April 17, Lombard, Il
– Last year marked the 20th
anniversary of the Journal of
Chiropractic Humanities. What are the roots, and more importantly, what is
the future of this unique chronicle of scholarly discussion on philosophical
issues facing the chiropractic profession?
Prior to1991, National College of
Chiropractic (now National University of Health Sciences) was fulfilling the
need for a scientific journal through publication of the Journal of Manual and Physiologic
Therapeutics (JMPT), However, there was no peer-reviewed journal solely
dedicated to discussions about philosophy within the chiropractic profession.
In 1991, NCC’s President James
Winterstein proposed the creation of the journal Philosophical Constructs for the Chiropractic Profession. The
initial issue was based on papers presented at National’s 1991 homecoming. The
first issues were a success, and in 1993 the journal changed its name and
broadened its purpose, becoming the Journal
of Chiropractic Humanities (JCH).
The mission of the new JCH expanded
and remains “… to foster scholarly debate
and interaction within the chiropractic profession regarding the humanities,
which includes; history, philosophy, linguistics, literature, jurisprudence,
ethics, theory, sociology, comparative religions, and aspects of social
sciences that address historical or philosophical approaches.”
“The objective of the JCH is to
create an environment that promotes legitimate dialogue in a field where a
diversity of opinion exists,” says current editor, Dr. Claire Johnson. “The
journal also provides a professional forum for interaction on these views. No
other chiropractic journal is solely dedicated to philosophical discussion that
is done in this scholarly, rational, and professional manner.”
The JCH is particularly relevant to
the chiropractic profession today. “It is important for people to have a
reliable source to go to for information that they can trust,” says Dr.
Johnson. “The Internet contains a lot of misinformation on topics related to
philosophy, ethics, history, and social sciences as they relate to our
chiropractic profession. Knowing that one can turn to a peer reviewed journal
for trustworthy information is important when making decisions or considering
important professional topics.”
Dr. Johnson, who took the journal’s
helm in 2004, has watched readership of the JCH broaden over the years, not
only within the chiropractic profession, but also garnering readers from other
disciplines and expanding its international readership.
“Comparing the first issues to the
most recent issues, there has been an evolution in style and scholarly debate.
The format and style are evolving to be more like what we see in other
humanities professional and scholarly journals,” she observes.
“I also see that there are more
people engaged in discussing topics that were once considered taboo. In
addition, I am seeing some old topics reappear, which means that our
conversations are continuing and evolving. Discussing old topics in a new
context is a step in the right direction. Healthy debate where ideas are
challenges in a scholarly and professional manner is essential to the growth of
a profession. The JCH helps support and promote evolution of thought in the
profession, and thus is an essential component of our profession’s future.”
For the near future, one of Dr.
Johnson’s goals is to bring the JCH into the PubMed indexing system. Although
JCH is currently indexed in several other indexing systems, PubMed is where
health care providers and decision makers look when searching for trustworthy
and high quality literature. Dr. Johnson reports, “In order to apply for
indexing in PubMed, there are many steps to accomplish. We are currently
working on the final stages of the applications process. At the moment, our
JMPT and JCM (Journal of Chiropractic Medicine) are indexed in PubMed, and it
would be fantastic to have our third journal, JCH, indexed there as well. We
hope to have this goal accomplished within the next year.”
As the profession moves forward,
NUHS and Dr. Johnson feel that the role of the JCH will be even more relevant
than before. “Chiropractic has never been at a loss for facing controversy head
on and we continue to face many challenges. The issues that the chiropractic
profession is struggling with are issues other healthcare professions are also
facing,” says Dr. Johnson.
For that reason, she urges all
chiropractic physicians who haven’t explored JCH to visit the online
publication at http://www.journalchirohumanities.com.
Here anyone can read current and past issues, and find editorial and submission
“All members of the chiropractic
community are welcome to submit publications for journal review,” says Dr.
Johnson. “With twenty years behind us,
we believe the next twenty may be the most interesting in terms of chiropractic
evolution and debate from a humanities perspective.”
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