1. Section Editor(s): McGrath, Jacqueline M. PhD, RN, FNAP, FAAN
  2. Brandon, Debra PhD, RN, CCNS, FAAN

Article Content

Dear NANN colleagues,


In this issue, we have included a letter that was sent to the editors in response to an article published in Advances in Neonatal Care (ANC) 2016 issue 5.1 The authors' letter provided clarification and information about feeding infants with a cleft palate. We asked the authors of the original article whether they wanted to respond to this letter, and they chose not to respond because they believed the comments within the letter added clarity to their work. We thank the letter authors for their careful review of work published in ANC. This kind of review is important to us and definitely important to our readers. We want the content in the journal to be clear and correct; letters to the editor often facilitate increased clarity about content in a published work. This editorial is intended to inform you about when you should consider writing a letter to the editor.



Letters can be about information shared in a particular article published in any section or any issue of the journal. If your letter is about the content of a particular article, please clearly identify the article and submit your commentary in a timely way so that the letter is helpful to the authors and to our readers. Six months from the time of the publication of the original content has been suggested as appropriate time frame for submitting a letter that is in response to a particular article; however, critiques of findings in original research are always welcome in ANC.2 Research findings need to be clearly presented and easily understood by our readers, and a letter to the editor might increase clarity or help our readers better understand the relevance of the research to their practice.


Letters may also provide more detail about current practices or recommend additional evidence-based practice changes. Letters of these types provide a different perspective of clinical practice and can also provide a more complete picture about the originally published content. References are very helpful for letters that make statements based on published evidence such as previous research findings, well-known facts, or conceptual models and theories that would inform and strengthen the contents of the original article published in ANC.


Letters may also address specific inaccuracies in any published content. Errors happen; we are all human, and, yet, our patients are also important to each of us, so thoughtfully identifying and correcting errors are important to the provision of excellent neonatal care.


Letters may also be related to a section of the journal or the overall format or style of the journal. Letters should provide constructive feedback that may highlight both positive and negative aspects of the journal. Letters can be related to a particular section of the journal such as Clinical Issues in Neonatal Care and may include information about how the content informs your practice or could better inform your practice. Letters could also be about content you would like to see in the section or content you found difficult to read or not helpful to your practice since that is the focus of this section.


Letters should be concise and focused on the particular issues in the published article. In addition, letters should not be long; less than 350 words is often recommended.2 Personal attacks of authors are never helpful and are not considered worthy of publication. What is more helpful to our readers and authors is thoughtful rationale for why the content is incorrect or does not meet your practice needs. Anonymously submitted letters will not be considered for publication in ANC. However, at the request of the authors, we would thoughtfully consider publishing the letter without the author identified on a case-by-case basis.


We know that writing can be scary for many of you, but please do not let your fears overcome your passion for providing excellent care to our vulnerable infants and their families. We hope you will continue to read, scrutinize, review, and share with your colleagues the articles you read in ANC and consider writing a letter to the editors. Letters should be submitted through Editorial Manager in the same way as manuscripts. The journal editors will review the letter and assess for publication. We will also allow the author(s) of the original content the opportunity to respond to issues raised within the letter. Please write us letters; we would love to hear your thoughts about the content of ANC.


Thank you for your support,


Jacqueline M. McGrath, PhD, RN, FNAP, FAAN


Co-Editor; Advances in Neonatal Care


[email protected]


Debra Brandon, PhD, RN, CCNS, FAAN


Co-Editor; Advances in Neonatal Care


[email protected]




1. Burca NDL, Gephart SM, Miller C. A nurse's guide to promoting breast milk nutrition in infants with cleft lip and/or palate. Adv Neonatal Care. 2016;16(5):345-346. [Context Link]


2. Johnson C, Green B. How to write a letter to the editor: an author's guide. J Chiropr Med. 2006;5(4):144-147. [Context Link]