For the past 20 years, Global Director of Clinical Education and Research for Performance Health Academy, Phil Page, has worked to support research on Performance Health products. Performance Health manufacturers rehabilitation equipment from multiple global health and wellness brands for physical therapists, occupational therapists, chiropractors, and athletic trainers. In his role, Page works with an advisory board of external scholars who conduct research involving the use of Performance Health products in order to support clinical practice around the world. Over the years, Page began to see a need for Performance Health to help spread the word about the research it facilitates.
“We saw a need for a vehicle to help get the word out about our research. The typical publication process, after completing a study, may take a year or more before a journal can edit, revise, and publish,” said Page. “By the time a lot of research is published it’s old news. We wanted to get results out there, good or bad, more quickly because it’s important for clinicians.”
To get the word out about research involving Performance Health sooner, Page decided to start an open access journal. Last year, Performance Health launched the Journal of Performance Health Research (JPHR). After searching for software that would enable the journal to streamline peer review management and create a modern website without technical hassles, Page said they chose to use Scholastica Peer Review and Open Access Publishing.
When Page took on the task of launching a journal for Performance Health, he knew he wanted the publication to be open access and to have a modern web presence in order to make it available to as many scholars as possible. It was also important to Performance Health to establish a thorough peer review process for the journal.
“We are very transparent about the fact that these studies are on our products, and our priority is putting out quality evidence. Whether that’s favorable or not for the product,” said Page. “By having these policies in place of transparency and balanced reporting, as well as an editorial board made up of scientists from around the world, we provide reliable information. I think that’s so important, especially with the many predatory publications out there. We wanted to put out a publication that researchers can trust.”
From the onset of planning out the journal, Page knew his biggest challenges would be time and cost. Performance Health didn’t have extensive resources for peer review management or to develop a homegrown journal website, nor could it afford an enterprise peer review system or web developer.
After considering many options, Page said he found that Scholastica had everything he needed at a sustainable price. “Starting from scratch, I needed to have a place to house the journal articles online. The other thing I needed was a process to allow submissions and organize them better than me trying to keep up with everything by hand,” Page explained. “Using Scholastica for peer review and open access publishing became kind of this plug-and-play system. It all worked really well. Cost was also a big factor for us. Scholastica was the most affordable software that had what we needed without creating a lot of extra work.”
As editor-in-chief of JPHR, Page said making it as easy as possible for potential authors to submit manuscripts and for reviewers to submit reports was a key factor in selecting a software system. “When I was testing out software I got feedback from authors and reviewers. With Scholastica, that process was very easy for them, which is a good thing for me. Of course, getting reviewers is the hardest part of being a journal editor. You really need a system that doesn’t give them one more reason not to do the review.”
In all, Page said Scholastica has provided JPHR with a streamlined peer review process. “I like it because it helps keep me organized when working with multiple articles and reviewers, instead of trying to keep up with what stage all of the articles are in manually,” said Page. “The submission process makes it easy for authors to submit their manuscripts and then I can easily send them right back out to the peer reviewers who just log into Scholastica to submit their comments. It makes peer review really centralized and simplified.”
In terms of creating a website for JPHR, Page said he knew he wanted the publication website to be set up for modern scholars with an intuitive user experience that made it easy to search for content at the article level. He also knew that he didn’t want to have to hire a web developer or to spend a lot of time trying to set up and maintain a website himself.
Using Scholastica Open Access Publishing Page was able to quickly set up a website using a template designed for academic journals and to choose a custom domain. He said the ease of internal management that Scholastica Open Access Publishing provides was a key factor in his choice.
“With Scholastica we instantly got a website with all the main sections we needed - you have your author guidelines and about the journal pages and so on. It was easy to set up our website with the customization we wanted and Scholastica has the tools I need to get everything done. I don’t need to ask someone when I have to make an update to the website I can just do it myself.”
In looking for a place to create and host the JPHR website, Page said, he was most concerned with ease of set up and use rather than trying to design a highly customized website. “If you want highly customizable, while you get that ability, you also have the disadvantage of having to learn how to configure it and there is often more cost involved,” said Page. “I didn’t need a website that was highly customizable, I am happy with the layout options Scholastica provided and the page editing and upload process are very intuitive.”
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Looking to the future of JPHR, Page says he is focused on spreading the word about the journal to get more reviewers and article submissions.
“We’re looking forward to getting more articles out there,” said Page. “I spent a fair amount of time comparing different services for peer review and publishing and I feel like Scholastica really does everything that I need it to do - and I probably don’t even take advantage of a lot of the stuff that it’s able to do. Right now, I am just wanting to get articles up on the internet to build out the journal and Scholastica is helping me do that.”