The one check on the publication of false information are letters to the editor, and unlike other journals, the Journal of Periodontology does not allow letters to the editor.
Letters to the editor in scientific journals serve several purposes:
- Communication: Letters to the editor provide a platform for researchers and experts to communicate with the journal’s readership and the scientific community at large. They allow authors to share their thoughts, opinions, and insights on recently published articles or scientific issues of interest.
- Corrections and Critiques: Letters to the editor often serve as a means to point out errors, omissions, or shortcomings in published articles. They offer an avenue for researchers to provide corrections, clarifications, or additional information to enhance the scientific record.
- Discussion and Debate: Letters to the editor foster scientific discourse and open dialogue by allowing researchers to engage in discussions or debates about a particular topic or study. They can present alternative interpretations, challenge existing findings, or propose new hypotheses, sparking further research and exploration.
Presently, the Journal of Periodontology continues to publish false statements about various bone grafts in the articles it publishes. The biggest area of potential abuse is when the authors are also on the board of the journal. When this occurs, it is unlikely anyone is going to challenge a publication by another board member, especially when similar biases are shared. Without letters to the editor to hold the journal in check, the journal no longer is restrained from printing misinformation. One area of obvious abuse is the false statements that are permitted to be made in Journal of Periodontology in articles about cadaver bone grafts.
Recent articles have been allowed to claim that allografts are osteoinductive and stimulate osteogenesis in humans. There are no studies that show allografts are osteoinductive or stimulate osteogenesis in humans, but there are many articles that conclude that allografts are not osteoinductive and do not stimulate osteogenesis. It is not possible for all of the members of the board be so ignorant of the literature that these statements are permitted. Recent articles in the Journal of Periodontology state that Bio-Oss is deproteinized. Bio-Oss is full of proteins and it is not possible for members of the board to know so little about the bone grafts they study and use to not know this fact. This level of ignorance is not possible for those that claim to be our most learned.