Journal article metrics

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    • #8526
      Eric Magrum

      Hey guys here is the recent article in AJSM that got me on a soapbox today during journal club.

      Have a read discuss how this information (metrics) helps with article selection.

      There is controversy throughout this as everything else.

      Where does social media fit in in an academic setting in 2020?

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    • #8529

      Social media should be the great equalizer where the best and most impactful studies get filtered to the top, and we reward people in academia who are really moving us forward.

      However, social media “influencers” within physical therapy do the same thing everyone else does: it’s about branding, imaging, creating buzz, and building an echo chamber.

      There is a person I work with who has a podcast and an online platform who I’ve had discussions with previously. He is of the thought that everything we do is either a placebo or nocebo. Manual therapy isn’t directly affecting a tissue or system, it’s about the person’s belief. Everything is a non-specific input.

      After looking at his cohort of people he interacts with online, I can see where this is all coming from. Instagram is filled with a lot of “manual therapy sucks” people. These folks cherry pick which studies they present so they can appear as cutting edge, open, and trendy. They create caricatures of manual therapists and then project how superior they are by defeating strawman arguments that no one actually holds.

      It’s a shame really. (As a disclaimer, I don’t think this guy is doing this, but a helluva lot of people near him are).

      So when it comes to this article and looking at social media impact, I’m not sure we should go down this route and hold that up high as a good thing. Social media is for hype and attention which certain topics and articles are better at creating. I don’t think we should necessarily reward the bad behavior I see happening online. Just going by rote numbers might be misleading of what’s actually happening, but I”m not sure how else you would track it unless you chose certain accounts and sources as the “reliable” sources.

    • #8530

      Barrett – I absolutely agree with your critic of social media. It is an extremely volatile medium of communication and even in a professional setting can quickly dissolve into echo chambers and clique wars.

      You also bring a good point to finding reliable sources on social media. See: Kardashian Index for a somewhat satirical, but relevant point to this discussion.

      I do think this metric can have significant value to the academic world. The scope of academic literature reaches beyond research application. Clinicians use this research to update their practice and apply new techniques. If something is being circulated at the bottom of the traditional research pyramid (us in clinical practice), that should be reflected. It will give a look into what things are driving clinical practice and what trends are being formed.

      Even if the numbers are inflated by gimmicky influencers, this measure will still provide insight to what is rising to the top and why things are trending in certain ways.

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    • #8533

      I think this brings up some interesting points about “popularity” of articles, things that may be driving what is put out on social media, and the impact on how that affects lit searches. Personally I don’t know/understand a whole lot about impact factor, metrics, etc. so this hasn’t been something that specifically drives my decision making when reviewing articles. However, I now have a better understanding of specific journals that tend to put out more solid and trustworthy articles, and try and stick to using their research to guide decision making vs a more obscure journal.

      Going off of what Barrett was saying, I think that with social media you are naturally going to follow people/groups that have similar ideology and biases that will just continue to feed into these things. Not always a bad thing but something to be aware of and not get caught up in these accounts being the end all be all.

      To Taylors point of these types of metrics giving good information about “trends” in physical therapy- this is something I didn’t think about and is an interesting point. The types of things that are more heavily circulated can give insight to practice pattern and should drive the discussion of why these things are being “boosted.”

      I think that social media can be a good tool to be exposed to new or different ideas, start a library of articles to read and critically review yourself, and help with treatment ideas. However, it shouldn’t be something that you mindlessly get information from without critically apprising it for yourself.

    • #8538

      I think one of the biggest take aways (that others are pointing out as well) is to know your source and do your part to determine if it/they are trustworthy, and using metrics is one way to do that. Just as we evaluate journal articles to see impact factor and how reliable they are, we should be doing the same thing on social media. As Taylor was saying, social media definitely points out trends whether good ones or bad ones.

      I think that social media could have a positive impact on our profession as a whole, however, I don’t think it is the best place to look for research based guidance to your practice due to platform biases like Anna and Taylor mentioned. It is interesting though that the article says: “It is possible that promotion through multiple social media platforms expands the number of readers who are ultimately reached.” Maybe social media could be another way to get research pushed to you, like we’ve talked so much about in VOMPTI?

      One of the biggest things that the field of PT needs to figure out is how to reach people – so many people STILL don’t know that we have direct access and they can come straight to us without a physician referral. To me, that’s unacceptable and points out that we as a profession are falling short and doing a disservice to the community. This is an area that social media COULD be helpful – I would argue that a large majority of the population is on social media in some form or fashion and if we can promote PT to them to educate them on what we do and why they need us, that would be a win in my book. The use of social media to educate the general population about PT could be a better route than PTs getting informed on research…

      On a different note, I appreciate the ingenuity with exercises seen on social media. I’ll occasionally get ideas about a new thing to try or a new way to do an old exercise, and I think that helps spur my own personal creativity as well.

    • #8541

      Like everybody else is saying, social media could be a great platform for sharing knowledge, but I feel like it is so bogged down by influencers and companies that are trying to sell techniques or equipment, that it really isn’t even about the information. It’s just another marketing tool, and I think some clinicians may be kind of hoodwinked into buying into this crappy information based on the “evidence” they have to support whatever it is they are hocking.

      All that being said, do I still go to some social media pages for ideas for new or different exercises or more creative ways to do some basic activities? Absolutely. But I am more critical of what I’m looking for and deciding if it’s really going to address what my patient needs.

      I completely agree with Helen about how social media could change the face of our profession! I think this is an area where PTs have struggled for so long, and now with the evolution of social media, I think we are missing out on opportunities to engage with the public and inform people on what we do and why we can help. I feel like it kind of relates to our Zoom talk the other day with community education for coaches in these youth leagues to help educate parents and prevent injuries down the road for the kiddos. This is an area where I really think we should be thriving and putting ourselves out there, but we’re still not hitting the mark for it. I’m not sure what the answer is to that or how we can change it on a large scale, but I feel like even starting small with our own communities would be better than nothing.

    • #8553
      Kyle Feldman

      Barrett brings up a good point about discussions on social media and how the Strawman argument is often used.

      When one person is trying to present the research and have a discussion and the other is trying to tell there guru knowledge or build a following there is often little to no ability to have a positive impact on the profession.

      With your residency education and deeper clinical reasoning, how could you each help influence the profession in a positive way with social media?

    • #8623
      Eric Magrum

      Article summary in 2.5 minute cartoon video

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