Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 28 (2013), No. 5 24. Oct. 2013
Tissue engineering is defined as the use of a combination of cells, engineering principles, and materials along with suitable biochemical and physicochemical factors to improve or replace biologic function. In practice, tissue engineering tends to be associated with repair or replacement of partial or whole tissues. The field originated as a component of biomaterials, but it has developed into a distinct entity.
In the history of implant dentistry we can see many parallels with tissue engineering. The osseointegration process depends upon a biologic response to an alloplastic device that is used to replace teeth. The engineering principles are involved in the design of prostheses in such a way as to use the supporting implants to replace the tooth root while traditional prosthodontic procedures are performed to simulate the crown and surrounding soft tissue.
Today the two fields are burgeoning, sometimes independent of each other and, in most instances, in collaboration. Indeed, this journal routinely provides scientific articles that incorporate elements from traditional implant dentistry and regenerative dental efforts. The growth in both fields appears to be rapidly expanding and it is unlikely that a plateau will be reached in the near future.
Recognizing this, The International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Implants is initiating a "Tissue Engineering" section. This new section, edited by Dr Ole Jensen, will bring cutting-edge research to our readership. From scientific theory to translational research, our readers will benefit from the knowledge presented. I am sure you will find this new section intellectually stimulating. We have been fortunate to receive permission to include a number of articles related to tissue engineering that were previously published in Oral & Craniofacial Tissue Engineering. Beginning in this issue and continuing in the next three issues, the full text version of these articles will appear on the JOMI website and the abstracts in the print journal. These articles will provide the readers with a tremendous opportunity to see the compelling information available in the newest section of this journal.
Beginning with this issue, JOMI also is changing the way that it recognizes reviewers. Before I explain the changes, I will describe the expectations that the journal has for its reviewers.
We realize that the quality of article reviews dictates the quality of articles in the journal. Good reviewers provide constructive reviews, and when the reviews identify issues that should be addressed, the authors are able to incorporate those changes to make an article better. Sometimes the changes suggested by the peer review process relate to the need for better descriptions of the study design. Many reviews identify a need for enhanced statistical analysis. Graphics, in the form of figures, tables, or charts, may benefit greatly from the eye of a third party. Indeed there are many factors identified by reviewers that, once addressed in a revision, result in articles that are more clear, more precise, and easier to read.
Understanding the vital role that the reviewers play, it seems appropriate to recognize their contributions in a more timely way. Previously reviewers were recognized annually through a published "thank you" that listed the names of all the reviewers for the previous year. We are now planning to list the names of the reviewers for the articles found in each section of the journal. This will provide a more immediate recognition and it also lets the readers and the authors know how much the reviewers contribute. We do recognize that some articles may never be published for one reason or another. The reviewers of such articles still provide a huge contribution and their efforts will continue to be recognized in the annual expression of gratitude for efforts of the reviewers.
I look forward to these two new initiatives. Keeping the journal relevant, fresh, and educational remain the primary goals of the editorial staff.