As you read this second issue you may well ask: why another journal, and what is this one going to achieve over and above the others; is there enough publishable material and consequently will medical and dental publishers still have a future? Undoubtedly there are plenty of articles to publish but the media in which these articles appear is much more varied than in the past. Authors can now publish directly on the World Wide Web or through BioMed Central. These opportunities beg the question: why publish in Oral Biosciences & Medicine?
Firstly, every article published in this journal has undergone rigorous peer review. Apart from the editors, two or more experts have critically appraised each article and made comments which hopefully have led to improvements that you will appreciate. Secondly, the editors come from a wide range of specialities that mirror the broad remit of this journal. Thirdly, the authors of articles printed in Oral Biosciences & Medicine have the benefit of publishing their results without paying a page charge and even colour prints are free.
In the first issue (Volume 1, Issue 1, March 2004) there was something for everyone with topics ranging from public health, to clinical research, to basic science and teaching. In contrast, Issue 2 focuses more on basic science, providing us with a better understanding of how oral tissues function and respond to change. Thus, you might argue that there is nothing here for the epidemiologist or teacher. However, given the fact that you have a copy of the journal in your hands you are very likely to scan the contents page to check for interesting articles. It could be that your attention is drawn to an article that you would not necessarily have seen if you had searched a database of articles. Perhaps it could trigger a new idea, offering you a different perspective on a topic you know from a different angle, or provide you with an explanation for something that has puzzled you – e.g. why do some individuals have more problems with their saliva and what are the oral consequences? The journals content could also broaden your outlook and possibly help improve your discussions with colleagues with whom you do not routinely work. Perhaps they will spark off some translational research?
Publications of a high standard need to be accessible to a large audience – not just those reading the printed journal. Thus, all articles need to be indexed on systems that are used by a wide cross section of professionals. Given the continuing high standard of the journal, we expect to be listed on Medline and PubMed after four issues. This will ensure that authors articles will be read by a much larger community.
All editors appreciate feedback from their readers and for this reason we encourage letters to the editors. If the letter relates to a specific article then the editors can obtain and print a response from the authors. However, authors responses will inevitably be published some time after the original article, which means that you may no longer have the relevant issue or may have forgotten the details of the article. Alternatively, the editors could invite experts to write commentaries to the articles that would be published in the same issue. This would provide you with the opportunity of having the benefit of a different perspective, thereby setting the articles in context. It could also help in leading to a discussion relating to particular issues, e.g. ethical, legal, statistical, which you had not considered – thereby enhancing the journals value.
We would be interested to have your views on these matters – so please write to us.
Birgitte Nauntofte, Jesper Reibel, Peter A. Reichart, James J. Sciubba, Joanna Zakrzewska