Call for Editor-in-Chief: IJNP

IJNP Header

Applications are invited for the position of
Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Nursing Practice

The current Editor-in-Chief, Professor Alan Pearson, has retired and stepped down after founding and leading the journal for 20 years. We are therefore seeking applications for this prestigious position with one of the world-leading international nursing journals published by Wiley-Blackwell, part of John Wiley & Sons. Ideally, the successful candidate would take over this position from January 1st 2015.

IJNP is a fully refereed journal publishing original scholarly work that advances the international understanding and development of nursing both as a profession and academic discipline. The Journal focuses on research and professional discussion papers with a sound scientific, theoretical or philosophical base.

The successful candidate for the position of Editor will be recognized internationally for his or her academic and research achievements, will have worked at a strategic level within academia or healthcare, and will have an impressive track record of publications and presentations at conferences. The ideal candidate will possess the following skills and knowledge:

  • Leadership qualities
  • Professional standing
  • Sound scientific judgment
  • Broad knowledge of nursing on an international level
  • Awareness of trends and standards within knowledge dissemination
  • Awareness of international ethics and standards for journal publishing
  • Excellent written and verbal communication
  • Ability to work to tight deadlines
  • Previous experience in Editor-type role

The main functions within this role are: leadership, manuscript handling and quality control, strategic development, and journal promotion. The post involves working closely with the Publisher and the Associate Editors.

Applicants should note that this position requires a weekly commitment of time, with additional days required for meetings. The Editor can be based in any international location but preferably in Australia or the Asia-Pacific region. The successful candidate will start work on the journal in January 2015 or sooner depending on commitments.

Applications should include a curriculum vitae, a short assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of IJNP, and an accompanying letter outlining the skills you would bring to this position and your vision for this Journal and how you would like to see it develop in the future.

A description of the role and information about the journal is available on request.

Please send your application, in confidence, to:
Sophie Suelzle, Wiley, Cremorne Street, Richmond Victoria 3121, Australia.
Email to: ssuelzle@wiley.com

Applications to arrive no later than 21st November 2014.

Linda Pierce Appointed Associate Editor of RNJ

Chicago, IL: (September 2014) The Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN) has appointed Dr. Linda Pierce PhD RN CNS CRRN FAHA FAAN, Professor at the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, as Associate Editor of Rehabilitation Nursing Journal (RNJ), the official publication of the association. Rehabilitation Nursing, a bi-monthly publication, features in-depth articles on current practice issues, research and its implications, editorial features, andnews about products and services for individuals with disabilities or chronic illness.

LindaPierceDr. Pierce is a past-president of the ARN board and former chair of the Rehabilitation Nursing Foundation (RNF), the arm of ARN that funds research in rehabilitation nursing practice. She has served as a key contributor on a variety of national and chapter committees and task forces, including the Editorial Board of the journal. For more than 20 years, Dr. Pierce has exemplified the philosophy and goals of ARN and has spent her career as a role model for rehabilitation nursing. She has supported ARN’s organizational goals through her ongoing volunteer service to the organization, her teaching, and her sustained record of research funding and publications.

Congratulations to Linda!

Lillee Gelinas Appointed Editor-in-Chief

antlogoSILVER SPRING,MDAmerican Nurse Today, the official journal of the American Nurses Association (ANA), has announced Lillee Gelinas, MSN, RN, FAAN, has been appointed editor-in-chief effective June 1, 2014. Gelinas, a member of ANA and the Texas Nurses Association, has served on the journal’s editorial board since its inception in 2006. American Nurse Today is a peer-reviewed journal owned and published by HealthCom Media.

Gelinas succeeds Pamela Cipriano, PhD,RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, who served as American Nurse Today editor-in-chief since its founding in 2006.

lillee“We are excited to see Lillee assume this new role. She has demonstrated dedication and enthusiasm in her long service on the editorial board, and we are confident she will shape its future as editor-in-chief,” said ANA President Karen A. Daley, PhD, RN, FAAN. “We also gratefully acknowledge Pam Cipriano for her leadership in helping to launch and establish American Nurse Today as a respected and valued journal.”

ANA members receive a subscription to the award-winning journal as a benefit of membership.

“Lillee’s amazing passion for nursing and her in-depth understanding of the profession will be a valuable asset as American Nurse Today continues its focus on delivering information that nurses can use in their practice,” said Greg Osborne, HealthCom Media President. “Since her appointment to the editorial board in 2006, Lillee has contributed to shaping our award-winning editorial content. It is also very important to acknowledge Pam Cipriano, whose invaluable editorial leadership skills have helped establish American Nurse Today as the leading source of clinical and practical content in the nursing market.”

“I am humbled and honored to accept this appointment with American Nurse Today,” said Gelinas. “Pam Cipriano’s shoes will be very hard to fill, but with a talented editorial board and an engaged audience, I’m very confident of a successful future. I firmly believe in the journal’s role, which supports nursing practice through evidence-based, practical information, and the platform it provides to reinforce the fundamental role we as nurses play in transforming the health care system.”

Gelinas continued, “Nurses are vital to the care provided today, are well-positioned to help patients navigate the shifts occurring in care delivery, and serve as the hearts and hands of our health care system.  With such an important role, it is essential that we stay in conversation and connected as together we design the paths to our future. American Nurse Today provides an important outlet where the dialogue can occur.”

A nurse leader with more than 30 years of experience, Gelinas currently serves as system vice president and chief nursing officer of CHRISTUS Health, a system comprising more than 350 hospitals, services, and facilities in the U.S., Mexico and Chile. She is a well-respected thought leader and speaker on health care management, clinical issues, and patient safety and quality issues. She has served in various nursing leadership roles, including member of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services Nursing Steering Committee; member of the board of directors for the National Patient Safety Foundation; member of the Nursing Advisory Council of The Joint Commission; and many others. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and a member of the Academy’s Nursing Informatics and Technology Expert Panel.

Lawrie Elliott Appointed as Editor for JPMHN

Lawrie Elliott has been appointed Editor for the Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, succeeding outgoing editor, Dawn Freshwater.

Lawrie shares some of his background and expertise:

Career History

image001I trained as a mental health nurse in Glasgow (UK) in 1977 and qualified in 1980.  I moved into public health research in the 1990s, became a senior lecturer (and Director of Research) at the University of Dundee (UK) in 1997 and then reader in 2003.   I took up my present post as professor at Edinburgh Napier University (UK) in 2005.  I am an active researcher and have contributed to the strategic development of nursing research throughout my career, including research lead for a cross NHS/University ‘Centre for Integrated Healthcare Research’ (2005-2010) and more recently led the Research Excellence Framework 2014 submission for Nursing at Edinburgh Napier University.  

Areas of Expertise

1064_LargeI have a substantial track record in applied research in Public Health and published numerous high quality papers including a report with colleagues for the World Health Organisation on health inequalities (2006). My methodological expertise centres on the evaluation of public health interventions which range from needle exchange, methadone and sexual health programmes to community nursing. I served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing between 2005 and 2012 and became an Associate Editor in 2013. I have also reviewed for a number of international health journals and grant awarding organisations. I have worked on a number of public health nursing research studies commissioned by government including, The Public Health Contribution of Nursing: a Review of the Evidence (2001), and the Review of Nursing in the Community (2009-2012). I also led on the evaluation of Healthy Respect; a national health demonstration project designed to improve the sexual health of young people including vulnerable groups (2012).  I have obtained over £3 million of funding in collaboration with my colleagues including new studies on young people and families funded by the National Institute for Health Research and the Scottish Government which will run to 2017. I am currently collaborating with researchers from the USA, Australia, Ireland and Sweden and internationally recognised researchers from UK countries.

Contact information: Professor Lawrie Elliott
School of Nursing, Midwifery, and Social Care
Edinburgh Napier University, Sighthill Campus
Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
EH11 4BN
Tel: +44 (0) 131 455 5304
Email: l.elliott@napier.ac.uk

New Editor-in-Chief Appointed for Nurse Educator

marilyn oMarilyn Oermann, PhD, RN, FAAN, ANEF has been appointed as the Editor-in-Chief of Nurse Educator. This message from the publisher, Beth Guthy, was posted on the journal’s website:

Dear Nursing Educators and Researchers,

Please join me in welcoming  Marilyn H. Oermann, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN to the role of Editor-in-Chief of Nurse Educator.  As Director of Evaluation and Educational Research at Duke University School of Nursing, Dr. Oermann will bring her rich experience and voice to Nurse Educator.   A prolific author, speaker and mentor, you may also recognize Dr. Oermann as the Editor of the Journal of Nursing Care Quality.  We are delighted to welcome her to Nurse Educator and look forward to the leadership and expertise that she brings to the Journal and to the nursing education community.

At this time we would also like to offer our sincere thanks to Karen S. Hill, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE, FAAN and Editor-in-Chief of JONA for her enormous efforts as Interim Editor of Nurse Educator over the last few months, and for the seamless transition to Dr. Oermann this February.  Thank you, too,  to the many board members, column editors, reviewers and authors who stepped in to offer strong support and ensure the ongoing success of Nurse Educator after the unexpected loss of our Editor, mentor and friend Suzanne P. Smith, RN, EdD, FAAN last Fall.

Please continue to share your ideas, contents and expertise with Nurse Educator.  We are looking forward to an exciting 2014 as Dr. Oermann takes the helm and works with the editorial board  to grow Nurse Educator, maintain relevance through outstanding evidence-based content and increase our reach in the education segment.

Beth L. Guthy
Publisher, Nurse Educator

Congratulations to Marilyn! Please leave best wishes or other words of encouragement for her in the comments.

ICN welcomes New Associate Editors of International Nursing Review

ICN Welcomes New Associate Editors of International Nursing Review

Geneva, Switzerland, 3 February 2014 – The International Council of Nurses is pleased to announce that Dr Pamela Mitchell and Dr Valerie Ehlers have been named as Associate Editors of the International Nursing Review, the official journal of the International Council of Nurses.

Dr. Pamela Mitchell

Dr. Pamela Mitchell

“I am delighted to welcome Pamela and Valerie to the staff of the INR,” said Dr Sue Turale, Editor of the INR. “Coming from different backgrounds and experiences, they will bring fresh new ideas and perspective to the journal. They have significant scholarly and practice qualities, and are passionate about helping nurses and midwives to publish and share knowledge. They are a great addition to the team.”

“I am pleased and honored to be joining the editorial group for the International Nursing Review,” said Dr Mitchell. “It is a wonderful opportunity to be part of the growing global influence of nursing.”

“It is a true honour to be part of the INR staff,” added Dr Ehlers.  “And I look forward to continuing the growth and success of this well-respected journal.”

Pamela Mitchell is Professor of Bio-behavioral Nursing and Health Systems, Adjunct Professor, Department of Health Services and founding Director of the Center for Health Sciences Interprofessional Education and Research at the University of Washington. She received a BSN from the University of Washington, an MS with a focus on medical-surgical clinical specialisation from the University of California, San Francisco, and a Ph.D. in Health Care Systems Ecology from the University of Washington. Her research and teaching focus on hospital care delivery systems, effective management of clinical care systems, biobehavioral interventions for patients with acute and chronic cardio-cerebrovascular disease, and outcomes of interprofessional education. She was recently elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences, and is very well published.

Dr. Valerie Ehlers

Dr. Valerie Ehlers

Valerie Ehlers, a nurse educator and academic until her retirement from the University of South Africa in December 2013, holds the following degrees: B Soc Sc (Nursing), Honours B Soc Sc (Psychology), BA Cur, Honours BA Cur, MA Cur and D Litt et Phil. She is registered with the South African Nursing Council as a general nurse, midwife, psychiatric nurse, community health nurse. She has worked in the fields of community health, midwifery, orthopaedics and medical-surgical nursing and has presented many conference papers/posters and has been published in many national and international journals and other publications. Dr Ehlers served on the editorial boards of two national and two international journals and reviewed articles for various journals. From 2009 till 2013 she was the executive editor of the Africa Journal of Nursing & Midwifery (AJNM).  A highlight was the AJNM’s accreditation as an academic journal by South Africa’s Department of Higher Education and Training in 2008, based on documents compiled by her. She has received the 2012 Women’s Research Leadership Award from the University of South Africa, and the Hall of Fame for Research Excellence in Nursing from the Forum of University Nursing Deans in South Africa in 2011.  She is married and the proud mother of two daughters.

New Editor for Nurse Author & Editor

Marilyn H. Oermann, PhD, RN, FAAN, ANEF has been appointed Editor of Nurse Author & Editor, a quarterly online newsletter published by Wiley-Blackwell. Nurse Author & Editor was founded  by Suzanne Hall Johnson, MN, RN,C, CNS in 1991. Charon A. Pierson, PhD, GNP-BC, FAANP has served as Editor since 2008.

Dr. Marilyn Oermann is a Professor and Division Chair in the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is author/co-author of 10 nursing education books and more than 150 articles in nursing and healthcare journals. She has edited 6 volumes of the Annual Review of Nursing Education. Her current books are Evaluation and Testing in Nursing Education (2nd ed.), Clinical Teaching Strategies in Nursing Education (2nd ed.), and Writing for Publication in Nursing. Dr. Oermann has written extensively on educational outcomes, teaching and evaluation in nursing education, and writing for publication as a nurse educator. She is the Editor of the Journal of Nursing Care Quality and past editor of the Annual Review of Nursing Education. Dr. Oermann has a Certification in Writing/Editing from the American Medical Writers Association. She lectures widely on nursing education topics and is a facilitator of the NLN Writing Retreat, sponsored by the NLN Foundation and Pocket Nurse. She is a member of the American Academy of Nursing and NLN Academy of Nursing Education.

Each issue of Nurse Author & Editor consists of articles offering advice on writing quality manuscripts, avoiding rejection, finding publishing opportunities, editing and reviewing.  Each issue also has a section containing short articles to update readers on new developments in nursing journals and journal publishing. You can access the publication here. You must register to access the current issue and archives (going back to 2006) but there is no charge.

If you would like to contribute an article to Nurse Author & Editor, contact Marilyn at moermann@email.unc.edu.

Closing the Loop on Dr. Spitzer

I posted here more than three weeks ago about the letter Dr. Robert Spitzer sent to Dr. Kenneth Zucker, repudiating and apologizing for his 2003 publication on “reparative therapy” for gays. Rachel Maddow did a great piece on it, blogs were all a-twitter (although it’s been a few weeks so they’ve gone quiet) and now, finally, the New York Times has picked up the story.

Leading Psychiatrist Apologizes for Study Supporting Gay ‘Cure’

By BENEDICT CAREY

Dr. Robert L. Spitzer

PRINCETON, N.J. — The simple fact was that he had done something wrong, and at the end of a long and revolutionary career it didn’t matter how often he’d been right, how powerful he once was, or what it would mean for his legacy.

Dr. Robert L. Spitzer, considered by some to be the father of modern psychiatry, who turns 80 next week, lay awake at 4 o’clock on a recent morning knowing he had to do the one thing that comes least naturally to him.

He pushed himself up and staggered into the dark. His desk seemed impossibly far away; Dr. Spitzer suffers from Parkinson’s disease and has trouble walking, sitting, even holding his head upright.

The word he sometimes uses to describe these limitations — pathetic — is the same one that for decades he wielded like an ax to strike down dumb ideas, empty theorizing, and junk studies.

Now here he was at his computer, ready to recant a study he had done himself, a poorly conceived 2003 investigation that supported the use of so-called reparative therapy to “cure” homosexuality for people strongly motivated to change.

What to say? The issue of gay marriage was rocking national politics yet again. The California State Legislature was debating a bill to ban the therapy outright as being dangerous. A magazine writer who had been through the therapy as a teenager recently visited his house, to explain how miserably disorienting the experience was.

And he would learn later that a World Health Organization report, released on Thursday, calls the therapy “a serious threat to the health and well-being — even the lives — of affected people.”

Dr. Spitzer’s fingers jerked over the keys, unreliably, as if choking on the words. And then it was done: a short letter to be published this month, in the same journal where the original study appeared.

“I believe,” it concludes, “I owe the gay community an apology.”

Disturber of the Peace

The idea to study reparative therapy at all was pure Spitzer, say those who know him, an effort to stick a finger in the eye of an orthodoxy that he himself had helped establish.

In the late 1990s as today, the psychiatric establishment considered the therapy to be a nonstarter. Few therapists thought of homosexuality as a disorder.

It was not always so. Up into the 1970s, the field’s diagnostic manual classified homosexuality as an illness, calling it a “sociopathic personality disturbance.” Many therapists offered treatment, including Freudian analysts who dominated the field at the time.

Advocates for gay people objected furiously, and in 1970, one year after the landmark Stonewall protests to stop police raids at a New York bar, a team of gay rights protesters heckled a meeting of behavioral therapists in New York to discuss the topic. The meeting broke up, but not before a young Columbia University professor sat down with the protesters to hear their case.

“I’ve always been drawn to controversy, and what I was hearing made sense,” said Dr. Spitzer, in an interview at his Princeton home last week. “And I began to think, well, if it is a mental disorder, then what makes it one?”

He compared homosexuality with other conditions defined as disorders, like depressionand alcohol dependence, and saw immediately that the latter caused marked distress or impairment, while homosexuality often did not.

He also saw an opportunity to do something about it. Dr. Spitzer was then a junior member of on an American Psychiatric Association committee helping to rewrite the field’s diagnostic manual, and he promptly organized a symposium to discuss the place of homosexuality.

That kicked off a series of bitter debates, pitting Dr. Spitzer against a pair of influential senior psychiatrists who would not budge. In the end, the psychiatric association in 1973 sided with Dr. Spitzer, deciding to drop homosexuality from its manual and replace it with his alternative, “sexual orientation disturbance,” to identify people whose sexual orientation, gay or straight, caused them distress.

The arcane language notwithstanding, homosexuality was no longer a “disorder.” Dr. Spitzer achieved a civil rights breakthrough in record time.

“I wouldn’t say that Robert Spitzer became a household name among the broader gay movement, but the declassification of homosexuality was widely celebrated as a victory,” said Ronald Bayer of the Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health at Columbia. “ ‘Sick No More’ was a headline in some gay newspapers.”

Partly as a result, Dr. Spitzer took charge of the task of updating the diagnostic manual. Together with a colleague, Dr. Janet Williams, now his wife, he set to work. To an extent that is still not widely appreciated, his thinking about this one issue — homosexuality — drove a broader reconsideration of what mental illness is, of where to draw the line between normal and not.

The new manual, a 567-page doorstop released in 1980, became an unlikely best seller, here and abroad. It instantly set the standard for future psychiatry manuals, and elevated its principal architect, then nearing 50, to the pinnacle of his field.

He was the keeper of the book, part headmaster, part ambassador, and part ornery cleric, growling over the phone at scientists, journalists, or policy makers he thought were out of order. He took to the role as if born to it, colleagues say, helping to bring order to a historically chaotic corner of science.

But power was its own kind of confinement. Dr. Spitzer could still disturb the peace, all right, but no longer from the flanks, as a rebel. Now he was the establishment. And in the late 1990s, friends say, he remained restless as ever, eager to challenge common assumptions.

That’s when he ran into another group of protesters, at the psychiatric association’s annual meeting in 1999: self-described ex-gays. Like the homosexual protesters in 1973, they too were outraged that psychiatry was denying their experience — and any therapy that might help.

Reparative Therapy

Reparative therapy, sometimes called “sexual reorientation” or “conversion” therapy, is rooted in Freud’s idea that people are born bisexual and can move along a continuum from one end to the other. Some therapists never let go of the theory, and one of Dr. Spitzer’s main rivals in the 1973 debate, Dr. Charles W. Socarides, founded an organization called the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, or Narth, in Southern California, to promote it.

By 1998, Narth had formed alliances with socially conservative advocacy groups and together they began an aggressive campaign, taking out full-page ads in major newspaper trumpeting success stories.

“People with a shared worldview basically came together and created their own set of experts to offer alternative policy views,” said Dr. Jack Drescher, a psychiatrist in New York and co-editor of “Ex-Gay Research: Analyzing the Spitzer Study and Its Relation to Science, Religion, Politics, and Culture.”

To Dr. Spitzer, the scientific question was at least worth asking: What was the effect of the therapy, if any? Previous studies had been biased and inconclusive. “People at the time did say to me, ‘Bob, you’re messing with your career, don’t do it,’ ” Dr. Spitzer said. “But I just didn’t feel vulnerable.”

He recruited 200 men and women, from the centers that were performing the therapy, including Exodus International, based in Florida, and Narth. He interviewed each in depth over the phone, asking about their sexual urges, feelings and behaviors before and after having the therapy, rating the answers on a scale.

He then compared the scores on this questionnaire, before and after therapy. “The majority of participants gave reports of change from a predominantly or exclusively homosexual orientation before therapy to a predominantly or exclusively heterosexual orientation in the past year,” his paper concluded.

The study — presented at a psychiatry meeting in 2001, before publication — immediately created a sensation, and ex-gay groups seized on it as solid evidence for their case. This was Dr. Spitzer, after all, the man who single-handedly removed homosexuality from the manual of mental disorders. No one could accuse him of bias.

But gay leaders accused him of betrayal, and they had their reasons.

The study had serious problems. It was based on what people remembered feeling years before — an often fuzzy record. It included some ex-gay advocates, who were politically active. And it did not test any particular therapy; only half of the participants engaged with a therapist at all, while the others worked with pastoral counselors, or in independent Bible study.

Several colleagues tried to stop the study in its tracks, and urged him not to publish it, Dr. Spitzer said.

Yet, heavily invested after all the work, he turned to a friend and former collaborator, Dr. Kenneth J. Zucker, psychologist in chief at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto and editor of the Archives of Sexual Behavior, another influential journal.

“I knew Bob and the quality of his work, and I agreed to publish it,” Dr. Zucker said in an interview last week. The paper did not go through the usual peer-review process, in which unnamed experts critique a manuscript before publication. “But I told him I would do it only if I also published commentaries” of response from other scientists to accompany the study, Dr. Zucker said.

Those commentaries, with a few exceptions, were merciless. One cited the Nuremberg Code of ethics to denounce the study as not only flawed but morally wrong. “We fear the repercussions of this study, including an increase in suffering, prejudice, and discrimination,” concluded a group of 15 researchers at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, where Dr. Spitzer was affiliated.

Dr. Spitzer in no way implied in the study that being gay was a choice, or that it was possible for anyone who wanted to change to do so in therapy. But that didn’t stop socially conservative groups from citing the paper in support of just those points, according to Wayne Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out, a nonprofit group that fights antigay bias.

On one occasion, a politician in Finland held up the study in Parliament to argue against civil unions, according to Dr. Drescher.

“It needs to be said that when this study was misused for political purposes to say that gays should be cured — as it was, many times — Bob responded immediately, to correct misperceptions,” said Dr. Drescher, who is gay.

But Dr. Spitzer could not control how his study was interpreted by everyone, and he could not erase the biggest scientific flaw of them all, roundly attacked in many of the commentaries: Simply asking people whether they have changed is no evidence at all of real change. People lie, to themselves and others. They continually change their stories, to suit their needs and moods.

By almost any measure, in short, the study failed the test of scientific rigor that Dr. Spitzer himself was so instrumental in enforcing for so many years.

“As I read these commentaries, I knew this was a problem, a big problem, and one I couldn’t answer,” Dr. Spitzer said. “How do you know someone has really changed?”

Letting Go

It took 11 years for him to admit it publicly.

At first he clung to the idea that the study was exploratory, an attempt to prompt scientists to think twice about dismissing the therapy outright. Then he took refuge in the position that the study was focused less on the effectiveness of the therapy and more on how people engaging in it described changes in sexual orientation.

“Not a very interesting question,” he said. “But for a long time I thought maybe I wouldn’t have to face the bigger problem, about measuring change.”

After retiring in 2003, he remained active on many fronts, but the reparative study remained a staple of the culture wars and a personal regret that wouldn’t leave him be. The Parkinson’s symptoms have worsened in the past year, exhausting him mentally as well as physically, making it still harder to fight back pangs of remorse.

And one day in March, Dr. Spitzer entertained a visitor. Gabriel Arana, a journalist at the magazine The American Prospect, interviewed Dr. Spitzer about the reparative therapy study. This was not just any interview; Mr. Arana went through reparative therapy himself as a teenager, and his therapist had recruited the young man for Dr. Spitzer’s study (Mr. Arana did not participate).

“I asked him about all his critics, and he just came out and said, ‘I think they’re largely correct,’ ” said Mr. Arana, who wrote about his own experience last month. Mr. Arana said that reparative therapy ultimately delayed his self-acceptance as a gay man and induced thoughts of suicide. “But at the time I was recruited for the Spitzer study, I was referred as a success story. I would have said I was making progress.”

That did it. The study that seemed at the time a mere footnote to a large life was growing into a chapter. And it needed a proper ending — a strong correction, directly from its author, not a journalist or colleague.

A draft of the letter has already leaked online and has been reported.

“You know, it’s the only regret I have; the only professional one,” Dr. Spitzer said of the study, near the end of a long interview. “And I think, in the history of psychiatry, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a scientist write a letter saying that the data were all there but were totally misinterpreted. Who admitted that and who apologized to his readers.”

He looked away and back again, his big eyes blurring with emotion. “That’s something, don’t you think?”

Click here to read the original article. I would also suggest perusing the comments. They are very interesting (and if you dig deep enough, you will find one from “you know who”). I am surprised at how many people have absolute faith in the peer review system, believing that if it had been employed properly, this study would never have been published and its subsequent harms would have been prevented. Really? I certainly believe in and use the peer review process in my journal but I don’t have an expectation that it’s perfect. If it was, why would we need a blog like Retraction Watch?

Editors’ Pet Peeves and Gold Stars

Every journal editor has particular practices that are favored over others, and some of these are unique to the particular journal.  But there are a handful of almost universal pet peeves, and practices that would earn a gold star, things that make an editor smile!  One issue surfaced recently that prompted me to reflect on some of my particular likes and dislikes, and why.  So I decided to share my personal lists with a brief commentary on each item, and invite other editors to comment and add ideas of your own.

Gold Stars

  • The journal requirements for style and format are followed precisely!  This saves our copy editors hours of excruciating work, and it is a signal that the author has attended to details that make this journal what it is.  A consistent style and format helps readers to focus on the content, instead of being distracted by matters of style.
  • The author’s own voice and message stands out!  I want to know what this author has to contribute to the topic they are addressing so that what we publish is unique, and presents a fresh perspective to our readers.
  • The author uses an active voice, including the use of first person pronouns to refer to themselves.  There is still a lingering belief that professional writing should not use first person pronouns.  To the contrary, the best writing guidelines endorse the use of first person pronouns and an active voice instead of the awkward third-person, passive voice practices of part decades.  I caution authors to use the first person sparingly to avoid excessive “egotism” in their work, but the admonition to not use first person at all is outdated.

Pet Peeves

  • First on this list has to be a failure to earn my “gold star” points!  In fact, failure to adhere to the journal’s style and format is one of the major reasons that I send a manuscript back to the author.  The other two points are not grounds for getting the manuscript rejected, but they do influence the review of the manuscript in less-than-positive way.
  • Failure to respond to editorial communications in a timely manner.  Of course this is a two-way street and I place a high priority on my own prompt and timely communication with authors; I expect the same from authors and reviewers as well.  Timely responses are particularly important once a manuscript goes into production, when we need to have page proofs reviewed and author queries attended to in a time frame that meets the production schedule.
  • Use of the designation “PhD(c).”  I blogged about this issue on the ANS post titled How to list your credentials and title when you publish.  A reader challenged my position and stated that this designation can be used, so I looked into the matter further.  I found  that some Universities do sanction the use of this designation by those who have reached candidacy, but none that I found award this as a degree. A few do award a Candidate in Philosophy (C.Phil) designation, also referred to as an “intermediate degree” but this designation is only good for 7 years, which is the typical time period after which any “candidacy” expires. There is no indication that I can find that affirms the use of this designation as a title. If it is the practice of an institution to use the designation internally, then certainly a doctoral candidate is well advised to use it in that context. However, given that candidacy does expire, I maintain the use this designation in a published work, which will survive the time frame of the designation, is not appropriate.

What are your “gold stars” and “pet peeves?”  Share your comments here!