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Table of Contents
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 69-70

”Publish or Vanish” – A new mantra for physiotherapists

1 Department of Oncology Physiotherapy, KLE Institute of Physiotherapy, Belgaum, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Pediatric Physiotherapy, KLE Institute of Physiotherapy, Belgaum, Karnataka, India

Date of Submission19-Nov-2020
Date of Decision24-Nov-2020
Date of Acceptance04-Dec-2020
Date of Web Publication04-Jan-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Renu B Pattanshetty
Department of Oncology Physiotherapy, KLE Institute of Physiotherapy, Belgaum - 590 010, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijptr.ijptr_44_20

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How to cite this article:
Pattanshetty RB, Metgud DC. ”Publish or Vanish” – A new mantra for physiotherapists. Indian J Phys Ther Res 2020;2:69-70

How to cite this URL:
Pattanshetty RB, Metgud DC. ”Publish or Vanish” – A new mantra for physiotherapists. Indian J Phys Ther Res [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Oct 18];2:69-70. Available from: https://www.ijptr.org/text.asp?2020/2/2/69/189944

”Discovery,” the fundamental goal of science, is closely followed by communicating the novel information to the scientific world. The same notion holds true even for the physiotherapy community that is supposedly a newer profession among the medical fraternity as compared to its other medical counterparts. This also explains well the increasing pressure to publish their scientific work that exists among the academic staff in context to their personal and professional developments.

In the scientific community, “publish or perish” or “publish or vanish” is more than a satirical remark. As put forth by Fenelli and Neill, it reflects the reality that most of the researchers are at an extreme pressure to constantly produce scientific publications with an addition of career enhancement dependent on the same.[1],[2] For scientific producibility and ability, there have been an increased number of physiotherapy researches that have been competing for funding with an explosion of publishing their works as well.

According to Murray,[3] it has been noted that most academicians do not receive any formal training in academic writing. This compels them to develop their own skills through a logic process of “give a try” or “trial and error” which may be considered apt for physiotherapy researchers also. Although a numerous workshops and training programs are arranged by universities and institutions to enhance the writing skills, there is still a significant need for training in writing for scientific publications.

Research writing is a prerequisite for advancement in any profession[4],[5] and equally important for career enhancement. The dissemination of research observations is a primary focus of any research because it is a known fact that only through publications that a researcher would add on to the existing knowledge in any given discipline and pave way for evidence-based practice. As it is rightly put forth that the body of knowledge is central to a developing professional and so is true for physiotherapy profession, it is still in its infancy requiring further growth.[6]

There is a wide scope and need to contribute and publish research work in physiotherapy. Reasons for the same could be many folds which may include generating evidence-based practice, documenting innovative clinical practice, verifying the results of primary/secondary research, patenting a new technique or a device, recording patients' perception regarding various forms of physiotherapy treatments, or as simple as noting an opinion. However, with such a wide scope to document/publish, we as physical therapists still lack a zeal to pen, giving rise to a simple question as to why or what stops us to write. This may relate to the personal confidence of the authors, difficulty in identifying suitable ideas for publishing, and choosing an appropriate journal and target audience which may be a key factor for rejection of a manuscript.[3],[4],[5],[7],[8],[9],[10],[11] Although most of the academic journals offer guidance about the specific layout and the writing style, it may be still argued that the “how to write” question is mainly associated with the well-organized, meticulously planned writing with good hold over the language.

Because scientific writing is associated with the expansion of the existing knowledge in our profession, it is necessary to debate the support strategies that may be required by a researcher seeking to publish, reducing the apathy of “publish or vanish.” Another potential source of deliberation in the present times is the better use of digital and social media which could assist and reshape the knowledge translation aptly defined as synthesis, exchange, and application of knowledge by relevant stakeholders to accelerate the benefits of global and local innovation in strengthening health systems and improving peoples' health.[12]

Regardless, as mentioned, the ultimate aim is to synthesize the research results in the form of scientific publications to improvise health care and encourage evidence-based practice by appropriately using research expertise, continuous updates, and digital media to reduce the evidence–practice gap as much as possible. Surviving in the competitive academic world of the 21st century, a shifting paradigm of “publish or vanish” is inevitable. It is high time we embrace it and work toward it rather than lamenting about it.

  References Top

Fanelli D. Do pressures to publish increase scientists' bias? An empirical support from US States Data. PLoS One 2010;5:e10271.  Back to cited text no. 1
Neill US. Publish or perish, but at what cost? J Clin Invest 2008;118:2368.  Back to cited text no. 2
Murray R. Writing development for lecturers moving from further to higher education: A case study. J Furth High Educ 2002;26:229-39.  Back to cited text no. 3
Driscoll J, Driscoll A. Writing an article for publication: An open invitation. J Orthop Nurs 2002;6:144-52.  Back to cited text no. 4
Nelms, B. C. Writing for publication: Your obligation to the profession. J Pediatr Health Care 2004;18:1–2  Back to cited text no. 5
Keen A. Writing for publication: Pressures, barriers and support strategies. Nurse Educ Today 2007;27:382-8.  Back to cited text no. 6
Burnard P. Writing for publication: A guide for those who must. Nurse Educ Today 1995;15:117-20.  Back to cited text no. 7
Plaisance L. The “write” way to get published in a professional journal. Pain Manag Nurs 2003;4:165-70.  Back to cited text no. 8
Albarran JW, Scholes J. How to get published: Seven easy steps. Nurs Crit Care 2005;10:72-7.  Back to cited text no. 9
Van Teijlingen E, Hundley V. Getting your paper to the right journal: A case study of an academic paper. J Adv Nurs 2002;37:506-11.  Back to cited text no. 10
Ellard J. How to make an editor's life easier. Australas Psychiatry 2001;9:212-4.  Back to cited text no. 11
Nilsen P. Making sense of implementation theories, models and frameworks. Implement Sci 2015;10:53.  Back to cited text no. 12


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