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Summary: Academic Exercise Science

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  • Summary: Academic Exercise Science

    Dear Biomch-l:
    Last week I inquired about interest in a journal devoted to academic exercise
    science. To date 18 persons have provided comments. A summary of the unifying
    points is presented below. One person's comments I deleted accidentally prior
    to reading so their insight is obviously not included.

    1: Good/Great Idea.
    The unanimous decision was that such a journal is a good idea. The majority
    even thought that it was a great idea. Most of the highest accolades came from
    my friends, so I am not really sure how great the idea really is.

    2a: . . . But Not Another Journal.
    Several people pointed out that despite being a good idea, the last thing we
    need is another journal. Agreed. Even if we had the time to read the Journal,
    who would pay for it? In a time of library cut-backs and too many professional
    organizations and their conventions and dues, cost is a limiting factor. For
    those individuals where research is more of a priority than teaching, the cost
    of the Journal would be even less justifiable.

    2b: . . . Unless Maybe an Electronic Version?
    Given that a print version of the Journal may not be the best idea, several
    persons suggested an electronic version. Good point. We had originally
    thought that this Journal would be better suited for electronic text. The
    electronic version would enable quick access, could be cheaper (frankly, I
    don't really know), and would enable some advantages that print could not.
    These advantages are provided below in '2c'.

    2c: Advantages of Electronic Journal.
    Many of the respondents wanted something other than the traditional research
    article-based journal. Roundtable discussions, quick idea exchange forums,
    multimedia, and other formats that promote creativity and excitement in the
    classroom and lab were cited as desirable. Multimedia could be presented over
    the 'net, and thus have a direct impact on the use of multimedia in the
    classroom. Roundtable discussions, quick exchanges, and other contributions
    would not necessarily be peer-reviewed in the traditional sense--which would
    speed up turnaround time and promote contributions. This does not preclude a
    research-based section of peer-reviewed articles. All of these ideas would
    seem to fit well within an electronic version of the Journal.

    3: Integration of Disciplines.
    Several persons stated the necessity of this Journal covering the scope and
    integration of all the fields in exercise science. There is pedagogical
    information in several of the exercise science disciplines, but nothing that
    really brings it together.

    4: Topics.
    Presentation of laboratory experiences and experiments was cited as a high
    interest area. Because of differences in curriculum focus and facilities,
    laboratory experiences may differ widely from one program to the next, even for
    the same course. It was evident from the comments that people want to share
    labs; one person (a student nonetheless) suggested that a roundtable discussion
    of laboratory experiences be included.

    5: Audience.
    More than one person mentioned the inclusion of high school applications. This
    would be another benefit of an electronic version; it would seem that an
    electronic journal would enable easier access by high school teachers. These
    teachers could use the journal to learn how to incorporate exercise science
    into their classrooms. Another person thought the journal would be a good idea
    for it could help her bring or teach exercise science to persons outside the
    field. The specific application she was referring to was teaching
    biomechanical principles to Human Factors & Ergonomics workers, but the idea of
    teaching exercise science to people outside the field is important. Indeed, it
    could be argued that it is the MOST important thing we could do.

    6: Contributions.
    Almost half of the respondents mentioned that the Academic Exercise Science
    Journal could provide a method by which conferences devoted to teaching could
    publish and distribute their proceedings. In particular, several people
    mentioned that some of the contributions to the semi-regular ISBS teaching
    conference in Kinesiology and Biomechanics could be expanded and put in the
    Journal. This also raises a point that an Academic Exercise Science Journal
    could be an avenue by which those with heavy teaching responsibilities and
    limited research opportunities could contribute to the field in a scholarly
    manner. In other words, get publications.

    7a: Help.
    The most surprising point was that several people wanted to help put it
    together. Indeed, one respondent stated, "you can count on me for any help
    that you might need." His name will not be mentioned so that he may gracefully
    bow out once he comes to his senses! In all seriousness, I am grateful to
    those who offered help. . . see below.

    7b. Who, What, & Logistics.
    Despite the offers from those in 7a, getting a journal off the ground was not
    intent of this inquiry. It is indeed on the burner, but pretty far back. I
    encourage anyone to take the ball and run with it. (Sorry about all the
    cliches, it is baseball playoff time). If no one does pick up the ball maybe
    within a couple of years I will email those on the list to see if they are
    still interested. And . . ?


    Jeff Ives, Ph.D.
    Dept. of Exercise and Sport Sciences
    Ithaca College
    Ithaca, NY 14850 USA
    Phone: 607-274-1751