With the COVID-19 virus spreading over the globe, knowing that beloved ones will be affected, it is difficult to focus on sport physiology and performance issues. The virus will have an impact on our current activities, as well as on our plans for the future. Physical social interaction is reduced, schools and universities are closed, and sport has come to a halt. Beyond this is the economic impact of this crisis.
In one of his motivational speeches, John F. Kennedy1 used the 2-character Chinese word for crisis (wei-chi), signifying the first character as “danger” and the second as “opportunity.” Although wrongly translated—the second character is better translated as “a changing point”—it is an interesting thought. This crisis will bring us opportunities and will call upon our inventiveness and creativity in both personal and professional activities. Although most of us already collaborate with colleagues working and living far away, the fact that we are now forced to do virtually all our work from a distance will create new possibilities to make optimal use of our digital world. These new possibilities will influence our journal and the way we disseminate our collective knowledge. The same holds for scientific conferences. Physical presence will not always be necessary if we organize them virtually. Although this will negatively impact the social aspect of these gatherings, it can help us to work on the “Green New Deal” to save our planet.
To come back to the correct translation of wei-chi, meaning “danger” and “a changing point,” my original plan for this editorial was to update readers and authors of a change in the manuscript submission process of the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance (IJSPP). We have decided to introduce a manuscript submission fee of US$40 to offset the cost of the peer-review process. We started the journal 15 years ago with a very small editorial team and, compared to our current situation, a small number of submissions. We have grown to a well-established journal with more than 1000 original manuscript submissions per year, requiring a larger editorial team and support staff at the publisher’s office to undertake the accompanying work. The manuscript submission fee will prevent us from introducing publication fees or page charges like many other journals have implemented. This introduction holds a danger for creating burdens for our valued submitters without funding. We will keep an eye on this potential negative aspect of the submission fee. The editorial team is dedicated to providing a fair and fast peer-review process and will do their utmost to guarantee this for the future.
I sincerely hope, in conjunction with our editorial team and support staff of Human Kinetics, that the COVID-19 crisis will not impact your personal life too much. For sure, it will cause changes in our way of working. Times of crisis are also times that require extra support for colleagues and peers to look after each other. Please take the time to do so and use the digital possibilities to stay in contact and show your interest. In that way, you’ll never walk alone.
Kennedy JF. In the Chinese language, the word “crisis” is composed of two characters, one representing danger and the other, opportunity. Paper presented at: Speech at United Negro College Fund Fundraiser; April 12, 1959; Indianapolis, IN. https://www.jfklibrary.org/learn/about-jfk/life-of-john-f-kennedy/john-f-kennedy-quotations#C
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