Dental Research and International Association
Oro-facial and Dental Research provides key solutions and futuristic treatments for oral diseases such as dental caries, gum problems and oral cancer. The researchers in this field provide relief from oral disease and improve dental treatment. These researchers publish their findings in scholarly journals, which then are translated in to clinical practice.
The International Association of Dental Research (www.iadr.com) is a century old organization having more than 11000 members across the globe. The association provides a platform for researchers and research policy makers to exchange their knowledge and update themselves.
93rd General Session and Symposiums
In Mid-March 2015, the 93rd Annual Meeting of the association was conducted in Boston, USA where nearly 10,000 dental researchers across the world participated. In this forum a special symposium was conducted to increase the scientific quality of the submission of the dental research manuscripts. Prof. Dr. S. M. Balaji, the Secretary General of the Indian Division of the IADR, was invited by the IADR to present the ways to educate and motivate how dental teachers and Deans of Dental institutes could contribute to increase the dental research quality.
Dr. S. M. Balaji
Chennai based Maxillofacial Surgeon, Dr. S. M. Balaji leads the Indian Division of the Dental Research body as its Secretary General. He was invited by the International body to present his views to improve the quality of dental research and thus the futuristic dental scenario in India. He was the sole Asian to represent the continent in the forum. Speaking in the symposium, Dr. S. M. Balaji lamented the current scenario of Indian Dental Research. He pointed out in the a leading research database, Scopus Database, the number of dental research papers in 2012 was 1055 of which only 75 were cited. Citation is a term for being referred in another scientific publication, within 2 years. It means that the research is being useful and has helped to advance science. In 1996, Indians published only 31 articles and 30 of them were cited within the next 2 years. The current situation indicated that though in the 20 years period from 1996, Indian dental researchers have been able to increase the scientific production by 3400% but was able to increase the citation by 100% only.
Prof. Balaji, spoke in length about the problems associated with current situation. He marked that the non-availability of funding, less importance to research, non-inclusion of proper scientific research methodology as the driving cause for this situation. He further highlighted the ways how the Deans, Principals and Dental teachers can work together to reverse this situation.
The innovative ways was well received by the audience. The moderator of the Symposium, Prof. Kenneth Eaton, Chair, British Dental Educator Forum speaking later in the meeting promised to bring the views of Prof. Balaji as a policy paper in future.