For Authors

Welcome to ONS Book Publishing

The vision of the ONS Publications Department is to be the leading publisher of health-related resources with primary emphasis on oncology and cancer care. The mission of the ONS Publications Department is to produce premier resources for the cancer care community. ONS provides personalized service and expert resources to help you in your book publishing endeavors.

Guidelines for Publishing ONS Books

The following are some guidelines for you to use in preparing proposals for consideration for publication and for preparing manuscripts for submission to ONS.

Proposal Submission

When approaching the ONS Publications Department about publishing a book, you should submit the following.

I. Prospectus—a summary of the important information you want the publisher to know that includes at least the following information

  1. Brief description of the book, including why you think it will be important to the cancer care community
  2. Table of contents of the book, which should include a detailed description and outline of the contents to be included in each chapter, a tentative author for each chapter, and an approximate page count for each chapter
  3. The number of manuscript pages that you anticipate for the completed work and the estimated time for completion of the entire manuscript
  4. Identification of the primary and secondary audiences for the book
  5. Your qualifications, as author/editor, and the names and qualifications of any coauthors you plan to use in writing the book
  6. The titles, authors, publishers, dates of publication, and prices of books that may be in direct competition; your recommendations for marketing strategies to reach the identified audiences

II. The curriculum vitae of the author(s) submitting the proposal

III. At least one completed sample chapter. If you do not have a chapter prepared for the proposed book, please submit a previously published article or book chapter.

An ONS Publications Department review panel will review the proposal, and you will be notified of its decision.


For Peer Reviews

ONS books are peer-reviewed by content matter experts. ONS is always looking for peer reviewers for a variety of subject areas. For information on the latest projects and to request an application, please contact our Acquisitions Editor, John Zaphyr, at for further information.


For Authors


Manuscript Preparation and Submission

Financial Disclosure

Each author must disclose any financial interest in products mentioned in the manuscript or in the company that manufactures the products, as well as any compensation received for producing the manuscript. A submitted manuscript that is the result of funded research must cite the funding source on the title page. A manuscript that originated as a thesis or dissertation prepared by an author on an educational scholarship must cite the name of the scholarship. In general, this disclosure will not preclude publication providing that the manuscript meets the appropriate standards for acceptance.

Manuscript Formatting

Manuscripts to be submitted for publication should be word processed, double spaced, with one-inch margins. Do not double space after periods. Number pages consecutively within each chapter, with the page number appearing in the lower right-hand corner. Insert the file name into the document header. Adhere to the original number of pages indicated in the prospectus and your contract. Submit a printout of the entire manuscript and the electronic manuscript files saved on a CD/DVD or USB flash memory device, preferably in Microsoft Word format.

Photographs, Figures, and Tables

Photographs submitted for inclusion in the book should be original, glossy prints or high-resolution digital image files. Figures should be camera ready (very clean photocopies are acceptable) or provided in a high-resolution electronic graphics file format (e.g., EPS, TIFF, JPEG). If a photograph, figure, or table has been printed elsewhere, you must obtain permission to reprint. If a person can be identified in a photograph, the subject or guardian must sign a form granting permission for its use. Number figures consecutively with chapter number and figure number. Include each figure title and any necessary credit lines at the end of the chapter.

Type your tables using the Table feature in your word-processing program. Do not tab or space items to align in columns. Number tables consecutively, with chapter number and table number, and type each table on a separate page. You will be required to adhere to the number of photographs, figures, and tables allotted in your contract, if indicated.


If no changes or only minor changes have been made to someone else's material for use in your publication, it is being reprinted. If you have substantially altered someone else's material for use in your publication (e.g., added/deleted columns in a table), it has been adapted. In either case, you must obtain written permission to use the material and give proper credit to the copyright holder.

Obtaining permission for use of copyrighted material, including your own previously published work, is the author's responsibility, as are any fees charged by the copyright owner. Contact the copyright holder to request permission to reprint or adapt; please request permission for print and electronic use. Consult the publisher's website for permissions contact information and to determine their preferred method for submitting permission requests (e.g., online form, e-mail or fax request). You should submit the original, signed permission request forms with the final manuscript.

You must obtain and submit a signed statement of informed consent to publish in print and online patient descriptions/case studies, photographs, and pedigrees from all individuals or parents/legal guardians of minors who can be identified in such written descriptions, photographs, or pedigrees. Such individuals should be shown the manuscript before its submission. If necessary, ONS can provide you with a sample permission form.

This requirement does not apply to information supplied as subject demographic information in the context of a research project.

Use of Drug Names

When mentioning drugs, avoid using brand names when possible. Names of products and processes that are patented and are the exclusive property of a company are capitalized and followed by ® or TM. The symbol need only appear the first time the product or process is mentioned within each chapter. You are responsible for verifying all drug doses used within the text.

Work of Contributors

If additional authors will contribute to the book, the ONS Publications Department will obtain the author agreement/contract. The lead author/editor should edit the chapters written by contributors prior to submission to the ONS Publications Department to ensure consistency in style, terminology, etc. The lead author/editor should submit all chapters at one time. Manuscripts submitted piecemeal may be returned.


The ONS Publications Department uses the reference style of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) (2010). Please refer to the examples of references to be included within the text and in the reference list.


Indexing of the book can be done by the author(s) or by the ONS Publications Department. The decision will be made at the time of the signing of your contract.

Process for Publication

Once your manuscript has been submitted to the ONS Publications Department for processing, several things will occur. First, the manuscript will undergo review to ensure that all requirements have been met.

The ONS Publications Department technical editor and copy editor will edit the manuscript. Changes will be made to the manuscript for clarity and style. The edited text will be sent to the primary author for approval. The manuscript must be reviewed very carefully to be sure that all information is accurate. Check all drug names and dosages to ensure that they are correct. The editors will insert queries to the author throughout the manuscript if they have questions. This is the time to make any necessary changes to the manuscript. Once the manuscript enters the layout phase, changes are more difficult to make, become more costly, and can significantly impact the production timeline.

Once all author corrections have been received and incorporated, the manuscript will go into layout. An ONS Publications Department staff member will proofread the first draft of the layout. Following this, the editor will have an opportunity to review the page proofs. This will be the final opportunity to see the book before it goes to the printer. The editor must review it very carefully for any errors and will receive specific instructions for the review. At this point in the process, time is of the essence. You must return the copy to the ONS Publications Department according to the instructions provided.

Once the page proof corrections are received, they are incorporated and final proofreading is done. If an index is to be included, it is generated at this point.

Reference Format

Note. Based on information from American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.


Journal article, one author, serial pagination, DOI assigned to article

  • Lauta, V.M. (2003). A review of the cytokine network in multiple myeloma: Diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic implications. Cancer, 97, 2440–2452. doi: 10.1002/cncr.11072

Journal article, two authors, no DOI but retrieved electronically (add link to electronic article)

Journal article, multiple authors, no DOI assigned and print version used

  • Up to five authors: Ben-Ami, S., Shaham, J., Rabin, S., Melzer, A., & Ribak, J. (2001). The influence of nurses' knowledge, attitudes and health beliefs on their safe behavior with cytotoxic drugs in Israel. Cancer Nursing, 24, 192–200.
  • Seven authors: Tavani, A., Pregnolato, A., Negri, E., Franceschi, S., Serraino, D., Carbone A., & La Vecchia, C. (1997). Diet and risk of lymphoid neoplasms and soft tissue sarcomas. Nutrition and Cancer, 27, 256–260.
  • More than seven authors: In the reference list, after the sixth author, add an ellipsis and then the final author:
    Struewing, J.P., Hartge, P., Wacholder, S., Baker, S.M., Berlin, M., McAdams, M., . . . Tucker, M.A. (1997). The risk of cancer associated with specific mutations of BRCA1 and BRCA2 among Ashkenazi Jews. New England Journal of Medicine, 336, 1401–1408.

Journal article that begins each issue with page 1

Books and Book Chapters

Reference to an entire book

  • Dow, K.H. (2004). Contemporary issues in breast cancer: A nursing perspective (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett. [Add DOI as above if available, or URL for homepage of publisher if accessed online.]

Reference to a chapter in an edited book

  • Gupta, A.K., Harris, E.R., Bernhard, E.J., Muschel, R.J., & McKenna, W.G. (2000). Overview of cell cycle and apoptosis. In H. Pass, J. Mitchell, D. Johnson, A. Turrisi, & J. Minna (Eds.), Lung cancer: Principles and practice (2nd ed., pp. 67–81). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  • Jenkins, J., & Masny, A. (2003). Why should oncology nurses be interested in genetics? In A.S. Tranin, A. Masny, & J. Jenkins (Eds.), Genetics in oncology practice: Cancer risk assessment (pp. 1–12). Pittsburgh, PA: Oncology Nursing Society.

Brochure, corporate author

  • Oncology Nursing Society. (2006). The oncology nurse practitioner and you: Partnering to provide quality cancer care [Brochure]. Pittsburgh, PA: Author.

Unpublished paper presented at a meeting

  • Ducey, K., & Gray, M. (1996, November). Leaping the hurdle in ambulatory pathway development. Paper presented at the Seventh Annual Fall Institute of the Oncology Nursing Society, Phoenix, AZ.

Unpublished master's thesis or doctoral dissertation

  • Katz, S. (1994). The psychosocial implications of the child's chronic illness on the father. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Tel Aviv University, Israel.


Reference to an online document

  • Family Foundation and University of Wisconsin, Sonderegger Research Center. (2000, July). Prescription drug trendsA chartbook. Retrieved from
  • Oncology Nursing Society hosts cancer prevention and early detection programs for HBCU/MSI nurses. (n.d.). Retrieved from publications/PDFs/HBCU.pdf

(n.d.) indicates that no "created on" date appears on the webpage. If a date appears, list the year in parentheses. When no author is listed, place the title first. Titles of webpages are generally not italicized; however, titles of reports are italicized whether in print or online.

Paper presented at a symposium, abstract retrieved from university website:

  • Cutler, L.D., Frolich, B., & Hanrahan, P. (1997, January 16). Two-handed direct manipulation on the responsive workbench. Paper presented at the 1997 Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics. Abstract retrieved from

Citations Within the Body of the Text

One author

  • In a recent study of the cytokine network in multiple myeloma (Lauta, 2001) . . .
  • Lauta (2001) studied the cytokine network in multiple myeloma.

Two authors

  • Untreated depression can have a significant impact on quality of life and symptom distress in patients with advanced cancer (Bowers & Boyle, 2003).
  • Bowers and Boyle (2003) found that . . .

Multiple authors

  • If a work has three to five authors, cite all names the first time the reference is used. Thereafter, use only the surname of the first author followed by et al. (no capitals, followed by a period).
    Ben-Ami, Shaham, Rabin, Melzer, and Ribak (2001) found . . . (first citation)
    Ben-Ami et al. (2001) also found . . . (include the year in subsequent citations within the same paragraph)
  • If a work has six or more authors, use only the surname of the first author and et al. with date in parentheses for each citation.

Writing Tips

  1. You may find it easier to begin writing by creating a detailed outline first. Expand the outline to formulate the first draft of your paper. This will help you to organize your ideas.
  2. Be sure that you cite each reference used within the text in the reference list. Also check that you have used in the text each reference appearing in the final list. If you are unsure about how to cite a reference, include all possible information that may be needed. It can be useful to compile reference information on index cards or some other form to keep track of your references. It is better to have the information on hand than to have to go back and track down the information when you are ready to compile your reference list. Include all authors' names, title of article or book chapter, title of book or periodical containing the article, year of publication, publisher and city of publisher for books, and page range of the article or chapter.
  3. All references should be in alphabetical order using the surname of the first author.
  4. Once you have written the first draft of your manuscript, put it away for a few days. Review it after you have taken a break from working on it. It will be easier for you to identify areas that are not stated the way you wanted or that are missing.
  5. After you have written the second draft and are comfortable with it (or don't know where to go next), select a few people to read your manuscript for a constructive critique. Select someone whom you feel will give you an honest and objective opinion. Be prepared for the reviewer to suggest a lot of changes. If the person suggests no changes, choose another reviewer.
  6. Avoid wordiness and redundancy. Saying something in different ways in different sentences and in different paragraphs will not help to get your point across.
  7. Spell out what an abbreviation stands for the first time it is used in the text and include the abbreviation in parentheses next to it. Thereafter, use the acronym on its own. For example: "American Nurses Association (ANA)" on first reference; "ANA" on subsequent references. If a term is used only one in the chapter text, do not use an abbreviation at all. Judicious use of abbreviations is recommended to enhance readability of the text.
  8. Use a final serial comma (i.e., place a comma after the next-to-last object, action, etc., in a series). In addition, a comma should precede andbutornorforsoalthoughyet, and other connectives when they link independent clauses (i.e., clauses that could be written separately).
  9. For direct quotations in the text, specify the exact page number for the quote and use "p." if one page of the publication is noted; use "pp." if more than one is noted.
  10. For specific questions not addressed in this tip sheet, see American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author; and The Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed.). (2010). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.