Author guidelines

Instructions for contributors to ITIN.

Author information
Article topics
Typed material
Unsolicited articles
Email or disk
New authors
World Wide Web


ITIN is the official publication of BCS Nursing Specialist Group (NSG). ITIN evolved from a newsletter to a journal in 1989, after appearing quarterly ever since (except for volume 9, 1997, when it appeared bimonthly). The breadth of coverage increased in 1991 to include other health care professions besides nursing, midwifery and health visiting.


The journal's readers come from a wide range of backgrounds within the health care professions: clinical practitioners, educators, managers and researchers, and those working in commercial settings such as information specialists, systems designers and information analysts.

Students undertaking degree and pre-registration courses, as well as those undertaking post-registration studies with an information focus, are encouraged to use the journal. A growing range of libraries take ITIN. The international exchange of ideas and information are also important functions for NSG through the pages of ITIN.

World Wide Web

The NSG is keen to encourage healthcare professionals to take an interest in informatics, and also to provide examples of good practice by making appropriate use of the latest technologies. On publication of an issue of ITIN, we will post abstracts of articles, news and other information at the NSG website.

There is still limited access to (paper) published material in many countries. Three months after an issue of ITIN has appeared, the authors of articles will be asked for their written permission to add their article to the ITIN Web page, so making it more readily available to an international audience.

Developing new authors

A guide for new authors is available from the Editor-in-Chief. As part of a learned society the NSG is committed to developing new authors and to supporting its members in communicating the results of their work. The Editorial Team can therefore offer additional help to new writers, and a panel of expert referees can provide detailed critiques of draft manuscripts.


Where appropriate, material submitted for publication in ITIN will be subject to peer review. The article, minus details identifying the author(s), will be submitted to suitably qualified referees for comment. Their comments, together with those of the Editor, will be sent to the author.

Preparation for publication

ITIN is prepared on an industry standard PC, using Microsft Word and desktop publishing software. Proof reading is undertaken by the Editorial Team. Only where major changes to content have been made to clarify aspects for the non-technical reader or to fit the space available will proofs be returned to the author for checking.
The journal is divided into three main content areas:

  • Research reports, articles, information updates
  • Reviews of multi-media, video and other electronic media and of books.
  • News, reports on activities from NSG Focus Groups, letters and conference reports.

The Editor-in-Chief works with a News Section Editor and a Media Reviews Editor.
Once a manuscript has been accepted for publication, a publishing agreement form will be sent to the first author, to be signed, dated and returned to the Editor-in-Chief.

Authors will receive after publication one complimentary copy of the issue in which their material appears. Special arrangements to obtain additional copies will be offered at that time. In recognition of the cost of meeting all the requirements which follow, a small financial contribution will be made after publication.

Articles - topics covered

Material submitted for possible publication should be on topics related to the goal and aims of the journal as outlined on our main webpage. The Editor may also commission items. Authors are asked to aim for clarity of presentation in their writing, aiming to address the clinical practitioner rather than the academic.

Where specifically themed issues are planned in advance, information on these and special calls for papers will be made available on the main webpage, as well as being publicised in ITIN and more widely.

Unsolicited material

Normally only original articles will be accepted, so do not submit those which have been published elsewhere or are currently under consideration by another publisher without prior discussion with the Editor.

The journal may condense or reprint important material where it is of particular international interest. Parts of major pieces of research may be written up for publication in different journals provided each article has a different emphasis in the content covered or is written to suit different audiences.

Submitting materials for consideration

A range of formats will be accepted:

  • e-mail (as file attachments - in Microsoft Word, ASCII text or html);
  • on 3.5 inch 'floppy' disks (in Microsoft Word, ASCII text or html); or
  • typed or word-processed on paper (of sufficiently good quality to be scanned).

Author information
On a separate page, please provide:

  • author(s) name(s) and postal address for communications about your material;
  • work and home telephone numbers with likely times of day when you will be available (needed for last-minute queries on final proofs);
  • email address and/or fax number if possible.

Top sheet- full title of article (maximum of 50 characters), each author's full first name and surname, academic and professional qualifications and current position/occupation and place of work.

For full articles (as opposed to conference reports, media reviews, letters, etc.) please give up to four words which best reflect the content of your paper and which would assist anyone undertaking a later search of the literature to find your article. The Royal College of Nursing publishes its Library's Thesaurus of Nursing Terms, this will be used by the Editor if no key words are provided.

Please give the length as a total word count equivalent which includes illustrations, references, bibliography or glossary:

  • 120mm x 78mm for illustrations and tables equates to 150 words
  • Details of 4 books or journals in references or bibliography equate to 94 words of main text.
  • 7 lines of glossary equate to 55 words of main text

Email or on disk
If submitting via email or on disk, please also send the Editor-in-Chief a paper copy showing your layout, so electronic translation can be checked, together with the author information sheet. Mark on this paper copy in coloured ink: the document/file name, add any comments on layout, sites for illustrations or tables, corrections etc.

Typed Material
For those without easy access to a computer, manuscripts will be accepted provided they are:

  • original (not a photocopy)
  • top-copy weight paper (not flimsy weight)
  • typed on A4 blank paper (no borders)
  • double spaced on one side of the paper
  • 50mm margin at top
  • 20mm margins at sides
  • size 12 or 14 font
  • no underlining
  • no bold print
  • no italic print
  • no hand-written notes

Please number pages consecutively on right side at the bottom of each sheet.

Transfer of text will be by optical character reader (OCR). The typeface should give evenly spaced characters, close-fitting proportional spacing, or from a 10-pitch daisy-wheel set to print 12 characters per inch, so that all the letters touch.

Make a photocopy on which to write, in coloured ink, any comments about your ideas for italics, bold print, spelling corrections etc. Keep a copy of this annotated sheet for your own reference.


Articles should normally be approx. 2500-3000 words (which will produce 5-6 pages in the journal assuming no illustrations). Shorted articles will also be considered, and longer articles may be accepted for serialisation over 2 or more issues.

Short news items (which are not manisfest commercial advertisements) should be up to 250 words. Longer news items will be considered. Press releases are accepted.

Conference reports
Reports of UK or international conferences, study days or other similar events are encouraged; these should normally be of the order of 500-1000 words, but longer reports will be considered. For unsolicited reports, please contact the Editor-in-Chief first

Letters to the Editor, of a general nature or in response to specific items which have appeared in ITIN, are encouraged.

Illustrations help to break up solid blocks of text and can make a point with greater emphasis than words alone. ITIN welcomes diagrams, tables and photographs.

Please supply computer-drawn diagrams and line illustrations as a separate file from the text. Where possible any labels or other text within an illustration should be in Helvetica font. Other line diagrams should be drawn in black ink on white paper and lightly fixed to card with dabs of adhesive at the four corners.

Please write the figure number, caption, way up and author's name on an adhesive label sticking it to the back of the illustration.

Data appearing in tables or figures should be summarised, not duplicated in the main text. All data cited in the text should be carefully compared with the data in tables to confirm they correspond.

Photo-reduction to fit the space available will be undertaken.

Glossy black and white or coloured prints, no larger than 1 27mm x 173mm. Please write the figure number, caption, way-up and author's name on an adhesive label, before sticking it to the back of the photograph.

Scanned photographs submitted on disk or as email file attachments should indicate the file format, compression etc.

The journal is an important resource for those new to informatics. Review articles, in particular, should provide well referenced material, and where appropriate include a short, annotated bibliography of suggested reading for the novice.

The journal uses the Vancouver style of referencing, in line with the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. 1

Thus reference numbers in the text to substantiate general statements come after punctuation in sequence from one onwards in Arabic numerals. Please place the number in brackets to make conversion to the journal style easy, eg:

The concept of health and caring has occupied a prominent position in the nursing literature. It has been described as the essence of nursing.(2,3,4)

References in the text of reviews should give the author's name and year of publication.

Barnett in 1991 suggested that British nurses were ignoring the potential for developing theories of nursing grounded in real clinical data, drawn from computer-based care planning systems. (5)

At the end of your article please list the references in order of appearance in the text, by author, or by the organisation's name if an author is not given. If there are more than three authors, please use 'et al' after the third name and omit the rest. Please do not use commas or spaces between the initials after the surname.

For magazine and journal articles please use lower case for the title of the article. When using an automated computer-generated list please check the font used is normal, not bold or italic. These details will be added in the journal style before publication. Give the journal title and year of publication, followed by a semi-colon then volume and issue number if appropriate followed by a colon then page numbers followed by a full stop.

2. Barnett DE. Learning at their laptops. Nursing Standard 1991; 6.6: 49-50.

A journal title may be abbreviated according to the rules in Index Medicus. No punctuation is required within the abbreviation,

1. International Committee of Medical Editors. Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals. Ann Intern Med 1988: 1 08: 258-65.

Book titles should have an upper case letter for each main word of the title. Give the publisher's location (including country) separated by a colon from the company's name, then the year of publication. When possible please give the ISBN number to assist overseas readers in obtaining the book.

6. Kim MJ et al, eds. Pocket Guide to Nursing Diagnoses. St Louis. Missouri: Mosby Year Book Inc, 1991. ISBN 0 8016 2710 9

Where an article or book is published in a language other than English, the title should be translated into English and followed by the original language in brackets for example (in French).


  1. International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals. Ann Intern Med 1988: 108: 258-65.
  2. Newman MA, Sime MA, Corcoran-Perry AS. The focus of the discipline of nursing. Adv Nur Science 1991:1 14,1:1-6.
  3. Leniger M. Care: The Essence of Nursing and Health. Thorofare, New Jersey: Slack, 1984.
  4. Watson J. The philosophy and Science of Caring. Boulder, Colorado: Colorado Association University Press, 1985.
  5. Barnett DE. Learning at their laptops. Nur Stand 1991: 6,6: 49-50.
  6.  Kim MJ et al, eds. Pocket Guide to Nursing Diagnoses. 4th ed. St Louis, Missouri: Mosby Year Book Inc, 1991. ISBN 0 8016 2710 9

One of the functions of the journal is to act as an information resource in order to promote the use of informatics in nursing and other health care professions, It seeks to meet the information needs of professionals with only a limited knowledge of technology through to experts in the field.

Authors can assist in this process by including suggested reading and other media such as CAL programmes, videos or audio tapes, together with relevant page addresses for the World Wide Web.

Please use the same format as the reference list.

Please provide explanations of technical terms - both computing and health - in a glossary as a resource for those unfamiliar with topic or with the healthcare system. Overseas readers find this particularly valuable. Useful sources include:

  • de Glanville H, Stokes AV. The BJHC Abbreviary. Weybridge: BJHC Books, 1995. ISBN 0 948198 21 4
  • BCS. A Glossary of Computing Terms. 8th edn. Harlow, Essex: Longman, 1995. ISBN 0 582 27544 X
  • Phaffenberger B. Que's Computer & Internet Dictionary. 6th edn. Indianapolis, USA: Que Corporation 1995. ISBN 0 7897 0356 4

Authors of research articles are responsible for ensuring conformity with the normal ethical aspects of investigations. Where appropriate the source of ethical permission for a study, and for funding, should be acknowledged in the text.

Copyright laws should be born in mind. Authors are responsible for obtaining permission from the author quoted or from the publisher. This includes the use of diagrams and photographs.

If you wish to reproduce material from your own published work where you signed over the copyright you should seek written permission in writing from the publisher/copyright holder. Please include a photocopy of the permission with your manuscript.

Spelling should conform to Chambers Concise Dictionary. Abbreviations in the text should be included in the glossary and conform to those in Units, Symbols and Abbreviations published by the Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street, London Wl M 8AE. For information technology terms please use the BCS glossary mentioned above.

The journal reserves the customary right to edit to style and to shorten material if necessary. Material requiring more than a little editing will be returned to the author for revision. Proofs will not normally be sent to the author.

Please do not pin or staple the pages together as these can tear away and take the text with them.

Use transparent tape only on the back of a page as it is difficult to write over.

Consider using a board-backed envelope or placing material between two sheets of card with in a strong A4-size envelope.

Photographs and illustrations should be placed between two sheets of card, then either slipped into a Polythene bag, or lightly taped across the edges.

The original manuscript and illustrations including photographs, will be not be returned to the author unless the Editor receives a written request. Computer disks will be returned.

Contacting the Editor-in-Chief

Any queries about publication in ITIN should be directed, in the first instance, to the Editor-in-Chief. Email is the preferred method of contact:
For all paper-based correspondence:

Editor, ITIN
Nicholas Hardiker
Senior Research Fellow, Salford Health Informatics Research Environment, University of Salford, M6 6PU, UK
Tel. +44 161 295 7013