1. Rhudy, Lori M.

Article Content

With our ever-increasing acknowledgment of the need for evidence-based interventions, reliance on data grows. More data equals more publication opportunities. Maybe. Data, just because they are available, are not always useful. Data can be easily acquired, sometimes with only a keystroke. Data are an important consideration in scientific merit. However, data do not just appear. Clinical data come, primarily, from people-in the case of research, people who voluntarily provide it, and people who expect that, when providing data, something good will come of it. Participants in research, quality improvement initiatives, or other initiatives hope that they or others will be helped by providing their data.

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As scholars, we have a responsibility to not only use data wisely but also collect data that are meaningful. There are many opportunities to gather data and report it. There are many reasons and incentives to publish. The goal of science is to create or add to the knowledge of our discipline. Let us push ourselves to move beyond asking the same old questions about the same old things to get the same old answers. Data are collected for a lot of reasons and can be used for good purposes that do not require publication. For example, we know that swallowing problems are common after stroke. We can continue to collect data on that, but it is a fact unlikely to change and of little interest to anyone who already knows this important fact. Facts such as this provide an important context to the next phase of clinical science-what do we do about it?


Journal of Neuroscience Nursing (JNN) is fortunate to have a large and diverse panel of peer reviewers. Peer reviewers along with the editorial board help the editor determine the merit of submissions for publication. Many factors go into these decisions, but one key factor is the usefulness of the manuscript to neuroscience nurses. The best strategy for success is to know your audience. We hear from JNN readers that they want high-quality, clinically relevant articles that include research, quality improvement, and clinical application. Reviewers and editors carefully evaluate each of the manuscripts submitted to JNN for their fit with these criteria. Articles with information already well accepted and that do not extend our growing neuroscience nursing body of knowledge are of low priority for publication. Neuroscience nurses know lots of things-important things-and we want to grow our knowledge to transform our practices.


Designing an evidence-based practice or research project requires careful consideration. As is often said, the "question drives the method." Method includes data collection. Think carefully before collecting data-what is the problem to be solved or question to be answered? Do we already know the answer to the question? Remember that people gift us their data. We have ethical review boards and principles to protect these gifts. Let us make sure we ask people for data that are meaningful. Then, let us all be savvy consumers and use the data gifted to us to do the work we love[horizontal ellipsis]improving the lives of people with neurological and neurosurgical problems.

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