Vol 2 No 11
November, 1998
ISSN 1097-9743 
ASEPNewsletter is devoted to informative articles and news items about exercise physiology. It is a monthly magazine of news, opinions, exercise physiology professionals, and events that shape exercise physiology. While it contains views and opinions of the Editor who oversees the ASEP Internet Websites, visitors can have a voice as well. We welcome interested practitioners, researchers, and academicians to e-mail the Publisher their thoughts and ideas or to respond directly via the ASEP Public Forum
December 1998
Going Online
Tommy Boone, PhD, MPH
Professor and Chair
Department of Exercise Physiology
College of St. Scholastica
Duluth, MN 55811

Shortly after the American Society of Exercise Physiologists was founded as a nonprofit corporation, it was clear that the ASEP members (and all exercise physiologists) needed their own exercise physiology journal. After some thought about the journal's guidelines, the electronic format, and who would assume the Editorial responsibilities, the first ever online journal issue was posted on the internet in April, 1997.

There are now three electronically published issues, including July and October. The Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Robert A. Robergs of the University of New Mexico, Albqueque, NM, and an editorial staff of 12 Associate Editors are responsible for the three electronic publications. We owe a lot to each of them for agreeing to evaluate research manuscripts sent to them.

I am the Managing Editor. My job is to work directly with the Editor-in-Chief and, when instructed, post the manuscripts on the first-ever electronic Journal of Exercise Physiologyonline (JEPonline). The journal is registered with several data bases, including Dr. MEDMarket's Health Services Index (via the Medical Resources Index Category), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Web site, the NewJour (that post online journals), and the Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory. The latter directory is the world's leading periodicals directory since 1932, and is used by libraries, publishers, researchers, and subscription agencies.

JEPonline's International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) is 1097-9751. The articles published in the journal are not only available free of charge to any interested person in the United States but worldwide. Anyone around the world within minutes can access the articles!

While Dr. Robergs and I had a brief discussion early on about a print copy of the journal, for may different reasons the idea did not evolve. It should come as no surprise that the primary problem is money. It takes too much of it to start a print copy, especially if the organization has any desire to maintain ownership of the journal.

Organizations are generally required to give up the copyright to their journal when a large publishing house publishes it. The members of the organization get the print copy and the organizations get very little in return. Perhaps later, only when the organization gets bigger and financially stable (assuming both occur), it can gain control of the publication. It is still a matter of money, however.

Fortunately, with the support ASEP receives from the administrators of the College of St. Scholastica, JEPonline does not cost a dime. Members have access to it, and their membership dues are reasonable. The internet has thus allowed for a leveling of the playing ground in interesting ways. It is affordable and relatively easy-to-learn technology. Exercise physiologists no longer have to depend on the print copy establishment for information. Anyone can gain access to the internet any time day or night. The door is never closed. This is real power made possible by computer technology.

JEPonline, however, answers only the research part of the profession. It is not designed to address professional issues such as professionalism, professionalization, certification, licensure, accreditation and so forth. Equally important to realize is that there is not a journal, print copy or online that publishes professionalization manuscripts. Obviously, another journal had to be created to address these issues. This is unfortunately the side of exercise physiology that has not been addressed during its relatively brief history. Yet without a collectively-agreed upon professional philosophy there exist the real possibility that exercise physiology will increasingly become more of a technicial science and less of a profession.

Today, exercise physiologists have the opportunity to present their ideas in a journal designed to publish manuscripts on the professionalization of exercise physiology. This opportunity is another first in the history of exercise physiology. It is made possible by the relatively easy steps in creating internet web sites. But, of course, the new eletronic journal entitled the Professionalization of Exercise Physiologyonline (PEPonline) requires a vision and work! The journal is a first of its kind. Now exercise physiologists, who have seldom ever stopped to ponder professionalism much less given the opportunity to read about it, can publish their ideas and concerns about the profession.

One such major concern are the neglected students who has just recently graduated from college. Too often they graduate from particular college and are forgotten. No one really knows or seems to care whether students locate a job in the field or whether the job pays the bills. The next academic year rolls around and there are new students to teach and so the cycle goes on.

It can be argued that my view is extreme, but I do not think so. I have been contacted by too many young people either in college, about to graduate from college, just graduated, working in a less than desired job, or trying to find a job in the field. Their concerns should be our concerns, but are they? Until recently, communication between exercise physiology (science) graduates and PhD professors did not exist. For the most part, there has been a one-way, somewhat dutiful exchange only among PhDs and why not? There is an almost unspoken understanding that no one can be an exercise physiologists without the PhD degree. Students are generally unaware of the existence of such notions and, fortunately, most are as amused as I am when they hear or read of it.

Bad ideas and ideas slow to live up to reality are subject to change. Nothing is free from influence of open-minded professionals. Therefore, just as change is constant and inevitable, so it is with poorly conceived ideas. PEPonline is the first serious in-road into examining the short-comings of crooked thinking. ASEP is also the first organization to state that the undergraduate student graduating from an exercise physiology (science) academic program can be correctly referred to as an exercise physiologist. Why not? Aren't graduating students considered (by title) a nurse when graduating from a nursing program?

The online PEPonline journal uses the internet as the medium to share with others and the world at large that exercise physiologists are professionals dedicated to the professionalization of exercise physiology. It can be, if the graduates choose to speak up, the means to exploring issues and concerns with academic professors that otherwise may not be possible. Professors, in turn, can present their views and why they believe as they do. A sharing in ideas and possibility-thinking may very likely set the stage for a new relationship between the BS/MS professional and the person with the PhD. I look forward to the time when there will be more journals devoted to the professionalization of exercise physiology. 

It's important to join the Society for the right reasons. Probably the most important reason is a sincere desire to help other exercise physiologists. To make a difference in the professionalization of exercise physiology isn't bad either. To change the profession for the better. Excellent! But it's important to know that, for all the work Society members do, they also receive a great deal in return. There are practical benefits such as working with new colleagues to feeling really good about helping the profession and making a difference.

The skills that are required of successful service are those required in just about any organization. The Society allows individuals the opportunity to develop and to share ideas. It is about creating opportunities, and becoming a member of a large community of exercise physiologists. It is the beginning of the first big step to growing professionally.

To help you take the first step, please fill out the ASEP Membership Application located on the ASEP Table of Contents web site. Submit the completed application to the ASEP National Office in Duluth, MN. You may also want to submit a copy of your resume and a copy of your educational transcripts. 

Staff at the National Office will be looking for detailed information about your education and work experience. Most applicants are accepted into the Society. A Membership Certificate is completed and sent to you along with an invitation to commit to different ASEP committees.

Working on a committee along side other exercise physiologists can be a special experience. Most memberships also qualify you for additional volunteer experience. The question is "How far are you willing to go to make a difference?"

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