In the latest EFP Virtual Perio Talks session on Instagram, Panos N. Papapanou – editor-in-chief of the Journal of Clinical Periodontology (JCP) since April – talked about the EFP’s sector-leading scientific publication.
Prof Papapanou, professor of dental medicine at the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in New York, USA, described the history of the JCP, the publication’s impact factor, and gave some suggestions to authors who wish to see their research published in the journal.
“My first memory of the JCP was in Gothenburg in 1985 when I was starting my graduate education in periodontology when Jan Lindhe was editor-in-chief of the JCP and at that time we called it the journal as it was the only journal we cared about,” he told Perio Talks host Bruno De Carvalho, member of the EFP Alumni committee and associate professor of periodontology at the University of Liège in Belgium.
Papapanou mentioned the first article he published in the JCP – his first-ever published article – “Periodontal status in relation to age and tooth type: a cross-sectional radiographic study” in 1988.
Asked to describe the main scope of the JCP today, he replied: “The main scope of the JCP has not really changed, it’s evolved over time. When perio expanded in scope to also include surgical aspects of implant dentistry, this was incorporated. But the aspiration that the JCP has always had and continues to have is to remain the pre-eminent scientific journal in the sphere of periodontology.”
He added that despite the word “clinical” is in the publication’s name, “we do not only accept clinical work – we accept preclinical work, we accept animal studies, we accept basic science, so we aspire to get the highest level of science related to periodontology in all of these categories.”
One feature of the JCP highlighted by Bruno De Carvalho was the “friendly format” of submissions, which contrasts to the extensive submissions process of some other journals.
“Because the JCP is the top-ranked journal in dentistry we have to be very selective,” said Prof Papapanou. “This means that a lot of papers that do not even get reviewed by us are not necessarily bad papers just that they do not uphold the top standard we aspire to have as the best journal in dentistry.”
About 30 per cent of the papers submitted to the JCP are sent out for peer-review.
“If you submit a paper to the JCP, for us to make a decision that your paper is good but probably not good enough for us, I don’t need to torture you forever to formulate your efforts in this way and your figures in that way, if I can send you a polite letter,” the editor explained. He added that he tries to let submitters know whether their papers will be considered within one or two days of receiving them.
Turning to the JCP’s sector-leading impact factor, Prof Papapanou paid tribute to the “amazing work” of his predecessor as editor-in-chief, Maurizio S. Tonetti, in increasing the impact factor and then explained the two factors behind the “giant leap” (from 5.241 in 2019 to 8.728 in 2020).
Firstly, a change in the way the factor was calculated, to include online citations, meant that there was an increase across the board in all publications in the dentistry sector.
On top of that, the JCP’s impact factor has benefitted over the last two years from being cited for the papers related to the new classification of periodontal and peri-implant diseases and conditions, which was published in 2018. “So, while those papers will continue to be cited, next year those citations will be too old to be counted towards the impact factor,” he said.
“I’m telling everybody to enjoy this amazing impact factor while it lasts, because it isn’t going to last forever.”
Perio Talks sessions take place monthly on the EFP’s Instagram page (@perioeurope), hosted by Bruno De Carvalho.
Some comments have been edited for clarity and concision.