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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 33

How orthodontic ideas get accepted… or not…

Diplomate, American Board of Orthodontics, Professor of Orthodontics and Founding Dean, European University College, Dubai Healthcare City, United Arab Emirates

Date of Web Publication14-Aug-2012

Correspondence Address:
Donald J Ferguson
Diplomate, American Board of Orthodontics, Professor of Orthodontics and Founding Dean, European University College, Dubai Healthcare City
United Arab Emirates
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-0203.99752

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How to cite this article:
Ferguson DJ. How orthodontic ideas get accepted… or not…. J Orthodont Sci 2012;1:33

How to cite this URL:
Ferguson DJ. How orthodontic ideas get accepted… or not…. J Orthodont Sci [serial online] 2012 [cited 2022 Dec 2];1:33. Available from: https://www.jorthodsci.org/text.asp?2012/1/2/33/99752

Ideas are the inspiration to those who aspire to publish primary literature, but I can assure you that getting a new or original idea accepted by the orthodontic professional community is vulnerable to obstacles, challenges and obligations. The main obstacle is the resistance from the professional community to new ideas. According to Campanario (Int J Sci Educ 2002;24:1095-110) your idea will not succeed if it does not "fit" within the context of the prevailing or dominant paradigm, if it cannot be connected to existing knowledge, and/or the value of the idea is not widely recognized or heralded. The challenge to those inspired by original ideas and wishing to publish, is to bridge to what is already known or to create the knowledge base supporting the idea thereby providing the rationale, justification and explanation. In applied orthodontic science, this means making a tenable idea testable (hypothesize), designing a research strategy or plan, identifying an appropriate sample, making observations that are valid and reliable, and statistically appraising the data collected. The obligations include not only reporting investigation results accurately, clearly and without passion or prejudice, but also describing how the idea relates to existing knowledge and why the implications of the idea have value.

If you understand the obstacles, rise to the challenges, and meet the obligations, your idea may "catch-on" and become popular… it may even go "viral" by the network effects of the Internet. But the greater probability is that your new idea will lay fallow for years for lack of acceptance or because it is not widely accessed, known or understood. According to the recent article "Open Sesame" in The Economist (http://www.economist.com/node/21552574), "The aim of academic journals is to make the best research widely available." But access is limited by some incumbent journals that are highly sought after by researchers who seek to advance their careers… journals that remain required reading in their fields. An overriding motive for these restricted access journals is primarily financial… i.e., providing public access to research results at a high monetary fee. The article suggests that government and charity-funded research should be available free to the public… which would strengthen the hand of "open access" journals such as Journal of Orthodontic Science (JOS).

While the editors and editorial board acknowledges that JOS content is largely provided free by researchers, and that the academics who peer-review and qualify JOS manuscripts for publication are usually unpaid volunteers, the rigor of that peer and editorial refereeing process is quintessentially important to the orthodontic community in the triage of ideas worth accepting. In future editions of JOS, scholars will submit their work, empirical methods will be scrutinized for errors, flaws or weaknesses, reasoning and scale and importance will be judged to assure that the application of orthodontic knowledge to the physical world will be logical and rational. Peer review quality and selectivity standards vary greatly from journal to journal, and the vigor, durability and permanence of JOS will be tested over time. The JOS commitment is to "openness" and to rigorous review of scholarly work conducted in Saudi Arabia and the region while providing unrestricted access to the results.


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