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.
The Internet has fundamentally changed how orthopaedic surgeons discover and share information, but it has also put greater emphasis on the need for quality information. The editorial teams at JBJS work exceptionally hard to ensure that the information we publish is reliable, evidence-based, and trustworthy. Our peer review process is one of the tools we use.
Peer review has been under pressure lately. Some publishers have decreased the steps involved. Others have eliminated roles such Editor-in-Chief from journals they publish. Still others have even started journals with professional editors and then, once they began to receive enough submissions, simply fired the professional editor and replaced him or her with a staff person. Standards for acceptance vary more than ever, with some publications publishing works if they are “methodologically sound” or even if “they are science.” These definitions are clearly inadequate, especially when patient care is involved.
We don’t want our readers to be confused about what “peer review” means for the core articles in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, so we’re introducing a new feature on each article starting this month – the peer review statement.
This statement lays out in just a few sentences who reviewed the article, from the Editor-in-Chief to the Deputy Editors to the outside reviewers and experts in methodology and biostatistics. We also mention the talented and experienced staff editors who help authors fine-tune the language and keep the numbers straight. It’s all part of achieving “Excellence Through Peer Review.” You can read more about this new feature in editorial published this month in The Journal.
In an age where everyone’s a publisher, quality matters more than ever. We remain committed to ensuring that you can trust what we publish, and we are proud to describe the process we use to get the best and most reliable information to you. Thank you for translating this information into superior outcomes for the patients you treat every day.