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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 93-96

Reminiscences and musings on half a century of the journal of indian orthodontic society

Joint Director, MDS, M. Orth. RCS, MDORCPS, FDSRCS, DIBO, D. Sc (Honours) 1Past Editor, Past President, IOS

Date of Web Publication7-Dec-2018

Correspondence Address:
Jyothindra Kumar
House No.5, Sreekrishna Nagar, Ulloor, Thiruvananthapuram - 695 011, Kerala

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jios.jios_236_18

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How to cite this article:
Kumar J. Reminiscences and musings on half a century of the journal of indian orthodontic society. J Indian Orthod Soc 2018;52, Suppl S2:93-6

How to cite this URL:
Kumar J. Reminiscences and musings on half a century of the journal of indian orthodontic society. J Indian Orthod Soc [serial online] 2018 [cited 2019 Apr 25];52, Suppl S2:93-6. Available from: http://www.jios.in/text.asp?2018/52/6/93/247058

  The Genesis Top

The Journal of Indian Orthodontic Society (JIOS), started in 1968, is attaining the significant milestone of 50 years of uninterrupted publication and dissemination of professional orthodontic knowledge and information to the members of the Indian Orthodontic Society (IOS). It is no mean feat since it requires constant supply of two important ingredients, that is, a healthy supply of quality scientific articles and the finances required to bring out the publication. The JIOS has been lucky in this regard having reasonable quantum of both all these 50 years. The IOS, within a few years of its inception, rightly and clearly identified the need for a professional journal for the practicing orthodontists, given the geographical spread and diversity of India. Special credit and gratefulness of IOS members must go to the founder members of IOS and to Dr. H.D. Merchant in particular, who was the Founder Editor.

  March of the Journal of Indian Orthodontic Society Top

I have had the privilege of seeing, reading, and dealing with the JIOS for almost 4 decades now, which is perhaps why the present Editor invited me to contribute this article. The concept of a scientific journal has undergone a sea change in these 50 years, which the present younger generation of orthodontists of the digital era might find so difficult to comprehend. For posterity, I am putting down the reality then as I know it, in print. In the mid-sixties, communications were by today's standards “primitive.” Only the Indian postal service which was “snail mail” existed, and the rates of postage for standard mail were high, and bulk mail required Registrar of Newspapers and publication registration to be eligible for special lower rates. The publication itself had to be registered with the district collector office in the region from where it is published. Private couriers were unknown in those days. Manuscripts of articles had to be hand-typed and posted to the editor. The editor would be lucky to have manpower assistance in journal administration and many used their private clinical staff for assistance. The post of editor has always been honorary in our society.

The editors of older vintage had to be a jack of all trades – proficient with the scientific literature, a flair for writing, good business acumen and public relations with trade and industry to bring in advertisements, proficient in proofreading, good relationship with the printing press to get the printing done with quality and within time, keeping costs within the budget, and delivering a good-quality journal to the IOS members. The last part of the odium was to hand mail the journal copies all over India, and finally, to answer the complaints of nonreceipt of the journal, given the fact that the address database was hand-typed and so maintained.

The printing of the journal in those days was also unique, viewing it in retrospect. All printed matters were hand typeset and printed on a treadle press, and later in the seventies on a motorized printing machine. The photographs and illustrations could be only black and white, and a block had to be prepared and inserted along with the typeset page matter. The clarity of the pictures, especially intraoral case photographs, was inconsistent and unclear. It must also be said that very few clinicians had 35-mm single-lens reflex cameras and had disciplined protocols of case documentation. Color printing was very expensive until the late eighties, and many journals charged an extra fee for printing them. A present-day orthodontist looking back at old journals could well be dismayed at the quality of the journal of yesteryears and wonder how they did it all!

  Impact of Technology and Business Practices Top

The publication industry underwent a dramatic change with the introduction of the computer in the 1980s and the emergence of the desktop publishing industry. I vividly recall the change to desktop publication from my 2nd year as Editor in 1988 using an Apple II computer directly linked to a plate printing system. The trouble of making blocks for each photograph with the risk of mixing them up and problems of aligning statistical tables vanished in a jiffy. The margins were clear and crisp, and the paper quality also improved. Color printing became a reality and clinical case reports conveyed their intended meaning and purport. It was further boosted with the advent of digital photography and halide-based photographic prints soon faded into oblivion. In all, the march of technology was impressive, and its impact on the final product on the JIOS was immense.

The onus and lot of the journal editors of yesteryears and now also merit a narration here. Fifty years ago, the editor was a one-man army charged with the entire spectrum of journal activities, which can be generally divided into the academic part and the business part including financial management and logistics. It ranged from soliciting and receiving articles, deciding on their suitability for publication, soliciting advertisements, proofreading, budgetary control, receipt of the printed journals from the press, and mailing them across the country. The only merciful factor then was that the numbers were low and gradually increased with time. I distinctly remember a JIOS editor who had to conduct a symposium to raise funds for the journal. Such was the trial and tribulations of an editor! But, their dedication, zeal, and commitment to the JIOS were patriotic.

Later, a small editorial board was created to support the editor and steadily increased to the large team today. The editor has literally become the captain of the editorial team! The concept of peer review was not practiced earnestly and rejections were minuscule. By the mid-eighties, a journal review section was started and section editors followed. Classified advertisements followed thereafter. The next major development in the nineties was the appointment of a business manager for the journal by the editor. Technology advances and business practices had progressed so rapidly that in India large printing and publishing houses started undertaking the business part of the journal in large measure, sparing the editor with time to concentrate on the academic part and scientific content. As the IOS had to provide each member with a copy of the journal, an assured number of copies for a print run was ensured and accounts for the bulk of the JIOS circulation even today. The proliferation of self-financing colleges and library subscription was another avenue for journal circulation.

  The Journal of Indian Orthodontic Society Enters the Digital Era Top

The next major development was principally Internet driven. It was online submission of articles, peer review, acceptance and transfer to the publishing house was all accomplished through Internet, purely online. The written manuscript, thus, was slowly effaced. It also brought in its wake the “cut and paste” syndrome and plagiarism which the editor and reviewers had to be wary about. The JIOS has gone through trials and tribulations over these 5 decades and today has remained up with the times in technology and academics and has all the ingredients essential to a standard specialty journal. It is held in esteem by the IOS community, and I cherish the possession of all JIOS issues from 1968 and occupies a prime position in my professional library. With time, and as is the norm today, there is a print version as well as an online version. It is very heartening for every specialist to note that when global price rise on information and knowledge on the scientific and professional material is the norm, the JIOS allows free access (open access) to its contents and permits authors to self-archive final accepted version of the articles on any Open Archives Initiative-compliant institutional/subject-based repository.

At present and into the foreseeable future, the JIOS and most specialty journals for that matter will be produced by the joint venture of reputed publishing houses and the concerned specialty body. At present, the tie-up of the JIOS with Medknow which was acquired by Wolters Kluwer in 2011 is a beneficial one, without a doubt. Medknow provides high-quality publishing services for peer-reviewed, online, and print-plus-online journals in medicine and dentistry, and their major strength is the large volume of over 350 journals published by them to contemporary standards. They have a robust online manuscript system and provide the JIOS with a dynamic journal website. They use the Open Uniform Resource Locator standard, making it easy for libraries to link users directly from citation to the full text of the article. They also have a global reach and archive JIOS at a number of key places, such as open access compliant e-print repositories and sites, that is, Bioline International (www.bioline.org.br) and Clockss (www.clockss.org.br). All the journals are searchable from a single interface on these sites. The journals are also linked from the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) (www.doaj.org) and PubMed through LinkOut. This enables Indian orthodontic research and knowledge to be showcased to the world. Further, they are the largest international open access publisher to offer widespread free submission, processing, and publication of articles.

Over the years, certain journal standards have emerged worldwide and are essentially best practices within the journal world and space. One such is being listed on information repositories which are regularly accessed by search engines. The journal is indexed with, or included in, the DOAJ and Index Copernicus. I understand from the editor that indexing with other key repositories is in progress. Another important facet that has seen significant progress from my times as editor is the greater attention paid to journal ethics. It is again heartening to note that the JIOS complies with industry associations, such as the Committee on Publication Ethics, International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, and World Association of Medical Editors that set standards and provide guidelines for best practices which meet the current requirements. Furthermore, global contribution of articles is the current JIOS policy although global submissions have not been encouraging going by experience.

Another facet that has emerged and become an absolute necessity is digital archiving with our dwindling forests and environmental concerns. Gone are the days when academicians proudly displayed magnificent bookshelves with their buckram bound journal archives, though they are a treasure trove to the researcher even today which has not yet been rendered obsolescent. A very important and helpful tool for the researching graduate student is the availability of all past issues of the journal free on the JIOS website. As of date, back issues are available for the last 18 years, and the present editor is making a heroic effort to put all issues published to date; online and DVD format will be yet another progressive step. Yet another facet, I find commendable for JIOS is the “Ahead of Print policy.” The articles published online under the ahead of print model are considered published and can be cited and quoted using the DOI as the reference source. This reduces the time lag from article acceptance to publication.

  The Journal of Indian Orthodontic Society Evolution Top

The content of the JIOS has also undergone some change with respect to the scope and coverage of professional and clinical interest. Originally, only original research papers, book and journal reviews, and case reports found a place for publication. Later, interviews with orthodontic peers and experts, meta-analyses, reviews, interesting and unusual case reports, short communications, and other articles providing insightful and informative data started to be included. Editors from time to time have brought out special issues, and when there were too many articles, supplementary editions which were welcomed. In my opinion, one of the valuable additions to the dissemination of information on the current research was the publication of the list of theses of each postgraduate orthodontic department, as well as the topics of the new theses registered but yet to be started. This has helped and in principle should eliminate repetition or duplication in large measure in the country. Unfortunately, this practice has not been continued and perhaps the IOS or JIOS should have a web page as the thesis repository for our country.

Internationally, orthodontics as a specialty today has a large number of journals both in print and online, perhaps too many in my opinion. Only two or three of them merit and have the attention of readers worldwide. Thankfully, only the JIOS occupies the orthodontic journal space in orthodontics in India and has the attention of all IOS members! The standing of a scientific journal in today's ocean of information and knowledge is of interest to all knowledge and information seekers for authenticity, relevance, choice of publication, and a multitude of other speciating factors. One of the numerical indicators that have become popular is the journal impact factor (JIF). The JIF is the average of the number of citations of the papers published in a journal, calculated according to a specific formula; it is extensively used for the evaluation of research and researchers. The method assumes that all papers in a journal have the same scientific merit, which is measured by the JIF of the publishing journal. There are several of them in vogue, and one of them is a value calculated using “ResearchGate” data and is based on the average citation counts from work published in a journal. At the time of writing, the data available for JIOS are 0.06 for 2015 and it indicates the need for a bootstrap pull up by the next editor to push up this figure to a full number.

  Conclusions Top

The IOS's decision to start a national journal has benefitted the profession immensely and is perhaps one of the significant contributors to the upliftment of professional standards in India. It has reached a significant milestone of 50 years of uninterrupted publication, thanks to the unstinted, and zealous efforts of the many editors who held this office with distinction. The readers of JIOS have always been supportive and have spurred them on. The JIOS itself has undergone a tremendous all around and multifaceted transformation which I have briefly outlined here above. It has been well received by the IOS members for whom it is primarily intended. In the universe of orthodontic knowledge and information, time equals change and new challenges. I have no doubt that the JIOS will continue to evolve and transform with time and more than well realize its founding objectives. It will remain a shining star in the IOS firmament.

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There are no conflicts of interest.


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The Genesis
March of the Jou...
Impact of Techno...
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