James D. Heckman, MD, assumes role as Editor-in-Chief

James D. Heckman, MD (Editor-in-Chief, 2000-2010)
Delivering Excellence in the New Millennium

James D. Heckman, MD (Editor-in-Chief, 2000-2013) provided bold leadership as the organization rose to meet the challenges and opportunities facing scientific publishing in the new millennium. Despite the changing landscape resulting from the advent of the Internet and the rapid expansion of electronic publishing, Dr. Heckman maintained an unwavering focus on the “crown jewels” of JBJS: rigorous peer review, adherence to the highest standards, an emphasis on evidence-based medicine, and the timely delivery of the highest-quality orthopaedic information across all available platforms. During his tenure, Dr. Heckman advanced the mission of delivering excellence through a number of important initiatives, as described below:

  • Introduction of new features and article types:
    • “The Orthopaedic Forum,” established by Dr. Heckman in 2000 to provide “a place in orthopaedics where intriguing, provocative, controversial new ideas will be presented and discussed,” with a focus on health care policy, orthopaedic practice, ethics, and other issues of importance to the orthopaedic surgeon
    • “Topics in Training” articles, providing a forum for orthopaedic educators to publish their research on topics germane to medical student, resident, and fellow education, including competency testing, simulation techniques, educational leave, the matching process, and preparation for certifying examinations
    • Ethics in Practice” articles, consisting of a brief clinical vignette followed by a discussion of the ethical issues that were encountered and how they were addressed
    • “Evidence-Based Orthopaedics” articles, featuring structured abstracts of 3 recent studies from the orthopaedic literature, followed by critical commentaries highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each study from an evidence-based perspective
    • “Specialty Update” articles, with each article providing a comprehensive overview of the recent literature pertaining to a major subspecialty in the field of orthopaedics as well as an annotated bibliography summarizing recent Level-I and II studies from across the world literature
    • “Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis” articles, designed to provide clinical guidance and highlight areas needing further research
    • Summaries of “Clinical Practice Guidelines” and “Appropriate Use Criteria” developed and endorsed by the AAOS
    • The assignment of a “Level of Evidence” to all clinical articles and the requirement of authors to clearly specify the primary research question of their study
    • The assignment of “Grades of Recommendation” to treatments described in Current Concepts Reviews articles, supplemented by a separate “Recommendations for Care” table
    • Introduction of structured abstracts for clinical and research articles, highlighting the Background, Methods, Results, Conclusion, and Level of Evidence of each study
  • Increased emphasis on the importance of electronic publishing (along with a corresponding deemphasis on print publication), as reflected in
    • The hiring of Robert Poss, MD, to serve as Deputy Editor for Electronic Media
    • The launch of a new, more user-friendly version of the website featuring improved search capabilities; greater interactivity in the form of online commenting features; article enhancements in the form of web commentaries; and the ability of the reader to customize the home page according to subspecialty, to create unique subject files from multiple sources, and to access original raw data in the form of electronic appendices
    • Increased incorporation of video content into JBJS articles in collaboration with the Video Journal of Orthopaedics
  • Establishment of an important new step—namely, methodology and statistical review—to the peer-review process, along with the addition of 3 Deputy Editors for Statistics to the editorial staff
  • An emphasis on maintaining the highest levels professionalism in publishing, with adherence to COPE and AAOS standards and constant vigilance for violations of well-established publishing standards related to ownership of intellectual property, authorship, redundant submission/publication, and relationships with industry
  • Complete redesign of the front cover and improved article layout in the print version of the flagship journal
  • Celebration of the 100-year anniversary of JBJS with published commentaries on landmark JBJS articles from the past (“JBJS Classics”) as well as a written history of the journal

Click below for links to editorials written by Dr. Heckman during his tenure as Editor-in-Chief (2000-2009).

The Orthopaedic Forum—An Opportunity to Exchange Ideas

The Use of Ketamine Sedation

The eJBJS (www.jbjs.org)

Ethics in Practice (To Our Readers)

Excellence Through Peer Review

Medical Scientific Publishing in the Twenty-first Century

Volume versus Outcomes in Orthopaedic Surgery: A Proper Perspective is Paramount

A Concise Format for Reporting the Longer-Term Follow‐up Status of Patients Managed with Total Hip Arthroplasty

The International Center for Orthopaedic Education

This Is Your Journal—We Want to Hear from You

A Concise Format for Reporting the Longer-Term Follow-up Status of Patients Managed with Total Knee Arthroplasty

Introducing Levels of Evidence to The Journal

Who Did What? (Mis)Perceptions About Authors’ Contributions to Scientific Articles Based on Order of Authorship

Minimally Invasive Surgery

The Journal at One Hundred Years

Letters to The Editor: A Change in Policy

Copyright, Ownership, and Truth in Data in the Electronic Age

Changing Ethical Standards in Scientific Publication

Grades of Recommendation

Are Validated Questionnaires Valid?

Translation of Outcomes Instruments

Professionalism in Publishing

Methodology and Statistical Review: A New Dimension for The Journal

Patient Care, Professionalism, and Relationships with Industry

Further Emphasis on Evidence

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