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Overview of the JBJS Peer-Review Process

Confidential high-quality reviews that are useful to authors and editors ensure that JBJS serves the international orthopaedic community of readers as the premier orthopaedic journal.

Content review is conducted by Consultant Reviewers, Guest Reviewers, and the Board of Associate Editors. Consultant Reviewers are orthopaedic surgeons or physicians or scientists from other disciplines who possess special expertise and who have demonstrated their willingness to perform timely and thorough manuscript reviews for JBJS, Inc. Guest Reviewers have special experience or knowledge on a specific topic. The Board of Associate Editors is composed of Consultant Reviewers who are selected on the basis of their interest and skill in the peer-review process. The Associate Editors are appointed to a 3-year term by the Editor-in-Chief. Associate Editors attend Workshops to discuss controversial manuscripts and review a larger number of manuscripts annually.

A methodological review is conducted for papers that have received a favorable content review and are being considered for publication. Methodological reviews are performed by the Deputy Editors for Methodology and Biostatistics or Consultant Reviewers for Methodology. The Deputy Editors for Methodology and Biostatistics have expertise in key methodological areas such as epidemiology, biostatistics, outcomes research, cost-effectiveness analysis, technology evaluation, and health-policy analysis.

Basic Peer-Review Workflow

A diagram illustrating the basic peer-review workflow can be found here. The process is as follows:

  1. An author submits a manuscript to JBJS.
  2. The Editorial Office screens the paper for adherence to the Instructions for Authors, sending back to the author for correction as necessary. The paper is also blinded, i.e., removed of information that could identify the authors or institution.
  3. The manuscript is assigned to the Editor-in-Chief, who then assigns classifications to the paper and sends it to one of the Deputy Editors for review.*
  4. The Deputy Editor invites Consultant Reviewers, Associate Editors, and/or Guest Reviewers to review the manuscript.
  5. Each of the reviewers evaluates the manuscript and returns a decision recommendation to the Deputy Editor.
  6. The Deputy Editor collates the reviews in a decision letter for the author and makes a recommendation to the Editor-in-Chief for final approval.
  7. The decision letter is screened by the Editorial Office and sent to the author.
  8. When the author submits a revised manuscript, it may be sent back to the reviewers for their comments regarding whether the author has addressed their concerns as well as to a Statistics and Methodology Editor for a methodological review if needed.

*A proportion of submissions are rejected by the Deputy Editor without being sent for additional external review (although the Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief always offer a few suggestions for improvement). This allows the author to receive this decision quickly and submit the article elsewhere.

Correspondence to Authors

After all reviews have been received, the Editor-in-Chief or the Deputy Editor will compose a letter to the corresponding author. The purposes of that letter are to inform the author of the decision and to provide the author with instructive feedback. While the reviewers' comments to the author are often directly quoted in the decision letter, the Editor-in-Chief or Deputy Editor may also, on occasion, paraphrase any comments that a reviewer has directed to the editors.

Recommended Reading

Observations on Reviewing for JBJS

COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers