2013 by the Pew Research Center, 59% of the adults surveyed said that they had looked online for medical information.

Mary Faut Rodts, DNP... - Click to enlarge in new windowMary Faut Rodts, DNP, CNP, ONC, FAAN Editor

The question needs to be asked, is the information that is found on the Internet a reliable source of accurate healthcare information? The answer is ... definitely not in all situations. It is very important that when reviewing online information, the source be credible. Information can be found from peer-reviewed publications, industry websites, medical practitioners' websites and blogs, to name just a few. Just because it is written and found on the Internet does not ensure that it is correct.


The peer review process has been the standard for confirming accuracy of the information presented. Experts in the field review the manuscript for content, inconsistencies, and errors. It is very important that this process be secure and free of any fraudulent type of activity. Recently, the peer review process of a number of journals was compromised, resulting in a fraudulent peer review process and publication of manuscripts that should not have been published. In these cases, authors worked with several different agencies that offered their services to write or oversee the preparation and submission of a manuscript-guaranteeing publication of the manuscript for a fee to be paid by the author. These agencies then were able to manipulate the peer review process in favor of the author through a flaw in the review process. As an editor hearing about this scam, it made me incredibly angry. Fortunately, we have not fallen prey to this tactic.


Another trend is for companies to solicit authors to write for a publication or present at a conference. At first glance, it appears that due to the person's past academic work or professional notoriety, the person has been chosen to contribute to an online journal, book, or presentation. This, of course, could be flattering to the recipient. The letter may even ensure publication, which could be very tempting to the person who does not understand where the solicitation is coming from and who is looking for an opportunity to improve his or her curriculum vitae. In the end, the author is required to pay a fee to publish his or her material. What sounds too good, may not be good at all. A solicitation of a manuscript needs to be carefully reviewed to understand who is making the request and the credibility of where the manuscript ultimately would be published.


The most egregious of all activities is the development of companies that take data from others or fabricate data to write and submit manuscripts. This has become known as predatory publishing. Those authors who have a mandate to publish from their academic institutions or employers may seek to publish in any way that it can be achieved. The websites for these companies appear at first to be legitimate. Authors pay a large sum of money to have a thesis or manuscript written under their name. This is an ethical dilemma that all editors and publishers are dealing with.


Your true source of information should be obtained from reputable journals, publications, or organizations that have vetted their information through a rigorous review process. Orthopaedic Nursing abides by a strict peer review process before accepting a manuscript for publication. Articles are not purchased. Although manuscript may be solicited to be sure that latest trends and interesting information are presented to our readers, those authors are not guaranteed publication. Their manuscripts undergo the same rigorous peer review process. The Editorial staff of Orthopaedic Nursing, as well as our publishing partner, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, adheres to high ethical standards. You can always be sure that what is published in your journal has been critically evaluated. We are securing the orthopaedic nursing literature now and in the future.




Pew Research Center. (2013). Health Online. Retrieved from[Context Link]


Pew Research Center. (2014). Part 1: How the Internet has woven itself into American life. Retrieved from[Context Link]