Monday, October 10, 2016

Another End of Term Youtube Extravaganza

1.      People are Insane: in this clip, yes they are:

2.      Drone Footage, Hornet Red Devil Invitational: this is the team my son coaches, but watching a cross-country meet unfold via drone is pretty cool:

3.      Amazing Sports Clips:

4.      Chris Froome Crash and Run- this was from this year’s Tour de France and was one the weirdest moments in Tour history:

5.      Post Ranch Inn: Big Sur, say no more. Just a superb place to stay, but pricey!

6.      Men’s World Record 400m Olympics 2016: Wade Van Niekirk blows away the world’s best in an unprecedented race:

7.      Wynonna Earp: my current favorite TV show:

8.      Magma, live: a classic song with new guitarist Jim Grandcamp:

9.      The Hillary Step: One of the most famous climbing challenges on planet earth:

10.   Palmer Gallup: Cynthia English’s Homecoming presentation:

Monday, October 3, 2016

A New Journal on Peer Review and Research Integrity

(Note: I have cross-posted this with my blog on Dynamic Chiropractic, given the importance of the topic).

One of the hallmarks of scientific journal publication is the peer review system. An editor cannot be knowledgeable about every possible area of research the journal he or she edits receives for consideration. So the paper is sent for review by people with expertise in the area the paper discusses, and the editor then uses those comments to suggest changes, to reject the paper or to accept it. As nost of us know, the usual response is a request to revise.
But peer review is also a human enterprise and as a result it is subject to weakness, to abuse, to gamesmanship and to other peculiarities. There have been reports of gaming peer review by people who actually review their own work, or who are friends to others who have submitted. Peer review may also prevent new ideas from receiving consideration since those ideas may stand outside an established framework in a discipline.

In the end, this is actually a question of research integrity. That’s why the new open source journal Research Integrity and Peer Review is so refreshing. It is one of the Biomed Central family of journals, and it can be found at Its aim and scope states “Research Integrity and Peer Review is an international, open access, peer reviewed journal that encompasses all aspects of integrity in research publication, including peer review, study reporting, and research and publication ethics. Particular consideration is given to submissions that address current controversies and limitations in the field and offer potential solutions.
It’s time that we look carefully at the processes used in the dissemination of scientific information. This is a highly volatile world that is suffering challenges it has never before had to cope with, from predatory journals to exponential growth of information, to new publishing models and the need for release of data from studies and the need for trial registries. Scientific information is evidence, used to make clinical decisions. Let’s make sure that that information is a rigorous as it can be. This journal will help do just that.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Publication Models Changing as Time Goes On

In my career I have been both an editor for chiropractic science journals and author who has published in them. And since we are now in the world of evidence-based practice, access to journal articles in rather important. But one of the challenges our graduates will face once they leave here is the loss of access to journal articles our site licenses provide them. This needs to be unraveled a bit.
First, the cost to institutions to provide those journals is staggering. Without going into details, I can attest that Palmer has to pay significant funds in order to provide our students access to a host of journals such as you can find on our journals holding list. Of course, once a student graduates he or she can access open access publications at no cost, but that can be limiting, since the top chiropractic journals are not open access (at least not for the first year after an article is published).
New models need to be developed. The traditional journal model is subscription driven. That is, users access information only after paying a fee to do so. Given the amount of information available and the number of journals in existence, it is not financially feasible for newly graduated chiropractors to subscribe to every journal that may be of help to them. One model that has been develop is that of open access, where the author of the article pays a fee to have his or her paper published. The quality controls are present in the best open access publications. Of course, for those of us in chiropractic, coming up with $1500 for publication may not be possible. However, the idea is that in many cases, tax dollars have paid for the research and the public (who provided the tax dollars) should not have to pay again to access information they already paid for.

But the challenge here has led to the existence of predatory journals. These are journals that takes you money, publish your paper and provide no quality control whatsoever. Buyer beware!
And there is the question of timeliness. How many times have we watched and waited to see if our paper was accepted by a journal? I once spent 19 months waiting for a decision on one of my papers. That is unconscionable. eLIFE is an open access journal that promises a turnaround time for decision of just a few days.

I can foresee a time where we change the model altogether. Set up a website, invite publications, allow for transparent review, allow readers to see all communications prior to publication, allow publication and then allow commentary. Remove the journal publisher.
It will be interesting to see how this changes over time.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Classroom of the Future

I’ve been engaged over the last day in a process looking at how we might consider remodeling our classrooms, or to use a more appropriate term, our learning environments. We’ve brought together students, faculty, administrators and IT specialists in an attempt to discuss what we might do and what is is possible we can do.

Let me ask this question: if you could have the classroom of your dreams, what would you want in it? Would it have an interactive whiteboard, or perhaps a screen that runs the entire wall and can be moved via touching it? Would it link classroom computers to the AV system? Would it allow you to generate your own video clips for upload? Would it do away with the Crestron units in the classroom in lieu of something else more responsive?

How does an institution go about planning change? It engages is people int eh process, seeks their input and then deals with the reality of finances, infrastructure, changing personnel, and so on. One needs to think long-term with such planning.

Palmer College as it is today will not be the Palmer College we see in 10 years. The world is changing, and we need to be responsive to how people learn, what students expect and what best practices tell us about teaching healthcare. It will be an interesting journey.

Monday, September 12, 2016

DC2017 Call for Papers Coming to a Close

I’d like to use this week’s blog entry to remind you to consider submitting something to the upcoming DC2017 program. This is the program that will be held in March15-18 of 2017 in Washington, DC. The program is a combination of the traditional ACC-RAC program, with WFC and NCLC- that is, Association of Chiropractic Colleges-Research Agenda Conference, World Federation of Chiropractic and the National Chiropractic Legislative Conference. This is shaping up to be a huge conference, with more than 1000 people expected to attend.
There are still 3 days before the submission system will close. If you would like to submit, go to the submission site:

On that site, you can make a submission (or amend one you have already made, as well as upload files), you can log in as a review, or sign up to act as one. If you are interested in reviewing, please contact me and I will give you the keycode you need to log in and register.
I do hope you will consider submitting something. Thanks so much!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Issues in Higher Education

Sometimes it is good to stop and reflect upon the issues that confront higher education in general. We here at Palmer sometimes escape the issues that larger general educational institutions must address, but nonetheless there are so many issues that may arise. The American Association of University Professors list the following as some of the more important issues of the day (

  • Academic Freedom
  • Institutional Governance
  • Contingent Faculty Positions
  • Compensation
  • Copyright
  • Distance Education
  • Accreditation
  • Sexual Harassment and Assault
  • Academic Research
  • Civility
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Collective bargaining
  • Hiring and Promotion
  • Diversity
  • Professional Ethics
  • Workload
  • Grading
  • Sexual Identity and Gender Identity
  • Evaluation