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Volume 27 , Issue 5
September/October 2012

Page 993

EDITORIAL: Through Thick and Thin

Steven E. Eckert, DDS, MS

PMID: 23057011

Idiomatic expressions rarely translate from one language to another. The reason for this is that the meaning of the words in the expression is not the same as the meaning of the expression itself.

Some idioms seem illogical. Consider the expression “it’s raining cats and dogs.” Quite obviously, no matter how severe the climate, the sky never delivers canines and felines to the earth. On face value, the phrase is nonsense and yet virtually anyone familiar with the American version of the English language will easily recognize these words as describing heavy rainstorms.

Other idiomatic expressions make logical sense simply by understanding the words but still hold the promise of a somewhat different meaning when considered as a phrase. To me, the expression “through thick and thin” falls into the latter category. The words describe boundaries while the idiom is a little less concrete, usually referring to travels through life events that could be risky or troublesome.

You likely realize that these comments must somehow relate to JOMI. Indeed, both the words and the expression apply to changes in the journal. Let me explain.

JOMI is recognized as one of the premier scientific journals devoted to implant dentistry. As readership and circulation increased, this journal became an increasingly attractive location for publication of scientific research. With its introduction as a thin quarterly, it has evolved into a thick bimonthly publication. The number of articles submitted to the journal grows every year, and with increased submissions there are increased numbers of accepted articles even though the ratio of submitted to accepted articles has remained consistent over time. This leads to a blessing of having many articles available to fill every issue, but it also leads to the curse of creating a lengthy wait between article acceptance and publication.

Previously the readership was advised of a few initiatives on the part of the publisher to reduce the time until publication. Electronic publication of case reports, technical reports, and biomechanical articles was introduced earlier this year. This allowed us to publish the abstract for these articles in the print journal with more detailed imaging and complete text in the electronic version, resulting in publication of an additional three to five articles per issue.

Despite these efforts, the publication queue was so long that the net effect of the changes had been small and the long wait list remained. Other approaches had to be offered. The publisher considered supplemental issues of the journal, increasing the number of publications each year, and the addition of pages to the present publication schedule. Of course each of these alternatives carries a financial cost, and that cost was not included in the normal business plan.

We now return to the idiom that began this informational editorial. This journal has been the official journal of the Academy of Osseointegration (AO) since the journal was conceived and the Academy was formed. Recognizing that the two have been together through thick and thin, the Academy offered to provide funding for the publication of many additional pages per issue until the backlog of articles could be substantially reduced.

Ultimately, the support provided by the AO will serve a number of purposes. Obviously it will make authors happy because their work will be available for readers at an earlier date. Moreover, the scientific community benefits because timely publication is always beneficial. Lastly, the patients, who really are involved through thick and thin, benefit from earlier appreciation of clinical research.

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