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Volume 27 , Issue 6
November/December 2012

Page 1311

EDITORIAL: A Truly International Journal

Steven E. Eckert, DDS, MS

PMID: 23189280

It is always difficult to create a time-sensitive, topical editorial for JOMI. The editorial is created at least a few weeks before the journal is printed and it is often conceived and developed over the months that precede the publication. Consequently, events that promote a series of ideas for an editorial may already be yesterday’s news by the time the publication arrives in your mailbox.

This is particularly true as I put the final touches on this editorial. As I sit before the computer, a television is on in the background telling me about the devastation to the Eastern seaboard of the United States caused by Hurricane Sandy. The weather reports are interspersed with reports on the presidential election, which will be conducted on the first Tuesday of November and the results of which will be evident to you before you even pick up this editorial, but obviously remain unknown to me as I write. From the standpoint of an international journal I have to understand that the devastating storm and the implications of a presidential election may be of only minor interest to its readership, and certainly have only minimal impact upon the lives of the international readership.

My schedule for the last few days and for the upcoming week included the Board of Directors meeting for the Academy of Osseointegration, the annual scientific session for the American Academy of Maxillofacial Prosthetics, the scientific session for the American College of Prosthodontists, and the examining session with the American Board of Prosthodontics. So far, I have been able to attend the AO Board of Directors meeting, but the maxillofacial prosthetic meeting was canceled because the oncoming storm created a state of emergency. As I write, I am awaiting a decision from the ACP as to whether or not their meeting will be held, and this will in turn be followed by another decision as to whether or not the Board Certification examination will be held. One meeting is dependent upon another and I remain captive to the events of the day.

When considering the impact that this one storm has had on me, I certainly realize how much more troubling such a state of uncertainty would be to an attendee from the international community. I was able to experience this situation first hand when I was in Switzerland for a meeting during the time that a volcano erupted in Iceland, effectively halting air traffic across Europe. Indeed, the Swiss hosts treated me very well, but the sense of disconnection with home was pervasive.

The point of this editorial is not to wax poetic on the events of the day as they affect my small portion of the world but is instead to recognize how our international journal impacts the field of osseointegration. As editor-in-chief I have come to appreciate the fact that different parts of the world address situations quite differently.

Consider the concept of standards for comparison. When looking at scientific research it becomes evident that a “gold standard” control exists as a gold standard only for limited communities of interest. Depending upon where you are from, your perspective may change and a gold standard for one investigative team might appear to be completely different than a gold standard for a different team. We see this with materials, techniques, and devices. It can be rather perplexing, as we often think that gold is gold and as such it becomes the standard that we rely upon, but differing perspectives often invalidate this perception.

The situation can be confusing to reviewers, editors, and readers. Approaches that are self-evident to one may be an anathema to another. This is one reason that JOMI often publishes articles that contradict other articles.

Even the method that is used to report information exhibits regional differences. Many authors express concerns with strict editorial policies. The rationale that I use for such policies is that our international readership appreciates a consistent method for presentation of material. Likewise, editorial policies that request simple language and concise descriptions are created with the international reader in mind. It is the editor’s impression that complex sentence structure, numerous parenthetical expressions, and use of inconsistent terminology does nothing but complicate the readability of an article for a non-native English speaking reader. Hopefully this perception is correct. Even the creation of acronyms is discouraged unless the acronym is universally accepted within the industry, a condition that rarely exists.

JOMI strives to present an international journal that respects and understands the desires of the international readership. With literally thousands of unique authors from all corners of the world, it appears that the general editorial policy is acceptable to authors. The number of authors who have become electronic friends has certainly gratified me. I think that this indicates that our initial goal in forming this journal, an international collaboration, continues to be met.

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