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Why and When Should We Conduct Collaborative International Oncology Nursing Research?

Hinds, Pamela S. PhD, RN, FAAN

doi: 10.1097/NCC.0b013e31821c4a4b
DEPARTMENT: From the Editor

Our journal specializes in publishing stellar original research and research-related papers from a wide variety of countries. We celebrate the high number of countries from which our authors hail (n = 44), but it is not the country of origin for each manuscript that is the basis for selection of a paper for publication. Our primary basis for selecting a paper for publication is the value of the idea reflected in the paper. An idea, whether fully matured or early in its development, is and will always be the central consideration for us. Worthy ideas emerge from all points in our world. Most typically, an idea of worth in one part of the globe is also of worth to other parts of the globe. A common pattern now very visible in our literature is of a worthy idea being studied in one part of the globe and later studied in a different part of the globe. Results from these sequential studies are informative and valuable but may differ in date of completion by years, making trustworthy direct comparisons between the 2 sets of findings weakened by time differences, method refinements, or design alterations and the likely presence of other confounding factors. These differences may be relatively inconsequential in some circumstances, but in other circumstances may be of such consequence as to be an unacceptably significant, missed opportunity for knowledge that could only or best be derived from a real-time, collaborative multicountry research study.

There are multiple, accepted reasons for conducting collaborative international research. Combining resources, ideas, and energy are all seen as moving the research forward at a quicker pace, benefiting research teams who now have the opportunity to learn how others conduct their programs of research, and facilitating the shared achievement of professional goals through strategic partnerships.1 Moving the research forward and advancing knowledge and problem resolution have been repeatedly demonstrated as outcomes of collaborative international research in terms of establishing the factors that influence an intervention or its outcomes; findings from collaborative international research can very quickly help us to account for the difference in care processes or outcomes that are directly attributable to culture or geography or other global factors and not to disease.2-4

In addition to the demonstrated benefits, the practicalities of collaborative international research have been addressed with good success using virtual teams to facilitate the need to have regular communication. Guidance for the ethical conduct of collaborative international research is well addressed by published laws, regulations, and guidelines such as found in the International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects, as prepared by the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences and the World Health Organization,5 and the International Compilation of Human Subject Research Protections from the Office for Human Research Protection in the US Department of Health and Human Services ( Funding for collaborative international research is available through certain foundations (such as the National Science Foundation) and governments, thus addressing a large issue related to practicality. These factors, led first by the significance of the scientific ideas, speak to the relevance and the possibility of conducting collaborative international research to engage a diverse study team across the globe to address priorities for oncology nursing.

We, engaged in oncology nursing research, have motive, method, guidance, funding, and opportunity to conduct collaborative international research. We on the editorial board strongly encourage and invite submissions that reflect global ideas and global study teams.

Our very best,

Pamela S. Hinds, PhD, RN, FAAN

Editor-in-Chief, Cancer Nursing

Alicia Bedinger, BA

Managing Editor, Cancer Nursing

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© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.