For over a decade, BMC Oral Health has been pioneering the open access model in dental research. From small beginnings, the journal has steadily grown, publishing more articles and receiving more recognition from those working in the field. All this is reflected in the news that the journal will this month receive an official impact factor for the first time.
Now, just as a child’s milk teeth must one day be replaced by a larger, more permanent set of adult teeth, so the time has come for BMC Oral Health to move to a new editorial model to ensure it can continue to serve the needs of its community. From this week the journal will be divided up into five sections covering the whole breadth of dental research, each headed by a renowned Section Editor, and supported by a team of Associate Editors drawn from leading researchers from across the world. In addition to benefiting from the research expertise of our new editorial board we look forward to working with them on developing the journal so it keeps abreast of this fast-moving and exciting research field.
Ever since the work of the 18th century pioneer Pierre Fauchard, ‘the father of modern dentistry’, the need for scientific evaluation of new treatments and tools has been recognised. This is as true today as ever and our Clinical Oral Healthcare Research section, headed by Anton Sculean of Universität Bern in Switzerland, will focus on this important area of research. This section will publish studies evaluating new or existing treatments in a clinical setting, with a particular focus on randomised clinical trials and systematic reviews.
Any treatment that makes it to the clinic will have built on fundamental basic research. Biological diseases are the root cause of many of the most common dental problems and there is an urgent need to know more about the organisms involved. Our Oral Microbiology section, led by Hidenobu Senpuku of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Tokyo, will focus on research into the pathology of oral diseases of a biological origin. Equally important is research into new materials and techniques, or the refinement of existing ones. The Dental Techniques: Tools, Materials and Surgical Research section, led by Fausto Mendes of the University of São Paulo in Brazil, will focus on research involving restoration materials and the validation of dental tools.
Even the best treatments are useless if those most in need cannot access them. Evaluating the need for dental treatment and the best way to provide it is more crucial than ever, both in rich countries like the UK and in developing countries where demand for good quality dental care is ever increasing. Our Epidemiology of Oral Health section, headed by Peter Robinson of the University of Sheffield in the UK, will focus on research assessing the social factors determining need for dental care, as well as the environmental, behavioural and occupational correlates of oral health related quality of life. Complementing this research, our Delivery, Management and Promotion of Oral Health and Dental Care section, led by Helen Whelton of University College Cork in Ireland, will publish work on governmental policies affecting dental care, the effectiveness of oral health promotion and the experience of vulnerable groups.
With such a wealth of knowledge now available to draw on, it seems certain that the journal will continue to thrive in the coming years. Of course, as a BMC-Series journal all research will remain freely available for anyone to read and learn from.
To submit your manuscript to BMC Oral Health, please visit the journal website for further information, or contact the Executive Editor Dr Christopher Foote for any pre-submission queries. We look forward to hearing from you.