OpenPhysio journal going on hiatus

OpenPhysio started with the goal of exploring alternative forms of publication and dissemination of scientific outputs. The journal also aimed to support early-career researchers, physiotherapy academics, and clinicians; basically, anyone with a story to tell about physiotherapy education. We wanted to expand the scope and format of those stories to remove the formal boundaries and publication requirements of traditional journals.

The reality is that it’s been an enormous challenge trying to do what is required in terms of managing the editorial workflow, publication workflow, and platform development that’s needed to achieve the goals we set for ourselves. Most journals, even open-access journals, are supported financially in some form or another, which is especially useful when it comes to employing the support staff needed to manage the operational demands of scientific publishing.

By deciding that we would not charge authors or readers, we knew that the administrative responsibilities would fall on the shoulders of anyone volunteering to support the journal, and over time, it’s been clear that this may not be a reasonable expectation. The amount of time it takes to produce an article in a format that most authors require for their institutions is unmanageable for a team of academic volunteers. It is also becoming increasingly difficult to find reviewers who have the capacity to assist in the editorial process, which delays publication and is unfair to authors.

Starting today, the journal will no longer be accepting new submissions or author registrations. The OpenPhysio website will remain online, and articles published in OpenPhysio will remain public. Articles in the editorial process will not be affected, and authors will be supported through to the final publication.

With that said, we’ve been discussing a few possible options that might enable OpenPhysio to keep going, albeit in another direction. Over the next few months, I’ll be working with colleagues to revisit what we originally wanted to achieve, taking what we’ve learned over the past 5 years, and trying to figure out what further contributions we could make in the domain of publishing. Taking the journal into hiatus will hopefully give us some head space to reflect on our values, and look at other options for supporting colleagues who have stories to share.