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Instructions for Authors

Revised January 15, 2020

All manuscripts must be submitted online via Editorial Manager at:


The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery (JBJS) welcomes original articles that contribute to orthopaedic knowledge from all sources in all countries, with the goal of improving the quality of care of orthopaedic patients.

Articles submitted to JBJS undergo double-blinded peer review, with the Editorial Office removing all author and institution identifiers before sending papers to reviewers.

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

Conditions for Submission

  • Articles are accepted for exclusive publication in JBJS. 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 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 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. 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.
  • All manuscripts reporting on experiments on animals must include a statement that the study has been approved by an animal utilization study committee. Information about the management of postoperative pain should be included.
  • 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

Authors should, in general, follow the ICMJE's "Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals."

All manuscripts must be submitted 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.

All authors must register with ORCID and include their ORCID identifier in their Editorial Manager profile. Authors can obtain this identifier through Editorial Manager when they submit their article; it will not be possible to submit an article without such identifier for each author.

Use the Article Type Definitions table to classify your article on submission.

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

The following items must be submitted:

  1. Title Page including (1) article title, (2) authors' names, in order in which they should appear, and academic degrees, (3) institution(s) at which the work was performed, (4) institution (and city and state or country) with which each author is affiliated, (5) 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 exclusive copyright to all material, except for previously copyrighted items (see #6 below) and video. Authors can maintain the copyright to videos but must complete the Video License Agreement granting JBJS 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. Scanned copies of the completed form are not acceptable. JBJS 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.
    • NOTE: This form will not load properly when opened through a web browser. Instead, please right-click or select the download icon on the "Please Wait" page to download the PDF file directly to your desktop. Then, locate the icon for the downloaded file on your desktop screen and open the PDF with Adobe Acrobat or Reader. If you have any issues downloading the form, please contact
  5. IRB Approval: 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.
  6. 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 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.

Submission Fee

A submission fee of $250 is due at the time of submission for all unsolicited Clinical Research and Basic-Science Research manuscripts as well as Evidence-Based Systematic Reviews. Waivers are available in some circumstances.

Manuscript Structure

All manuscripts must conform to the following formatting instructions:

  • File format: Microsoft Word
  • Word count: Maximum, 3,000 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

Quick References:

Author New Submission Checklist
Author Revision Checklist

Clinical Research and Basic-Science Research articles should consist of:

  1. A Structured Abstract consisting of 5 paragraphs, totaling no more than 325 words, with the headings: Background (stating the primary research question), Methods, Results, Conclusions, and Level of Evidence (for Clinical Research articles) or Clinical Relevance (for Basic-Science Research articles). The Level of Evidence should be assigned according to the definitions in the Level of Evidence  table. This rating will be reviewed by a JBJS Deputy Editor, who will make the final determination.
  2. The body should consist of:
    • 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.
  3. A reference section, in PubMed/Index Medicus format, must be included 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.
  4. Figure legends must be included at the end of the manuscript text file, after the References section, for all images. Explain what each figure shows. Identify machine settings for magnetic resonance images, and give the magnification of all photomicrographs. Define all arrows and other such indicators appearing on the figure.
  5. Tables should be submitted in Word 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).
  6. Figures must be submitted in TIFF or EPS format. No more than 10 separate image files may be submitted. Cite all figures, in order, in the text. See Guidelines for Figures for detailed instructions.
  7. Videos must be uploaded to the Video Submissions Site according to our Author Video Guidelines. Instructions for upload can be found here.

See our Concise Format Guidelines for reporting the longer-term follow-up status of patients managed with arthroplasty at any joint.


  • There is a general limit of six (6) authors. 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, one or more aspects of the study: its design, data acquisition, and analysis and interpretation of data. 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. If a research group is designated as the author of an article, see our Group Authorship instructions for guidance.
  • 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.

What to Expect After Submission

  • Manuscripts are generally evaluated by the JBJS editorial staff and assigned to the Editor-in-Chief (EIC), who then assigns the paper to a Deputy Editor. In most cases, the Deputy Editor then sends 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 EIC, who makes the final decision regarding acceptance or rejection of the manuscript. The EIC has no known conflicts or competing interests.
  • If reviewers disagree regarding acceptance of a manuscript, the decision may be arbitrated at a workshop, which JBJS holds several times a year.
  • The time between receipt of a submitted manuscript and the initial decision regarding its publication averages between 4 and 6 weeks.
  • The corresponding author is informed of the publication date of an accepted manuscript approximately 6 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 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 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 Copyright Transfer and Author Agreement signed by authors (on manuscript submission), for authors who later choose the open-access option (on acceptance). 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 $3,450 (CC BY-NC-ND license) or $4,100 (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, including exceptions.

Appeals Process

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

An author who wishes to appeal a decision should contact with a detailed letter that explains the reason for the appeal. This letter will be considered by the handling editor, and the author will be notified of the final decision. 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.

Supplementary Links

Ethics Policy
Article Type Definitions
Materials and Methods
Level of Evidence
Guidelines for Figures
Concise Format Guidelines
Author New Submission Checklist
Author Revision Checklist
Author Video Guidelines
Reference Formatting Guidelines
Group Authorship Guidelines
Confidentiality and Embargo Policy
Hybrid Open Access FAQ


Copyright Transfer Form
Conflict of Interest Form (must be downloaded and completed using Adobe Acrobat or Reader)
Video License Agreement
Figure Permissions Form
Open Access License Agreement (open-access option only)