JCE was introduced to the chiropractic profession in June 1987. Starting as a humble newsletter, its initial mission statement was as follows:
The Journal of Chiropractic Education
is a forum for the open and responsible discussion of the topics relevant to chiropractic education. Its mission is to inform its readers of progress in both educational methodologies and the content relevant to the discipline of chiropractic.6
Gathering and disseminating topics relevant to chiropractic education was a substantial challenge. At this time, there were feuds between chiropractic regulatory bodies, resulting in a lack of focus.3
There was a lack of interest and understanding of science and scholarship in the profession.7
There was no agenda for chiropractic educational research and there were no meetings or scholarly venues where chiropractic educators could meet to present information about developing programs or any scholarship they might have produced. Thus, there was no demand and little to no production of educational scholarship.
Also, there were very few articles about education published in peer-reviewed journals at that time to justify creating a new journal in the field of education. For example, at the time JCE was being introduced, the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
(JMPT), the chiropractic profession’s flagship journal established in 1978 and the only one included in MEDLINE,
had published approximately five papers that could remotely be considered content pertinent for JCE. Although articles on chiropractic education before JMPT could be found in the scientific literature, these were not based on educational research. Instead, these articles typically were derogatory and used as propaganda written by the American Medical Association to damage chiropractic’s reputation.8
Therefore, to start a journal without a demand, no clear publishing need, and a lack of an educational forum was a great leap of faith.
While preparing the first issue, Editor-in-Chief Jacobs had the encouragement and contribution9
from historian Joseph Keating, Jr., PhD, Research Director at NWCC. The initial title that she chose for the publication was The Chiropractic Educator.
However, Palmer College of Chiropractic informed her that this title had been used by one of Palmer’s early publications for the laity and was unavailable. She decided to give the periodical a name it could grow into: The Journal of Chiropractic Education
Figure 2 The evolution of the image of The Journal of Chiropractic Education. On the top row, volume 1, number 1, 1987 is on the far left in newsletter format. The first bound issue of The Journal of Chiropractic Education (top row, second from left) was printed (more ...)
The first issue carried an editorial that explained the rationale for creating JCE and a plea to the chiropractic college faculty to support this new effort.
For some time faculty members at chiropractic colleges have expressed a desire to have their counterparts share ideas relevant to the teaching of chiropractic. A second desire is for teaching materials addressing the needs of chiropractic students. Many are writing special texts/handouts, and much duplication of effort is occurring.
There is a lack of a professional society which actively provides a vehicle for exchange of such information. Any travel funds available are used to keep current in specific disciplines. However a Journal could provide a means of communication between the faculties of the various schools at a reasonable cost.
This is the first, and hopefully not the last, issue of a journal designed to the special needs of chiropractic education. It will publish articles on relevant topics. All major articles will be submitted to reviewers before publication. It will concentrate in instructional methodology and content, reviews of supporting materials, meeting notices, etc. It will not enter the fields of politics or philosophy.
Like other journals this one will be dependent upon its professional audience. The next issue will be forthcoming as soon as sufficient quality material has been submitted to fill the pages. It is hoped that this will be by August and that there will be four issues a year to start. Your response and active support is essential for this fledgling journal to continue. Help it serve your needs.10
At the time, very few faculty members were producing scholarly publications3
so there was yet to be a culture of publication and contribution to scientific clinical journals, let alone an educational research journal. This made it challenging to fill the journal with quality content. Dr. Jacobs was aware that a critical mass of authors and subscribers was required as she noted that, “at least 200 authors and 1000 subscribers were needed…” for a journal to succeed.11
Much of the content, such as test preparation and teaching skills, published in early JCE issues was derived from notes taken by Dr. Jacobs in her DA courses and from materials provided to her in her early teaching career.
Dr. Jacobs recruited colleagues to submit what they could with their limited resources; sometimes the content was a commentary, a letter, or a crossword puzzle. Some of the early content was not referenced or formatted, as one would expect of an educational research journal by today’s standards. It is apparent by reviewing the early issues that heavy encouragement and recruitment by the editor-in-chief was needed to get the journal off the ground and to fill its pages. Many of the early journal issues were filled with content from teachers at the locations where Dr. Jacobs worked at the time. When she was at NWCC, much of the content was from the NWCC faculty. Later, when she was a faculty member at Cleveland Chiropractic College in Los Angeles, the journal had many contributions from that faculty.
Over the next couple of years, the journal circulation grew to about 100, which was short of the 1000 that the editor had originally desired. To ensure acceptance across the wide range of chiropractic educational institutions, she clearly stated that no one college was affiliated with or owned the journal so as to avoid “… parochialism and politics, which have stunted the growth of so many good ideas in chiropractic.”11
She wanted the message to be clear that the journal was a separate and independent entity that was receiving no external support. Dr Jacobs privately paid all expenses not covered by subscription fees and managed the editing, publication, and mailing. Other volunteers were duly recruited as peer reviewers for the fledgling journal.
As with any publication, a central office is required to process incoming and outgoing materials. The initial journal office was located in Dr. Jacobs’ home, where manuscripts were received, sent for peer review, and returned for revision. All journal formatting, staging, and preparation for the printer were also done here. A local print shop printed the journal and the copies were brought back to the house and prepared for shipping. To save on mailing costs, all copies for a college were put in a single carton; 17 separate boxes were then transported by Dr. Jacobs to the shipping store for distribution. Individual subscriptions from overseas faculty were sent though the postal service. Because she personally was responsible for transporting the journal materials, it became a requirement that each new car at the Jacobs’ household had a trunk large enough to carry all of the journal boxes on shipping day. When the owner of the printing shop discovered that the packing and shipping of JCE was done on Dr. Jacobs’ dining room table, he graciously offered space in the facility for the task. When Dr. Jacobs transferred as a faculty member to Cleveland Chiropractic College of Los Angeles and later retired in Minnesota, the journal office and publication processes traveled with her wherever she went.
The second issue of JCE was printed in September 1987. Behind the scenes, Editor-in-Chief Jacobs was busy assembling an editorial board, identifying peer reviewers, establishing a peer-review system, and continuing to manage subscriptions. The third issue, published in December 1987, announced that subscribers included most of the chiropractic colleges (at that time the majority of chiropractic educational institutions were located in North America) and more than 100 individual subscribers. The cost per issue was initially set at $2 each in volume 1, number 1.10
However, in the third issue, the subscription was set at $12 per year.11
The December 1987 issue also carried the first call for papers and list of editorial board members.
The Index to Chiropractic Literature (ICL) was the first indexing system to catalog JCE, beginning in 1988, as announced in volume 2, issue 1. The ICL was initially published in hard copy and was a system formed by the Chiropractic Library Consortium in 1982. Its purpose was to catalog the chiropractic literature.12
The first year of the journal was also included retroactively in the ICL. By March 1989, JCE first listed its International Standard Serial Number (ISSN 1042-5055), which is the recognized identification number for serial publications, thus taking another step in its evolution toward accepted scholarly publication practices.
Over the following year, the editorial board steadily expanded. Dr. Jacobs focused on a new goal to broaden the reach of the journal by including at least one member of every chiropractic college on the editorial board.13
The board grew quickly from no members to 22 members in only 2 years. Through its distribution to all of the colleges, the journal was reaching out to faculty members who were working in isolation at each of their respective colleges. Through the dissemination of educational papers, greater interest in faculty dialogue and representation was brewing. In 1988, quietly tucked away on the back page of volume 2, issue 1, was a foreshadowing of things to come:
Our students have followed the example of our presidents and found a way to communicate and cooperate through the World Council of Chiropractic Students. Our Presidents have their group. Our researchers have FCER and the Pacific Consortium. Our librarians have Clibcon. What have we educators, those of us who specialize in classroom and clinical teaching, done to foster communication among ourselves?
Shortly thereafter, R. Douglas Baker, DC, vice president of academic affairs of Palmer College of Chiropractic, asked Alana Ferguson, MSLS (now Alana Callender, EdD) to organize a number of faculty education initiatives. Of significance was the First Congress of Chiropractic Educators (April 7–9, 1988), held at Palmer’s Davenport, Iowa, campus. Faculty members from all chiropractic colleges were invited to participate. More than 200 faculty and administrative members attended this inaugural meeting. The program included invited and submitted papers, workshops, and round table sessions relevant to the education of chiropractic students. The congress was the first of its kind in chiropractic education and provided a means for participants to develop collaborations, network, and present their scholarly work in chiropractic education.14
Interestingly, the proceedings of the First Annual Congress of Chiropractic Educators were not published in JCE,
but in volume 4, number 4 of one of the journal casualties of the late 1980s, Research Forum: the Research Journal of Palmer College of Chiropractic
a periodical that began in 1984 and ended only 4 years later in 1988.
The 1988 educational congress stimulated JCE to transition from a newsletter format and in 1989 JCE was converted to a bound journal with a forest green and silver cover (Fig. ). The colors selected for the cover represented the colors found on the hoods of graduation regalia of doctors of chiropractic.15
Further developments accompanied the new cover design and binding. An increase in pages needed to accommodate journal contents, the new publication format, and other pragmatic issues made it necessary to increase the subscription rate for the journal from $12 to $25 for individual subscribers and $110 for institutional libraries. Volume 3, issue 1 also carried the first statement of editorial policies regarding blinded peer review and provided the first published manuscript preparation instructions for the journal.
An important transition occurred in 1989 between the first and second issue of volume 3 that helped secure the journal’s future by transforming it from an independent operation to one that was institutionalized. Recognizing that JCE
was gaining interest among chiropractic college faculty and was becoming increasingly more complex to administer and costly to finance, Dr. Jacobs approached the presidents of the chiropractic colleges for assistance at the 1989 Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC) meeting. To the ACC, Dr. Jacobs proposed that JCE be distributed to all ACC faculty members in the interest of faculty development. The chiropractic college presidents of the ACC agreed with her proposal and that it would pay all journal expenses and compensate Dr. Jacobs for her editorial work. Each ACC college not already represented on the editorial board recruited a member to serve on the board to help with peer reviewing manuscripts. With this new structure, the journal’s mission statement was formalized and updated to its current form:
The mission of The Journal of Chiropractic Education (JCE) is to promote excellence in chiropractic education through the publication of research and scholarly articles concerned with educational theory, methods, and content relevant to the practice of chiropractic; to encourage and contribute to the professional development of chiropractic educators; and to recognize their achievements.
Thus, beginning in 1989, JCE became the official scholarly publication of the ACC and was no longer a private endeavor. Circulation increased nearly 10-fold from approximately 100 to about 1000, reaching a target set earlier by Dr. Jacobs. Dr. Jacobs remained the editor-in-chief and primary driving force for 8 more years.
The first educational congress was a success and the momentum to have educators meet annually continued. In 1990, the Second Congress of Chiropractic Educators, co-chaired by Alana Ferguson, MSLS, and Dr. Bernard Coyle, was held at the campus of Palmer College of Chiropractic West in Sunnyvale, California. For this congress, the proceedings and abstracts were published in JCE (volume 4, number 2), a process followed for future meetings. Congress presenters were encouraged to reach a larger audience by preparing their conference presentations for publication in JCE. A review of the conference proceedings and later issues of the journal shows that several conference presenters later submitted articles for publication and took advantage of using the feedback from the peer-review process to sharpen their writing skills and polish their papers. Over the years, this strategy of presentation, peer review, and publication offered a new form of faculty development for chiropractic educators. These efforts were aimed at increasing the number of submissions to JCE while enhancing the maturity of the pool of authors submitting to chiropractic conferences and journals.
To improve the quality of its contents, JCE relied heavily on the formative feedback from the editor-in-chief. Struggles inevitably occurred between the editor-in-chief and authors while assisting them to submit acceptable quality works. Although the standards in biomedical publications were established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors in 1978, before 1990 there was no standardization of chiropractic periodicals. Thus, chiropractic authors, who had little to no training in writing scholarly manuscripts, were not aware of the standards needed to publish quality scholarly works. Some assistance was forthcoming, however, when the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research invited all chiropractic journal editors to participate in the formation of the Chiropractic Research Journal Editors Council in 1990. The purpose of this meeting was to establish common standards among the publications and to encourage the editors to adopt the use of the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals.16
Dr. Jacobs was included on the Chiropractic Research Journal Editors Council and JCE adopted these requirements. Volume 5, number 1 (June 1991) carried the first full instructions for authors and volume 5, number 2 (September 1991) included the first assignment of copyright form.
In 1991, the Chiropractic Literature Analysis and Retrieval System (CHIROLARS) began indexing JCE. CHIROLARS was an indexing system developed in the private sector and offered literature retrieval technology different from the ICL and other biomedical retrieval systems.17
Today, CHIROLARS is known as the MANTIS database.
The third meeting of the Congress of Chiropractic Educators, organized by Eileen Shull of Palmer College of Chiropractic, was held in March 1992 at Life Chiropractic College in Georgia. Faculty members from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center had developed faculty workshops that took the place of chiropractic college faculty presentations. Thus, no scholarly works presented; no abstracts were published for this event in the journal.
In 1994, the first Association of Chiropractic Colleges Educational Conference was held in Las Vegas, Nevada. This new ACC Educational Conference brought together the various working groups of the ACC and allowed for larger general sessions addressing mutual concerns. The former Congress of Chiropractic Educators was incorporated into the ACC Educational Conference. At this and subsequent ACC Educational Conferences, following the tradition established by the Congress, Dr. Jacobs continued the annual publication of the proceedings and abstracts of the faculty scholarly presentations in the March issue of JCE. Dr. Jacobs also managed all submissions for the conference and sent them out for blinded peer review, tallied the results, and notified authors of their fate, a role she would occupy for another 3 years.
With the ACC assuming fiduciary responsibility of the journal, inclusion of JCE into the ACC Educational Conference by publishing its abstracts, indexing by two different systems, and distribution to all ACC faculties, the journal reached the early goals regarding the number of authors and subscribers set by Dr. Jacobs in 1987. Thus, it would seem that Dr. Jacobs’ work was accomplished. She decided to retire from her position of dean of academic affairs at Cleveland Chiropractic College Los Angeles in May 1994 and moved back to Minnesota. However, she continued her work on JCE for 3 additional years. The chiropractic centennial occurred in 1995 and volume 9, number 1 of that year brought forth another new cover design for the journal. It had been 6 years since the design had changed (Fig. ). In 1997, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) began indexing JCE and the journal donned another new cover that same year (Fig. ). With the bulk of the subscriptions being ACC faculty, the subscriptions remained fairly level, even though the mailing list took on a more international flavor as new colleges began in Quebec and Denmark and JCE was sent to these new institutions. The journal had reached the goals that were originally established, so Dr. Jacobs submitted her resignation as editor-in-chief to the ACC in 1997. The time for the journal to be turned over to the next generation had arrived.