This study investigated current trends in spine publications of the membership of Orthopaedic Research Society Spine Section (ORS3) and the more global and clinically focused International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine (ISSLS). The PubMed database was probed to quantify trends in the overall number of articles published, the number of journals these articles were published in, and the number of active scientists producing new manuscripts. We also evaluated trends in flagship spine journals (Spine, European Spine Journal, and The Spine Journal) and in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research. The total number of active ORS3 and ISSLS authors and articles published have increased over the last 10 years. These articles are being published in hundreds of distinct journals; the number of journals is also increasing. Members of both societies published their work in Spine more than any other journal. Yet, publications in Spine decreased over the last 5 years for both ORS3 and ISSLS members, while those in European Spine Journal, and The Spine Journal remained unchanged. Furthermore, members of both societies have published in Journal of Orthopaedic Research at a consistent level. The increasing number of manuscripts and journals reflects a characteristic intrinsic to science as a whole—the global scientific workforce and output are growing and new journals are being created to accommodate the demand. These data suggest that existing spine journals do not fully serve the diverse publication needs of ORS3 and ISSLS members and highlight an unmet need for consolidating the premiere basic and translational spine research in an open access spine-specific journal. This analysis was an important part of a decision process by the ORS to introduce JOR Spine.
- International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine
- Orthopaedic Research Society