Tag Archives: International Journal of Mental Health Nursing

How to be a Journal Social Media Editor

Drawing on more than 5 years of experience as Social Media Editor for the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, I hereby present an amateurish manifesto in two parts. Feel free to ignore it.
Version 1 (copy & paste from an email I sent on 7 December 2016)
Twitter is a hungry beast. IJMHN will feed it daily with scheduled Tweets promoting its papers/authors. IJMHN will be cautious about entering into conversation with individuals, and is unlikely to retweet much at all, other than an occasional RT of ACMHN tweets. The IJMHN’s standing as a peer-reviewed journal will not be compromised. The often-too-long-to-Tweet journal article titles will stripped of most of their jargon, and rephrased in accessible language that will readily understood by most clinicians and consumers. The goal is to make Tweets engaging and shareable, in the hope that it will drive more traffic to individual papers. 
Facebook will require less active input. About once a fortnight/month will be about right. Rationale = people generally have their social life on Facebook: occasional posts from a work-related site on an individual’s feed will be tolerated, too many posts would likely be construed as intrusive risking the “Like” button being deactivated.
The advantage of SoMe is that it’s all on public view. Feedback from other members of the IJMHN Board will be invited in the New Year.

Key Performance Indicators for a Journal Social Media Editor

Version 2 (in preparation for handing-over the social media editor role at the end of 2022)

First things first. Get your head around these three ways to use social media:

Personal Use.
Personal use of social media is where you share photos of your holidays with family and friends on services like Facebook or Instagram. You may engage in conversations with friends, strangers or public figures, but you will not be representing your profession or an organisation when you do so.
Professional Use.
Professional use of social media is based on your area of expertise and interests. This use of social media is when you share information with and interact with other individuals and organisations that have the same interests. Like you do at work, you will occasionally share aspects of your personal life, but you will be boundaried and cautious re this.
Official Use.
Official use of social media is where an organisation presents their brand and shares information online. @IJMHN = the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing on Twitter, for instance. Official use of social media will have a different tone and goal to personal or professional use of social media.

A Journal Social Media Editor’s personality and opinions take a backseat when they are driving the brand and content of the journal. Your performance is as public as your social media posts. Your key performance indicators (KPIs) are not a matter of opinion, they are quantitative (see below).

Twitter is a hungry beast. Feed twice daily.

Schedule tweets so that the journal’s Twitter account is as steady and reliable as a metronome.

For the majority of my time as Journal Social Media Editor I used the free version of Hootsuite to schedule Tweets. Mid-2021 the features I was accessing for free became available only to paid Hootsuite subscribers, so I switched to Tweetdeck. Tweetdeck has been fine, but you may want to see what other platforms are out there.

The content of the Tweets achieves interest, not random timing.

As the Social Media Editor of the journal you have a regularly updated library of the journal’s content at your disposal – that’s where the interest lies.

Unless you can find a way to get paid for achieving nothing tangible, a tweet without a link to an article is a poor return on your investment of time. Your primary KPI is the Altmetric Attention Score (more about that below), everything else is aesthetics. How much time do you want to spend on aesthetics each week/month/year?  

This Tweet below is a vanity Tweet. It might provide a transient frisson of feel-goodness, but it has all the nutritional and health benefits of fairy floss. It’s a rare distraction, not a regular thing.

One Sunday each month schedule tweets using these self-explanatory hashtags: #20YearsAgo #FromTheArchives @IJMHN Volume… & #10YearsAgo #FromTheArchives @IJMHN Volume… browse the 10/20 year old issue that most-closely corresponds with the current month, and select the most interesting/controversial titles, eg:

Be open to spotting patterns/trends, and sharing insights you stumble across. There won’t be many people keeping as close an eye on IJMHN articles as you. eg:

Schedule a run of Tweets to coincide with each new bimonthly issue, eg:

Keep an eye out for international days that have social media campaigns, and align articles with them if you can. eg:

If your journal also serves as the book of abstracts for a professional society, align the journal’s tweets with the society’s conference using the conference hashtag, eg:


I took over the Social Media Editor role late in 2016. It took until July 2021 to get access to the journal’s Facebook page. That’s a ridiculous delay, but as far as KPIs go it’s not such a big deal.

Facebook posts to a public page (not a personal account) attain a smaller Altmetric Attention Score than a Tweet. It plays a part in meeeting your KPI, but only a small part.

I’ve been using Facebook as an avenue to promote new open access articles primarily. That keeps the volume of posts fairly low, which I think is an important consideration if we don’t want to alienate Facebook followers. Why? Individual’s Facebook pages are primarily used for sharing photos, stories and other aspects of their personal life. If work-related info swamps this people will tend to unfollow or mute the page. Less is more.


After being the ugly-duckling of social media for many years, in the last couple of years LinkedIn has become a platform that is worthwhile using. I say this with confidence because of looking at referral data for the meta4RN.com blog. LinkedIn never used to generate any significant traffic to meta4RN.com before 2018. Since 2020 it has become the 4th largest referral source (behind Google, Twitter and Facebook).

Use LinkedIn the same way you use Facebook. Use your time efficiently and just copy and paste the same content. If you have the time/patience to tag the authors on LinkedIn that’s fair enough, BUT it won’t help you meet your KPI. LinkedIn does not generate an Altmetric score at all.


Forget it.

Insta is a visual platform and most journal articles are visually boring. Also, Insta posts don’t carry links, nor does Insta affect the Altmetric score (your KPI). Forget instagram.

Traps to Avoid
You will receive requests from people, including people on the editorial board/related organisations, to share info on their behalf (eg: recruiting for their projects etc). Ignore them all. That’s not the Social Media Editor’s job. How could you possible pick what’s ‘worthy’ of promoting and what isn’t? Also, it does not meet any of your KPIs. Forget it.
Don’t quarantine time to do social media stuff alone. Since January 2017 every Tweet, Facebook post and LinkedIn update has been written and scheduled on my ipad while I’ve been listening to music, half-watching TV (shows my partner likes, but I don’t), or filling-in time during the ad-breaks while watch sport on TV. Scheduling a social media post is not brain science or rocket surgery, it doesn’t require your undivided attention.   
Don’t get involved in an argument you can’t hope to win. Every now and then someone will respond to your social media post negatively. That’s fine. Just let it sit there. They are not talking to you the Journal Social Media Editor, they are talking to the author(s) of the journal article. It is not for you to defend or respond.
Things to Enjoy
This is a bit sad, but I’ve trained myself to get a little dopamine hit every time I “discover” a new article via Early View. I only check when it’s a good time for me: while on holidays I might not check for a few weeks, but otherwise I’ll have a sneak-peek every day or so when I’m not doing anything else especially important.

Enjoy the articles too. Unless you’re super-geeky you’re not going to read every word of every article, but you’ll read every abstract. You’ll look for, and find, insightful quotes, interesting data, and inspiring themes. Enjoy.

Opportunities to Explore

Social media platforms come and go. It will be surprising if the platforms being used in 2022 will have the same weight and functionality that they will in five years time. Stay flexible.

Blog posts present a relatively easy 3 points on the Altmetric Attention Score. At time of writing ijmhn.com, ijmhn.org and ijmhn.net all remain available URLs. Setting up a basic website/blog takes minimal funding and expertise. Journal article authors could be invited to write a plain-language summary of the article together with a visually appealing dit of data and/or an author photo. Suggestion: if you do go down this path, make sure that the site will be compatible with embedding the Altmetric badge (for more info follow the button in the top-right corner here: wiley.altmetric.com/details/128895594). That – at time of writing – means avoiding the most-readily-available/user-friendly wordpress platform.

Something I’ve thought about, but never sought opinion/permission from the editorial board, is emailing article authors at time of publication with tips on promoting their article via social media. That’s what I had in mind when I made the video below. The video is a bit too smart-arsey in tone and amateur in production for use, I reckon, especially considering that most authors for the IJMHN are not Australian and may not understand/could be offended by the irreverence/humour.

Primary KPI
The primary key performance indicator (KPI) for the success of failure of the social media strategy is via altmetric, as articulated in this journal article. Read up on how the Altmetric Attention Score is calculated – as the journal’s social media editor you’ll probably know and care it more than anyone else in the editorial board – do what you can to share the enthusiasm. I suggest gathering and reporting on the pre- and post- data to see what impact your strategies are having.
Secondary KPIs include
The number of social media interactions
The number/relevance of current social media platforms

The popularity of specific social media platforms will rise and fall over time: is the journal keeping up?

Similar question with different wording: Is altmetric measuring data from platforms that the journal is not using? If so, that’s a good indication that the journal is not keeping up.
The annual Impact Factor ?

There is debate in the literature on whether social media interaction leads to more citations. Do a search for yourself and stay abreast of contemporary data.

To my way of thinking if you were doing a thorough literature search, whether or not an article(s) had been shared on social media wouldn’t make much of a difference. I guess that the reality is that not every literature search will be thorough, and – thorough or not – what is cited in an any given article on a topic will rarely be 100% complete. If you accept those arguments as being plausible, would it not also be plausible that an article that already attracted a lot of attention would be more likely to come to the attention of researchers/authors?

But anyway, don’t rely on my arguments about plausibility. See if you can find contemporary evidence one way or another – fair dinkum stuff with a control group and quantitative data, not the namby-pamby opinions of a bloke with a blog (me).  
So What?
Look, being a Journal Social Media Editor won’t create world peace, rid the planet of poverty and starvation, or solve climate change. However, if the research and innovations your journal publishes contribute to the world being a better place, you will play an important role in amplifying the reach and readership of that work.

I’m pretty sure I’m the only person on the editorial board of IJMHN who does not have a PhD. If you’re capable and confident with using social media in an offical way, becoming a Journal Social Media Editor can add a bit of oomph to your curriculum vitae.

The main reward for being a Journal Social Media Editor for me was the knowledge acquired from the discipline of perusing all published research in my speciality’s main journal for the last 5 years. Some of my peers are doing great work; it is inspiring to read about it as soon as it’s published. Of course there are some subjects of research that don’t excite me much, but even skim-reading those articles looking for a tweetable quote has been informative and enlightening.


Too long; didn’t read? Fair enough.

In the grand tradition of see one, do one, teach one, just have a look at these sites instead:

Twitter twitter.com/IJMHN
Facebook www.facebook.com/IJMHN
LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/company/IJMHN

What would you do different if you had your hands on those accounts? You should do that then, and see how it goes. 🙂

Further Reading (an embarrassingly self-referential, but mercifully short, reference list)

McNamara, P. (2017), Cairns Nurse on Journal Editorial Board meta4RN.com/IJMHN

McNamara, P. & Usher, K. (2019), Share or perish: Social media and the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 28(4), pp. 960-970 doi.org/10.1111/inm.12600

McNamara, P. (2022) Mental Health Nursing making an impact meta4RN.com/impact

McNamara, P. (2022), Happy anniversary IJMHN. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 31(4), pp. 767-771 doi.org/10.1111/inm.13025


Feel free to ignore this amateurish manifesto. I’m only writing it as a starting point, a handover-of-sorts, to the next IJMHN Social Media Editor.
As always, your feedback is invited in the comments section below.

Paul McNamara, 22 September 2022

Short URL meta4RN.com/editor

Mental Health Nursing making an impact

Recently I trawled through the history of the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing (IJMHN) – if you’re curious please see this editorial and this blog post.

Amongst the things revealed was the encouraging upward trend in the Impact Factor – a metric that reflects how many citations individual academic journals attract over a two year period. I was especially encouraged that a targeted social media strategy, together with the increased volume of articles, coincide with the Impact Factor upward trend since 2017.

Today this arrived in an email:

The 2022 Journal Citation Reports were released overnight, and I am very pleased to let you know that International Journal of Mental Health Nursing’s 2021 Impact Factor is 5.100 – a significant increase from 3.503 for 2020. This result places the Journal in the rankings: 2/125 (Nursing), 2/123 (Nursing (Social Science)), 57/155 (Psychiatry), 43/142 (Psychiatry (Social Science)).

Alison Bell, Journal Publishing Manager, Wiley, email of 29 June 2022

That is – to put it bluntly – bloody amazing!

Don’t believe me? Look at the chart below…

International Journal of Mental Health Nursing Impact Factor (2010 – 2021)

The journal had very humble beginnings. It was just an idea amongst a few Mental Health Nurses in Australia in July 1978. The first issue consisting of just two articles and editorial followed in September 1980 (source and source).

2021 data reveals this humble little journal is now ranked the second most impactful nursing journal on the planet.


Mental Health Nursing is punching above its weight. Mental Health Nursing ranks 5th as principal specialty, after Aged Care, Medical, Surgical and Peri-operative (source and source). Yet, we have a journal that rates 2nd most cited nursing journal, behind the International Journal of Nursing Studies (IJNS).

That’s something to celebrate – not just for the authors, reviewers and editors who put in the hard work to make it happen – but for all Mental Health Nurses.


Please spread word about the impact of the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing – it’s a good news story 🙂

Paul McNamara, 29 June 2022

Short URL meta4RN.com/impact

IJMHN LinkedIn post

IJMHN Facebook post

Happy Anniversary International Journal of Mental Health Nursing

Since late 2016 I have been the Social Media Editor for the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing (IJMHN). If you’re interested in how that started, see meta4RN.com/IJMHN. The years that have followed have resulted in heaps of Tweets, Facebook posts and LinkedIn updates. As a byproduct, I’ve been keeping a closer eye on the journal than I would have otherwise, and stumbled across the fact that 2022 marks the anniversary of three important milestones in the journal’s history:

✅ 30 years as a fully refereed journal (1992)
✅ 20 years as the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing (2002)
✅ 10 years on social media (2012)

That observation has been explored and elaborated-on via my first (and probably only) editorial. Please read and share the article far and wide:

McNamara, P. (2022), Happy anniversary IJMHN. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing. https://doi.org/10.1111/inm.13025

Below are some abbreviated highlights and a video summary from the editorial.

What’s in a name?

1980 Journal of the Australian Congress of Mental Health Nurses
1990 Australian Journal of Mental Health Nursing
1994 Australian and New Zealand Journal of Mental Health Nursing
2002 International Journal of Mental Health Nursing

Figure 3. Evolution of the Journal (1980–2022). https://doi.org/10.1111/inm.13025


1980 Dennis Cowell
1982 Ron Dee
1986 Owen Sollis
1987 Linda Salomons
1988 Andrew King
1990 Michael Clinton
1999 Michael Hazelton
2004 Brenda Happell 
2015 Kim Usher

I have not attempted to discover the names of everyone who has served on the journal’s editorial board – there would many dozens (in the hundreds?) of people of who have contributed over the years. For what it’s worth, below is a May/June 2022 snapshot of the editorial board.

Online list: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/page/journal/14470349/homepage/editorialboard.html

Beyond the Walled Gardens

It is sensible to promote the work of IJMHN authors/researchers beyond the walled gardens of mental health nursing and academia. Below are links to the journal’s first excursions from behind the paywalls and exclusion zones that prevent people seeing the work and research of mental health nurses, and out to ‘the village square’ that is social media:

Twitter 2012 bit.ly/IJMHNTwitter
Facebook 2013 bit.ly/IJMHNfacebook
LinkedIn 2021 bit.ly/IJMHNLinkedIn

As I’ve argued previously (here and here), there’s not much value in spending weeks/months/years doing research, then pushing through the tedium of academic writing, and finally jumping through the flaming hoops of peer review only for your work to sit around unread and gathering dust. Authors and the institutions that support them should promote the paper to its greatest readership. The IJMHN has a strategy to promote mental health nursing’s research and work on social media – do you?

Figure 4. Example of Altmetric Attention Score. https://doi.org/10.1111/inm.13025

Average Number of IJMHN Articles

2000–2006 = 35 per year
2007–2017 = 62 per year
2018–2021 = 135 per year

Figure 1. Number of IJMHN Articles Published (2000=2021). https://doi.org/10.1111/inm.13025

Making an Impact

The first IJMHN Impact Factor was 1.427 (2010). At time of writing, the most recent available Impact Factor is 3.503 (2020). That’s pretty amazing – the IJMHN is the highest-ranked mental health/psychiatric nursing journal, and is rated as the 5th most cited nursing journal in the world (in a field of 124 nursing journals).

A targeted social media strategy together with the increased volume of articles coincide with the Impact Factor upward trend starting in 2017.

Time will need to pass before we know whether the most recently reported Impact Factor is an anomaly of the pandemic. I make this observation because, at time of writing, the three most cited IJMHN papers are all from 2020, and each of these highly-cited articles discuss contemporary-at-the-time COVID-19 issues (see the “Most Cited” tab here: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/14470349).

Figure 2. IJMHN Impact Factor (2010–2020). https://doi.org/10.1111/inm.13025

Connecting with IJMHN

Website www.wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/INM
Twitter twitter.com/IJMHN
Facebook www.facebook.com/IJMHN
LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/company/IJMHN


too long; didn’t read?

Watch the video – it’s less than 2 minutes long, and has a cool musical accompaniment (‘Dashed Ambitions’ by Moby, kindly provided gratis via mobygratis.com).

(video made by first making a Prezi)

End Notes

In case you missed it above, here’s the citation and link to the editorial:

McNamara, P. (2022), Happy anniversary IJMHN. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing. https://doi.org/10.1111/inm.13025

And the PDF version is here: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/inm.13025

Thanks for reading this far. I would be grateful if you share either this blog page or – preferably – the article itself. Sharing is caring 🙂

As always, feedback is welcome via the comments section below.

Paul McNamara, 29 May 2022

Short URL: meta4RN.com/happy

Share or Perish!


About a decade ago, the old academic refrain to ‘publish or perish’ was updated to ‘be cited or perish’. A couple of days ago we published a paper arguing for a new call-to-arms: ‘share or perish’.

The truth is not too many people are perishing in the academic space. However, there is a pretty good indication that publishing in a journal that has a social media strategy makes a difference.

Want evidence? Have a look at these excerpts from our paper that compares the 18 months before the appointment of a social media editor for the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing (IJMHN) with the 18 months after that appointment.

First piece of evidence is in Figure 1 (below). Data from Twitonomy collated in 6‐monthly increments shows that after appointment of an IJMHN social media editor there was a 13½‐fold increase in tweets, and a 16‐fold increase in shared URLs.

Figure 1. Twitter Activity before and after the commencement of IJMHN social media editor on 01/01/17. Data from Twitonomy collated in 6‐monthly increments.

Figure 2 (below) plots 4 different data points. 

It shows that Impressions increased from an average of 118 per day to 2839 per day. That’s a 24-fold increase on how many Twitter accounts potentially saw an @IJMHN Tweet each day. 

Retweets increased from an average 62 retweets every 6 months to over 2140 retweets every 6 months. That’s a 35-fold increase in the number of time @IJMHN Tweets were shared – a remarkable increase in audience reach.

Similarly, the ‘likes’ that @IJMHN attracted increased from 45 times every 6 months to 2083 every 6 months. That’s a 46-fold increase in people acknowledging or showing approval to @IJMHN Tweets.

Most importantly, the number of times people clicked on the link (URL) of an IJMHN paper increased markedly too. It jumped from 129 to 2960 link clicks recorded every six months – a 23‐fold increase.

Figure 2. Twitter Impact before and after the commencement of IJMHN social media editor on 01/01/17. Data from Twitter Analytics collated in 6‐monthly increments.

The final data point I’ll present here is the Altmetric Attention Score (AAS), as shown in Figure 3 (below). The AAS increased from an average of 490 to 1317 every 6 months. This equates to an 169% increase in online attention and activity for IJMHN.

Figure 3. Altmetric Attention Score and Number of Articles published before and after the commencement of IJMHN social media editor on 01/01/17. Data from Altmetric collated in 6‐monthly increments.

Closing Remarks

This simplified summary of the paper misses some of the data and the description of context, the social media strategy and the reporting method. Please see the original paper for more info [link].

Want to find out more about how some of this stuff is measured? Start here: https://wiley.altmetric.com/details/62929297

Please share the link to this blog and/or to our paper about stage one of the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing social media strategy.

Don’t forget: Share or Perish! 


McNamara, P. and Usher, K. (2019), Share or perish: Social media and the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, online from 30/06/19, volume and issue yet to be allocated [I’ll update this when it’s in an issue]
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/inm.12600
URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/inm.12600 


As always, feedback is welcomed via the comments section below.

Paul McNamara, 2 July 2019

Short URL: meta4RN.com/share