The number of manuscripts submitted to The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery (JBJS) from physicians and researchers in China has been steadily increasing, but the overall acceptance rate is relatively low. While the quality of the research performed in China is rapidly improving, orthopaedic researchers in China recognize the need for education related to experimental design, manuscript preparation and manuscript review. In June 2014, Dr. Thomas Bauer, JBJS deputy editor for research, participated in a two-day workshop in Shanghai that focused on helping Chinese researchers prepare and submit high-quality journal manuscripts.
During an afternoon workshop, Dr. Bauer and three other experienced Chinese editors/reviewers provided “face-to-face” reviewing with individual researchers who had provided and presented draft manuscripts. Dr. Bauer’s subsequent lectures included recommendations with respect to selecting the most appropriate journal for a specific paper, the contents of each section of a scientific manuscript, tables and figures, and how to respond to a manuscript review. He also described the general review process at JBJS and discussed “misbehaving authors,” including issues related to attempted duplicate publication, fraud, image manipulation, and plagiarism.
Based on review of 50 manuscripts from China that had been rejected, Dr. Bauer tabulated the reviewers’ comments to identify the most frequent reasons for manuscript rejection. The most frequent criticism reflected insufficient information about the number of patients or specimens and the lack of an explanation for sample size. Dr. Bauer also illustrated several recent manuscripts from China that have been published in JBJS and in JBJS Case Connector. Several other speakers also discussed issues related to experimental design and statistics.
The lively discussion from the audience of more than 100 researchers reflected intense desire to publish the best possible work in JBJS. We anticipate a striking increase in the number and quality of manuscripts from China in the near future.