Corporate Structure

Early Niche Journal Expands as Orthopaedics Evolves

As you explore the milestones that led up to the current iteration of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, consider how the study and practice of orthopaedics has changed over the years and decades.

If you had practiced orthopaedic surgery from the late 1800s to the 1940s, you would have turned to JBJS as the premier niche scientific journal in the field.

As an orthopaedist in the post-WWII years, you would have counted on JBJS to expand your horizons through our partnership with the British volume of JBJS, an alliance that lasted for decades and helped to position JBJS as the international gold standard in orthopaedic publishing.

Our rich legacy has informed our ability to meet the changing needs of the orthopaedic community. To that end, you may notice a slight shift over the decades as JBJS slowly and deliberately transitioned from the business of a journal to a business with a journal.

To better serve you, we delineated business and editorial roles and began to invest in the facilities, technology, marketing, and staff-development strategies to support our community. We enhanced our ongoing dialogue with you and your peers at conferences and association meetings. And we partnered with leading scientific publishing houses to bring you more sophisticated products and enhance our relationships with all of our authors, reviewers, and subscribers around the globe.

Please enjoy reviewing the timeline from the perspective of our corporate structure.

1889
January
1889

Four Journal Title Changes in 33 Years

From 1889 to 1933, the title of The Journal evolved four times. Over the course of this period, The Journal became the official publication of the British Orthopaedic Association, American Orthopaedic Association, and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

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January - 1889

Four Journal Title Changes in 33 Years

In 1889, the first Transactions of the American Orthopedic Association, encompassing the 1887 and 1888 annual meetings, are published in accordance with AOA by-laws.

In 1903, the Transactions becomes The American Journal of Orthopedic Surgery.

In 1919, The American Journal of Orthopedics becomes the official publication of the British Orthopaedic Association, in addition to the American Orthopaedic Association, and the name is changed to The Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery.

In 1922, the title of The Journal is changed to The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

In 1933, The Journal becomes the official publication of the newly formed American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, although ownership is maintained by the American Orthopaedic Association.

January
1889

JBJS Known for High Editorial Standards

Since its inception, JBJS has stood above other medical journals for its editorial excellence. JBJS Editors-in-Chief and Deputy Editors have always been committed to the rigorous fact-checking, line editing, and manuscript reviews required of a leading scientific journal.

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January - 1889

JBJS Known for High Editorial Standards

1931
April
1931

JBJS headquarters moves to Boston Medical Library

The Journal’s offices are moved from E. G. Brackett’s home to #8 The Fenway, Boston Medical Library.

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April - 1931

JBJS headquarters moves to Boston Medical Library

1948
January
1948

American JBJS and British JBJS Forge Long-Term Alliance

Shortly after WWII, leaders of the American and British volumes of JBJS developed friendships and created an alliance that extended for decades. They met socially on a regular basis – gathering on both sides of the pond – and developed a co-publication plan to reflect the international characters of both Journals.

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January - 1948

American JBJS and British JBJS Forge Long-Term Alliance

Initially, the co-publication plan devised by American Editor-in-Chief William A. Rogers and British Editor-in-Chief Sir Reginald Watson-Jones called for 8 volumes per year of the American volume and 4 volumes per year of the British volume . A subscription to both volumes could be purchased for $14, and subscriptions to each individual volume could be purchased for $10. Early negotiations around issue pricing, currency exchanges, and international postal regulations continued for years. However, both Journals largely worked harmoniously on these administrative details for the next several decades.

In January 1981, the Journals modified their publishing schedules in an effort to address the increasing number of high-quality papers submitted, reduce delays between article acceptance and publication, and further distinguish between the two Journals. Both agreed to increase the number of issues published to 9 per year. American issues would be referenced by month, while British issues would be referenced by number.

Throughout the first decade of the 21st century, the American and British Journals continued their affable working relationship. However, in 2011, the two Journals agreed to chart the courses of their individual futures by severing their formal ties. Each Journal was given complete control over its publication frequency and autonomy over its editorial and business strategy and brand.

1954
June
1954

JBJS Incorporated

The current, independent, non-profit corporation, The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc., is established and the AOA relinquishes ownership.

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June - 1954

JBJS Incorporated

1965
October
1965

JBJS headquarters moves to Countway Library

The main offices of JBJS are moved to Harvard’s Countway Medical Library.

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October - 1965

JBJS headquarters moves to Countway Library

1971
January
1971

Publishing Was a Slow, Manual Process

Before the widespread use of PCs, the JBJS publication process involved manually checking references, pen-and-ink editing, re-typing manuscripts, cutting-and-pasting layouts, and snail-mailing submissions, review copies, and proofs.

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January - 1971

Publishing Was a Slow, Manual Process

“Until the late 1970s, the process of publishing an issue of JBJS and getting it into the hands of subscribers was a laborious one.

After acceptance, each manuscript underwent a 3-day process of meticulous line editing, manual reference checking, and retyping of the entire manuscript.

The printing process was also time-consuming. Once assigned, articles were shipped to the printer, where they were rekeyed and typeset before being sent back to JBJS for proofreading. The hard-copy proof was then read, corrected, and shipped back to the printer to create the final copy, which was again proofread to make sure that all changes had been incorporated correctly.

Layout artists then proceeded to cut up the printed pages and lay them out onto sheets to mimic the final appearance in the full printed Journal before shipping the pages back to the printer, who finalized proofs for final proofreading before printing the full Journal.”

1975
April
1975

Thornton Brown Brings Sophisticated Structure to Articles

Appointed in 1958, Dr. Brown was a humble leader who set a high standard for editorial excellence and was devoted to the communication of scientific material. During his tenure as Editor-in-Chief, he inculcated the controlled article structure that remains today.

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April - 1975

Thornton Brown Brings Sophisticated Structure to Articles

1985
September
1985

Marketing JBJS Excellence

JBJS strategically expanded its marketing efforts to increase its reach to orthopaedists by exhibiting and speaking at global conferences, joining scientific publishing societies, increasing its outreach to authors and subscribers, and supporting these efforts with a dedicated Advertising department.

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September - 1985

Marketing JBJS Excellence

JBJS leadership understood that its rich legacy as a niche, scholarly medical journal would need a fresh infusion of marketing savvy in order to continue its success into the next millennium.

Under Henry Cowell’s tenure, The Journal expanded its marketing outreach by attending and exhibiting at meetings and conferences both nationally and internationally.

Under Jim Heckman’s tenure, The Journal continued to invest in marketing, with the hiring of a dedicated Marketing Director and expanded marketing staff, increased participation in conferences with formal marketing strategies and a professionally designed exhibit booth, and outreach to orthopaedists through direct mail and other advertising channels.

1986
January
1986

JBJS Modernizes and Enhances Digital Presence

Under the tenure of Dr. Cowell, JBJS started using PCs and investing in technology to better meet the needs of modern subscribers. Some advances, such as an early OCR scanner that spared copy editors the task of retyping manuscripts, were designed to improve operations. Others, such as the JBJS.org web site, expanded the ways in which subscribers could interact with the Journal.

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January - 1986

JBJS Modernizes and Enhances Digital Presence

In 1992, JBJS was among the first medical journals to produce a full-text version on CD-ROM, and, in 1996, The Journal launched a basic web site. Like most web sites at the time, it was a work in progress and was intended to answer common reader questions relating to Editorial, Subscriptions, and Advertising.

By the end of the 1990s, the full text and illustrations of JBJS for 1996-1998 became available online, and the site was updated monthly to mirror the CD-ROM subscription with Medline abstracts of articles listed in the references. The site also featured fuzzy-logic text searching, relevance-ranked document retrieval, and full indexing of all important text words. Links within the text to images, charts, graphs, tables, and references helped users find information rapidly.

Online access to full-text versions was available to all users for a trial period, after which non-subscribers were only able to view tables of contents and abstracts. In 1999, all visitors to the site were given the ability to download specific articles for a fee.

These advances were designed to provide information to readers in a readily available form and timely fashion, helping to cement The Journal’s reputation as a leader in orthopaedic education.

March
1986

JBJS Emerges as an International Powerhouse

During Dr. Cowell’s tenure, JBJS increased its base of international subscribers and authors by reaching out to a global audience, participating in international conferences and workshops, and expanding its marketing to orthopaedists worldwide.

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March - 1986

JBJS Emerges as an International Powerhouse

During the mid-1980s, JBJS found new footing – growing from a niche scholarly journal to a thriving global corporation under the leadership of Henry Cowell. He was the first Editor-in-Chief to travel extensively around the globe, meeting with a variety of organizations, including the AAOS and the European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology (EFORT).

To help increase international submission and acceptance rates, he regularly delivered lectures and conducted workshops designed to help orthopaedists understand how to write for JBJS as well as how the review and editing processes work.

He also expanded Deputy Editor workshops internationally to extend the review and editing processes to professionals worldwide.
These initiatives were well-received and effective in expanding the Journal’s visibility among international authors and subscribers.

July
1986

JBJS Appoints First Chief Executive Officer

When Henry Cowell became Editor-in-Chief, he also became JBJS’s first CEO, a role that included financial responsibility and ushered in a new age as a thriving corporation and international powerhouse in a highly competitive market.

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July - 1986

JBJS Appoints First Chief Executive Officer

October
1986

Enhanced Roles for Deputy Editors and Reviewers

Under Henry Cowell, Deputy Editor workshops included reviewers and were held around the country and globe, at greater frequency, to improve communication, feedback, and training. He also educated orthopaedists on how to effectively critique manuscripts.

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October - 1986

Enhanced Roles for Deputy Editors and Reviewers

The Deputy Editor workshop became a crucial component of publishing JBJS during Henry Cowell’s leadership as Editor-in-Chief.

During these workshops, Deputy Editors would gather together with reviewers, Associate Editors, and others to resolve disagreements around reviewers’ grades.

Dr. Cowell was intent on increasing the frequency of these workshops and using them to extend The Journal’s outreach among key stakeholders and enhance education on how to effectively critique manuscripts, helping to raise the bar for editorial excellence.

Dr. Cowell also prioritized continuing education for JBJS staff, whether that meant training on new computer technologies or supporting senior staff membership in professional societies and participation in conferences.

1988
January
1988

JBJS increases the number of issues per year to ten

The Journal, faced with the concern that an increasing number of high-quality manuscripts were being submitted each year and aware of the fact that the acceptance of more papers for publication had led to a longer interval between acceptance and publication, decided to increase the number of issues published each year.

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January - 1988

JBJS increases the number of issues per year to ten

JBJS Editorial Staff and Trustees recognized that to support the JBJS mission, the organization must encourage authors to submit their best material. For authors to do so, it was imperative that they be comfortable with the review process, which should follow stringent standards in an author-friendly way.

Some authors felt that an author’s perceived status—based on their institution and location—might affect whether a manuscript was rejected or accepted. While no such bias was proven, JBJS believed that even the perception of bias should be eliminated and therefore instituted a blind peer review process.

Starting in July 1994, manuscripts were required to be submitted with two cover sheets: one that contained author names and contact information and a second to be sent to reviewers with only the manuscript title.

1993
June
1993

Due to organizational growth, JBJS moves headquarters to Needham

The main offices are moved to 20 Pickering Street, Needham which remains the current location.

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June - 1993

Due to organizational growth, JBJS moves headquarters to Needham

September
1993

JBJS Supports American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

While the AAOS had its own Journal, JBJS supported the newly formed organization and committed to publishing the Academy’s leading instructional course lectures and annual presidential address. This allowed JBJS to expand its visibility with AAOS members worldwide over 24 years until ending the program in February 2017.

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September - 1993

JBJS Supports American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

1994
July
1994

Instituting Blinded Peer Review

Following an intrinsic belief that the perception of bias should be eliminated, JBJS began a blind peer review process that continues today. Manuscripts that clearly identify authors are returned without review.

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July - 1994

Instituting Blinded Peer Review

JBJS Editorial Staff and Trustees recognized that to support the JBJS mission, the Journal must encourage authors to submit their best material. For authors to do so, it was imperative that they be comfortable with the review process, which should follow stringent standards in an author-friendly way.

Some authors felt that an author’s perceived status—based on their institution and location—might affect whether a manuscript was rejected or accepted. While no such bias was proven, the Journal believed that even the perception of bias should be eliminated and therefore instituted a blind peer review process.

Starting in July 1994, manuscripts were required to be submitted with two cover sheets: one that contained author names and contact information and a second to be sent to reviewers with only the manuscript title.

2000
June
2000

JBJS Offered as AAOS Member Benefit

JBJS‘s established position as the highest-quality journal in the field and required reading among orthopaedists was the impetus behind this program to make the Journal readily available to every orthopaedist in America. This member benefit ended in February 2017.

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June - 2000

JBJS Offered as AAOS Member Benefit

2014
January
2014

JBJS celebrates 125 years

2014 marked 125 years of publishing the highest quality scientific content in the field of orthopaedics. Since its inception, JBJS has had the privilege of shepherding this content from the original, bound journal print issues to its modern electronic state.

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January - 2014

JBJS celebrates 125 years

2016
January
2016

JBJS Partners with Wolters-Kluwer

The move to a new publishing partner under Dr. Swiontkowski’s tenure aligned JBJS with a larger publisher with a strong base of trusted journals, providing new economies of scale and opportunities for the future.

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January - 2016

JBJS Partners with Wolters-Kluwer

The partnership, which brought together one of the most prominent brands in medical publishing and the premier publisher in the orthopaedic surgery market, marked the transition of the JBJS journals portfolio to a commercial publisher after more than a century of self-publishing.

With the partnership, JBJS became one of the flagship titles in Wolters Kluwer’s orthopaedic surgery portfolio and an essential title in its leading general surgery journal list.

The partnership also provided JBJS with the opportunity to develop additional education products and invest in building out its web site to meet the continually evolving needs of orthopaedists around the globe.

March
2016

JBJS launches Elite Reviewers Program

In January 2016, JBJS implemented an Elite Reviewers Program to formally recognize the outstanding contributions of our very best reviewers. Elite Reviewers are recognized based on measurements of their response time, quality of reviews, and reliability.

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March - 2016

JBJS launches Elite Reviewers Program

Peer review is the basic underpinning of scientific publication, and The Journal’s reviewers are key components in our 127-year history of publishing the highest quality of evidence-based information. JBJS reviewers volunteer their time and expertise to serve the orthopaedic community and enhance the quality of care for patients.

To formally recognize the outstanding contributions of our very best reviewers, beginning in January 2016, JBJS will implement an Elite Reviewer Program. Elite Reviewers will be recognized based on measurements of their response time, quality of reviews, and reliability.

We expect that authors will benefit from the program with even higher-quality and more prompt peer review, and we hope the program inspires all of our reviewers to meet Elite Reviewer standards.

For more information about the program, read the JBJS editorial, or visit the Elite Reviewers Program page on our website.

2020
March
2020

Open-Access JBJS Supplement: Pain Management Research

The one-of-a-kind Pain Management Research Symposium was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS award number 1R13AR076879-01) and hosted by The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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March - 2020

Open-Access JBJS Supplement: Pain Management Research

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