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JBJS: Data You Can Trust

Swiontkowski, Marc MD

doi: 10.2106/JBJS.17.01663


As has become our annual practice, I am again providing you with the critical JBJS statistics from the previous year (Table I). In 2017, our overall acceptance rate was stable because of the steady stream of quality submissions. Our impact factor continues to reflect our position as the leading general orthopaedic journal worldwide. JBJS-based CME activities increased, and with the launch of JBJS Clinical Classroom on NEJM Knowledge+, we expect that trend to accelerate. JBJS owes its continued success to its authors, reviewers, editorial board, and readers. However, this year I would like to express special thanks to our copy-editing department.



It is tempting to describe in detail the extensive training that our copy-editors undergo (more than a year); the number of hours they spend on each manuscript (10 to 15); the numerous stages at which each manuscript is edited, checked, and polished; or the substantial portion of the JBJS budget that is spent on copy-editing. I could also list the multitude of tasks that JBJS copy-editors perform, including rewriting almost every sentence to ensure absolute scientific accuracy and excellent readability; checking and cross-checking all numbers and statements in and among the abstract, tables, figures, and text; and guaranteeing that every reference citation is 100% correct. However, what matters is not the time and effort that we spend on copy-editing. What matters is that our copy-editing allows you to trust the integrity of our data.

Thus, when you, the busy clinician, have time to only read an abstract, scan down a table, or glance at a figure, you can be sure that any value that catches your eye matches, and is supported by, the data in the paper. And you, the researcher, can assess your own findings against our percentages and know that they represent real numerators and denominators that someone checked and be confident that a claim of significance in JBJS is backed up by a p value. And you, the author, can rest assured that your work will be presented in a clear, concise manner and that your considerable efforts will not be compromised by an inaccurate number, inconsistency, or unintentionally misleading statement.

JBJS copy-editing far exceeds what is done at most other scientific journals, some of which do not copy-edit at all. We thank our authors for engaging in this rigorous process, which requires answers to dozens of queries and sometimes extensive back and forth. We also thank our readers, whose continuing trust in JBJS assures us that this process is well worth it.

Disclosure: The Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest form is provided with the online version of the article (

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