Elizabeth Blesedell Crepeau, Linda H. Wilson; Emergence of Scholarship in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy. Am J Occup Ther 2013;67(4):e66-e76. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2013.006882.
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© 2019 American Occupational Therapy Association
We undertook a content analysis of 192 American Journal of Occupational Therapy articles published from 1947 to 2010 to understand and explicate the emergence of scholarship within the profession. Scholarship includes scientific inquiry, empirical research, and other forms of inquiry. We identified and coded three aspects of the development of scholarship: argument, methodological rigor, and occupational focus. All three aspects increased over the evaluated period, during which substantial changes occurred in the profession’s practice and access to higher education. We see the development of scholarship as aligned with the claiming of the profession’s independence and voice.
Using a random number generator, select 4 volumes for each decade from 1947 through 2010 (1947–1959, 1960–1969, and so forth). Twenty-four volumes were selected.
Using the author index for each sampled volume and a random number generator, select a sample of 8 unique articles per sampled volume, resulting in 32 articles per decade and a total of 192 articles across the six decades. Editorials, letters to the editor, and book reviews were excluded.
Using preexisting typologies and categories, code the articles to develop an understanding of the scope of the sample. The categories are as follows:
Author characteristics: last name, title, credentials, discipline, organizational affiliation, gender
Characteristics of article: year, initial page number, length in pages, number of references, number of references from occupational therapy sources (e.g., from an occupational therapy journal or a book with occupational therapy in the title or written by an occupational therapist)
Article descriptor: empirical research, scholarly (e.g., literature review, theoretical), practice description, service description, program description, equipment, opinion (e.g., “The Issue Is” column)
Method (for empirical articles only): for example, quantitative, qualitative, pilot study
Type of scholarship: Scholarship of discovery, integration, practice and teaching (Boyer, 1990); scholarship of discovery, integration, application, teaching, and learning (AOTA, 2009)
Content: Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process (AOTA, 2008; e.g., areas of occupation, performance skills, performance patterns, performance context)
Voice: “women’s ways of knowing” (Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger, & Tarule, 1986); for example, silence, received, subjective, procedural, constructed
Independently read and code each article.
Construct preliminary descriptive table based on coding decisions to get a general understanding of the sample.
Discuss and clarify coding decisions.
Develop a synthesized coding scheme based on our understanding of the sample. The categories that emerged were
Methodological rigor, and
Develop criteria for each category.
Independently code a portion of the data to clarify criteria, and revise criteria following discussion.
Obtain peer review of criteria for each category from two colleagues. Revise criteria on the basis of feedback (see Table 2 for final criteria).
Independently code sample.
Discuss coding decisions and resolve any discrepancies until we reach 100% agreement on the coding decisions.
Randomly select an additional 25 sample articles (12.5% of sample) and recode independently to confirm agreement on coding decisions (no discrepancies occurred).
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