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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • The text and references are consistent with APA 7 format; uses a 12-point Times New Roman font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • Identifying information has been removed from the body of the main article (for peer-reviewed submissions).
  • A separate cover page is provided for peer reviewed submissions (research, best practices, case studies and contemporary issues). It contains title, authors, credentials, author affiliations and emails (for primary contact at least), and acknowledgements including funding sources.
  • Contributions to the journal are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly attributed, not used for commercial purposes, and, if transformed, the resulting work is redistributed under the same or similar license to this one.  Authors will retain copyright and be able to post links to the article on their websites or to distribute to contacts/students, but does not include the right to submit the published manuscript to another journal for publication. The journal has the right to publish the final article to the JAFN website.
  • I confirm that I (and my co-authors if applicable) have read, signed and submitted the copyright agreement to the journal submission site.

Author Guidelines

JAFN uses APA 7th edition for submission style.  Some resources to assist with formatting:

Purdue Owl APA Introduction

Mount Royal University APA Resources

In particular, note the APA guidelines related to self-plagiarism (chapter 8). The article must be original and not have been submitted to another journal unless formally withdrawn from JAFN.

Peer review process

JAFN uses a double-blind peer-review process, with submissions reviewed by (at least) two reviewers. Manuscript submissions from members of the Editorial Team or from Peer Reviewers follow the same double-blind process.

Original Research

Articles in this section are peer-reviewed, original research studies. They focus on topics of interest to forensic professionals or those affected by trauma or violence.


  • Document 1
    • Title page (Separate document from paper)
      • Title
      • Authors
      • Contact information for main author
  • Document 2
    • Abstract - maximum 250 words, Includes 4-5 keywords
    • Body of Paper
      • approximately 3000 words maximum (systematic reviews may be up to 5000 words). All identifying information about authors/setting should be removed. Must include a statement that ethics approval was received
      • Headings
        • Introduction/literature review – discusses quality of evidence, what is known and gaps justifying study
        • Methods
        • Results
        • Discussion (must include implications for research, theory, education or practice as appropriate)
        • Conclusion
        • References
    • Document 3 - Tables and figures
      • Separate file for all tables and figures, each on separate page, figures should be at least 300 dpi

Best Practices

Evidence informed practice relies upon the understanding, development, implementation, and evaluation of research on practice in nursing and healthcare internationally. Submittedworks in this category focus on knowledge translation into practice in order to influence healthcare delivery, patient outcome and overall health. It may also include emerging practices or contemporary issues that could potentially impact practice. Topics that may be covered include are those that address the needs of clinicians, educators, researchers, managers, administrators, and policy makers. secondary review of research with strong practice, educational or policy implications. Examples of works appropriate for submission in this category include but are not limited to:

  • Theoretical or methodological developments and innovations (for example, the development of frameworks, theory and tools/measures, implementation science)
  • Full-scale evidence-based practice (EBP) and evidence-based QI (EB/QI) projects/ initiativesthat have been implemented with strong practice, educational or policy implications.
  • Guideline development practices, developments, and advancement
  • Rigorous integrative literature reviews and sxoping reviews related to practice

(Note: research studies, including systematic reviews, would go into Original Research submissions).


  • Maximum 2000-2500 words, APA format
  • Abstract
  • Body of Paper Suggested Headings (may change based on paper):
    • Introduction to Practice Issue or Focus (discussion of practice or practice gaps)
    • Review of Literature Supporting Practice Change
    • Recommended Best Practices (or review of methods and results if EB/QI)
    • Implications for education, research or practice implementation
  • Reference List

Contemporary Issues

As forensic nursing continues to transform, nurses may experience situations, legislation, and complex health care issues that could have implications and potential impact on forensic nursing practice. Contemporary issues submissions should follow the general JAFN guidelines for formatting and, additionally, should be between 2000-2500 words in length (word count does not include references or diagrams). 

  • Issue: Clearly identify the contemporary forensic nursing issue and the pertinent topics.
  • Contributing Factors: Discuss the historical, social, political, or economic factors contributing to or impacting this
  • Potential impact on forensic nursing: Analyze the issue’s impact on forensic nursing practice from a personal, organizational,
    societal, or world perspective.
  • Discussion and Recommendations: Identify opinions and recommendations from the literature surrounding the issue.

Practice Perspectives

Articles in this section relate to issues impacting forensic nursing practice. The section may include summaries or reviews of evidence-based best practices, emerging or early practices, or discussions of issues that may impact practice. 

Case Studies

This section includes case studies (anonymized) with applications for practice.

Case study methodology is well suited for many kinds of forensic practice situations, as the objects of study are contemporary phenomena which are hard to study in isolation. Case studies do not generate the same results on causal relationships as controlled experiments do, but they provide deeper understanding of the phenomena under study. Case studies should follow the general JAFN guidelines for formatting, and, additionally, should be between 1500-1800 words in length (word count does not include references or diagrams).

  1. Introduction: This consists of a brief but concise description for the context of the case
    and the importance for selection.
  2. Case presentation: Concisely describe the history and results of any examinations
    performed (this might be physical assessment, psychiatric interview, crime scene findings, etc). The working diagnosis of the case may also be described.
  3. Management and Outcome: Simply describe the course of the patient’s presenting complaint or reason for assessment and evaluation. Where possible, make reference to any outcome measures which you used to objectively demonstrate how the patient’s condition evolved through the course of management.
  4. Discussion: Synthesize the previous subsections and explain both correlations and apparent inconsistencies. In this section you may want to identify any questions that the case raises.
  5. Implications for Practice: Briefly describe the lessons to be learned. For example, 2-3 key take away points of how the Case Study that has been examined could potentially translate toward enhancing safe and effective clinical practice.

Research Corner

This section is to provide readers with reviews of issues relevant to evidence informed practice, including strategies to assess the quality of research evidence which may be used to support practice.

Policies and Legislation

Authors are encouraged to submit articles to the policy and legislation section that are related to any of the following: model clinical policies that strengthen practice in the care of victims; local, state, and national policies related to trauma, violence and abuse; and effective legislative efforts for broad dissemination.

Global Community Updates

We invite all global members to submit updates of activities, conferences, or changes that are occurring that are related to forensic practice in their region. Please include a brief description of the activity, dates and web links if appropriate, and implications for forensic nursing. Examples include collaborations, conferences, mentorship, training or projects.

Letters to the Editor

Brief letters to the editor can be submitted here. The editorial staff will review it before posting.

Privacy Statement

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