What is OpenPhysio and why are we doing it?

After a few months of planning and building we finally decided to start telling people about OpenPhysio. Not because it’s ready in any defined sense but because we’re excited to actually starting doing things with it, and for that we need a community and we need engagement. And while the website has been live for most of that time we haven’t promoted it at all because we were still trying to figure out what it was. We’re still not completely sure what it is but we do know that we want to use it to engage more critically with pedagogy, research, and traditional ideas around academic publication. So that’s where we are; open for business but still in early testing. In future posts I’ll go into why we think this is a good thing.

Moving forward I’ll be using this platform to explore some of the decisions we’ve made with respect to publication, peer review, licensing, payment, format, technology, systems, communication, collaboration, editions and all the other things that need to be considered when building a journal from the ground up. We’re going to try some things that (probably) won’t work. We’ve taken certain positions that may be at odds with what you believe. We may make statements you find unnecessarily provocative. And just like we’re asking our authors and reviewers to be open and transparent in their interactions, we’ll hold ourselves to the same principle by sharing those ideas here. We want you to trust that we’re making decisions we believe will lead to the development of critical, positive, productive conversations between researchers, academics and clinicians.

It’d be wonderful to get some kind of feedback on these ideas as they’re being developed and shared here. While we’re calling OpenPhysio a journal – and it is one – we’re also trying to figure out what a journal even is in a networked, digital, complex world. In the 21st century a journal is essentially a website, albeit one with a specific purpose. But could it have a different purpose? Could have several purposes? Could it be more than a channel for sharing curated PDFs? We’ll be trying to figure that out over the next couple of years and would love for you to be a part of that project. Whether you’re a clinician, an academic, a researcher or a student, we think that there’s a place for your voice in the conversation.

So, if you like your journals stable, consistent and predictable, this project may not be right for you. But if you think that a journal should try to model the uncertain, complex, ambiguous nature of knowledge production itself, then OpenPhysio may be something you should be a part of.

Michael

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