One measure of success for leaders is whether the organization they’ve led is stronger upon their departure. That’s a responsibility I’ve taken seriously for nearly 5 years as CEO/Publisher of STRIATUS/JBJS, Inc.
In the near future, I will be leaving STRIATUS/JBJS, Inc. to become Publisher at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which publishes the journal Science, along with Science: Translational Medicine, Science: Signaling, and Science: Advances.
While I’m sad to leave my colleagues and this audience, I’m happy to report that over the last 5 years, STRIATUS/JBJS, Inc. has improved and grown in a number of ways:
- This year, The Journal’s impact factor increased nearly 33% to its highest level ever, while The Journal remains the most-read journal in the specialty.
- Our new review journal, JBJS Reviews, is already one of the top online journal destinations in the field.
- The new JBJS Recertification Course has proven popular and effective with surgeons preparing for their maintenance-of-certification exams.
- JBJS Case Connector is improving clinical awareness and acumen on a monthly basis, with “Case Connections” synthesizing old and new information and “Watches & Warnings” alerting the field to emerging trends.
- With a growing video library, JBJS Essential Surgical Techniques continues to provide in-depth, step-by-step guidance on new surgical techniques, and plans to take practical surgical video to a new level in 2015.
With an excellent editorial team led by our new Editor-in-Chief, Marc Swiontkowski, MD, these journal and educational products are poised for long-term success.
In addition to improving and extending its core products, STRIATUS/JBJS, Inc., has diversified into new areas, adding important tools to the scientific literature, products emphasizing quality evidence and peer review. SocialCite, which allows feedback on the quality and appropriateness of journal citations, has major publishers participating in its pilot phase. PRE-val, which brings increased transparency and accountability to peer review, is also generating significant interest across the sciences.
It has been an honor working with the superb staff and editors at STRIATUS/JBJS, Inc., as well as serving the orthopaedic community – orthopaedic surgeons, physical therapists, physician assistants, and others – over the last 5 years. Thank you.
Kent Anderson, CEO/Publisher of the JBJS Special Report: “It Takes a Team”, sits down and talks about the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings. Some of the topics that Kent discusses in the interview are the emphasis on teamwork in healthcare, the importance of the first responders and orthopaedic surgeons who treated the survivors and lessons learned from this horrific tragedy. Listen now: http://bit.jbjs.org/1ph87Hu
Information is easier to get but seemingly less reliable every day. That’s why quality filters like JBJS are so important. And why we spend so much time and effort deciding what not to publish.
This is one of the great hidden aspects of a strong journal – the material that is deemed unsuitable to publish. These decisions can occur for any number of reasons, but usually these boil down to quality, novelty, or interest.
Quality refers to the kind of study, its power, the strength of its hypothesis and analysis, and the care the authors take to draw conclusions from the data. An underpowered study, a muddy analysis, or extravagant conclusions can independently or in combination scuttle a paper’s chances.
A paper that has novelty breaks new ground. It can be a surprising hypothesis borne out by evidence, a new method for divining previously undetected perspectives on an old problem, or simply a new discovery.
Relevance is another word for interest, and making sure the papers we publish are relevant to the high-powered orthopaedic professionals we reach is a key function of our review process.
Together, filtering for these and other aspects of quality research, from IRB approval to author conflicts to plagiarism, all takes a good deal of expertise and effort. But it’s effort that most readers never see. It is what we publishers call “the cost of rejection,” and it can be a significant expense, especially for highly selective journals.
Last year, we implemented a submission fee to help defray some of the costs of rejection. Since then, we’ve seen our rate of submission decline to about the same level we had in 2010, while the level of evidence of the population of papers has increased. We are getting fewer, better papers. And we’re able to take more care with each one. Overall, while we know this was an unexpected fee for our authors, we feel the benefits have been mutual.
In an age of quantity – more information, more emails, more blog posts, more tweets, more statuses – we continue to believe that quality is a key differentiator. Our commitment is deep and lasting in this area. We hope our efforts are apparent in what we deliver.
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.