Categories
Publication research

Call for papers – Towards a new normal in physiotherapy education

By responding to this global disruption, we are placed in a situation where we are having to rethink our approaches to physiotherapy education. All over the world physiotherapy educators are engaged in what is possibly the most extensive programme of pedagogical change in our professional history. We see colleagues responding with creativity, empathy and flexibility, creating a unique opportunity for us to capture and share what may be a series of transformative changes in physiotherapy education at a global scale.

I’m excited to announce that OpenPhysio has put out a call for papers aimed at learning how colleagues from around the world are responding to the changes they’re currently experiencing within their professional programmes. We’re interested in the changes currently underway that have the potential to transform physiotherapy education, both in the short- and long-terms.

Submissions should be short (1500-2000 words) research reports or notes with a clear problem, a maximum of 3-5 citations, early findings (even if only in the form of observations), and provide a single focused recommendation.

You can find out more about the call on the OpenPhysio website.

Categories
research writing

#APAperADay: Twelve tips for getting your manuscript published.

Cook, D. A. (2016). Twelve tips for getting your manuscript published. Medical Teacher, 38(1), 41–50.


I went through this article to present it for discussion at our departmental journal club meeting last week. It’s a useful review paper for anyone interested in academic publishing, especially novice authors who may not have much experience preparing manuscripts for submission.


Getting the manuscript ready

1. Plan early to get it out the door. Write regularly – even if it’s for shorter periods – because it’s hard to find large blocks of time, which means that you don’t write very often. Set clear, concrete goals because otherwise you end up doing lots of reading and editing but don’t put words on the page. Refine in stages, perhaps initially using a rough outline where the argument can be presented and seen all at once, before expanding points into sentences, then paragraphs, and finally into sections.

2. Address authorship and writing group expectations up front. Deciding the order and contributions of each author is important to do early on in the process. See the ICMJE guidelines on defining the role of authors. The main point to take away is that, in order to be listed as an author, an intellectual contribution to the paper (which is different to the project) is necessary.

3. Maintain control of the writing. There needs to be one person who drives the process and ensures that editing of the manuscript is controlled. The author suggests having one master document that only they have access to, with other authors submitting changes on separate documents. This might be less important with the version control and change tracking that’s built into current collaborative writing platforms e.g. Google Docs.

4. Ensure complete reporting. Find out what reporting guidelines exist for your specific type of study design e.g. SR, RCT, qualitative research, etc. Note that the title can be thought of as part of the reporting something to the reader; t’s the one thing that every reader will actually read. The introduction provides context, a conceptual framework, literature review, problem statement and then the question or aim. The Discussion should be focused and informative, leaving out what is not really necessary. It might follow this structure: summary, limitations, integration with prior work, implications for practice or research.

5. Use electronic reference management software. You can do this manually but, after the initial setup of your resource library, using management software is far more efficient. There are two additional reasons to use software; citations can be reformatted into different styles, new citations can be inserted without having to renumber everything else. Don’t capture sources into your library by hand as this can introduce errors; use the software to import from PubMed and journals directly. Mendeley is popular, as is Endnote. I use Zotero, which is an excellent open source programme.

6. Polish carefully before you submit. Make sure that there are as few spelling, grammatical, typographical, punctuation and style errors as possible in the manuscript before you submit. It’s important to be consistent in your editing across all of the above e.g. UK vs US English, different heading styles for first level headings, inconsistent citation formatting, etc. will all suggest to the Editor that you’re not paying attention to the small things.

7. Select the right journal. Who will be reading the journal? There’s no point aiming for a high impact journal if their audience won’t be interested in your work. Review the journal aim and scope, instructions for authors, or even contact the Editor and ask if they think that your topic and question would be of interest to the journal’s audience. Try to evaluate your own work objectively, possibly by comparing it to a few papers from the journal you’re aiming for, and ask if it would fit alongside those articles. All metrics used to evaluate the “quality” of a journal are flawed.

8. Follow journal instructions precisely. Editors may desk reject (i.e. not even send out for review) articles where authors have disregarded the instructions. There are often a variety of other items that need to accompany the article e.g. cover letter (topic, aim, implications), disclosures, conflict of interest statements, authorship, possible reviewers, funding, and ethics clearance. It can take surprisingly long to gather this additional information.

When you are rejected (and you will be rejected)

9. Get it back out the door quickly. There’s no value in delaying it because your feelings are hurt. Try to remember that everyone gets rejected. It may be helpful to have a list of other journals you will submit to if the article is rejected. It is not helpful to argue with the Editor.

10. Take seriously all reviewer and editor suggestions. Even though you are obviously not required to use the feedback, you should at least pay it some attention. The author suggests a rubric for deciding what comments to pay attention to: essential, high-yield, easy and useful, other.

When you are invited to revise and resubmit

It’s unlikely that you will ever have an article accepted without having to make any changes.

11. Respond carefully to every suggestion, even if you disagree. I agree with the first part of this, “respond carefully”. However, the second part seems to suggest that you should make the suggested changes, even if you disagree. The author even says that the “reviewers are always right”. I disagree and will almost always stand my ground on points that I feel don’t need to be changed. I’ll sometimes spend 2-3 times longer arguing for why the change shouldn’t be made, than it would’ve taken to just edit the text. However, I will clarify the writing to ensure that other readers don’t make the same mistake that the reviewer made. You do need to respond to every comment though, ensuring that you’re respectful in your responses. Whatever you think of the actual feedback, someone has taken the time to read and comment on your work. Make sure that you follow the journal instructions for how to edit and resubmit your article.

12. Get input from others as you revise. It’s especially useful to have someone else go over your response to the reviewers. It may also be useful to contact the Editor directly; they have asked you to resubmit so obviously think that your work has merit.

9 (revisited). Get it back out the door quickly. When asked to resubmit, unless the reviewers are suggesting major changes, it might be worthwhile dropping everything else and focusing on making the changes.

There is a little more than a page devoted entirely to a series of tips for effective tables and figures (pg. 5-6).

Table 3 (pg. 8-9) includes examples of different kinds of reviewer comments, with appropriate responses.


Note: I’m the Editor at OpenPhysio, an open-access, peer-reviewed online journal with a focus on physiotherapy education. If you’re doing interesting work in the classroom, even if you have no experience in publishing educational research, we’d like to help you share your stories.

Categories
Publication

Article: Predatory journals: No definition, no defense.

Everyone agrees that predatory publishers sow confusion, promote shoddy scholarship and waste resources. What is needed is consensus on a definition of predatory journals. This would provide a reference point for research into their prevalence and influence, and would help in crafting coherent interventions.

Grudniewicz, A. (2019). Predatory journals: no definition, no defence. Nature, 576, 210-212, doi: 10.1038/d41586-019-03759-y.
There exist a variety of checklists to determine if a journal is widely recognised as being “predatory” but the challenge is that few lists are consistent and some are overlapping, which is not helpful for authors.

The consensus definition reached by the authors of the paper:

Predatory journals and publishers are entities that prioritize self-interest at the expense of scholarship and are characterized by false or misleading information, deviation from best editorial and publication practices, a lack of transparency, and/or the use of aggressive and indiscriminate solicitation practices.

Further details of the main concepts in the definition are included in the article.


Note: Some parts of this article were cross-posted at OpenPhysio, an open-access, peer-reviewed online journal with a focus on physiotherapy education. If you’re doing interesting work in the classroom, even if you have no experience in publishing educational research, we’d like to help you share your stories.

Categories
research scholarship

OpenPhysio | A new physiotherapy education journal

I’m really excited to announce a new project that I’ve been working on together with the folks at Physiopedia. Today we’re launching an open access, peer reviewed journal with a focus on physiotherapy education, with a few features that we think are pretty innovative in the academic publishing space. The journal is called OpenPhysio and represents what we think is a fundamental shift away from traditional ways of thinking about how we share knowledge.

Here are some of the ways we think the journal is different to more traditional publication channels:

  • Immediate publication. Your article is available to the public almost immediately after submission.
  • Peer review is open and transparent. Authors work together with peer reviewers, and the reviews and author responses are published alongside the final article, together with DOIs that make them citable objects.
  • You retain your intellectual property at no cost. OpenPhysio does not require you to transfer copyright to the journal, and there are no page fees for published articles.
  • Articles are first class internet citizens. Your articles can be enhanced with images, audio, tagging, hyperlinks, and video.

We’re still in the early stages of the project (we have no publications yet) and there’s a lot still to iron out, but we’ve decided to make it public nonetheless. This is in line with our broader thinking about publication, which is to share stuff early and then hash it out in the real world. We have Editorial and Advisory Boards and you can have a look at our policies around open access and peer review.

Now, before you write and tell me that there’s no such thing as physiotherapy education (you’d be right, by the way) we want to be clear that this is a journal aimed at physiotherapists with an emphasis on teaching and learning. it’s not about suggesting that the way physiotherapists learn is somehow different to how nurses, physicians and OTs learn. But we do think that there’s a space to explore our context in ways that may not translate well into other domains.

We want to encourage submissions from physios who are interested in learning more about teaching and learning, whether you’re supervising students or less-experienced colleagues in the clinical and community contexts, or if you’re an academic responsible for teaching in undergraduate and postgraduate classrooms. If you’re interested in teaching and learning in a physiotherapy context, we’d love it if you would consider OpenPhysio as a channel to share your ideas.

If you’d like to know more about the journal, please contact the Editor or visit the website.

Categories
twitter feed

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-05-30

Categories
research

Learning through rejection

Mont Fleur: occasional venue for writing retreats

About a month ago I submitted an article to an international journal that I thought might be appropriate. Unfortunately I didn’t pay enough attention to the scope of the journal, which ultimately is why the paper was rejected. Having your work rejected is always disappointing but not always a bad thing. The letter I received in response from the editor was in some sense motivational and I reproduce it below:

“Thank you for submitting your manuscript to [journal name]. Although I read your manuscript with interest, I am sorry to say that it falls outside the scope of the journal. A quote from the aims and scope of the journal: “From the perspective of external validity, it is critical that authors place their study in a theoretical and empirical context. [Journal name] has no page limit, in order that each paper can be accompanied by a critical review of related research, and the discussion can highlight how the study findings add to knowledge. Authors are encouraged to explore their study from multiple analytical perspectives, to include multiple converging studies if possible, and to specifically state how the study findings add to knowledge in the field. Again, from the perspective of educational importance, studies of a single course or program with weak evidence of effectiveness, such as student ratings, are discouraged as they are unlikely to add to generalizable knowledge, unless the study permits empirical test of theoretical predictions.”

The outcomes of your study are based on students preferences or wishes. There are no data from other sources. There is nothing wrong with that kind of study. Doing research however is more than answering questions on how well you like or do certain things. We all know that generalizations from this kind of research are difficult, to say the least. Author guidelines for [journal name] explicitly state that we will not consider studies where the only outcome is persons opinion or perception.

Please understand me well. This is not a bad story.  The study is conducted very well. The methodology used is sound. The study will certainly contribute to more insight.  In addition, it is nicely written. However, [journal name] is a global journal and our readers are interested in educational theories: how they advance learning.

We receive more papers than we can accept. At this moment I send less than 50% of the submitted manuscripts out for review. This means that we have to take difficult decisions based on originality, importance and academic rigor.  I am sorry we cannot find space for your paper.

Thank you for considering [journal name]”

I couldn’t go back and rewrite the article within the context of a theoretical framework, as the study hadn’t been designed with that in mind, and I don’t like the idea of trying to force an idea into something it was never meant to be. So, I looked around for another journal, found one that I thought was more appropriate and re-submitted.

What I learned through this experience was:

  • Make sure that I submit to the right journal (It’s difficult to decide what “right” means in this sense)
  • Having an article rejected doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any value
  • Every writing experience should also be a learning experience
  • Publishing research results is a process, and each step in the process has potential to inform your next publication

I now have the goal of embedding my research results within a theoretical framework, insofar as this possible within the scope of the article. This has already paid off in terms of pushing me to design stronger methods from the outset, which can only be a good thing.

Categories
twitter feed

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-04-11

  • Twitter, Teaching, & Impersonality – http://bit.ly/eWDgur. Sharing some “personal” information with students creates a trusting environment #
  • eLearn: Opinions – Academic Honesty in the Online Environment http://bit.ly/gYQfHk #
  • The Daily Papert http://bit.ly/i2Shy7. Video games can be “…fast-paced, immensely compelling, and rewarding” forms of learning #
  • Professors With Personal Tweets Get High Credibility Marks http://ow.ly/1snR57 #
  • E-portfolios – taking learning out of the shoebox: a reply to Donald Clark http://ow.ly/1snR1D #
  • Don’t Wait for Permission to Innovate http://ow.ly/1snOel. If you don’t ask, they can’t say “no” #
  • IRRODL call for papers on Emergent Learning, Connections, and Design for Learning http://bit.ly/hQJawp #
  • @sarah_blc I think it’s hard to acknowledge non-institutional learning, mainly because our curricula / assessments don’t value it #
  • How To Use An Apostrophe – The Oatmeal http://bit.ly/fCUE8g. Should be required reading for everyone #
  • The Politics of Queering Anything http://ow.ly/1smRO2 #
Categories
twitter feed

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-09-28

  • Cultivating Communities of Practice: A Guide to Managing Knowledge – 7 Principles http://bit.ly/1J8gpw #
  • Can’t wait for my netbook to arrive so that I can play with Moblin 2.0…http://bit.ly/gqdOV #
  • BMJ Case Reports blog: Finding your doctor through their published case reports http://bit.ly/3qEG9y #
  • Trends and issues in open and distance learning in Africa IRRODL, Vol 10, No 4 (2009) http://bit.ly/Goafv #
  • Seeking health information online: does Wikipedia matter? J Am Med Inform Assoc. (2009 Jul-Aug] – PubMed Result http://bit.ly/13fKqO #
  • Ethics assign. for 3rd yr South African physio student. Please visit & comment to show support for innovative approach http://bit.ly/1QzNAT #
  • “What’s New in the Sixth Edition of the APA Publication Manual?” from http://bit.ly/Sn7da #
  • “The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning” from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl #
  • “New Edition of the APA Manual | Virtual Canuck” from http://bit.ly/1yjoz #

Powered by Twitter Tools

Categories
twitter feed

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-08-17

Powered by Twitter Tools

Categories
twitter feed

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-06-29

Powered by Twitter Tools.