Thursday, 24 April 2014

Meet the Editors: Alex Clark

Five Things About Alex

1. Why did you become a nurse?

For pragmatic rather than deeply philosophical reasons. My life had taken a difference course – into building and surveying. Youthful though I was, I quickly realized I did not like this choice. I knew lots of nurses and they seemed to enjoy it. It harnessed a good mixture of people and technical skills. Finally, it seemed to be a very practical qualification that would always be in demand. It was a good decision and I never regret it. Never.

2. Why did you become an editor?

Again, fairly accidentally via becoming Associate Dean (Research) and taking on the editorship of the International Journal of Qualitative Methodology as part of leading the International Institute of Qualitative Methodology. I reviewed lots of papers and it is a great way to stay one step ahead in your discipline – to see the best work and hopefully improve this work at a formative stage. Everything takes more time but editing is a vital support to the global community of researchers while interacting with authors and their papers helps your own knowledge, expertise and writing. What’s not to like?

3. What advice would you give to aspiring editors?

Don’t compromise your standards. Don’t expect perfection. Support cutting-edge ideas even though they may still need development. It is far easier to knock a house down than build one – so don’t be too critical. Get involved as a reviewer any way you can. It is fun and you will learn lots.

4. What are the main challenges for nursing in the next decade?

Depends where in the world. In low and middle-income countries, addressing the needs of the rapidly aging population with chronic disease will be huge. Health systems have more limited capacity and nurses can play a huge role in fostering good prevention, effective self-care and mobilizing support from families. In high-income countries, ensuring the profession’s credibility, perceived value and distinctive contributions relative to other disciplines and new professions (like physician’s assistants) will be key. Across the world – there has never been a better or more important time to be a nurse who uses research evidence.

5. Who do you recommend to follow on Twitter?

Me: (@alexclark1944) to keep you informed about qualitative research, comedy people @JosieLong and @RealBobMortimer to keep you smiling and all the people you admire to keep you connected.

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