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MDA Focus Guidelines for Article Submission and Acceptance

The following provides information for article submission to the MDA Focus, the official publication of the MDA. For questions about these guidelines, please contact Melissa Albertson, Focus managing editor. Click to download this entire page as a PDF.

Submission Criteria

  1. Dentists must be a MDA member, or if practicing outside Missouri, an ADA member.
    • Non-members who are dental team members, allied health professionals or industry experts also may submit articles (for example, in the Practice Management category) on topics for which they are a recognized leader/authority.
  2. Submissions may be no longer than 1,250 words (excluding the title; citations) and must include:
    • Title
    • Introductory paragraph to include key words and synopsis of article
    • Conclusion
    • Citations (references)
    • Acknowledgements, if applicable
    • No more than two (2) to four (4) illustrations, charts or images; descriptive captions must accompany each.
  3. Each submission must be emailed and be accompanied by:
    • A cover email that indicates what category the article is being submitted for.
    • Complete biographical information—name, degrees, position or title, address, phone and fax numbers and email address; a summary will be included with the article.
    • A current headshot photo for placement with the biographical information; photo should be high-resolution for print quality.

Committee Reviewed Categories

The Focus accepts articles in the following categories (reviewed by its Editorial Committee).

  1. Clinical Practice: Articles with a clinical and practical focus may be presented as:
    • Brief Reports focusing on specific topics that do not lend themselves to longer, more in-depth writing;
    • Case Reports describing the presentation, diagnosis and management of clinical cases;
    • Full Articles with a clinical and practical focus; or,
    • Practical Science articles providing scientific information on critical issues of practical interest to general dentists, helping bridge the gap between dental research and patient care.
  2. Research: Articles describing the results of clinical, laboratory and population-based research pertinent to dentistry and providing foundational knowledge for future application. Article must be short and focus on specific topics.
  3. Practice Management: Articles that include practical information about the day-to-day aspects of running a dental practice, as well as about broader management concepts and techniques.

Committee Review Process

Editorial Committee reviews are strictly confidential. Because the Committee volunteers its time, reviews may take from three to four weeks to complete. Authors submitting articles will be apprised of the Committee's decision, as soon as it becomes available.

In making its decision to accept a submission, the Editorial Committee will consider:

  1. Is the article topic interesting and relevant?
  2. Is the article content factual?
  3. Is the article content a fair representation of available data?
  4. Will reading the article be beneficial to dentists?

After review of a submission, the Editorial Committee will provide its comments and recommendations to the Editor who will examine these and make a decision to:

  1. Accept
  2. Accept, with minor revisions
  3. Accept, with major revisions
  4. Reject

CE from Article Quizzes

MDA/ADA member dentists can earn CE credit through the MDA Focus Continuing Education program, whereby members read an article accepted for publishing, and from this, may answer the related questions using the online test (or PDF form, also available online). There will be four test questions, and if members answer correctly three of the four questions per article, they may earn one half hour of CE credit. It is the intention to provide two articles per issue that may be taken for a total of 1 CE credit. MDA is an ADA CERP recognized provider.


The MDA Focus 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 placed into the print layout.

Basic Style/Writing Requirements

The purpose of any article of writing is to deliver information, which 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. Authors may express a personal opinion, as long as the basis for that opinion is stated plainly.  


All published references should be cited in the text and numbered consecutively. Each reference should be cited only once; on subsequent citations, the original number should be used. Authors citing sources from the Internet may wish to use WebCite, which is a 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 that ensures that cited Web material will remain available to readers in the future. This is especially helpful for readers who may access issues of the Focus magazine through is online archive. www.webcitation.org.

Non-Reviewed Categories Letters to the Editor

The MDA Focus welcomes letters from members on articles that have appeared in the magazine. Letters must be no more than 500 words; the Focus reserves the right to edit letters that exceed this. By sending a letter to the editor, the author acknowledges and agrees that the letter and all rights of the author sending the letter become the property of the Focus. If a member wishes to submit comments to the Editor, but does NOT wish for these to be considered as a formal letter for publishing, the author of the letter should clarify such intent.

Editor and Editorial Committee

The Editor of the MDA is an appointive position, acting in a non-voting, ex-officio capacity in both the House of Delegates and Board of Trustees. It is the duty of the Board to appoint a qualified member of this Association to the office of Editor. The Editorial Committee is selected by the Editor of the MDA. The purpose of the Editorial Committee is to review Clinical Practice, Research and Practice Management articles for the Focus. All other editorial content is determined by the Editor, with assistance from the managing Editor, a position of the MDA Executive Office staff.


All views expressed in the MDA Focus are published on the authority of the writer and are not to be regarded as the views of the Missouri Dental Association, unless such statements have been adopted by the Association. The MDA reserves the right to reject any manuscript submitted for publication.

Contact Information

Authors of reviewed articles must submit their materials by email editor@modental.org. Authors of letters to the editor may submit their letters to: editor@modental.org by fax to: 573-635-0764 or by mail to: 3340 American Ave, Jefferson City MO 65109.

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