The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced changes to all areas of education. Educators have been required to rise to the occasion and manage the crisis in an inordinately short period of time. Despite this, peer reviewers of the journal have graciously continued to review papers. This editorial acknowledges the editorial board and peer reviewers and their service to the journal during a tumultuous time.
It seems like only yesterday that the October 2019 issue of the journal was released. Shortly thereafter, news of an unusual sickness affecting China began gathering media attention. It was not long before that sickness, COVID-19, briskly made its way into the collective consciousness of nearly every person around the world. The direct and indirect effects of COVID-19 have a way of shrinking time. It seems that all of us, locked away in our home shelters, have resided in time capsules losing some sense of time and nearly any sense of normalcy.
The pandemic has deeply affected chiropractic training programs, educators, and students. COVID-19 laid waste to the status quo of lecture and lab-based teaching nearly over night when it became necessary to institute physical distancing practices. Many educators were forced to scramble to adapt courses to online platforms and rapidly acquire new teaching skill sets required for instruction in the online environment. There have been many challenges to providing the clinical education required to complete chiropractic training. Chiropractic students perform their clinical training in health centers at their institutions, clinics and hospitals in the community, and often times at charity clinics. With many clinics closed or experiencing steeply reduced clinical volume, a quandary exists about how to adequately prepare students to meet the minimal competencies necessary to practice.
Accrediting organizations and training programs have discovered new commonalities in working together to assure that programs continue to meet accreditation requirements during this challenging time. Novel approaches to conducting site visits for accreditation purposes have surfaced due to travel restrictions, physical distancing, and other measures implemented to prevent spread of the virus. Indeed, chiropractic educators and organizations have risen admirably to the occasion.1
The Journal has not escaped the effects of the pandemic. Many of its processes have slowed down due to changes in workflows, reassignment of time to address crises, and transitions to mobile and remote work situations. Given that the journal relies upon the contributions of chiropractic academe to serve the editorial board and peer review pool, the ability of educators to commit time to the journal has been challenged. Remarkably, however, chiropractic educators and practitioners have found or made time in their lives to serve the journal during this tumultuous time.
I am deeply indebted to the volunteers who provide this service. Certainly, the authors of papers submitted to the journal are appreciated. Their contributions are justly recognized when their names are noted on the article when they are published and indexed. Additionally, it is important to take a moment to recognize the behind-the-scenes efforts of the editorial board. Each year the board members provide critical advice. It is these individuals that participate in task groups to deliberate potential ethics issues, work on theme issues, and contribute new ideas to the journal. I owe many thanks to the board members for their dedicated service.
Finally, the journal could not publish quality articles without peer-review. Manuscript reviewers hail from many countries and several health professions education programs, which provides authors with a wealth of formative feedback. Thank you to the following individuals who provided peer review during the period of June 1, 2019 to May 31, 2020: Hasan Alptekin, Brian Anderson, Lauren Austin-McClellan, Mirjam Baechler, Barclay Bakkum, David Byfield, Shane Carter, Munyeong Choi, Ashley Cleveland, Mary Kate Connolly, Robert Cooperstein, James Cox, Barry Draper, Stephen Duray, Alister DuRose, Ana Facchinato, Kimary Farrar, Matthew Funk, Brian Gleberzon, Christopher Good, Ruina He, Xiaohua He, Sean Herrin, Vicki Hines-Martin, Adrian Hunnisett, Roger Hynes, Claire Johnson, Aditi Joshi, Charmaine Korporaal, Kathleen Linaker, Craig Little, Anna Livdans-Forret, Dana Madigan, Thomas Milus, Silvano Mior, John Mrozek, Corrie Myburgh, David Odiorne, Anthony Onorato, Edward Owens, Jr., Per Palmgren, Cynthia Peterson, Jean-Nicolas Poirier, Elina Pulkkinen, Ali Rabatsky, Jacqueline Rix, Kevin Rose, Robert Rowell, Lisa Rubin, Stacie Salsbury, Zacariah Shannon, Kathryn Shaw, Monica Smith, Christopher Smoley, Greg Snow, John Stites, Rodger Tepe, Bruce Walker, Paul Wanlass, Michael Wiles, Christopher Yelverton, Niu Zhang, Nicole Zipay.
As we close out the year, only time will tell how much our lives will be permanently changed because of COVID-19. The need for scholarly activity will likely remain. However, some activities that educators have relied upon to show evidence of scholarship (eg, conferences) may change. Perhaps, this will stimulate academic administrators to reconsider the work of peer review as a form of scholarly activity. Peer review is a valuable form of the scholarship of service or application. Peer review is not just rapidly dashing off a bit of kindness as a good deed. Peer review takes time and it takes energy. It is a thoughtful, creative, and interpretive practice of one's area of expertise. As Boyer states in his seminal book on scholarship, “To be considered scholarship, service activities must be tied directly to one's special field of knowledge and relate to, and flow directly out of, this professional activity.”2 There has been reticence in some administrations to count peer review as evidence of scholarship. Perhaps the wide-reaching effects of the pandemic will force program leaders to make change in this area.
The journal always welcomes peer reviewers of all areas of expertise. Particularly, there is a need for more peer reviewers with experience in educational or biostatistics, qualitative research paradigms and methods, and distance education. Please consider volunteering in this capacity.