Breaking the Shackles – Physiopedia the Physiotherapy Journal Lite.

Physio-journal lite, a revolution of disseminating physiotherapy knowledge. Are you interested?

At Physiopedia we believe sharing knowledge is essential for our profession to develop and improve global health. It is the foundation we are built upon and we are proud of our community. We achieve great things thanks to our fantastic team of committed like minded volunteers and to our readers. But things could be better, bigger and open; free of the shackles of printed academia.

There is a shift in the way research can be disseminated, there is a diversity of types of academic work. There are more ways of sharing research and knowledge than monochrome text and graphs but traditionally, this has the biggest weight in terms of career progression. We attribute more respect to a list of publications than to creativity, to multimedia content and to promoting open discussion.

Periodical journals have been the leading way to share scientific knowledge since the 17th century and have since built methods to improve the rigour and integrity of the scientific process. In recent years this process, and the way research is published, has been under-fire due to biased selection of studies chosen to be publish and cost of access.

This video by Veritasium highlights some of the issues facing researchers as a whole and the unintended consequences when it comes to satisfying their sponsors and incentives.

There is no cost to getting things wrong. The cost is not getting them published. – Prof. Brian Nosek.

The voices column on Physiospot offers an alternative platform for budding researchers or progressive thinkers to discuss their work, announce new ideas or show preliminary findings without compromising future publication. And don’t think you cannot contribute if you aren’t an academic, quality improvement projects are just as important as clinical research. They are the lynch pins between academic research and applying their lessons.

There are also the subject specific pages on physiopedia which also offer the space for experts to share their knowledge and findings.

For some reason as a society and profession we are still under the impression that journal publication is the holy grail and that until our work has been published it needs to be kept a secret. The only people that lose out here are our patients. Physiopedia offers a solution, a different way of disseminating findings.

Let us rethink the norm of delivering knowledge and intellectual findings. Let us liberate physiotherapy research communications.

Things can be different.

There are already other examples of different ways of sharing pioneering research and ideas. One such example is the arxiv (pronounced archive) which is funded by Cornell University Library, the Simons Foundation and fees from some 200 members.  

The arXiv is a repository of electronic preprints of scientific papers from the fields of maths, physics and computer science (among others). Over the past 25 years they have been allowing open access research to be readily available and now have over 8,000 submissions per month.

Although not peer-reviewed the work published is always reviews by a collection of moderators to allow only work of suitable quality to be available. Physicists and mathematicians regularly upload their papers to the arXiv for worldwide access and for review before submitting to peer reviewed journals.

A quarter of a century of open access research for the physics and mathematics communities to learn from. Think of how much that has helped progress knowledge. Meanwhile in medical and health science research there is no equivalent. It can take 2 years for work to become published, thoughts and opinions are likely to have already progressed.

In our area of work a recent and significant change occurred in January of this year. The Gates Foundation funded a large open access policy for medical research and it is time for the physiotherapy community to joined in. The voices column of physiospot offers this to physiotherapists around the world.

You can contribute!

If you have a piece of research or service improvement work you want to share with your colleagues around the world, and are interested in contributing to the voices/opinion column on physiospot then please get in touch.

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