For more than 25 years, Techniques in Orthopaedics (TiO) has been published quarterly as a general orthopedic journal with a concentration on surgical techniques. The original symposium format with individual issues focused on a single topic has been continued as the central feature. Guest editors have been engaged to recruit a collection of papers on the selected topic from a group of contributing authors. The “Tips and Pearls” feature was added to enable surgeons to submit brief communications about techniques and devices that they had developed to address specific problems. As these articles addressed a variety of different problems, they often did not relate to the topics of the symposia being published. To enable their publication independently in a timely fashion, a new section was created and the Tips and Pearls were printed on heavy bond paper with a colored edge and a perorated line near the binding to enable them to be removed and filed separately. Although authors’ instructions in TiO outlined a short format for Tips and Pearls, some authors submitted longer articles of high quality. To enable publication of these contributions, a new feature called “Special Scientific Articles” was implemented.
In 2015, in addition to retaining its traditional coverage of surgical techniques, the scope of TiO will be expanded to incorporate articles submitted by basic scientists and developers from industry on novel research techniques, models, and technology. Guest editors with a broad view of topics including unresolved issues, evolving surgical techniques and research activities will be engaged to recruit contributions from clinicians and scientists. The revised journal will be continued to be published 4 times each year. Issues will be continued to be organized around a single topic to enable the integration of clinical and scientific concepts. Authors will be able to communicate on the key components of translational development of technologies and techniques from the inception of ideas in the laboratory, through preclinical research, to phased clinical testing and finally implementation in the community. Invited contributions will only be published if they are accepted after independent review by members of the editorial board or designated reviewers—an approach that has been successful in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Authors will also be recruited to address associated health policy, legal, financial, and ethical issues.
Research and clinical technique articles submitted through open solicitation will be published in each issue in a separate section, if accepted by peer review. The model of combining a front section featuring a topic-oriented symposium and a second section containing independently submitted unrelated articles has been employed effectively by the journal Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research for many years. The Tips and Pearls category will be continued as “Surgical Tips and Pearls.” A new category entitled “Novel Research Methods and Models” will be added to allow basic scientists and clinical researchers to publish on their new technology and methods. The Special Scientific Article category will be retained. Another new category named “Issues Forum” will be added to enable discussion of technology oriented health policy, legal, financial, and ethical issues that are not specifically related to the symposium topic in that issue. This will enable articles on subjects unrelated to the focused topics in each issue to be accepted and published regularly without off-putting delays that would occur if they were stockpiled until they fit with the symposium subject of an issue.
With evolution of information on the web and proliferation of video-recording capability, videos have become a more important medium for communication about surgical and research techniques. The revised journal’s Web site will be enhanced to accommodate videos that will be solicited and reviewed for posting by the editorial panel and reviewers.
In conjunction with the remake of TiO, a tagline will be added to the title—Techniques In Orthopaedics:Translational and Surgical Techniques. This will distinguish the reconstructed journal and its emergence as a more substantial peer-reviewed scientific journal with expanded scope. The familiar red cover and design will be retained.
TiO will maintain the ability to present articles on surgical techniques while adding interesting new material on developments in technology. The expanded content and improved quality that will result from active peer review should make the new journal even more attractive to orthopedic surgeons in both academic an community practice, while engaging a new market of readers and contributors among musculoskeletal researchers. The expanded format, broad relevance of material and higher quality would be structured to appeal to surgeons, researchers, and industry developers domestically and internationally.
Symposia designed around the existing format are planned into 2015, so transition to the new format will occur gradually as the editorial board and new features are recruited. As part of this transition, we are highlighting in this December issue a selection of “most viewed” TiO articles, a few of which had been available for limited-time free viewing online.
We hope that the planned changes will enable Techniques in Orthopaedics to strengthen its traditional coverage on surgical techniques while adding other unique facets.