Monday, July 9, 2007

"Needed--An OJS Plugin for Facilitating Journal-Based Continuing Education Activities: Specs To Guide Software Developers"

PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference 2007 9:40-10:40 July 13, 2007

Glenn M. Hymel, Department of Psychology, Loyola University New Orleans

Dr. Glenn Hymel is a Professor and past Chairman of Department of Psychology at Loyola Univeristy New Orleans, New Orleans, USA. He is an alumni of Loyola earning both a Bachelors and Masters for the Univeristy and then his PhD from the University of New Orleans. His has a number of areas of specialization including educational psychology, research design and statistics, personal adjustment/stress management, school counseling, positive psychology, and philosophical psychology. He has been involved at Loyola University in a number of leadership roles; as a Trustee of the Foundation, the chair of the Foundation's Research Grants Proposal Review Committee, as well as chair for the Foundation's Database Committee. As a licensed and practicing massage therapist his research focus is on fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, geriatric, and chronic pain populations.

Marcus A. Banks, Frederick L. Ehrman Medical Library, New York University School of Medicine
Marcus A. Banks is the Editor-in-Chief of BioMedical Digital Libraries, AHIP, Library Associate at New York University of Medicine, NY.


G. Hymel spoke about the Massage Therapy foundation’s e-Journals Project. The mandate of the project is to create an innovative and practical form of professional development for massage therapist making use of scholarly publishing produced in fields connected to that profession. The ideas is to use open access publications to make knowledge active in the professional field(s). The eJournal project is in the planning and development stage. The working title is the “International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork: Research, Education and Practice.” It is planned to launch in the summer or fall 2008.

The eJournal would include section on research, education and clinical practice. The research section would include qualitative, quantitative and integrated types of research. The education component would include evidence-based instruction delivery, and evaluation for the training of massage therapists. Finally, the clinical practice section would focus on issues pertinent for therapists in the field.

The Massage Therapy Foundation is a non-funded association and are planning to employing OJS software to govern the journal management and publication. The challenge for the development of the journal is the desire to build in a continuing education feature.

The educational features that are to be included in the use of scholarly journals for professional development and may need to be accommodated into the OJS system in order support the vision of continuing education are:
Reading and analyzing designated articles given in a issue of journal.
The completing of a multiple choice competency test about the article content.
All readers may participate in advanced professional development for a nominal CE registration fee.
Note: This is not a compromise of the nature of open access. The eJournal would not have a subscription or author fee. The cost is for the registration for CE.

What is needed to propel the development of this vision forward is an additional generic OJS plugin focused on Journal-based CE activities. The focus of the plugin functions would be educational and administrative. The paper present was intended to inform and guide OJS software programmers interested in developing this. The relevant sections would pertain to a. the type of information needing to be provided and b. the tasks needing to be performed.

The six components conceived of so far are:
Activity ID and focus- The articles bibliographical information (journal, year, vol., issue, authors name, article)
CE activity requirements- Each basic group listed would need an “other” section as well for flexibility. The sections are reading, goals and objectives, testing, requisite reading criterion, and technical features of testing.
Activity award authentication-This would identify the CE provider and accrediting source for participant.
The participants ID
CE Activity participant confirmation process. This includes factors such as destination of registration submission, mode of registration submission, payment options, destination of test item responses submission, mode of test item responses submission.
Activity award certification. The number of contact hours recorded and the certificate delivery mode.

The aspiration of the presentation is to inspire the expansion of the current array of OJS plugins to offer yet another value-added services option to users; as well as to encourage other journals to look at this idea of a continuing education component. Full Paper.

G. Hymel's presented the need for professionals to use the open access journals as a form of continuing education in their field in such a manner that it is recognized externally. His goal is to form an interactive educational component to the publication of online journals. Like Oldenburg, he desires to see the public have access to the intellectual discussions in the professional field, but he takes it a step further with a vision of using online activities to reinforce the material accessed. The coffee shops in the time of the development of the journal created an atmosphere of discussion on the topics read, G. Hymel, desires to see this discussion elevated to a professional forem of education. There is an idea to see the intellectual aspects of the material not only shared, but used or become the practiced wisdom, in the profession.
The publication is also a response to the artificial scarcity of accessible journal material in the field of massage therapists as well as to give further scientific credibility to this field by developing an open access journal. Massage therapist need access to the scientific publications that coincide with aspects of their practices without being limited by the costs often associated with the these publication. As massage therapy can overlap with many different scientific fields it would be difficult to be a subscriber to many focused publications, thus creating a bottle neck for access of material for their further education.


Needed—An OJS Plugin for Facilitating Journal-Based Continuing Education Activities:
Specs to Guide Software Developers

Integrating research competencies in massage therapy education
Defining the informationist: a case study from the Frederick L. Ehrman Medical Library
The Future of Biomedical Digital Libraries


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