The Vision for Globalization in Rehabilitation Professions – International Journal of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation

Coming from India, where the resources for education are scarce and people are starved for full text scholarly articles, we have always realised the need for greater availability and better quality of research in developing countries.

Being privileged enough to study in Sheffield Hallam University for our Masters provided us with the resources and infrastructure to gain better understanding of the research processes and knowledge sharing in the developed world. This led to the thought of being able to share our knowledge and skills with the professionals throughout the world. This vision of shared growth and mutual cooperation to enhance research and education in field of rehabilitation sciences has led to the birth of International Journal of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation (IJPTR).

Over the years, professionals in developing countries in Asia and Africa, even though possessing the knowledge and skills, have never had the infrastructure and funding to be able to present their research to international standards. The major reason has been the lack of access to major biomedical databases due to financial constraints. Over recent years, the libraries in the developed countries have also been cutting costs and reducing the journal subscriptions due to enormous price rises of private publishing houses.

This has led to the Open Access Model of publishing, which allows the researchers to provide free online access to their articles immediately to anyone with an internet connection. The major advantages of Open Access are increased accessibility, greater citation impact and also ‘cross pollination of ideas. The details of Open Access are cited here.

Thus, it was decided that IJPTR would follow a complete open access model and is a signatory to the Budapest Open Access Initiative. We feel that by promoting a liaison and greater interchange between the researchers and practitioners in the developing and developed world, we can help further knowledge and research which would lead to global development of rehabilitation professions.

At present, most of the Journals are national journals which focus on the rehabilitation strategies from a country’s point of view. Another class of Journals focuses on a single aspect of professional practice e.g. Neurology, Cardiorespiratory or Manual Therapy. IJPTR will collaborate all these ideas and provide a common platform to cover the global bio –psycho-social aspects of rehabilitation.

Thus, IJPTR has been formed with the aims of –

  • Working towards the globalization of the profession, wherein practitioners from different parts of the world are able to take insights from the experience and research of their counter parts in different parts of the world.
  • Promoting complete open access which has been proven to enhance readership (professionals, policy makers, general public), increase citation impact and promote ‘cross pollination’ of professional concepts.
  • Improving quality of research methodology education in developing world.
  • Improving the quality of clinical research in developing world.
  • Increasing the contribution of researchers in developing countries to the global knowledge by providing a platform for publication in international journal.

In keeping with the vision and aims of IJPTR, the editorial board will comprise of members from around the globe and would encompass members from all fields of rehabilitation. In addition, visionaries and experts in international education and knowledge exchange would also be a part of the international advisory board. The Editorial team is presently headed by Dr. Sionnadh McLean (PhD), senior lecturer at SHU.

In each issue, IJPTR would publish a lecture series consisting of 2 articles – one on research methodology and the other on a professional concept. These will be written by invited authors, who would be expert in their fields. This is to further the aim of developing the quality of research and sharing of current knowledge in the profession.

In addition, original research from both developing and developed countries would be published concurrently. It would also focus on reviews of the recent advances in professional knowledge, thus enhancing evidence based practice. In addition, reviews of books would be provided to enhance the quality of education.

Thus IJPTR would have – Editorials, Original Articles (Primary research and reviews), Lecture Series, Professional discussions, case reports and book reviews.

If you feel that you can contribute to IJPTR, by either being a peer reviewer, serving on the editorial team or in any other manner, please do not hesitate to contact the Author of this article, Devdeep Ahuja, who is one of the founding editors of the IJPTR.