The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery has been a trusted source of information for several generations of orthopaedic surgeons. Authors and prior editors have contributed much to what is now an outstanding orthopaedic journal with scientific articles that are thoroughly peer-reviewed, mixed with Instructional Course Lectures, Current Concepts Reviews, Specialty Updates, and topics of socioeconomic and training interest, all in an attractive publication format. Those who preceded me at The Journal made changes in the print journal to respond to our orthopaedic readers’ needs, and now the time has come to initiate some new changes that we believe are needed to reflect changes in reader preferences and practices.
Beginning in July, the most obvious visible change will be a slimmer print journal. The Journal will now be published twice a month to allow for slightly faster publication of scientific articles and to allow you to have a more frequent opportunity to be up to date with Journal articles. We think that this biweekly publication will create an easier format and size for reading as well. For now, the number of pages each month for original scientific research will remain the same.
A more important and major change relates to the transition of The Journal into more extensive use of electronic platforms. For now, all of the original scientific articles will continue to be published both in print and online, although in the future this policy may be modified. In the recent past, some of the images and tables for articles in the print version have been available only online. The Image Quiz, invited commentaries, and most of the Letters to the Editor are solely online now. In fact, eJBJS has already become the most comprehensive version of The Journal, where literally everything published by JBJS, both in print and online, can be found easily and quickly.
Over the next few months, electronic JBJS resources will be expanded significantly. As visits to eJBJS continue to increase annually, there will be many more untapped opportunities in the electronic publishing arena. Beginning with the July issue, certain sections, such as the Orthopaedic Forum and Topics in Training, will have an introductory page in the print edition with the remainder of the text online.
In addition, we are implementing online-first publication practices. This editorial is the first example of what we are calling JBJS Express—i.e., publishing articles online first, and then deciding when they will go into print. JBJS Express will provide a means for us to deliver timely information pertinent to orthopaedics and allow for expedited publication when it makes sense.
The number of submissions to JBJS has continued to increase and now exceeds 1700 annually, yet the average time from submission to publication is about eleven months. In certain situations, being able to publish articles online more quickly can make us responsive to current orthopaedic issues or satisfy information needs within specific specialty communities. We now have authors from around the world who submit their research to JBJS for consideration. More online access to JBJS will also increase the number of international orthopaedists who read and cite the articles published by JBJS online.
We will continue to expand our publishing offerings to facilitate orthopaedic learning. I personally have a strong commitment to preserving the integrity and quality of The Journal as we move forward with innovative ways to deliver the information that you want quickly, efficiently, and effectively.
The tradition of excellence through peer review has made The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery a prime source of orthopaedic information since The Journal’s inception. By continuing this tradition, The Journal will remain the trusted source of orthopaedic information that our readers have come to expect, even as we expand the number of ways by which The Journal can be accessed. I urge you to take advantage of these new opportunities to facilitate your orthopaedic education.