About the Journal


Envisioned for a decade, conceptualized in 2013, and launched in 2018, Witness is a Canadian online open access scholarly nursing journal. Together, contributors and readers form a collective of nurses whose practice, research, teaching, and way of being are rooted in social justice. 

There is a rich history of critical discourse and practice in Canada: Discourse and practice gleaned from what Canadian nurses witness regarding health, health care and the quality of life of individuals, groups and populations. The time has come to formalize a Canadian-based scholarly space for critical nursing discourse that is rooted in such ideas as social justice, intersectionality, advocacy and critical social theory .... to name but a few.  Witness is a collective of critical nurses in Canada and beyond who strive to ameliorate inequities in the health and quality of life of all. By virtue of the nurse’s privileged societal position, we witness a wide array of inequities that require us to take action. Witness is a collective of critical nurses in Canada and beyond who strive to ameliorate inequities in the health and quality of life of all. Indeed, our tag line represents the ethos of the journal: SEE it .... SPEAK it.... WRITE it.... CHANGE it.   

SCOPE.  The journal is rooted in critical discourse, where the term ‘critical’ refers to a capacity to inquire ‘against the grain.’ It involves a persistent sense of perturbation with the status quo. This is a disposition that involves questioning claims of truth or falsity, charging the thinker with the task of disrupting and destabilizing epistemological certainties, including one’s very own. ‘Critical’ is about recognizing dominant political, economic, and social forces–and interrogating how these influence ways of knowing, the very production of knowledge, and systemic inequities. As both a stance and an action, it is a commitment to the decolonization of knowledge by an analysis of both dominant discourses and oppressive practices. Moreover, ‘critical’ is about a necessity to surface assumptions and tensions in our own and others’ works and practices. It encompasses an unyielding commitment to interrogate the relation of power to knowledge with an understanding that individuals, groups, and systems may–intentionally or unintentionally–reproduce such relations. For Witness, it is a salient attribute that welcomes, and is strengthened by, an openness to perspectival plurality.

AIMS.  Witness seeks to foster and disseminate critical nursing discourse that is underpinned by the principles of social justice and health equity that critique dominant discourses, interrogate power relations and structural violence and aim to advance social change. Submissions may explore advocacy, power, justice, intersectionality, gender, health equity, critical social theory, pedagogies for social change and others.

Witness embraces the open access movement and seeks to further dismantle multiple systemic barriers to knowledge creation and dissemination. To that end, Witness is an Open Access Journal at the Platinum level of access in that neither payment to publish nor to access the journal’s offerings shall be required. Witness adheres to the BOAI definition of open access: that users have the right to "read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles" and is open access and applies a Creative Commons license.

Authors are invited to make submissions in English or French, though consideration is subject to the editorial board's ability to locate an appropriate peer-reviewer in the subject language. If submissions are made in a language other than English, the title and abstract must be submitted in English as well. Authors may provide an English translation of their submission, in which case, if the manuscript is accepted, both versions will be published (if the author wishes).