Physiotherapy desperately needs more journals. Not the kind of journals that have 4,ooo word limits, or the kinds that still celebrate passive third-person prose, but the kind where the quality of ideas trump the elegance of the scatter plot.
These journals are fora where writers can exercise Karl Popper’s assertion that the scholarly community should not prop up existing beliefs, but should commit all its not insignificant resources to tearing down current dogmas and ideologies, creating a space where new ideas can prosper.
Physiotherapists have only a scattering of such journals – Physiotherapy Theory & Practice being the shining example – but more are needed.
There’s nothing wrong with physiotherapy being wedded to evidence-based practice – well there is, but this is neither the time nor the place – as long as there is balance and a place that encourages ‘other’ ways of thinking. After all, isn’t physiotherapy looking to find new ways to engage with the changing nature of health care? How is it going to do this if it can only express itself in ANOVAs and whisker plots?
We need a space for high quality, informed and sophisticated theoretical, critical, philosophical, sociological, historical, cultural, non-Western debate and discussion, and our current crop of journals just aren’t doing it.