On Sunday, my darling husband pulled an issue of the Journal of Emergency Nursing out of the mailbox. Knowing that I was waiting anxiously for it, he sent it my way via the child-postal-system. Translation: my 9-year-old was kind enough to dump it in my lap as she thumbed through her latest celebrity magazine.
There was no way it would be in here. It was too soon from the final approvals to now, but what do I know about the timeline of academic journals? Maybe... I thumbed through the first few pages to find the table of contents. I scanned for the section I wanted... International Nursing... there! Nope - not about China. I guess by "next" issue, they meant the next one to go to print, not the next one to be delivered. But that's ok, because I've seen what my article will look like.
It's really cool to see your name right next to the word "author" in an officially typeset galley proof. At least, this was my experience.
Back in March I got an email from my editor, Pat Clutter, saying that I needed to submit the permission slips from the people in the pictures to allow them to be printed. I assembled all of the necessary information, submitted it, and waited.
Some time later, I received another email about disclosure. Apparently there's a process to ensure that any funding is properly disclosed, presumably to identify any conflicts of interest. In this case, I wasn't sponsored to attend the mission, much less write about it, but the forms were overwhelming. Very legal and with a lot of questions about reprints and color copies.
Luckily, I was able to respond with a blanket statement that I was not funded in any way, and that I wrote the article for myself, not an organization. With that settled, all of the loose ends were tied up.
Several weeks went by with no response. I started to worry that things weren't settled and there were still loose ends that could derail my article from ever making it to print. I emailed the contact for the disclosure forms, but didn't hear anything back.
I was considering emailing Pat again to check on the status when I received an email from her with instructions to review the attachment and answer the few questions at the end. I ignored everything else on my desk and quickly opened the attachment.
There it was - a beautifully typeset copy of my article about our team's experience on a medical mission in China. At first, I sat back and admired the layout of the pdf file. Then I zoomed in to be able to see the title better, and noticed the line right below it - Author: Michelle A. Kobayashi, BSN, RN. Way cool!
Able to see the details better, I flipped through the pages to see the pictures of us working at the clinics. The fact that this would soon be arriving in mailboxes across the country dawned on me and that's when true excitement set in.
There were six questions at the end, all related to details within the article that needed to be verified. Once confirmed, I sent back a response that all was well and I approved of the changes that were made. A few more emails back and forth and everything was done!
The article is ready and headed to print, due out in the next issue of the journal.