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Inside Education and Health Sciences

The covers of the first two issues of the Journal of Dietetic Education. Issue 1 has four piles of different dry beans, and issue 2 has four different vegetables.

'Journal of Dietetic Education' Takes Off

In February 2022, University of Dayton dietetic professor Diana Cuy Castellanos and Miami University dietetic professor Beth Miller were on a writing weekend with a colleague in UD's School of Education and Health Sciences. They lamented to their colleague that they couldn't find enough scholarly research about dietetic education.

"There are plenty of journals out there about dietetics and nutrition research, and there are journals for education in other health sciences — Advances in Health Sciences Education, Journal of Health Science and Education, Advances in Physiology Education, Journal of Physical Therapy Education and so on — but not specifically for dietetics education."

The colleague — the late health and sport science professor Anne Crecelius — had an idea.

"Why don't you start your own?" she asked. 

Crecelius, an early adopter of scholarly archiving in eCommons, UD's open-access institutional repository, connected Cuy Castellanos with Maureen Schlangen, who manages eCommons and its Digital Commons publishing platform in the University Libraries.

Within a month of meeting with Schlangen and School of Education and Health Sciences library liaison Jason Wardell to learn about open-access publishing and the peer review process, Cuy Castellanos and Miller added "journal editor" to their job descriptions, assembled a 20-person editorial board from universities across the United States, recruited a stable of reviewers and issued a call for submissions to the Journal of Dietetic Education.

Six months later, in January 2023, they published the first issue, and the second became available on July 28.

From the journal's launch to this blog's posting, its articles have been downloaded more than 1,200 times. Readers from around the world can download the articles free, and the full issue is available in print for $15.

The newest issue addresses the importance of research competence in building evidence-based dietetics practice, particularly as the profession moves toward graduate-level practice entry. It also presents data on "flipped classroom learning" — where active learning takes place in the classroom and lectures are viewed online outside of class time — and explores the impact of simulation on clinical competence.

"The research we're publishing is helping to build a body of evidence around effective teaching pedagogy that leads to competence in practice and as interprofessional team members," Cuy Castellanos said.

Submissions are now being accepted for upcoming issues, including one dedicated to interprofessional education.

In the the editors' message of Volume 1, Issue 2, Miller and Cuy Castellanos wrote, "Because functioning as a valuable healthcare team member and recognizing the roles and value of other healthcare professions are essential to the success of patient-centered care, research and educational strategies to facilitate interprofessional education warrant a special issue in 2024." A call for papers for the special issue will be released in the coming months.

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