About the journal

The Ghana Dental Journal(GDJ) is the official publication of the Ghana Dental Association (GDA).

Aim
The Ghana Dental Journal publishes scientific papers, reports, research articles, and announcements of interest to Academia, Oral Health Scientists. Articles in the field of dentistry, medical specialties, including basic sciences, paraclinical and clinical sciences, are published. Short or preliminary report on Original research work is also published

Mission
The Ghana Dental Journal is a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to disseminating research findings and policy concerns in the oral health sciences and associated health disciplines. The journal aims to continually raise the visibility and influence of oral health sciences research in Ghana , the sub-region and globally

COPYRIGHT OWNERSHIP
The Ghana Dental Association publishes all content in the Ghana Dental Journal. All rights are reserved. The Ghana Dental Journal publishes articles in Open Access with an Article processing Charge.
When the paper is accepted, the authors will be asked to transfer the article’s copyright to the Ghana Dental Journal. This will ensure that information is protected and disseminated as widely as feasible under copyright rules.
The Ghana Dental Journal conforms to the Creative Commons Attribution BY license. This copyright license permits others to distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. More information on copyright and licensing information can be found.

PRIVACY STATEMENT
The names, email addresses, and information entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.

PEER-REVIEW PROCESS
• The Ghana Dental Journal follows double blind peer review policy. The manuscript is sent to two reviewers, who are experts in respective field, to review the paper in the light of journal’s guidelines and features of a quality research paper. For manuscript that require revisions, the same reviewers will be used to ensure that the quality of the revised paper is acceptable.

• Articles are subject to peer and editorial revision to clarify them. Two reviewers in the related field or specialty are invited per article. Articles that do not conform to the requirements of this Journal are returned to the author(s) after a median period not exceeding eight (8) weeks from the date of receipt of the articles. Returned articles may be accepted for publication if they are modified to an acceptable form as pointed out to the Authors.

• We operate a transparent peer review process for the Ghana Dental Journal where reviewers’ names do not accompany reviewer comments to authors (which means that authors by default will not see the reviewers’ names but only their comments. )By agreeing to provide a report, reviewers understand that their reports will be made available, upon request, under an Open Access license Creative Commons CC-BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) if the manuscript is published.

DISCLAIMER
Opinions and statements expressed in the publications are those of the authors alone, and not of the editors, reviewers or the Ghana Dental Journal and its publisher.

ARCHIVING
The journal is backed up electronically at the CrossRef, through AJOL which preserves access to the journal content in the event the journal is no longer published. This constitutes access to the archive of published papers.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI® number): Each paper published in Ghana Dental Journal is assigned a DOI® number, which appears alongside the citation reference for that article. The DOI is a string of numbers, letters and symbols used to permanently identify an article or document and link to it on the web.

PUBLICATION ETHICS
The Ghana Dental Journal is committed to supporting standards of ethical behaviour at all stages of the publication process. The Ghana Dental Journal adopts a neutral position on issues treated within its publications. It is the responsibility of authors to ensure that they comply with Ghana Dental Journal publication standards and guidelines. Our publication ethics conform to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) best practice guidelines. The COPE standards protect the rights of authors, editors, reviewers and publishers alike, and seeks to uphold the reputation of journals. The Journal also adheres to publication standards of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE; icmje.org) and the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME; www.wame.org).

THE GHANA DENTAL JOURNAL MALPRACTICE STATEMENT

It is the responsibility of the Ghana Dental Journal to prevent the publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred. The Ghana Dental Journal editors will in no case inspire such misconduct. If the Ghana Dental Journal is made aware of any allegation of research misconduct, the Journal will take appropriate actions. The Ghana Dental Journal will withdraw a publication if
• the findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper attribution, permission or justification (i.e. cases of redundant publication)
• there is ample evidence that the findings are unreliable, either as a result of misconduct (e.g., data fabrication) or falsification (e.g., image manipulation) or honest error (e.g. miscalculation or experimental error)
• it constitutes plagiarism
• it reports unethical research
• the author(s) failed to disclose a major competing interest
• there is a serious legal issue
• it has been published based on a manipulated peer review process
Submission of a manuscript to Ghana Dental Journal infers that reported research has not been published elsewhere; that it is not under consideration for publication anywhere else; that its publication has been approved by all co-authors (if any); and the work received approval from relevant ethical and regulatory bodies as well as the administrative authorities at the institution where the work was carried out. The publisher will not be held legally responsible should there be any claims for compensation. Manuscripts that include figures, tables, or text passages that have already been published elsewhere are obliged to take permission from the copyright owner(s). Authors must provide evidence that permission for such works has been received when submitting their manuscript to Ghana Dental Journal. Any material received by Ghana Dental Journal without such evidence will be assumed to originate from the authors.
The Ghana Dental Journal conforms to COPE’s guidelines for retracting an article available at https://publicationethics.org/files/retraction-guidelines.pdf .The Ghana Dental Journal will publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies where appropriate.
The Ghana Dental Journal pledges to uphold the integrity of the scientific reports. The Journal adheres to the principles of the COPE. The Ghana Dental Journal thus follows the guidelines on how to deal with dishonest conducts in research. The COPE integrity codes include the following:
• The manuscript should not be submitted to more than one journal for simultaneous consideration.
• The submitted work should be original and should not have been published elsewhere in any form or language (partially or in full), unless the new work concerns an expansion of previous work. (Please provide transparency on the re-use of material to avoid the concerns about text-recycling (‘self-plagiarism’).
• A single study should not be split up into several parts to increase the number of submissions and submitted to various journals or one journal over time (i.e. ‘salami-slicing publishing’).
• The concurrent or secondary publication is sometimes justifiable, provided certain conditions are met. Examples include translations or a manuscript that is intended for a different group of readers.
• Results should be presented, honestly, and without fabrication, falsification or inappropriate data manipulation (including image-based manipulation). Authors should adhere to discipline-specific rules for acquiring, selecting and processing data.
• No data, text, or theories by others are presented as if they were the author’s own (‘plagiarism’). Proper acknowledgements to other works must be given (this includes material that is closely copied (near verbatim), summarized and/or paraphrased), quotation marks (to indicate words taken from another source) are used for verbatim copying of material, and permissions secured for copyrighted material.
• Journal may use software to screen for plagiarism whenever it deems appropriate

RESPONSIBILITY OF GHANA DENTAL JOURNAL EDITORS
• The editors of Ghana Dental Journal are responsible for final publication decisions.
• It is the editors’ responsibility to ensure the quality of material published maintain academic integrity and conveys freedom of expression.
• The editors are willing to publish corrections, clarifications, apologies, and retractions when needed.
• The editors are responsible for constantly improving the journal to meet the needs of readers and authors.
• It is the editors’ responsibility to ensure that confidentiality is maintained in the review process, both in terms of the material under review and the identity of reviewers and authors.

RESPONSIBILITY OF AUTHORS
• Authors should make sure they have permissions for the use of software, questionnaires/ (web) surveys and scales in their studies (if appropriate).
• Authors should avoid untrue statements about an entity (who can be a person or a company) or descriptions of their behaviour or actions that could potentially be seen as personal attacks or allegations about that person.
• Research that may be misapplied to pose a threat to public health or national security should be identified in the manuscript (e.g. dual use of research). Examples include the creation of harmful consequences of biological agents or toxins, disruption of immunity of vaccines, unusual hazards in the use of chemicals, the weaponization of research/technology (amongst others).
• Authors are strongly advised to ensure the author group, the Corresponding Author, and the order of authors are all correct at submission. Adding and/or deleting authors during the revision stages is generally not permitted, but in some cases may be warranted. Reasons for changes in authorship should be explained in detail. Please note that changes to authorship cannot be made after acceptance of a manuscript.
• Upon request, authors should be prepared to send relevant documentation or data to verify the validity of the results presented. This could be in the form of raw data, samples, records, etc. Sensitive information in the form of confidential or proprietary data is excluded.
• *All of the above are guidelines and authors need to make sure to respect third parties rights such as copyright and/or moral rights.

If there is suspicion of misbehaviour or alleged fraud, the Journal and/or its Publisher will carry out an investigation following COPE guidelines. If, after investigation, there are valid concerns, the author(s) concerned will be contacted by their given e-mail address and allowed to address the issue. Depending on the situation, this may result in the Journal’s and/or Publisher’s implementation of the following measures, including, but not limited to:
• If the manuscript is still under consideration, it may be rejected and returned to the author.
• If the article has already been published online, depending on the nature and severity of the infraction:
• an erratum/correction may be placed with the article
• an expression of concern may be placed with the article
• or in severe cases retraction of the article may occur.
• The reason will be given in the published erratum/correction, expression of concern or retraction note. Please note that retraction means that the article is maintained on the platform, watermarked “retracted” and the explanation for the retraction is provided in a note linked to the watermarked article.The author’s institution may be informed
• A notice of suspected transgression of ethical standards in the peer review system may be included as part of the author’s and article’s bibliographic record.

PROOFREADING
As part of the manuscript acceptance and article publication process, the Ghana Dental Journal requires that all authors thoroughly conduct proofreading to check for conversion errors, errors, and the completeness and accuracy of the text, tables or figures. The Ghana Dental Journal shall publish the article online after receipt of the corrected proofs from authors. The online first publication is the official first publication by Ghana Dental Journal and is citable with the DOI. After the release of the printed version, the paper can also be cited by issue and page numbers.

After the first publication online, Ghana Dental Journal shall not permit substantial changes in content, e.g., new results, corrected values, title and authorship, without the approval of the Editor. The Ghana Dental Journal will only make further changes to an online publication in the form of an Erratum. The Erratum will be hyperlinked to the article. The Ghana Dental Journal wishes to remind authors that they must correct mistakes once they discover a significant inaccuracy in their published article. In such scenarios, the authors are requested to contact the journal and explain how the error is affecting the article. A decision will be made on how to correct the error, although this will depend on the nature of the error.

PERMISSIONS
Any reproduction from this journal, apart from to review, private research, or ‘fair dealing’ must have the permission of the copyright holder. Request for copyright permissions must be addressed to the Editor-in-Chief via ghanadentaljournal@gmail.com. In all cases, acknowledgement of the journal must be made. Permission is granted by the copyright holders for libraries to make copies of articles for research purposes.

SUBSCRIPTIONS
Subscriptions to the Ghana Dental Journal online versions is free.

Subscriptions for Ghana Dental Journal printed content may be requested by volumes or issues and include postage charges (freighted outside Ghana). Subscriptions must be prepaid at the rate appropriate to the location of the subscriber. Announcement of any change in rates for subscription will be made at least four weeks in advance of the issue date of the first issue to which such rates will be applicable. Please refer to Contacts for detailed addressing to Ghana Dental Journal and request for printed Ghana Dental Journal editions.

TYPES OF CONTRIBUTIONS
The Ghana Dental Journal publishes manuscripts from basic, clinical health, behavioural health sciences including medicine, biomedicine, pharmacy, nursing, physiotherapy, medical laboratory science, environmental health, public health, medical imaging and radiologic technologies and other health sciences disciplines. The Journal is dedicated to serving scientists wishing to contribute to knowledge on global health. All Ghana Dental Journal publications are in English. The Journal publishes original research articles, systematic reviews, case reports, brief communications, and letters to the editor. The Journal also publishes interviews with global opinion leaders and policymakers on health matters of global relevance.

The Ghana Dental Journal also welcomes comments in response to research papers published, or news items and interviews related to health sciences. Such comments may be posted on our website social media posts. A selection of these comments will be published in a comments section of the subsequent issue. We welcome original contributions that have not been published and are not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Proposals for special issues are welcome and should be addressed to the Editor-in-Chief at ghanadentaljournal@gmail.com. We look forward to receiving your contributions.

CONDITIONS FOR PUBLICATIONS
Manuscripts submitted to Ghana Dental Journal are considered for publication on the following basis:
• The manuscript is not being considered or reviewed for publication elsewhere in the same or a similar form;
• Diligence has been paid to ethical considerations;
• There are no libellous or unlawful content in the manuscript;
• Scientific originality and contribution to the field of health sciences; and
• Quality and subject matter.
Co-authors consent: All listed authors must concur in the submission of the manuscript for review. The final version must be seen and approved by all authors. A statement to this purpose will have to be boldly written out in the submitted manuscript by the corresponding author at the DECLARATIONS section.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The manuscript should include a statement on conflicts of interest (in writing) at the “Declarations” section. The Ghana Dental Journal subscribes that conflicts of interest towards publications could be academic, commercial, personal, political or even financial.

Financial conflicts of interests could include work, payment for conferences, lectures or travel, funding for research work, patents, the share of ownership, or even an interest in a company. If authors declare no conflicts of interest, the Ghana Dental Journal will publish the manuscripts as such [“No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors”]. When in doubt, authors must disclose the situation so that the Ghana Dental Journal editors can evaluate the circumstances for any implication.

NOMENCLATURE
• Chemical and biochemical: For guidelines to the use of biochemical terminology, consult Biochemical Nomenclature and Related Documents (Portland Press, London, United Kingdom, 1992), available at http://www.chem.qmul.ac.uk/iupac/bibliog/white.html. For enzymes, use the recommended (trivial) name as assigned by the Nomenclature Committee of the International Union of Biochemistry (IUB) as described in Enzyme Nomenclature (Academic Press, Inc., New York, NY, 1992) and its supplements and at http://www.chem.qmul.ac.uk/iubmb/enzyme/. See the Beilstein Institut/STRENDA (standards for reporting enzymology data) commission Web site (http://www.beilstein-institut.de/en/projekte/strenda/guidelines/) for more details and suggestions.
• Microorganisms: The spelling of bacterial names should follow the World Wide Web list current approved bacterial names: Bacterial nomenclature Up-to-Date (http://www.dsmz.de/bacterial-diversity/prokaryotic-nomenclature-up-to-date.html) and list of prakaryotic names with standing in nomenclature (http://www.bacterio.cict.fr/).
Since the classification of fungi is not complete, it is the responsibility of the author to determine the accepted binomial for a given organism. Sources for these names include Dictionary of the Fungi, Kirk, P. M., Cannon, P. F., Minter, P. W., Stalpers J. A. (ed.), 10th ed. CABI International, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom; see also http://www.speciesfungorum.org/Names/Fundic.asp.
Names used for viruses should be those approved by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) and reported on the ICTV Virus Taxonomy website.
• Genetics: To facilitate accurate communication, it is important that standard genetic nomenclature is used whenever possible and that deviations or proposals for new naming systems be endorsed by an appropriate authoritative body.

RESEARCH FOR SUITABLE PUBLICATIONS

Please consult the Editorial Policies of the Ghana Dental Journal before preparing a manuscript for publication. Manuscripts that are inconsistent with the guidelines shall be declined by the Editor-in-chief without subjecting it to the full review. The following instructions are by the ICMJE uniform requirements of manuscripts. See http://www.icmje.org/index.html.

EDITORIAL STYLE
The editorial style of Ghana Dental Journal conforms to How To Write and Publish a Scientific Paper, 7th ed. (Greenwood, Santa Barbara, CA, 2011) as interpreted by our Editorial Board. The Ghana Dental Journal has the privilege of editing manuscripts to conform to the stylistic conventions outlined in the instructions.

• Text Formats: Manuscripts submitted to Ghana Dental Journal must be typed in Microsoft Office Word.
Authors should anonymize their papers using the “Inspect Document” function to remove document properties and personal information before submitting to the journal.
• Use a normal 12-point Times Roman plain font for text.
• Use the automatic page numbering function to number the pages.
• Do not use field functions.
• Use tab stops or other commands for indents, not the space bar.
• Use the Microsoft Office Word table function, not spreadsheets, to make tables.
Type every portion of the manuscript double-spaced (a minimum of 6 mm between lines), including figure legends, table footnotes, and references, and number all pages in sequence, including the abstract, figure legends, and tables. Manuscript pages must have a page size of 8.5 by 11 inches and a font size of 12 points. Italicize words that should appear in italics, and indicate paragraphs using the Microsoft Office Word paragraph function.
• Use the equation editor or MathType for equations.
• Save your file in Docx format (Word 2007 or higher)

ABBREVIATIONS

Abbreviations: Abbreviations should be defined at first mention and used consistently thereafter. Abbreviations other than those recommended by the IUPAC-IUB (Biochemical Nomenclature and Related Documents, 1992) should be used only when a case can be made for necessity, such as in tables and figures. Define each abbreviation and introduce it in parentheses the first time it is used. Generally, eliminate abbreviations that are not used at least three times in the text (including tables and figure legends). Standard chemical symbols and trivial names or their symbols (folate, Ala, and Leu, etc.) may also be used. Standard metric units are used for reporting length, weight, and volume.

SUBMISSION CHARGES

There are no associated publication charges. We invite you to submit manuscripts via the online submission platform. There are no charges to publication in Ghana Dental Journal. Solicited reviews, commentaries, and comment letters to the Editor-in-Chief are not subject to print-page charges. New data letters to the Editor-in-Chief are not subject to print-page charges. Authors whose research were supported by grants, special funds or contracts or whose research were done as part of their official duties (government or corporate, etc.) are also not required to pay page charges.