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A revitalized JADA enters its second century in 2014

December 09, 2013

By James Berry

Close on the heels of its 2013 centennial celebration, The Journal of the American Dental Association expects to have something more to celebrate in the New Year.

In January, the Association's Publishing Division, which produces JADA and the ADA News, will unveil the first full-scale redesign of the ADA's flagship publication in nearly 25 years.

Not just a new look—though it is that—JADA's 2014 redesign will showcase new sections and features aimed at enhancing The Journal's value to its many readers, contributors and supporters.

“JADA's role is to advance the science and practice of dentistry by helping dentists stay current on recent developments within their profession,” said Dr. Michael Glick, JADA editor since 2005.

“The challenge for a science-based, peer-reviewed journal like JADA,” he said, “is to present information in a way that welcomes wide readership without detracting from the seriousness of the publication's mission. With this redesign, I think we have achieved that delicate balance, though, ultimately, the readers will decide.”

As often happens with print publications, JADA's sections or topic headings have proliferated over the years, potentially confusing readers and giving The Journal a cluttered look.

The new design dials back on that heavily sectionalized approach, with most of the scientific content presented under the blanket heading of “Original Contributions.”

In a commentary specially written for the January JADA, Michael D. Springer, ADA publisher and senior vice president for Business and Publishing, highlighted other elements of JADA's redesign.

The new cover, he said, is what's known in the field of publication design as a “full bleed”—a space large enough to accommodate multiple brief descriptions of the articles inside.

“The table of contents has been redone in a clean and compelling way that is intended to guide the reader easily through the selection of articles and features,” wrote Mr. Springer.

“The Original Contributions feature a crisp presentation of the article abstract and aid the reader in absorbing a lot of information quickly from the opening page.”

The new JADA uses a color palette toned down from the somewhat louder hues applied to charts and tables in the old design.

These new, quieter colors promote what Mr. Springer described as a “more consistent and professional-looking presentation of data.”

The Journal's redesign took more than a year to accomplish, tapping input and feedback from many sources, including JADA's Editorial Board and a panel of grassroots ADA member dentists.

All work was accomplished in-house through Publishing's award-winning Creative Director Peter Solarz.

Beyond the print redesign, JADA continues its rapid expansion into the digital realm. Case in point: Between January and October 2013, more than almost 900,000 full-text JADA articles were downloaded.

Among its newer features, The Journal now offers ADA members and institutional subscribers a mobile-optimized format that allows users to read and search articles on smartphones and tablets.

In September, JADA online, accessible through the Association's website, introduced ADA Precision Search, a new tool described in its promo as “Medline made easy.”

This new feature allows readers to hunt for articles on related topics in the Medline database—and to complete their search within just a couple of clicks.

“The search is conducted in a new window so that the reader never leaves the article page and can go right back to reading without any trouble,” noted Mr. Springer.

Readers also can save searches and bookmark them for future reference, he said. ADA Precision Search can be found in the right-hand navigation bar of every online article, just above Google Scholar and PubMed.

In addition, JADA tables and illustrations can be downloaded at no charge to members and subscribers for use in lectures and presentations—a feature expected to be of particular interest to educators.

In recent years, JADA's influence has expanded to other shores with foreign-language or English editions in Spain, Portugal, India, Mexico, China and the Middle East, plus a yearbook edition in Russia.

“In today's world, the provision of dental care is a global endeavor, and the ADA Journal must play a central role in that effort,” said Dr. Glick, the JADA editor.

He added “Thanks to the men and women who came before us, JADA's first century was a resounding success. Now we turn our attentions to the century ahead. And with high hopes, we prepare for continued success in the years to come.”