Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork

Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork


Ann Blair Kennedy, LMT, BCTMB, DrPH, Executive Editor, IJTMB
University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, Greenville, SC, USA.

From an informal conversation to a peer reviewed, open-access, indexed journal, we are now celebrating the 10th anniversary of the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork: Research, Education, and Practice. We celebrate the uniqueness of the Journal as the only fully open-access journal that addresses massage therapy and bodywork. Scholarly open-access journals have changed the face of scientific publishing in recent years: providing wider dissemination, allowing findings from taxpayer supported research to be available for free, and providing an avenue for researchers in the developing world to connect with researchers in developed countries. The editors of the Journal are regularly looking and soliciting articles from massage therapy researchers. This editorial describes the progress of the last ten years— from an article and readership standpoint—including changes in partnerships and increased visibility through social media.

KEYWORDS: massage therapy, research, education, editorial, open-access publishing, social media

Massage therapy research is found in many different types of journals, from nursing to public health, and is often inaccessible behind journal pay-walls. This is as much a problem today as it was in the early 2000s, when an informal conversation between Dr. Glenn Hymel and John Balletto, the then President of the Massage Therapy Foundation, led to a mission to create an open-access journal for massage therapy research.( 1) The first issue of the IJTMB was published in September of 2008; this year the Journal will celebrate its 10th anniversary. We celebrate the uniqueness of the Journal as the only fully open-access journal that addresses massage therapy and bodywork. Scholarly open-access journals have changed the face of scientific publishing in recent years: providing wider dissemination of studies, allowing findings from taxpayer supported research to be available to the public for free, and providing an avenue for researchers in the developing world access to the research and connect with researchers in developed countries.(24) These 10 years have shown quite a bit of growth and change in our publications, readership, editorial staff, partnerships, and marketing.

In the first year, two issues were published; since then we have maintained four issues a year. This current issue marks the 41st issue for the IJTMB. Within those first 40 issues, we have published a total of 194 articles. These articles span the range from News/Announcements to Research studies. A complete breakdown of the articles by journal section can be seen in Figure 1. The editors of the Journal are regularly looking and soliciting articles from massage therapy researchers. We continue to inform authors about our no publication fees policy, as well as our indexing with a number of systems including PubMed Central.(5) We encourage not only researchers, but also practitioners, to submit manuscripts to the Journal.

 


 

Figure 1 Total articles published by journal section (n=194).

From a modest beginning, registered readers of the Journal have increased year over year to over 9,200 readers in June of 2018 (Figure 2). The largest increase in readers was observed between 2016 and 2017 when the Journal took a foothold into social media. In the fall of 2016, we began two social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter) and through them we share our current published articles and other articles from the last five years. In addition to articles from and information about IJTMB, we also share research from other journals. The purpose of sharing information from other sources is to help those in the profession stay informed about the latest research and to evaluate those papers for reliability and applicability to practice.

 


 

Figure 2 Total number of registered readers of the IJTMB by year.

A list of the top 10 viewed IJTMB papers is presented in Table 1.(615) Since views are tracked cumulatively, it may seem logical that nearly all (90%) top viewed articles are from the first five years of the Journal’s existence, but this may be changing with our increased presence on social media. When considering the top 25 articles, two have been from 2013(16,17) (#17 and #24, respectively), two have been from 2014(18,19) (#15 and #25, respectively), one from 2015(20) (#18), and three from 2016(2123) (#12, #21, and #23, respectively). Most surprising, however, is Sarah Fogarty’s commentary “Fertility Massage: an Unethical Practice?”(24) which, in only three months since its publication, is already ranked 30th most viewed. These more recent publications being in the top 15% of viewed articles may be due to launching of the social media accounts. Future analysis of our social media account data may provide greater understanding of the needs and interests of our readership.

Table 1 Ten Most Frequently Viewed International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork Articles Since Inaugural Issue in August 2008

 

Lastly, the past 10 years have seen changes in partnerships and editors. In 2017, the IJTMB became not only the official journal of the Massage Therapy Foundation, but also for our new partner, the Registered Massage Therapists Association of British Columbia (RMTBC). This partnership is a welcome addition in the initiatives to help sustain our future of providing open-access research for the massage therapy profession. Our editors have also changed over the years, and the Journal would not have succeeded without their leadership. We must give a special thank you to Senior Consulting Editor and Emeritus Founding Executive Editor Glenn M. Hymel, EdD, LMT, and to Consulting Editor and Emeritus Founding Editor-in-Chief Thomas W. Findley, MD, PhD. Today we have three editors: Albert Moraska, PhD, Research Section Editor; Grant J. Rich, PhD, BCTMB, LMT, LSW, Practice & Education Section Editor; and myself as Executive Editor.

We hope that you will celebrate 10 wonderful years of the IJTMB with us and continue to support those who make it possible, including our partners, the Massage Therapy Foundation and the RMTBC. We hope you will also consider joining in the conversations on social media. We look forward to conversing with you there.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST NOTIFICATION

The author reports no conflicts of interest.

REFERENCES

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7 Munk N, Harrison A. Integrating the international classification of functioning, disability, and health model into massage therapy research, education, and practice. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2010;3(4):29–36.
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8 Manella C, Backus D. Gait characteristics, range of motion, and spasticity changes in response to massage in a person with incomplete spinal cord injury: case report. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2011;4(1):28–39.
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9 Zalta J. Orthopedic massage protocol for post ACL reconstruction patellofemoral pain syndrome. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2008;1(2).
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10 Pierson MJ. Changes in temporomandibular joint dysfunction symptoms following massage therapy: a case report. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2011;4(4):37–47.

11 Avery R-M. Massage therapy for cervical degenerative disc disease: alleviating a pain in the neck? Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2012;5(3):41–46.
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12 Cubick EE, Quezada VY, Schumer AD, Davis CM. Sustained release myofascial release as treatment for a patient with complications of rheumatoid arthritis and collagenous colitis: a case report. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2011;4(3):1–9.
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13 Black DW. Treatment of knee arthrofibrosis and quadriceps insufficiency after patellar tendon repair: a case report including use of the Graston Technique. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2010;3(2):14–21.
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14 Wakefield ML. Case Report: The effects of massage therapy on a woman with thoracic outlet syndrome. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2014;7(4):7–14.
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15 Smith JM, Sullivan SJ, Baxter GD. A descriptive study of the practice patterns of Massage New Zealand massage therapists. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2011;4(1):18–27.
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16 Boulanger K, Campo S. Are personal characteristics of massage therapists associated with their clinical, educational, and interpersonal behaviors? Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2013;6(3):25–34.
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17 Atkins DV, Eichler DA. The effects of self-massage on osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomized, controlled trial. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2013;6(1):4–14.
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18 Munk N, Boulanger K. Adaptation of the CARE Guidelines for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork Publications: efforts to improve the impact of case reports. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2014;7(3):32–40.
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19 McKay E. Assessing the effectiveness of massage therapy for bilateral cleft lip reconstruction scars. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2014;7(2):3–9.
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20 Dion LJ, Cutshall SM, Rodgers NJ, Hauschulz JL, Dreyer NE, Thomley BS, et al. Development of a hospital-based massage therapy course at an academic medical center. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2015;8(1):25–30.
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21 Kennedy AB, Cambron JA, Sharpe PA, Travillian RS, Saunders RP. Clarifying definitions for the massage therapy profession: the results of the Best Practices Symposium. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2016;9(3):15–26.
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22 Lewis PA, Cunningham JE. Dynamic angular petrissage as treatment for axillary web syndrome occurring after surgery for breast cancer: a case report. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2016;9(2):28–37.
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23 Gustafson SL. Bowenwork for migraine relief: a case report. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2016;9(1):19–28.
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24 Fogarty S. Fertility massage: an unethical practice? Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2018;11(1):17–20.
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Corresponding author: Ann Blair Kennedy, LMT, BCTMB, DrPH, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, 701 Grove Road, Greenville, SC 29605, USA, E-mail:Kenneda5@greenvillemed.sc.edu

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INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE AND BODYWORK, VOLUME 11, NUMBER 3, September 2018



International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
ISSN 1916-257X