Review - Contagious precarity: A collective biographical analysis of early-career physiotherapist academics’ experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic

Article: Contagious precarity: A collective biographical analysis of early-career physiotherapist academics’ experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic
Article status: accepted
Author: Joost van Wijchen
Review date: 24 December 2020
DOI: 10.14426/opj/20201224

Peer review (Joost van Wijchen) – Contagious precarity: A collective biographical analysis of early-career physiotherapist academics’ experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic

Dear Shaun Cleaver, Sidhiprada Mohapatra, and Mathieu Simard

With pleasure, I read and engaged with your article. It is a rare, important insight into the lived experiences of you all as early-career physiotherapists and academics. The article breaths an intertwined nature of vulnerability and courageousness. It is a tempting, inspiring though also challenging piece to read and comprehend.

The article is of added value to our profession as it embarks on a journey into implicit parts of our life as professionals. Still, it took me several readings to get a feeling/ As it is very interesting, though also a bit difficult with some perspective changes. It is a mixture of first and third-order, also it creates some implicit epistemological questions in these perspectives. It swings the reader in different directions (which is an interesting experience), though I am not sure that is your intention. I suppose a bit of tweaking will help the reader comprehend your work.

In addition I added some more detailed observations, questions, and suggestions directly into the text, which you can download below. Hopefully, those can be useful. I am available to collaborate more if desired.

Your work opens up new areas for research and exploration and will help to transform and creating future.

Detailed feedback by Joost van Wijchen (click here to download)







One Reply to “Peer review (Joost van Wijchen) – Contagious precarity: A collective biographical analysis of early-career physiotherapist academics’ experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic”

  1. Dear Dr. Michael Rowe (Editor) and Professor Joost van Wijchen,

    Thank you for your thoughtful attention to our article. Although the two reviewers raised different and complementary issues, there was one forceful common comment in both reviews: the submitted version was lengthy and difficult to read. We took this comment very seriously and have revised the article primarily to address this critique.

    As per the instructions that we have received, the changes to the article have been made directly online. Through this letter we draw attention to those changes and explain our rationale for making the decisions that we did.

    In addition to the reading and responding to these reviews as we would “a typical review,” we found that the entire experience of submitting to OpenPhysio has been unique. We feel that this unique arrangement has created new opportunities that we would like to pursue to the maximum extent possible. We describe these new opportunities in the final three paragraphs of this letter, within which we invite you to engage in supportive processes that we believe will further extend the value of this project. We understand that all are busy and recognise that we are pushing limits by even suggesting these possibilities. Accordingly, although we would appreciate greatly your acceptance of these invitations we also understand that you might not be available.

    Responding to Professor van Wijchen’s review:

    We appreciate the positive words from Professor van Wijchen and hope to have addressed his specific points here.

    Professor van Wijchen observed that following the article was “a bit difficult with some perspective changes … [with] … a mixture of first and third-order” voices in the text.

    To separate the (now much smaller) third-person descriptions of our positionalities, from the bulk of the text that is written in our first-person plural voice, the descriptions of positionalities are now in individual boxes. We thank Professor van Wijchen for the suggestion of the boxes. To make the boxes as part of the editing process, we created a “table block” with one cell (one row and one column). After significant time unsuccessfully searching for ways to align the text the left side of the cell, we are willing to accept that the text is centered.

    In addition, to prepare the reader for the changes in voice, we have added a note to this effect, in the Introduction section.

    With respect to the “Our Shared Positionality” sub-section, in reference to our uptake of the “emancipatory physiotherapy practice model,” Professor van Wijchen felt that “the message now reads more ‘tacit’ as your meaning stays a bit misty.”

    We have re-written this paragraph to detach ourselves from Trede’s model and instead ground our work in the first principles of promoting equity and human rights.

    Professor van Wijchen flagged our references to “difficulties,” suggesting that we change these challenges.

    When referring to “difficulties” (especially when using the quotation marks), we are making a direct reference back to the language of Freeman and Jauvin (2019). We have audited the document for use of the word “difficulties” (with and without quotations) and feel that our use is consistent to its use in Freeman and Jauvin (2019). We have added a citation to the text to make this more explicit. We also audited the text for the word “challenge,” to ensure that we were not inadvertently using a different word to describe the same phenomenon, causing us to change one use of this word to “difficulties.”

    Professor van Wijchen noted that the table “is a bit hard to read,” suggesting that we maybe use “more different colors (shades of grey).”

    We have improved the table by adding colour as suggested.

    We remain baffled as to why PowerPoint produces such low-quality images or why it is only possible to make a very basic table in Word Press. Further improving the table is beyond our technical capacities and can only be pursued with outside assistance.

    Professor van Wijchen shared his observation that, “Throughout your whole text it seems I also identify an important stakeholder, self.”

    This comment was made in the sub-section, “To which stakeholders are professionals accountable…?” Later in the article, in the sub-section, “What difficulties are professionals experiencing?” we present, “…our own senses of health and well-being” as part of the analysis.

    Our sense is that the relationship to ourselves is essentially different than the relationship with our employers and funders (current and future), such that it is appropriate to present this issue as a difficulty rather than a stakeholder.

    Professor van Wijchen expressed that “In this paragraph [the first of ‘professional as worker’] the question of power, choice and freedom seems to be everywhere, without a clear mentioning.” He also commented that text in this paragraph, “breathes towards generalisation.”

    Upon review, we realised that we could be more direct in this paragraph, leading us to streamline the text. We think that this change improves the clarity of our message.

    As mentioned above, whereas Dr. Bjorbækmo has suggested that we move text from the Discussion to the “Exploring our experiences…” section, Professor van Wijchen has suggested that text in the “Exploring…” section might be, “better placed as a semi-conclusion after the reflections, as it in a reflective way summarises the experiences.”

    We have opted to not move text into or out from the Discussion section. Although we moved text from “Exploring…” to the Introduction, we have not moved text around the section.

    Professor van Wijchen has suggested that we consider “Futures literacy,” especially the work of Miller.

    We thank Professor van Wijchen for this suggestion. We did not see the opportunity to incorporate that perspective into this article but have noted this literature and author.

    Final comments and considerations:

    We think that this review process was in fact effective at improving the quality of this article – especially in response to the critique that the article was lengthy and difficult to understand. Whereas we feel that we have approached this critique constructively in a way that is consistent to our goals and our situations, we also recognise that our solution to the problem was the opposite of the one to which Dr. Bjorbækmo was nudging us (i.e., to add more depth, detail, and theoretically informed analysis to our accounts of lived experience).

    Our decision to focus on the Freeman and Jauvin (2019) framework does not come from a disinterest in theoretically rich, in-depth, first-person accounts; it instead comes from a concern that we will not be able to do this well, and that by attempting this strategy, the project might never be finalised. Nonetheless, we are open to the possibility of developing these accounts more deeply on the condition that we have additional support in the form of additional reviews. While we have removed the accounts from the article text, we have moved these to an online document that is hyperlinked from the article text (see “this satellite page”) in paragraph 3 of the Introduction. As of now, those who access the document are able to view but neither comment nor edit. We are willing to change the access permissions to allow comment and edits if we have the confirmation that reviewers wish to engage in this process.

    With the freedom enabled by separating these accounts from the article text, they are now expressed in the author’s voices. We can imagine scenarios in which we have reviewers who will provide critiques to help us develop these documents and also scenarios in which this support is not available. We are requesting that the journal consider hosting this document, either in its in-process version or in its final version. If the journal is not willing or able to engage, we will most likely change these accounts from being an online document and move them into some form of academic repository.

    Finally, our last message is directed primarily at the editor. We recognise that our revisions are somewhat radical: the creation of an additional document and a changed title (with respect to the changed title, we hope that there are ways for us to ensure that this article – whose pre-print we have been promoting for 7 months now – will remain easy to find). In addition to the radical actions, we would also like to propose an action that is very conventional: if this article is ultimately accepted into the journal, we ask that a pdf version of the article be posted along with the html version. We have noticed that some articles in the journal have a pdf version while many other accepted articles do not. As part of our mandate to disseminate our work more broadly, we think that a pdf version of the article will be a positive resource.

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