Editorial: Proceedings and Symposia in CORR ®: What They Are, and Why We Publish Them
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We are proud to publish the papers presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of The Knee Society in this issue of Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research ®. As always, this group of thoughtful investigators has presented a robust body of work, with more than 30 important manuscripts. Year after year, the papers we receive from the meetings of our affiliated societies — in sections we call “proceedings” — represent some of the most-cited, best-read papers that we publish. We look forward to the Proceedings of the 2013 Hip Society meeting, coming next month, and those from the Annual Meeting of the Musculskeletal Tumor Society in March. They promise to be just as timely and relevant.
In the months that CORR ® does not present the proceedings of a major society, we typically publish symposia, groups of papers we solicit on important contemporary topics. Symposia have international reach and interest. Recent symposia have included Childhood Obesity and Musculoskeletal Problems, Special Considerations for TKA in Asian Patients, Tscherne Festschrift, and Evolving Medicolegal Concepts. These have included numerous manuscripts that are among the best-cited and most-downloaded papers in CORR ®.
Although proceedings and symposia are familiar and important parts of our Journal, some readers and even authors, find them confusing. Here are the four most common questions about proceedings and symposia, along with their answers:
How does CORR® decide what symposia and proceedings to run?
Sometimes, thought leaders in the orthopaedic community contact the Journal with ideas for a symposium. We evaluate these based on whether the topic is important, whether it is interesting to a sufficient number of readers, and whether we have produced a symposium on a related topic recently (or if one is in the pipeline). From time to time, a member of our Senior Editor panel will develop an idea, and then we will look for an outside “Guest Editor” to produce the symposium. We are as interested in basic science symposia as clinical topics, although the former are somewhat harder to produce, and so there have been fewer of them.
Any of our affiliated societies may, in principle, produce a proceedings issue; in reality, only a few of them generate a sufficient volume of articles of interest to the broad readership on a regular basis. In recent years, four societies have produced annual proceedings: The Hip Society, The Knee Society, The Musculoskeletal Infection Society, and the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society. Others, such as the International Hip Society and the International Society of Limb Salvage, have done so on alternate years when they conduct their meetings. We continue to work with our smaller affiliates to evaluate options like “Mini-proceedings” and publication of awards papers from society meetings.
If the content for symposia is solicited, and proceedings articles are invited after a meeting, are those articles peer reviewed further by CORR®?
All scientific content in CORR ®, including all scientific content in symposia and proceedings, is peer reviewed using the same high standards. We use the same processes for all articles in proceedings and symposia as we use for unsolicited manuscript submissions, including review by referees from our Journal’s extensive database of subject-matter experts, and evaluation and editing by one or more of our Journal’s Senior Editors and me (independent from the evaluation of the Guest Editor). The exception is some awards papers, most notably the Hip and Knee Society awards papers, which are peer reviewed and edited for clarity, but which we have agreed in advance to publish; these are clearly marked as awards papers. Editorials, columns, and commentaries — again, all clearly marked as such — generally are edited for clarity, but are not usually peer reviewed.
Importantly, accepting an invitation to submit a scientific manuscript for a symposium or proceedings issue in CORR ® is no guarantee of publication; manuscripts are rejected from every symposium and proceedings issue.
Peer review is the cornerstone of what we do, and we take it seriously. Although it is harder to reject an article that we have solicited, our greatest duty is to uphold the high quality of the science we publish for our readers and ultimately to the patients whom they treat.
What kinds of articles are suitable for these sections, and what kinds are not?
As with other sections of our journal, we are interested in original research, both clinical and basic science, as well as surgical techniques. We rarely publish case reports in these sections. In terms of content that synthesizes, we are enthusiastic about meta-analyses, decision analyses, economic analyses, and systematic reviews. Other than historical reviews, we generally do not publish selective review articles (monographs or “book-chapter-style” reviews), as it can be very difficult to keep these articles balanced and free from bias. We may occasionally publish selective reviews on basic science topics if there is an important didactic principle at stake or a story that needs to be told that cannot be told in some other way.
If I have an idea for a symposium, whether or not I want to be the guest editor, how do I get started?
By all means please contact me directly, at email@example.com.
The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Lee Beadling BA, Managing Director of CORR ®, for his thoughtful suggestions that improved this manuscript.