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​Instructions for Authors

Revised August 11, 2021

All manuscripts must be submitted online via Editorial Manager at


JBJS Journal of Orthopaedics for Physician Assistants (JBJS JOPA) is a peer-reviewed publication that publishes timely and practical articles covering all orthopaedic subspecialties for Physician Assistants (PAs) and Nurse Practitioners (NPs). JBJS JOPA provides a unique forum for health-care practitioners to share knowledge and experiences with colleagues in the profession. Authors are encouraged to contribute any original articles that promote PA and NP orthopaedic education.

Articles submitted to JBJS JOPA undergo double-blinded peer review by a panel of orthopaedic physicians and PAs to ensure accuracy, clinical relevance, and readability.

Conditions for Submission
Submission Overview
Manuscript Structure
What to Expect After Submission
Public Access Policy
Open-Access Option
Embargo Policy for Accepted Manuscripts
Appeals Process
Data Sharing Policy
Supplementary Links

Conditions for Submission

  • Articles are accepted for exclusive publication in JBJS JOPA. Previous presentation at a scientific meeting, and/or publication of the abstract in conjunction with the meeting, does not preclude publication of the article; however, this information must be disclosed in a cover letter at the time of submission. Previously published articles, including those published in non-English-language journals, are not accepted. JBJS JOPA does not accept manuscript submissions involving human subjects (or their medical records) that have been previously posted to preprint servers.
  • Physical and electronic copies of published articles and illustrations become the property of The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
  • All clinical trials (i.e., any clinical study in which patients are randomized into two treatment groups OR are followed prospectively to compare two different treatments) must have been registered in a public trials registry such as in accordance with the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) guidelines for trial registration. Additionally, all reports of randomized controlled trials that began patient enrollment after December 7, 2016, must have been prospectively registered in a trial registry in order to be considered for publication (see editorial for additional information). All studies should be carried out in accordance with the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki (JBJS 79A:1089-98,1997).
  • Patient confidentiality must be protected according to the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). See our complete Ethics Policy for additional information.
  • Authors have an obligation to cooperate in relation to allegations of misconduct.
  • All manuscripts dealing with the study of human subjects must include a statement that the subjects gave informed consent to participate and that the study was approved by an institutional review board or a similar committee.  If such consent was not obtained, a letter of explanation indicating that the authors have obtained Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval/exemption to report the case without consent is acceptable. Individuals who are considered minors generally cannot provide consent and this permission must come from a parent or legal guardian instead.
  • For cases in which the patient is deceased and the report includes no protected health information or other information that could reasonably lead to identification of the patient, we encourage authors to contact a family member for verbal consent. For cases in which the patient is deceased and the report includes information that is unique enough that the patient could be identified, we require authors to either contact a family member for verbal consent or obtain a waiver from the appropriate IRB stating that such consent is not necessary. The authors are responsible for obtaining and retaining the documentation of such permission; in order to protect patient confidentiality, this documentation should not be forwarded to JBJS, Inc.
  • If requested by the Editor-in-Chief, authors must make the tabulated raw data that forms the basis of their work available for examination in a timely fashion.

Submission Overview

All manuscripts must be submitted, as a Microsoft Word file, through Editorial Manager (a web-based service). Corresponding authors must register via and will then receive an e-mail containing a Username and Password that will allow access for manuscript submission.

JBJS JOPA accepts reviews of orthopaedic topics, case studies, articles on professional issues and experiences, and videos. Please refer to the Article Type Definitions for full descriptions of each and use the correct definition to classify your article on submission.

JBJSJOPA does not consider manuscript proposals or abstracts submitted online or via e-mail. If you are interested in publishing a supplement, please contact [email protected].

The following items must be submitted for all article types (excluding stand-alone videos):

  1. Title Page including (1) article title, (2) authors' names, in order in which they should appear, and academic degrees, (3) practice or institution (and city and state or country) with which each author is affiliated, (4) corresponding author and his/her e-mail address.
  2. Manuscript Text: See "Manuscript Structure" below.
  3. Copyright Transfer and Author Agreement: All authors must sign a Copyright Transfer and Author Agreement granting JBJS JOPA exclusive copyright to all material, except for previously copyrighted items (see #5 below) and video. Authors can maintain the copyright to videos but must complete the Video License Agreement granting JBJS JOPA unlimited license to use the video online.
  4. Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest: Authors must complete an ICMJE Conflict of Interest Statement form for each submitted manuscript. Each author must submit a separate ICMJE form. JBJS JOPA will post the forms online and summarize them in a statement in the article. The ICMJE forms have no bearing on the decision to accept a manuscript.
  5. Permission to Use Figures, Tables, and Videos Owned by Another Party: Authors are responsible for obtaining permissions. Provide (1) a full citation for the previous publication and (2) a letter from the owner of the copyright granting permission for JBJS JOPA to reproduce the copyrighted material OR a completed permissions form stating the date when permission was requested and the approximate date when the permission is expected to be received.

Manuscript Structure

All manuscripts must conform to the following formatting instructions:

  • File format: Microsoft Word
  • Word count: Minimum, 1,200 words (including the Abstract but excluding references and figure legends)
  • Line spacing: Double-spaced
  • Font: Times New Roman (size 12)
  • Page layout: Manuscript title included at the beginning of the first page with continuous line numbering down left side of page

Stand-alone physical examination or injection technique video submissions do not require a written abstract and can be submitted through Editorial Manager by entering in the video title and authors on the site and uploading a link to the video. All video files must be uploaded to the Video Submissions Site according to our Author Video Guidelines. Instructions for upload can be found here.

All other JBJS JOPA articles should consist of:

  1. An Abstract of no more than 325 words that summarizes the key points of the article. This can be in either bullet-point or paragraph form.
  2. The body:
    • Reviews: Use appropriate headings and subheadings to organize paragraphs.
    • Case Studies: Provide a "Case Study" section describing the clinical presentation, history, treatment, and outcomes for a given patient and a "Discussion" section containing learning points based on the case. All case studies must also include a statement that each patient was informed that data concerning the case would be submitted for publication and that each patient agreed, either verbally or in writing.
    • Professional Issues and Experiences: This can be a free-form narrative.
    • Clinical Research articles: Provide the following:
      • Introduction: State the problem that led to the study, including a concise review of only the relevant literature. State your hypothesis and the purpose of the study. It is preferable that this be done in the form of a research question that describes the setting of the study, the population or sample studied, and the primary outcome measure.
      • Materials and Methods: Describe the study design in detail using standard methodological terms. 
      • Refer to our detailed guidelines for writing a Materials and Methods  section for additional guidelines.
      • Source of Funding: Include a brief statement explaining the role of the funding source for the study (if none, or if funding source did not play a role in investigation, that should be stated).
      • Results: Provide a detailed report on the data obtained during the study. All measurements should be presented in metric values. Results of many reconstructive procedures, such as total joint arthroplasty, should be based on at least a 2-year follow-up of each patient. An average of two years of follow-up is generally not sufficient. If the follow-up is shorter, provide a strong scientific justification for why the focus on shorter follow-up is clinically relevant.
      • Discussion: Be succinct. What does your study show? Is your hypothesis affirmed or refuted? Discuss the importance of this article with regard to the relevant world literature; however, a complete literature review is unnecessary. Analyze your data and discuss their strengths, their weaknesses, and the limitations of the study.
  1. Articles should contain a reference section, in PubMed/Index Medicus format, after the manuscript text. Number the references according to the order of citation in the text (not alphabetically), and cite all references in the text. Papers posted on preprint servers may not be used as references. Refer to our Reference Formatting Guidelines for additional guidance. Notice that journal citations must include all authors (not "et al.") and complete page numbers (not just the first page), per journal style.
  2. IRB Approval: Clinical Research studies should include a copy of the letter granting approval from the institutional review board or the animal utilization study committee is required. A translated version must be provided if the original approval is not written in English.
  3. Figure legends must be included at the end of the manuscript text file, after the reference section, for all images. Explain what each figure shows. Define all arrows and other such indicators appearing on the figure.
  4. Tables should be submitted in Word or Excel format with a descriptive title above the table itself (do not include this information on the figure legends page). All tables should be cited in the manuscript text by table number and uploaded as individual files. Table file names should contain the table number (e.g. Table 1.docx).
  5. Figures must be submitted in TIFF or EPS format. Cite all figures, in order, in the text. See Guidelines for Figures for detailed instructions.
  6. Any accompanying Video files must be uploaded to the Video Submissions Site according to our Author Video Guidelines. Instructions for upload can be found here.


  • JBJS JOPA welcomes submission from PAs, NPs, and allied health professionals such as physical therapists and athletic trainers. In addition, supervising physicians are encouraged to submit articles on topics in their subspecialty or issues related to the PA profession or on a procedure or service unique to their practice.
  • Effective January 1, 2018, each author must indicate his/her contributor roles on the "Add/Edit/Remove Authors" screen in Editorial Manager in accordance with the CRediT Taxonomy initiative.
  • Each author must have contributed significantly to, and be willing to take public responsibility for, the work being submitted. All authors must have been actively involved in the drafting and critical revision of the manuscript, and each must provide final approval of the version to be published.
  • Individuals who have contributed to only one section of the manuscript or have contributed only cases should be credited in an acknowledgment footnote. See the ICMJE author definitions page for additional guidance regarding authors and non-author contributors.
  • A non-author writer who is employed by a commercial organization must be mentioned, along with the name of his or her employer, in an acknowledgment footnote. The non-author writer must also submit a Conflict of Interest Statement.
  • The order of names reflects only the preference of the authors and the corresponding author is not designated in the final published version of an article. Any change in authorship after the initial review process necessitates a signed letter, generally from all authors, agreeing to the change.
  • JBJS prefers not to publish equal contribution statements or denote first and/or senior authors. Although we do occasionally allow it regarding first and second authors, we do not to expand this practice to more than 2 authors.

What to Expect After Submission

  • Manuscripts are generally evaluated by the JBJS JOPA editorial staff and assigned to the Editor, who will then generally send the paper to consultant reviewers.
  • If a reviewer or handling editor has a conflict of interest regarding the subject matter of a manuscript, he/she discloses this to the Editor, who makes the final decision regarding acceptance or rejection of the manuscript. The Editor has no known conflicts or competing interests.
  • The corresponding author is informed of the publication date of an accepted manuscript approximately 3 weeks before publication.

Public Access Policy

To enable authors to comply with the requirements of outside funding bodies, JBJS, Inc. will deposit, into the PubMed Central (PMC) Archive, the final published version of any article funded by a body requiring such deposit. Thus, authors should identify on the Copyright Transfer Agreement (CTA) whether their article is based on research funded in whole or in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), Wellcome Trust, Research Councils UK (RCUK), or another funding agency requiring deposit to a repository. JBJS, Inc., as a service to its authors, will then identify these articles to the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and transmit them to PMC. PMC will make these articles freely available after an embargo period that satisfies the funding agency's requirements (or immediately upon publication if the author chose the open-access option). JBJS, Inc. will not be held responsible for retroactive deposits to PMC if the author has not identified the funding agency on the CTA form.

Open-Access Option

JBJS, Inc. offers an open-access option to authors who want readers around the globe to have free, perpetual, unrestricted online access to their article on the JBJS JOPA web site immediately upon publication. Authors are offered this option after their article has been accepted for publication to ensure that their choice has no influence on the peer-review or acceptance process. All articles submitted to JBJS JOPA are subjected to our standard peer-review process and are accepted or rejected on the basis of their merit only.

Authors retain copyright for all articles published with the open-access option. Authors grant JBJS, Inc. and its publishing partner Wolters Kluwer the exclusive license to publish the article and to identify themselves as the original publisher. The Wolters Kluwer Open Access License Agreement (the "Open Access License") supersedes and replaces Section 1.a of the JBJS JOPA Copyright Transfer and Author Agreement signed by authors (on manuscript submission), for authors who later choose the open-access option (on acceptance). The License to Publish only needs the signature of the Corresponding Author. Open-access articles are published under the terms of the standard Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial-NoDerivatives International (CC BY-NC-ND) license, or, if mandated by the authors' funding body, the Creative Commons Attribution International (CC BY) license, both of which permit copying and redistribution of the material in any medium or format.

The article processing charge for the open-access option is $2,470 (CC BY-NC-ND license) or $2,920 (CC BY license, which is offered only to authors who have received funding that mandates the CC BY license). The publication fee is charged on acceptance of the article and must be paid in full within 30 days by credit card by the author, funding agency, or institution.

For more information, please see our FAQs.

Embargo Policy for Accepted Manuscripts

Specific information contained in your article cannot be discussed with the media, published, posted online, or otherwise placed in the public domain until after publication. It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to ensure that all coauthors are aware of this policy. See our Confidentiality and Embargo Policy for additional information regarding this policy.

Appeals Process

JBJS conducts workshops several times per year during which contested decisions may be arbitrated.

An author who wishes to appeal a decision should contact [email protected] with a detailed letter that explains the reason for the appeal within one month of the final decision date. This letter will be considered by the Editor, and the author will be notified of the outcome. Decisions on appeals are final, without exception. Priority is given to new submissions, so the appeal process may take longer than the original submission process.

Data Sharing Policy

While JBJS JOPA does not currently publish clinical trials, data sharing is encouraged by the journal, and authors should, in general, follow the ICMJE's "Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals."

Supplementary Links

Ethics Policy
Guidelines for Figures
Author Video Guidelines
Reference Formatting Guidelines
Confidentiality and Embargo Policy
Hybrid Open-Access FAQ


Copyright Transfer Form
Conflict of Interest Form
Video License Agreement
Figure Permissions Form
Open Access License Agreement (open-access option only)