An analysis of nursing citations and disciplinary characteristics in 79 articles that represent excellence in nursing publication

Nursing Inquiry 26 (3):e12296 (2019)
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Abstract

Development of the knowledge base for a profession depends on research and scholarship that builds on the insights and work of scholars within the discipline and is disseminated through the literature. The purpose of this study was to examine a unique collection of 79 articles selected by editors as representative of their nursing journals. Articles were assessed for congruence with longā€standing values and conceptual definitions of nursing, and the extent to which they built on prior literature published in nursing. Articles were scored based on whether they reflected four characteristics of nursing as a discipline (holism, social context, goal of health, and consistency with common definitions of nursing); an abstract score on the extent to which the title, abstract, or keywords indicated a general focus on nursing; and a distinction score based on whether the article distinguished nurses or nursing from other providers. Fifty of the articles received an article score of 4, indicating all four disciplinary characteristics were present in the article's content. While the majority of the articles were congruent with fundamental nursing values and perspectives, only 28% of the sources cited were from nursing sources. The lack of citations to nursing literature, coupled with an assessment that reveals gaps in substantive content that builds on nursing knowledge, raises questions about the future of nursing perspectives in the literature.

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