The Impact Factor uses a simple calculation – number of citations to scholarly articles published in a two-year period divided by the number of those articles. The resulting number allows various constituencies to compare the purported intellectual impact of a particular journal against other comparable journals and to trend impact over time.
For years, The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery has focused on giving surgeons at the interface of clinical practice and academic research the best information possible, making the Impact Factor a number we didn’t focus on much. Our measurements of reader feedback and engagement have been much more important, and will continue to be.
Still, imagine our pleasant surprise when this year our Impact Factor rose dramatically, increasing 33% from 3.234 to 4.309. In addition, measurements such as what Thomson Reuters calls the “Article Influence Score” roughly doubled for JBJS.
There are many reasons for increases like this, but excellent editorial content is clearly the leading candidate for praise. As you know, Vern Tolo, MD, recently transitioned out of the role of Editor-in-Chief for The Journal. He clearly deserves much of the credit for these numbers, which occurred under his careful editorial stewardship. The Journal’s superb Deputy Editors, methodology and statistical consultants, and editorial staff also deserve praise for consistently pushing the standards of The Journal higher.
Best of all, our Impact Factor rose while our engagement with readers also increased. Recent readership surveys show that our readers are reading us in print as much as ever, online more than ever, and engaging with our social media outlets more and more every day..
We’re proud that JBJS has increasing impact as an orthoapedic journal. Our goal remains the same, however – to have a positive impact on surgical expertise, patient care, and outcomes.