Perhaps the most stinging criticism of a clinical investigator is that their work is not relevant and is of no consequence. So when practicing oral and maxillofacial surgeons state that our current scientific literature including that presented in JOMS does not support their needs and is of “no use” to their practice of oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMS), it is a claim that must be examined with the utmost scrutiny. While this remains hopefully a scarce contention among our readers, you might be surprised to know that even your editorial board and reviewers share elements of it from time to time in assessing JOMS submissions for their relevance to the practicing surgeon. The constant question in every JOMS review is, “How does this paper affect the practice of OMS?” JOMS reviewers and readers remain challenged to resist the ennui of science overexposure which contends that there is nothing new or exciting to report to the practicing surgeon.
The editorial process identifies the elements of JOMS papers that support the practice of surgery and builds those elements into the paper. Accepted articles usually effectively present the following elements
Originality: The work is that of the authors and has not been presented elsewhere in the peer reviewed scientific literature.
Relevance: The investigation addresses an important clinical scientific question.
Niche: The paper demonstrates its role in the advancement of knowledge in its subject.
Importance: How will this work effect clinical decision making? Clinical practice? Future investigations?
Validity: The methods of inquiry and the presentation of results offer supportable findings and conclusions.
Nodding to past achievement: The paper reviews past scientific achievement of others and demonstrates how this new work builds upon existing knowledge.
Humility/perspective: The shortcomings and well as the strengths of the investigation are revealed to the reader in the discussion.
JOMS will receive about 900 submissions of scientific work this year, only about a third of which will be accepted to appear in JOMS . The primary reasons for rejection of a JOMS submission are that the work is not relevant to the practicing oral and maxillofacial surgeon (who makes up essentially our entire readership), or it does not offer new information on the subject that would be beneficial to the practicing oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Your editorial board views the presentation of science that would be of interest to you, the OMS reader, as the primary responsibility of JOMS .
In fact, every issue of JOMS includes new knowledge to support contemporary OMS practice. Indeed, JOMS is, to boast a bit, a veritable garden of new knowledge each and every month. What does a single issue of JOMS offer the typical practicing oral and maxillofacial surgeon? Is there news to use? Is any of it news you must use?
Consider the September JOMS . While the careful reader might recognize the September issue has a particularly good number of great clinically relevant articles (in fact it does, inspiring this assessment), every issue of JOMS offers news essential to successful contemporary OMS practice.
In Moss et al, “The Oral and Systemic Impact of Third Molar Periodontal Pathology,” the validated impact of retained periodontal diseased third molars on systemic human health is presented. This paper demonstrates that an evidence based decision over the status of third molars is an essential health care decision for every patient.
In Chuang et al, “Age as a Risk Factor for Third Molar Complications,” conventional wisdom over the role of age in surgical outcome is examined through a study of third molar surgery patients.
In Kunkel et al, “Severe Third Molar Complications Including Death—Lessons From 100 Cases Requiring Hospitalization,” the characteristics of postsurgical complications after third molar removal are elucidated offering insight into prevention and management of those complications.
In Ellis and McFadden, “The Value of a Diagnostic Set-Up for Full Fixed Maxillary Implant Prosthetics,” a method for the successful esthetic and functional, implant rehabilitation of patients with edentulous maxillas is presented.
In Uchida et al, the anterior loop of the mental nerve is carefully analyzed to reveal strategies to avoid mental nerve injury during implant placement.
In Colella et al, “Neurosensory Disturbance of the Inferior Alveolar Nerve After Bilateral Sagittal Split Osteotomy,” this accurate assessment of risk will guide surgeons into advising their patients on this important known risk of ramus osteotomy.
In Erdem et al, the cellular characteristics of squamous cell carcinomas are examined to offer prognostic information and potential treatment recommendations for subsets of these tumors.
In Lee et al, clinical guidelines to confirm surgical site in exodontia are presented, offering strategies to avoid this common preventable complication.