No question that 2021 was a tough year, and one almost feels guilty trying to point to the things that went right. But focusing on the positive is adaptive , and expressing gratitude is important for many reasons, so I’d like to take this opportunity to thank those who made many good things possible here at Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research® last year. In 2021, CORR®:
• Published conversations with a Nobel Laureate whose research improved the residency match , a NASA rocket scientist whose work on risk trades can inform the way surgeons approach caring for patients , and a contractor who turns New York City apartments into livable works of art using many of the skills we use in the operating room . Thanks to those individuals—and so many others—for chatting with us.
• Premiered two engaging new columns, one exploring the feelings and questions that surface during the intense experience that is surgical training , and the other dealing with the many unresolved matters of race in our mostly white profession . Thanks to those columnists—and so many others—for challenging us, month after month.
• Focused the Spotlight on the best in general-interest orthopaedics research, covering everything from the quality of care in patients with hip fractures treated at critical-access hospitals  to whether relaxation exercises decrease pain after major joint surgery . Thanks to those authors—and so many others—for sending their best work to CORR.
Still, it would be wrong to say “… and so life goes on,” because the problem is, for so many people who were special to so many of us, it didn’t. If you lost anyone dear to you, my colleagues and I here at CORR® grieve for you. If anyone special to you is suffering now, you are in our thoughts, and we hope that your loved ones make full, speedy recoveries.
Returning to the theme of gratitude, I’m grateful to the Senior Editors with whom I work every day here at Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®; they are the most capable, smart, and generous people I’ve ever worked with. I’m grateful to our wonderful journal staff and our Board of Trustees, and to those of you who make time in your busy days to read what we take such care to assemble here. But my deepest gratitude goes to those without whom nothing here is possible: our Deputy and Associate Editors and our peer reviewers. They are our subject-matter experts; they help us to decide whether a manuscript is sufficiently novel to be interesting, and sufficiently robust to be trustworthy.
And they had another very, very busy year. COVID-19 again closed operating rooms around the world, giving many surgeons more time to write (a “gift” they didn’t ask for and wouldn’t have chosen). As a result, we will see nearly as many manuscript submissions in 2021 as we received in 2020, which was to that point by far CORR’s busiest year. That being the case, this feels like the right time to thank CORR’s authors, as well: We’re humbled by and grateful for your desire to publish here. Know that your work didn’t go unnoticed; CORR papers were downloaded in full-text form well more than 3 million times last year, and CORR articles received nearly 45,000 citations during that time, up over 11% beyond our previous best year.
We depend on the expertise and deep commitment of our reviewers to process all this good stuff. Last year, 879 peer reviewers volunteered their time here; their names are listed beginning on page 2765. I extend my thanks to each one.
The most committed of an already-committed group, though, are CORR’s Top Reviewers. This group is the science stratosphere: Only about 7% of those who reviewed make the grade, which required completing at least four reviews (most did more) and consistently receiving top-level reviewer scores. The names of this special group are listed beginning on page 2763. As always, we offer each of these contributors a 1-year electronic subscription to CORR, and (if they will allow me to send one) a personalized note to their department chairs and/or hospital leadership.
On behalf of everyone on the CORR team: May 2022 be better than 2021, and we wish you a Happy New Year.
1. Kelly JD 4th. Your best life: in times of crisis, small victories matter. Clin Orthop Relat Res.
2. Leopold SS. A conversation with…Alvin E. Roth PhD, economist, game theorist, and Nobel Laureate who improved the modern residency match. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2021;479:863-866.
3. Leopold SS. A conversation with…Mark Ellison, builder of impossible things. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2021;479:2341-2344.
4. Leopold SS. A Conversation with…Nigel Packham PhD, NASA safety expert who analyzed the space shuttle Columbia disaster. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2021;479:215-220.
5. Leopold SS. Editor's spotlight/take 5: do relaxation exercises decrease pain after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair? A randomized controlled trial. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2021;479:867-869.
6. Manner PA. Editor's spotlight/take 5: what is the quality of surgical care for patients with hip fractures at critical access hospitals? Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2021;479:4-8.
7. Owusu-Akyaw K. The forward movement: amplifying black voices on race and orthopaedics-it's time to talk about race in sports medicine. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2021;479:671-673.
8. Zhang SE. Behind the mask: should residents stick to the script when managing patient pain? Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2021;479:1909-1910.