Authorship Patterns in Nigerian Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Journals: Are Nigerian physiotherapists publishing?
In order for any clinical science based profession to advance, there is need to update its knowledge base through research. The results of such research endeavours are usually disseminated through publications in scientific journals. The authorship pattern in two Nigerian physiotherapy and rehabilitation journals was studied. The aim was to establish the involvement of Nigerian physiotherapists in research and publishing by investigating the cadre of physiotherapists carrying out research activities and disseminating the results by publishing in physiotherapy professional journals in Nigeria. The level of collaborative research activity among cadres of physiotherapists and between them and other health care professionals was also investigated.
The journals of the Medical Rehabilitation Therapist Board (JMRT) and the Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy (JNSP) published over a 17-year period (1991-2007) were reviewed. The publications were categorized according to the cadre (job description) of the physiotherapists and the type of articles published in each journal.
A total of 167 articles were reviewed in JMRT and 64 articles in JNSP. Out of these, 123(73.7%) and 47(73.4%) were published by physiotherapists in JMRT and JNSP respectively. A large percentage of the physiotherapists were in academics – JMRT (46.1%) and JNSP (45.3%). A few of the articles were jointly published by clinical physiotherapists and academic physiotherapists (11.4% in JMRT & 14.1% in JNSP), while 8.3% in JMRT and 9.4% in JNSP were jointly published by physiotherapists and non physiotherapists. More of the articles published in JMRT (66.5%) were original research articles compared to JNSP (45.3%). The percentage of miscellaneous articles in JNSP (26.6%) was more than that found in JMRT (10.8%).
The study concluded that academic physiotherapists published more papers than their colleagues in the clinic, and that few intercadre and interdisciplinary articles were published in both journals. In addition there was a higher percentage of original articles in JMRT than in JNSP.