Past President Connie Goldgar on JPAE’s Transition to Online Exclusive Publication

Four Covers of the Journal of Physician Assistant Education

Connie Goldgar, MS, PA-C, a past president of PAEA, is thrilled to hear that the Journal of Physician Assistant Education (JPAE) has transitioned to an online exclusive publishing schedule.

The change offers an opportunity to elevate the journal’s reputation by including a broader range of topics and removing difficult page-count publishing considerations. “If there’s a topic with a 12-page article that reviewers think is worth publishing, but we have to consider the cost of printing 12 pages, it may be held to a different standard,” she explained. “With an online publication, it’s not as big of a conversation whether we can publish the 12-page article, but how useful this resource is for someone’s question or work.”

This transition will also help to expedite the timeframe between submission and publication. Like many scholarly journals, there are times when information could be sitting in JPAE’s queue for a year waiting to be published. “There are areas where people are clamoring for information, for instance, teaching strategies during Covid lockdown” said Goldgar. “With so many new PA programs, JPAE has become ‘the source’ for new educators, so for information to be sitting around in a queue doesn’t make sense if people can’t access the answers to their questions.” She also noted that getting research published more quickly may be helpful to someone who is up for promotion and looking to advance their career.

As PAEA continues to focus on creating an equitable and inclusive environment, online publication could open doors to accommodate those with disabilities or different learning styles, like text-to-speech options for reading. With her background teaching evidence-based medicine, Goldgar noted another benefit of the transition, is that students and clinicians can find information more easily. “As a reader, I can go in and see that there are three other articles on this topic in the citations. There may be a direct link to the other articles. Online-only publication allows the opportunity to include links to videos, multimedia, or other learning resources directly from the article.”

Goldgar is currently a professor emerita in the Division of Physician Assistant Studies at the University of Utah. She served on the PAEA Board of Directors for six years, including a term as president. Throughout her career, Goldgar focused on teaching evidence-based medicine as well as clinical genetic education nationally. She partnered with PAEA’s former Chief Policy and Research Officer Dave Keahey, MSPH, PA-C, to research and teach evidence-based medicine to PAs and other clinical faculty at PA programs throughout the U.S., many of which have since incorporated their curriculum and teachings.

“The key to being a good clinician is being able to ask good questions – questions where you can find answers that are reliable, applicable to your patient, and backed by proper research,” said Goldgar. She noted the four steps used to teach students and clinicians how to frame evidence-based medicine: ask a clear question, access the information to answer the question, appraise the information (is the information valuable and relevant to our patient?), and finally, evaluate the process (did the approach work or not?). Goldgar continued, “It’s part of our job to introduce students and clinicians to reliable medical resources with condensed information, so it’s more digestible, and they’re able to get answers quickly and more efficiently than having to search all over a library.”

PAEA Members React to JPAE's Transition to Online Publication

Learn more about JPAE’s transition to online exclusive publication from JPAE Editor-in-Chief Trenton Honda, PhD, MMS, PA-C.