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Submissions & Author Guidelines

Manuscript Submission

New manuscripts. All new manuscripts must be submitted via JADA’s online submission and review Website, JADA ScholarOne Manuscripts (Authors who do not yet have an account on the Website should click the “Create Account” link on the upper right-hand corner of the JADA ScholarOne Manuscripts welcome page and follow the step-by-step process to open an account.). On the dashboard page, authors should select the Corresponding Author Center. In the Corresponding Author Center, they should click the “Click here to submit a new manuscript” link.

Author identification and roles. The author should include a letter providing each author’s name, degrees, professional title, work affiliations, complete address, telephone and fax numbers, and email address. That cover letter can be typed in on the JADA ScholarOne Manuscripts site in the field provided, or it can be uploaded to the site as a word-processed document. In addition, each author must provide a statement of responsibility detailing what he or she contributed to the manuscript. That statement can be uploaded as a separate document (it is recommended that statements from all authors be placed in a single document).

Originality and exclusivity. The JADA Editor will consider only articles that are original, have not been published elsewhere and have been submitted exclusively to JADA.

Clinical Trials

CONSORT statement. Authors of articles about clinical trials must adhere to the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials statement (www.consort-statement.org/consort-statement/overview0). Authors of manuscripts about clinical trials must use intention-to-treat analysis.

Registration of clinical trials. Effective March 1, 2013, as a condition for publication of any report of a clinical trial that began enrollment of participants on or after March 1, 2013, JADA requires that the clinical trial be registered publicly before any participants are enrolled in the study. Trials that began enrollment prior to March 1, 2013 also must be registered, but registration of such trials after enrollment of participants has begun is acceptable. The specific trial registry name and the registry number (for example, "ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT00000000") must be submitted with each manuscript that is a report of a clinical trial. Observational studies—those in which the investigator does not assign the intervention—will not require registration. JADA editors will check manuscripts on submission to determine if the study required registration. Clinical trials need not be registered on any specific website; a list of registries acceptable to JADA is available on the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors website (http://www.icmje.org/about-icmje/faqs/clinical-trials-registration). If such a manuscript is accepted for publication, the trial registry name and registration number will be published at the end of the article's abstract.

Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses

Authors of systematic reviews must adhere to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses, available at www.prisma-statement.org/statement.htm.

Manuscript Designation

When published, manuscripts will be placed in one of the JADA departments listed below. Authors should indicate the department for which they are submitting a manuscript, with the understanding that the editor might deem the manuscript better suited to a different department.

Unless otherwise noted, manuscripts must be no longer than 10 double-spaced pages (roughly 3,000 words), exclusive of title page, abstract, acknowledgments, references and illustrations (tables, figures, text boxes).

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Clinical Practice. Articles with a clinical and practical focus. Potential topic areas include esthetic and restorative care, oral-systemic health, pharmacology, specialty dental practice, and informatics and technology.

  • Brief Reports. Short articles focusing on specific topics that do not lend themselves to longer, more in-depth treatments (6 double-spaced pages). The articles formerly included in the “Clinical Directions” department are included in the Brief Reports category. Pilot studies also would be appropriate for this section.
  • Case Reports. Short articles describing the presentation, diagnosis and management of clinical cases (6 double-spaced pages).
  • Critical Review. Review articles using a systematic approach to describe what is known from the literature about a clinical dental topic and evaluating the strength of the evidence (10 double-spaced pages).
  • Full Article. Full-length articles with a clinical and practical focus.
  • Practical Science. Articles providing scientific information on critical issues of practical interest to general dentists, helping to bridge the gap between dental research and patient care (10 double-spaced pages).

Practice Management. Practical information about the day-to-day aspects of running a dental practice, as well as about broader management concepts and techniques. Articles on informatics and technology could appear here if the technology being discussed has a management rather than a clinical focus (10 double-spaced pages).

Research. Articles describing the results of clinical, laboratory and population-based research pertinent to dentistry and providing foundation knowledge for future application.

  • Full Article. Full-length articles describing potential clinical applications of research findings (10 double-spaced pages).
  • Brief Reports. Short articles focusing on specific topics that do not lend themselves to longer, more in-depth treatments (6 double-spaced pages).
  • Advances in Dental Products. Articles describing research on new products useful to the clinician. Research sponsored or substantially funded by manufacturers appears here (10 double-spaced pages).


  • Full Article. Articles describing trends in dentistry and health care, such as access to care; patient and practitioner demographics; economic, ethical and societal issues; state and federal law, policy and regulations that affect dentistry; and surveys of dentists on topics of interest (10 double-spaced pages).
  • Brief Reports. Short articles focusing tightly on specific topics that do not lend themselves to longer, more in-depth treatments (6 double-spaced pages).

Non-Peer–Reviewed Material

Letters to the Editor. Brief comments on issues raised and articles published in JADA. A letter about a particular article will be forwarded to the article’s author for comment, if the letter is selected for publication. The JADA Editor reserves the right to edit the letters into a publishable format (550 words, maximum of five references, no illustrations). A letter concerning a recent JADA article will have the best chance of acceptance if it is received within two months of the article’s publication. Letter writers are asked to disclose any personal or professional affiliations or conflicts of interest that readers may wish to take into consideration in assessing their stated opinions. Brevity is appreciated. By sending a letter to the editor, the author acknowledges and agrees that the letter and all rights of the author in the letter become the property of The Journal. Letters may be submitted via email to jadaletters@ada.org; by fax to 312.440.3538; or by mail to 211 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611-2678.

Manuscript Format

Technical specifications. Manuscripts submitted to JADA must be prepared in Microsoft Word. No manuscripts prepared in WordPerfect or other word processing software can be reviewed. Manuscripts prepared in Word 2007 must be saved down to Word 2003 format. Also, no illustrations or other material prepared in PowerPoint will be accepted for review. If your material was prepared in PowerPoint, please copy it into a Microsoft Word document or submit it as a PDF, a JPEG, a TIFF or an EPS file.

Length. Unless otherwise noted above, manuscripts must be no longer than 10 double-spaced pages (roughly 3,000 words), exclusive of title page, abstract, acknowledgments, references and illustrations.

NOTE: The Journal does not accept submissions of serial articles (Part I, Part II, etc.).

Page setup. Pages should have 1-inch margins and must be numbered consecutively throughout the document.

Title page. Each manuscript should have a title page bearing the complete title of the manuscript and complete information on all authors. It should be the first page of the manuscript.

  • Each author’s degrees must be listed on the title page. JADA generally does not publish U.S. fellowships and honorary degrees and designations. Degrees below the master’s level generally are not listed, unless they are the highest degree attained.
  • The title page should designate the corresponding author and list that author’s complete mailing address for the purposes of directing reprint requests after publication.

Abstract. A separate section describes how to format structured abstracts.

Authors. The people listed as authors should be those who made an intellectual contribution to the manuscript. All authors should be listed with their affiliations, their academic degrees and their scientific or clinical contributions to the paper. The editor and publisher reserve the right to ask for justification for each author’s inclusion.

Acknowledgments. Acknowledgments should be submitted on a separate page.

Illustrations. A maximum of four figures—charts, graphs or photographs—and four tables may be submitted. (See next paragraph for an exception to this rule.) Each separate chart, graph or photograph will be counted as a separate illustration; illustrations should not be grouped together as a single illustration. Tables and figures should augment, not repeat, the text. Figures and tables should be numbered consecutively according to the order in which they are cited in the text. Regarding clinical figures, JADA will accept only digital files of at least 4 inches (roughly 100 millimeters) in width and at least 300 or more dots per inch and in JPEG, TIFF or EPS format. These may be uploaded on JADA ScholarOne Manuscripts. JADA cannot accept original histologic slides and radiographs. However, The Journal will accept digital files of radiographs, magnetic resonance images and magnetic resonance angiograms. The publisher reserves the right to reject any figure that does not meet the necessary quality standards for publication.

  • (Exception. For only articles on esthetic care, authors are invited to provide sufficient numbers of high-quality photographs to present their material comprehensively, provided that there is an appropriate ratio of text to photographs: the length of the manuscript must be sufficient to support placement of photographs within the text. As a rule of thumb, assume an outside limit of three photographs per manuscript page.)

Any patient who is clearly identified in the article (either in text or in photographs) must sign a form indicating his or her consent to be thus depicted in the article. This consent form (PDF) must be submitted with the manuscript.

Manuscript Style

Basic style/writing requirements. The foundation of JADA style is the most recent edition of the American Medical Association Manual of Style. The purpose of any piece of writing is to deliver information. This requires the author to define his or her message and to present it in a way that is readily understood by and engaging to the reader. Manuscripts should be written in active voice and declarative sentences for a clear, concise style. The overall tone of these reports should be factual and professional, and thus suitable for a scholarly journal. Authors are allowed to express a personal opinion as long as the basis for that opinion is stated plainly. For example, an author may express an opinion “based on long experience and intensive observation.” Other statements of opinion and all statements of fact require references from the appropriate published literature (dental, medical, epidemiologic, practice management, etc.).

Manuscript title. Authors are invited to write titles for their articles. Titles should be as brief as possible while clearly conveying the main point or purpose of the article. Short subheads also should be used throughout the article to highlight key points. All submissions, including titles and subheads, are subject to change during the editing process.

Statistical material. Authors are encouraged to include confidence intervals (CIs) with all P values.

References. All published references should be cited in the text and numbered consecutively. No references should be cited in the abstract. Each reference should be cited only once; on subsequent citations, the original number should be used. Personal communications and unpublished data should not be numbered, but should be cited in the text as follows:

(G Edmunds, DDS, oral communication, November 2004)

Authors citing sources from the World Wide Web should make use of WebCite. WebCite is an entirely free service for authors who want to refer to Web material, regardless of the publication for which they are writing. It is an archiving system for Web references (cited Webpages and Websites) that can be used by authors, editors and publishers of scholarly papers and books to ensure that cited Web material will remain available to readers in the future. If Web references cited in JADA articles are not archived, future readers may encounter a "File Not Found" error when clicking on a cited URL. A Web citation archived on www.webcitation.org will not disappear in the future.

Citations in the reference list should follow this basic style:

  • Periodical
    1. Lauterbach M, Martins IP, Castro-Caldas A, et al. Neurological outcomes in children with and without amalgam-related mercury exposure: seven years of longitudinal observations in a randomized trial. JADA 2008;139(2):138-145.
  • Book
    2. Cohen S, Burns RC. Pathways of the pulp. 8th ed. St. Louis: Mosby; 2002:196.
  • Book chapter
    3. Byrne BE, Tibbetts LS. Conscious sedation and agents for the control of anxiety. In: Ciancio SG, ed. ADA Guide to Dental Therapeutics. 3rd ed. Chicago: American Dental Association; 2003:17-53.
  • Government publication
    4. Medicine for the public: Women’s health research. Bethesda, Md.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health; 2001. DHHS publication 02-4971.
  • World Wide Website
    5. Hoffman ED, Klees BS, Curtis CA. Brief summaries of Medicare & Medicaid: Title XVIII and Title XIX of the Social Security Act as of November 1, 2007. Baltimore, Md.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Office of the Actuary; 2007. “http://www.cms.hhs.gov/
    MedicareProgramRatesStats/downloads/MedicareMedicaidSummaries2007.pdf” Accessed Aug. 28, 2008.
  • Publication in press
    6. McCoy J. Alteration in periodontal status as an indicator of general health. JADA (in press). NOTE: Authors should double-check the status of any in-press work cited in their reference lists before submitting the final manuscript to JADA.
  • Presentation
    7. Eichenstadt L, Brenner T. Caries levels among low-income children: report of a three-year study. Paper presented at: 146th Annual Session of the American Dental Association; Oct. 7, 2005; Philadelphia.


Peer review. Articles in JADA are subject to a single-blinded peer review process: reviewers know the identity of a manuscript’s author(s), but authors do not know the identity of the reviewers. (Authors do have an opportunity to suggest reviewers on JADA ScholarOne Manuscripts; they also have an opportunity to request the exclusion of particular reviewers from critiquing their manuscript. NOTE: Authors may not include as a preferred reviewer anyone who works at their own institutions.) Reviewers keep their critiques strictly confidential. Because the reviewers volunteer their time, reviews may take from three to four weeks to complete.

Decision. Once the reviewers have completed their critiques, the editor examines their comments and makes a decision about the manuscript’s disposition: accept, minor revisions, major revisions, or reject.

Editing. JADA reserves the right to edit manuscripts to ensure conciseness, clarity and stylistic consistency and to fit articles to available space. After accepted articles are edited, they are returned to the authors for review and comment before publication. Authors will have the opportunity to review a PDF proof of their articles after they are typeset.

Authors’ Responsibilities

Ethical approval of studies and informed consent/assent. For all manuscripts reporting data from studies involving human participants, human specimens or animals, JADA requires that the study have received formal review and approval, or formal review and waiver, by an appropriate institutional review board or ethics committee. This review and approval or waiver should be described in the manuscript’s Methods section. Authors may be asked to request that the institutional review board provide directly to the editor documentation of the formal review and recommendation from the body responsible for ethical oversight of the study. For investigations involving humans or human specimens, authors should state in the Methods section that they obtained informed consent/assent from the study participants.

Personal communications and unpublished data. JADA requires that authors request and receive permission from each person identified in the manuscript as a source of information in a personal communication or as a source for unpublished data. By submitting their manuscripts, authors represent and warrant to JADA that such permission has been obtained, if applicable. JADA strongly recommends that such permissions be in writing and that authors should maintain the signed statements in their records for a reasonable period of time after publication of their work in JADA. Authors must specify in the manuscript the date of the communication or the data, as well as whether the communication was written or oral.

Copyright transfer. The American Dental Association owns the copyright for all editorial content published in The Journal. Each author on a manuscript must submit a statement transferring copyright to the ADA. After a manuscript is submitted and the editorial staff has checked it in, each author will receive an email prompting him or her to log into JADA ScholarOne Manuscripts, visit the Corresponding Author Center, complete the copyright transfer form (as well as the conflict of interest form, which is discussed in the Disclosure section below) and submit it as directed in ScholarOne. Manuscripts submitted without the requisite signed Copyright Transfer Agreements will not be reviewed unless and until JADA’s Editor receives a valid, executed JADA Copyright Transfer Agreement from each author. If the manuscript is rejected by the ADA, all copyrights in the manuscript will be retained by the author(s). All accepted manuscripts and their accompanying illustrations become the permanent property of the American Dental Association and may not be published elsewhere in full or in part, in print or electronically, without written permission from the ADA’s Publishing Division.

Reprint permission. If the manuscript contains any material, either text or illustrations, that is either exactly reproduced or adapted from a published source, the author is responsible for obtaining written permission from the publisher of that source work—or the person or agency holding the copyright, if not the publisher—to reproduce the material in JADA. JADA will not reproduce such material without written permission. The official JADA template letter for this purpose is available online in Microsoft Word format. The author must submit a copy of the permission letter and provide JADA with complete citation information for the reproduced material.

Consent forms. Any person who is clearly identified in the article (either in text or in photographs) must sign a form indicating his or her consent to be thus depicted in the article. This consent form (PDF) must be submitted with the manuscript.

Response to letters to the editor. An author whose article is published in JADA is expected to prepare a response to any letter to the editor about his or her article that the editor deems appropriate for publication. (For further information, see the Letters to the Editor section above under Manuscript Designation, Non-Peer-Reviewed Material.)


Each author must disclose any financial, economic or professional interests that may influence positions presented in the article. This disclosure will be published with the article. After a manuscript is submitted and the editorial staff has checked it in, each author will receive an email prompting him or her to log into JADA ScholarOne Manuscripts, visit the Corresponding Author Center, complete the conflict of interest form (as well as the copyright transfer form, which is discussed in the Review section above) and submit it as directed in ScholarOne. Manuscripts submitted without the requisite signed conflict of interest forms will not be reviewed unless and until JADA’s Editor receives a valid, executed JADA conflict of interest form from each author.

Open Access Policy

Full-text JADA articles from 1995 to the present may be found on the ADA’s Website at http://jada.ada.org.

1. ADA members and paid JADA subscribers have full access free of charge to all issues and all content in the JADA Online archive.

2. The following content is free to all visitors at all times:

  • Table of Contents and Abstracts
  • Critical Summaries
  • Ethical Moment
  • News
  • For the Dental Patient
  • Supplements
  • Government-funded articles published more than 12 months previous and back to 2000

3. All non-members and non-JADA subscribers must pay an access fee per article for all articles not listed in item 2 above.

National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy: Authors’ Responsibilities

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy implements a law passed in December 2007 that affects authors who receive funding from the NIH. Effective April 7, 2008, the law mandates that all peer-reviewed articles that arise, in whole or in part, from direct costs funded by NIH, or from NIH staff, that are accepted for publication by a peer-reviewed journal—including JADA—must be deposited with the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central, in the form of a copy of the manuscript’s final version on its acceptance. NIH provides a Website at http://publicaccess.nih.gov that contains answers to questions authors may have about this policy.

On or after April 7, 2008, when the author deposits the accepted manuscript with PubMed Central, he or she should specify that the manuscript is not to be made available until 12 months after publication (not acceptance). Thereby, the manuscripts will be made publicly available by PubMed Central at the same time that JADA makes its full text available to the public free of charge.

JADA holds the copyright to all material it publishes except for material authored solely by U.S. government employees.

Authors with NIH funding should note that access to their articles will be open to all readers, in accordance with the law.


If any of the following statements applies to you, or any co-author of your article, you are required to deposit your manuscript, if accepted, with PubMed Central.

  • directly funded by an NIH grant or cooperative agreement active in Fiscal Year 2008 (October 1, 2007-September 30, 2008) or beyond
  • directly funded by a contract signed on or after April 7, 2008
  • directly funded by the NIH Intramural Program
  • paid a salary by NIH

Author’s Copies

The corresponding author will receive, at no cost, two copies of the JADA issue containing the article and a PDF file of the article via e-mail. (The PDF file is a watermarked version of the published article and includes a cover sheet with the journal cover image and a disclaimer outlining the terms and conditions of use.) For an extra charge, paper offprints can be ordered via the offprint order form, which is sent once the article is accepted for publication.

Reprinting of Material Published in JADA

All accepted manuscripts and their accompanying illustrations become the permanent property of the American Dental Association, owner and publisher of JADA, and may not be published elsewhere in full or in part, in print or electronically, without written permission from the American Dental Association. Any party seeking individual or multiple copies of material published in JADA must request permission in writing from the Permissions Editor, Publishing Division, American Dental Association, 211 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611. The request must state exactly what material is being borrowed, the issue in which it was published, the intended use of the material being borrowed, the name of the publication in which the reprinted material will appear (if applicable), the print quantity of distribution, the audience and whether the use is for financial gain.

Further guidelines on reprinting are available from the publisher.


Any publicity (press releases, press coverage, etc.) about articles published in JADA must be coordinated through the ADA Public Affairs Department (phone 312.440.2806, email mediarelations@ada.org).

Submission Checklist

Before submitting a manuscript, the author should make sure he or she has completed all the necessary steps.

  • Electronic files of the manuscript and each table and figure should be uploaded.
  • A copyright transfer statement and a conflict of interest form, signed by each author, should be either scanned and uploaded to JADA ScholarOne Manuscripts or faxed to the JADA editorial office at 1-716.829.6053. Please do not submit your forms until you submit your manuscript.
  • The cover letter should indicate the JADA department to which the manuscript is being submitted.
  • The manuscript should include a structured abstract in the proper format (according to the JADA department to which it is being submitted).
  • All references should be checked for accuracy, correct format and completeness.
  • If applicable, acknowledgments should be included in the manuscript on a separate page.
  • Complete information—name, degrees, position or title, address, phone and fax numbers, email address—should be included for the corresponding author.