Opportunity Awaits . . .

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation

As I reflect on my involvement in the Journal of Sport Rehabilitation (JSR) over the last 15 years and envision my transition into a new role as Editor-in-Chief, a clear overarching theme strongly resonates, which is that of opportunity. George Bernard Shaw said, “Don’t wait for the right opportunity: create it.” That is certainly what my predecessors have done. I must thank and acknowledge Drs Perrin, Lephart, Ingersoll, Swanik, and Mattacola, for their foresight and commitment to the journal’s mission of advancing all aspects of sport rehabilitation. As I assume my role, I am happy to report that JSR is strong and well positioned to continue advancing its reach and impact. This is in large part due to Dr Mattacola’s leadership and focus on growing JSR.

Given JSR’s healthy state, it is an appropriate time for us to pause and weigh opportunities that will continue advancing JSR’s mission within our ever-evolving health care arena. Together with JSR’s Editorial Board and Human Kinetics, I will challenge us to conduct an in-depth analysis and create a strategic plan that further establishes JSR as the “go-to” resource in sport rehabilitation. Ideas I will ask all stakeholders to consider include:

  1. What does it mean to be a multidisciplinary journal for sport rehabilitation? JSR was established by academic faculty in the discipline of athletic training. While the Editor and Editorial Board still very much represent JSR’s roots, the authors and readership have expanded beyond this audience. Authors publishing original research in JSR represent varied disciplines (eg, athletic trainers, physical therapists, physiotherapists, sport psychologists, physicians) and practice settings (ie, university research labs, clinics, hospitals) from all around the world. As JSR is not a discipline- or profession-specific journal, opportunities exist to uniquely position and more specifically define it as the publication for multidisciplinary sport rehabilitation.
  2. How do we continue to promote high-quality and clinically relevant research submissions? The competition and scrutiny of original research through the peer-review process continues to become more rigorous for scholars. JSR is known for its role in supporting young and developing scholars through peer review and being a viable avenue to publish while at the same time continuing to advance the quality and impact of the science published. This is an important tenant we want to maintain. One way to achieve this goal is strategic identification of topics for thematic issues, which have proven to be a successful strategy for JSR given the high number of citations of recent clinically relevant thematic issues. JSR was also an early adopter of publishing critically appraised topics, which provide evidence-based answers to clinically relevant questions. It may be appropriate to explore additional manuscript categories that incorporate critical appraisal and best practice recommendations for important topics in sport rehabilitation.
  3. How do we effectively engage and communicate with our readership to positively impact practice? Advances and reliance on technology for accessing information requires an active and strong social media and website presence. The significant investment by Human Kinetics to provide timely and accessible information is evidenced by recent improvements to JSR’s website; making accepted manuscripts available in copyedited form online ahead of print; and supporting open-access publication of systematic reviews, critically appraised topics, and technical reports. Moving forward, we will continue to develop our social media strategy to communicate and engage readers. Another opportunity to explore is how we can translate JSR’s high-quality content into effective educational materials (eg, continuing education courses, online supplemental content) that readily impact practice.

I am excited to work with the Editorial Board, Human Kinetics, and stakeholders to translate opportunities into strategic and collaborative initiatives that will advance JSR’s positive trajectory. Together, I believe JSR’s multidisciplinary, evidence-based, clinically relevant, and engaging approach will positively impact sport rehabilitation practices.

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