Interviews with Outstanding Authors (2024)

Posted On 2024-05-21 15:53:44

In 2024, many JSS authors make outstanding contributions to our journal. Their articles published with us have received very well feedback in the field and stimulate a lot of discussions and new insights among the peers.

Hereby, we would like to highlight some of our outstanding authors who have been making immense efforts in their research fields, with a brief interview of their unique perspective and insightful view as authors.

Outstanding Authors (2024)

Don Young Park, UC Irvine, USA

W. Chase Johnson, The University of Texas Health Science Center, USA


Outstanding Author

Don Young Park

Dr. Don Young Park is an Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon specializing in endoscopic spine surgery and outpatient spine surgery. He trained at Stanford and was recently Associate Clinical Professor and Vice Chair of Quality and Safety for the UCLA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He is now a Professor of Clinical Orthopaedic Surgery and the Director of the Advanced Endoscopic and Outpatient Spine Program at UC Irvine, one of the first of its kind in the country. Dr. Park has published both basic science and clinical peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as written textbook chapters on minimally invasive and endoscopic spine surgery. He has won multiple “Best Paper” awards from the North American Spine Society and the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery for his research. His current research interests include clinical outcome studies in spinal endoscopy to advance the knowledge of endoscopic spine surgery. Learn more about Dr. Park here, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

In Dr. Park’s view, a good academic paper should be well written and well thought out, even from the very beginning planning stages of the study. The topic of the study should be original, relevant, and interesting so that the results of the study can advance the field of spine surgery. The strengths and weaknesses of the study should be well described in the paper, and the discussion section should not just list these limitations but thoughtfully discuss how the study was limited in methodology and how it affects the conclusions.

The most commonly encountered difficulty in academic writing, according to Dr. Park, is accounting for all the issues and problems with the design and results of the study that are brought to light during the review process. Even well-designed studies often require revisions of manuscripts to address the issues brought up by reviewers. Thinking and planning ahead during the design of the study and the writing process of the manuscript can help reduce the revisions necessary for publication. To him, it is also very difficult to have an original thought in research and develop an original study that has not been conducted before.

Academic writing should help the field of spine surgery progress over time. New techniques and technologies can be either beneficial or detrimental, and good academic writing with well-designed studies can provide evidence to advance our knowledge. This experience is gratifying to be able to push the field into the future, one study at a time,” says Dr. Park.

(by Brad Li, Alisa Lu)


W. Chase Johnson

W. Chase Johnson is a fifth-year neurosurgery resident at The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. He completed his undergraduate degree at The University of Arkansas in Biochemistry, then went on to complete medical school at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He has significant clinical and research interests in minimally invasive spine surgery and spine trauma. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

From Dr. Johnson’s perspective, the essential elements of a good academic paper include a clear objective, robust methodology, meticulous data collection and analysis, insightful discussion, adherence to ethical standards, and rigorous peer review. In the realm of spine surgery, he believes a good academic paper will contribute to the existing literature and help guide clinical practice or contain enough evidence to change clinical practice.

In Dr. Johnson’s opinion, the most important aspect authors should keep in mind when preparing for a study or paper is the clinical question they wish to answer and whether or not the information in their paper will fill a gap in the existing literature and help guide management in the field of spine surgery.

The Journal of Spine Surgery offers a specialized platform dedicated to spinal research and clinical practice. Publishing here ensures that my work reaches a targeted audience of spine surgery experts, facilitating meaningful exchange of knowledge and advancements in the field,” says Dr. Johnson.

(by Brad Li, Alisa Lu)