Roger Cornwall

JBJS is pleased once again to highlight our Elite Reviewers. The Elite Reviewers Program recognizes our best reviewers for their outstanding efforts. All JBJS reviewers help us maintain the highest standards for quality orthopaedic publishing.


Roger Cornwall


Cincinnati Children’s Hospital

Cincinnati, OH, USA

Years in practice: 


How did you begin reviewing for other journals and for JBJS in particular?

As an academic hand surgeon, I consider reviewing for journals an integral part of the academic process. It is a way to contribute to the advancement of the field, to reciprocate the effort others put into reviewing my own work, and to hone the art of scientific writing through exposure to diverse styles and approaches. As an orthopaedic surgeon, reviewing for JBJS is almost a given, for it is the home of the top orthopaedic clinical research. Thus, I don’t even recall how I got started—it came with the territory right away.

What is your top piece of advice for those reviewers who aspire to reach Elite status?

I would say that reaching Elite status is not really the goal. The goal in my mind is to contribute in a meaningful way to the peer review process. Nonetheless, I believe that there are three main components to successful reviewing, which can in turn lead to recognition as an Elite Reviewer: do it, do it promptly, and do it well. First, spend the time to hone your profile so that you are given relevant manuscripts to review. Then say yes when asked, unless there are occasional extenuating circumstances. Yes, it takes time, but it is a duty to the profession, and it benefits the reviewers to go through the process frequently. If you find that you are frequently turning down opportunities to review, the process may not be a high priority for you or the right way for you to contribute to the specialty. Second, pay attention to deadlines. How many times have we been on the waiting end as authors, unsure of when our manuscript “under review” will have a decision? Chances are in those circumstances the hold-up is the peer review process. The work doesn’t go away if it gets put off. It just makes it harder for the authors to wait. So meet the review deadlines. Third, take the responsibility of a reviewer seriously. Academic orthopaedics is a team sport. The reviewers are a critical part of the research team, much like your friends reviewing grants before they get submitted. A fresh, unbiased pair of eyes can greatly improve a research manuscript. As reviewers, we have the opportunity to provide that help, but only if we read the manuscripts carefully, consider the details, and write clear, constructive reviews that will help the authors improve the product.

Aside from orthopaedic manuscripts, what have you been reading lately?

Honestly, I spend much more time listening to and writing music than reading for pleasure. I have greatly enjoyed reading suspense novels and literary classics such as the Tolkien books, but my preferred medium of expression and storytelling is music. And believe it or not, my favorite genre is death metal, although I do love classical, opera, EDM, and folk as well. As long as the story is told with passion.

Learn more about the JBJS Elite Reviewers program.

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