The OpenPhysio Journal Keeps Getting Better | A Journal Update

The OpenPhysio journal launched with the generous support of Physiopedia in 2018 and over the past few years we’ve focused on building the technical infrastructure of the website, as well as providing a great service to readers and authors.

I thought it was time to share another update on the progress we’ve made in developing this niche journal in physiotherapy education, especially over the past year or so. You may not know it but OpenPhysio is one of the few journals that focus on physiotherapy education, is open access, and is innovating in various areas of peer review. It’s also completely free for authors and readers.

Earlier this year we learned that our application for inclusion in the Directory of Open Access Journal (DOAJ) was successful and you can see our  DOAJ entry here. This is the first index that we applied to and will be following up with others (e.g. PubMed) as we start to refine our processes and systems. Inclusion in the DOAJ will hopefully result in an increase in organic article discovery, which is great for both authors and readers. We will also be completing the technical work required for inclusion in the Google Scholar database (amazingly, this isn’t something that just happens automatically), before moving on to more established directories.

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A New Milestone – DOI Generation

Another big milestone is that we can now generate DOIs, which is something we’ve been unable to do until recently. DOIs are commonly used to identify academic, professional, and government information, including research data, articles, datasets, and metadata. DOIs are therefore really important for citation and referencing purposes because they group a lot of information about a digital creation within a unique identifier.

open physiotherapy and physical therapy journal

While journals can publish articles without DOIs, having them creates a level of trust for authors because it sends a message to readers and authors that says our articles will always have this unique reference point. So we’re very excited that we are now in a position to generate our own DOIs, and that we’re busy retrofitting all of our accepted articles with DOIs. Once that’s done we’ll start working through the peer reviews that are published alongside the articles, which means that all OpenPhysio peer reviews will also be assigned these unique identifiers.

Related to this is the concept of permanent storage. At the moment the OpenPhysio journal is published by Physiopedia, who also provide technical support, which includes hosting the website and PDF versions of our articles. What this means is that as long as Physiopedia exists all journal articles have a permanent home on the internet. However, in the very unlikely event that Physiopedia were to go away, we’ve also started looking at alternative long-term digital archiving solutions that will ensure a more-or-less permanent digital home for our articles.

As part of the retrospective updating of articles with DOIs, we’re also going to be adding more explicit licensing information to both the PDF and web versions of articles. All OpenPhysio articles are automatically licensed with the CC BY 4.0 copyright license , which means that anyone can use the articles for any purpose as long as they provide attribution to the original creator. However, unlike most journals, OpenPhysio doesn’t require that authors sign over their intellectual property to the journal, which means that they retain the right to host their articles anywhere, to share them with anyone, and to do anything they want with them.

While this licence is automatically assigned to any OpenPhysio article, and we’ve always had this on the journal website, we haven’t added it to the PDF versions of the publications. As we move forward we’ll be adding these licenses to the articles so that it’s clear what authors (and everyone else) can do with the articles. The short version is, you can do anything you want, as long as you give credit to the original author.

A New Announcement – The OpenPhysio Podcast

Finally, we’ve set up the technical infrastructure to publish podcasts through the journal. These will be short, informal conversations with some authors and the episodes will be available from the journal website as well as within any podcast client. We’ve already recorded our first conversation, with James McLoughlin, and will hopefully be posting that within the next couple of weeks. And we have another couple of episodes lined up.

If you’d like to contribute to the development of the journal, please contact me at [email protected]. We’re always on the lookout for new peer reviewers and if you’ve never done a peer review but would like to develop your skills in this area, please get in touch. OpenPhysio is a developmental journal, which means that we’ll pair you with an experienced reviewer to help you work through your first review. And as always, please consider submitting any work that you’ve done in the area of physiotherapy education, as we accept articles in a variety of different formats.

Considering the dumpster fire that was 2020, I think that there’s been enormous growth with the journal and I’m really excited about what 2021 will bring.