The new leadership of The Journal has been
confronted with a formidable challenge as well as an opportunity.
The rapid advent of the electronic age has shaken the foundations
of the publishing industry and left all in a quandary, trying to
identify strategies to survive and perhaps to thrive in a new paradigm
where the dissemination of bountiful information is cheap, while
the delivery of high-quality peer-reviewed knowledge remains expensive.
The Journal's crown jewels are its reputation
for integrity and its content. These jewels remain untarnished because authors
seek to send their most important work to The Journal and
a rigorous peer-review process by the best minds in our profession
further distills the information and clarifies its meaning. We at The
Journal will continue to carry out its primary mission
- presenting the most important new scientific knowledge to the
orthopaedic community - but we recognize that without further innovations
this mission may be endangered. We have concluded, therefore, that
it is essential to go forward with new ideas that capture the remarkable
promise of the Internet.
The Journal's Web site was introduced in November
19961. Current search capabilities
include search by free text query, by subject, or by author as well
as the capability to search a specific volume of The Journal. Full
text of the articles from 1996 to the present may be downloaded
for free by subscribers and for a fee by nonsubscribers. There are
helpful links to other journals and search engines in the field
of musculoskeletal medicine and surgery.
The next step in the development of our Web site is to use the
audio, video, and text capabilities of the Internet to enhance the
value of our printed articles so that the reader will receive a
more valuable product. Since The Journal is published
monthly, we view the intervening time on the Web site as an opportunity
to increase the value of published articles by presenting electronic
supplements of related educational materials and resources. We seek
to utilize the Web as another way for our readers to interact with
us and, by embracing this new medium to its fullest, to attract
new readers to a journal that is both print and Web-based. Consequently,
in each month's edition of The Journal, we will
publish a table of contents listing the features to be found on
the Web site. We invite you to visit the eJBJS
We are pleased to announce that this year we will partner with
HighWire Press of Stanford University to develop this new and more
robust Web site. HighWire Press is the Web-site developer and electronic
publisher for 191 scientific journals, including Science and
the British Medical Journal.
The new Web site will offer the following features:
1. Customization of the home page by orthopaedic subspecialty
interest. We will offer a customized home page so that a surgeon
can have access to an archive of the articles that have been published
in his or her area of special interest and be able to link to the
subject matter of specialty journals, texts, and multimedia resources
that pertain to that area.
2. Capability to build unique subject files by collating
searches from multiple sources. Search software will enable
a surgeon to identify articles of interest from multiple sites and
collect them electronically in a subject file. Thus, a surgeon searching
for "carpal tunnel syndrome" might build links to download articles
from The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery,The
Journal of Hand Surgery, The Journal of the American Academy of
Orthopaedic Surgeons, and so on, and store them in an electronic
file entitled Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This would
be a dynamic file, allowing additions and deletions, and could be
printed by the surgeon as his or her own "textbook" at any time.
We envision the capability to also include a feature that will allow
a subscriber to add multimedia products such as excerpts from CD-ROMs,
videotapes, and so on to the file.
3. Article enhancements. Selected printed articles,
particularly articles that present basic science, will be enhanced
with Web commentaries and electronic publication of additional materials
that do not appear in the print version of The Journal in
an effort to put the meaning of the new information into context
and to assess its current relevance to clinical practice.
4. Search capabilities. The Web site will enable
the user to search past and current editions of The Journal, to
display the current contents, to download and print full-text versions
of current or past articles as text or PDF files, and to link to
major journal sites for additional searching.
5. Interactivity. The Web site will enable interactivity
that allows the user to respond to questionnaires, to renew subscriptions,
and to communicate by means of electronic mail. We will have the
capability to host online journal clubs and electronic conversations with
6. Online reviews. We will review selected electronic
educational products such as CD-ROMs and videotapes and include
voice and video screen-capture supplements to the text.
We anticipate that our new Web site will be online by February
In this issue of The Journal, we introduce a
new feature of the Web site: the Video Segment. Three to six-minute
video segments will supplement selected print articles in The
Journal. In this issue, two video segments are presented
to supplement the article "Development of a Virtual Reality Arthroscopic
Knee Simulator," by Poss et al., in the American Orthopaedic Association Symposium.
These segments illustrate a prototype virtual reality arthroscopic
knee simulator and methods by which surgical simulators can be used to
quantify surgical proficiency.
Furthermore, we are proud to announce an alliance between The
Journal and the Video Journal of Orthopaedics to
produce monthly video segments and full-length videotapes to supplement
articles that relate to aspects of surgical technique. VJO has
produced more than 300 videotapes of orthopaedic procedures. Articles
will be selected by means of the traditional peer-review process,
and then the Editors will identify ones that lend themselves to
video enhancement; VJO will work with the authors
to produce a videotape. A short video segment of the tape will be
published on the Web site during the month that the article is published.
The video segment will be free to all readers of The Journal; the
full thirty-minute videotape may be purchased from VJO.
The first JBJS/VJO video segment illustrates an
article in this issue: "The Chevron Osteotomy for Correction of
Hallux Valgus. Comparison of Findings After Two and Five Years of
Follow-up," by Trnka et al.
The new paradigm, then, finds The Journal capable
of remaining true to its fundamental mission of selecting and publishing
the most important scientific advances in our field. As we explore the
promise of the Internet, each article will assume a richer texture
and be viewed as the core of an educational packet that includes
a variety of electronic enhancements.
What other electronic resources would you, as a user of the new eJBJS,
like us to provide? We invite the suggestions of the orthopaedic
community regarding features of and improvements to the Web site
because, in the final analysis, it is The Journal's function
to provide the best and fullest presentation of new knowledge in
the clearest and most educational formats to its readers.
Robert Poss, M.D.
Deputy Editor for Electronic Media
James D. Heckman, M.D.