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Clinicians use courses and conversations to change practice, not journal articles: is it time for journals to peer-review courses to stay relevant?
  1. Rod Whiteley1,2,
  2. Christopher Napier3,4,
  3. Nicol van Dyk5,
  4. Christian J Barton6,7,
  5. Tim Mitchell8,
  6. Darren Beales8,
  7. Vasileios Korakakis1,9
  1. 1Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Ad Dawhah, Qatar
  2. 2University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3Department of Physical Therapy, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  4. 4Schools of Mechatronic Systems Engineering & Engineering Science, Simon Fraser University, Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  5. 5High Performance Unit, Irish Rugby Football Union, Dublin, Ireland
  6. 6La Trobe Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Centre, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia
  7. 7Complete Sports Care, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia
  8. 8School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  9. 9Department of Physical Education & Sport Science, University of Thessaly, Agia Varvara, Athens, Greece
  1. Correspondence to Dr Christopher Napier, Department of Physical Therapy, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada; chris.napier{at}

Statistics from

Academic publishing is rolling in profits1 but universities and governments are fighting back against access fees adding to threats to the business that include Plan S and Sci-Hub. Clinical scientific journals were the practitioner’s link to research findings with peer review providing quality assurance. The rise of predatory journals makes it even harder for busy clinicians to sift and appraise the ever-increasing sea of available evidence in these journals.

In an effort to uncover what actually influences practice in 2020 we surveyed over 2000 sports and musculoskeletal physiotherapists on the source of the most recent change in their clinical practice. Specifically, we asked the simple question: ‘Think about the most recent aspect of your clinical practice that you changed. How did you learn about this?’ Scientific publications are not commonly used as primary sources of information to make changes to clinical practice—about 90% of respondents cited other sources (figure 1). The largest categories of responses were ‘interactions with colleagues’ and ‘attending private education short courses’ which comprised about half of all responses (the interested reader is invited to investigate these findings further …

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  • Twitter @RodWhiteley, @runnerphysio, @NicolvanDyk, @DrChrisBarton, @KorakakisV

  • Contributors RW: data collection, concept, outline of manuscript, writing and editing; CN: data collection, concept, outline of manuscript, writing and editing; CB: concept, outline of manuscript, writing and editing; NvD: data collection, content, writing, editing and revision of manuscript; TM: outline of manuscript, writing and editing; DB: data collection, concept, outline of manuscript, writing and editing; VK: data collection, concept, outline of manuscript, writing and editing.

  • Funding This publication was made possible by QNRF grant # NPRP9-206-3-036 from the Qatar National Research Fund (a member of Qatar Foundation).

  • Disclaimer The findings herein reflect the work, and are solely the responsibility, of the author(s).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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