2018 Sigma Phi Alpha Excellence in Journalism

Award Application Guidelines

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The ADHA is pleased to announce the Sigma Phi Alpha Excellence in Journalism. This is awarded to an outstanding student pursuing a Baccalaureate degree/Graduate degree at a school with an active chapter of the Sigma Phi Alpha Dental Hygiene Honor Society that is a potential future Sigma Phi Alpha member or a current member in good standing.

These awards recognize one outstanding manuscript submitted by a student pursuing a Baccalaureate degree and one outstanding manuscript submitted by a student pursuing a Master's or Doctoral degree. Both winning manuscripts will be published in the Journal of Dental Hygiene.

** Please be aware that graduates may apply if their degree was received after March 2017. **


Statement of Purpose

The Journal of Dental Hygiene (JDH) is the refereed, scientific publication of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA). It promotes the publication of original creative work related to dental hygiene research, education and evidence-based practice. The JDH supports the development and dissemination of a unique dental hygiene body of knowledge through scientific inquiry in basic, behavioral, clinical and translational research.


Manuscripts are evaluated for quality, depth and significance of research, comprehensive evaluation of the available literature, and the expertise of the author(s) in the given subject. Content must provide new information and be of general importance to dental hygiene. The JDH discourages submitting more than one article on related aspects of the same research. If multiple papers are submitted from the same project, significant differences in the papers must be evident.


Manuscripts must be original, unpublished, owned by the author and not submitted elsewhere. Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to use any materials (tables, charts, photographs, etc.) that are owned by others. Written permission to reprint material must be secured from the copyright owner and sent to ADHA when the manuscript is accepted for publication. The letter requesting permission must specifically state the original source, using wording stipulated by the grantor.


Authors are obligated to identify any actual or potential conflict of interest in publishing the manuscript. This includes association with a company that produces, distributes or markets any products mentioned, or with funding provided to help prepare the manuscript. Disclosures should appear at the beginning of the manuscript.

Manuscript Categories

The JDH publishes original scientific investigations, literature reviews, theoretical articles, brief reports and special feature articles related to dental hygiene. Specific categories of articles are as follows: 
  • Original Research Reports
  • Literature Reviews
  • Short Reports
  • Critical Issues in Dental Hygiene
  • Innovations in Education and Technology

All submissions are reviewed by the editor and by members of the Editorial Review Board.

Original Research Reports Limited to 4,000 words (excluding cover page, abstract, references and tables/figures).

Include reports of basic, behavioral, clinical and translational studies that provide new information, applications or theoretical developments. Original Research Reports include an Abstract, Introduction (including the review of the literature and ending with a statement of the study purpose), Methods and Materials, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion.

Abstract: Approximately 250 words. Use the headings “Purpose” (purpose), “Methods” (design, subjects, procedures, measurements), “Results” (principal findings) and “Conclusion (i.e. Major conclusions).” The abstract must be able to stand alone. References should therefore be avoided.

Text: The body of the manuscript should be divided into sections preceded by the appropriate subheading. Major subheadings should be in capital letters at the left-hand margin. Secondary subheads should appear at the left-hand margin and be typed in upper and lower case and in bold face.

Introduction (including the literature review): Cite a variety of relevant studies that relate to the need for the current study and its significance. References should be as current as possible, unless a hallmark study is included. Compare findings of previous studies, clearly indicating all sources of concepts and data. When a source is directly quoted, use quotation marks. However, use of quotation marks should be limited. End this section with a clear statement of the purpose of the study, hypothesis or research objectives.

Methods and Materials: Describe the research design (e.g. randomized controlled trial) and procedures (e.g. IRB approval, target population, inclusion/exclusion criteria, recruitment, informed consent, variables to be tested, instruments, equipment, procedures and method of data analysis). Specify the measurements and statistical tests used as well as related levels of significance. Furthermore, assure an adherence to all pertinent federal and state regulations concerning the protection of the rights and welfare of all human and animal subjects.

Results: Summarize all relevant data and study findings. Do not repeat in the text the data reported in tables and figures verbatim, but do refer to the data and emphasize important findings (e.g. Table 1 shows that most of the subjects were African American and between the ages of 12 and 16).

Discussion: Evaluate and interpret the findings. Compare them with those of other related studies. Discuss how they relate to dental hygiene practice, profession, education or research. Include overall health promotion and disease prevention, clinical and primary care for individuals and groups and basic and applied science. Discuss study limitations; implications for dental hygiene practice, education, and research; and recommendations or plans for further study.

Conclusion: State the conclusions, theories, or implications that may be drawn from the study. This section should be one to two paragraphs or can be listed as bulleted points.

Literature Reviews – Limited to 3,000 words (excluding cover page, abstract, references and tables/figures).

A presentation of relevant and primary published material on a specific topic constitutes a comprehensive literature review. Such a review includes a summary and critique of the current status of the topic, and the aspects requiring further study.

Abstract: Literature reviews begin with a non-structured abstract — a brief statement of purpose, content summary, conclusions and recommendations.

Short Reports – Limited to no more than 2,000 words (excluding cover page, abstract, references and tables/figures). Illustrations should be limited to a total of no more than two (e.g. two figures, two tables, or one figure and one table).

The JDH publishes short reports related to dental hygiene. Short reports are limited in scope and should begin with a brief, non-structured abstract that describes the topic.

Text: A concise introduction (which includes a literature review), detailed description of the topic or activity, and discussion, conclusion and recommendations must also be included. References are necessary to support the rationale and methods presented.

A short report may describe a clinical case study, an educational innovation, a research method, a concept or theory, or other current topics.

Clinical Case Study: A report that describes a unique aspect of patient care not previously documented in the literature. Such reports usually focus on a single patient or groups of patients with similar conditions. Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, innovative preventive methods or programs, educational methods or approaches, health promotion interventions, unique clinical conditions, or pathologies and ethical issues.

Theoretical Manuscript: A report that provides a well-supported explanation for natural phenomena that clarify a set of interrelated concepts, definitions, or propositions about dental hygiene care or processes. Such reports provide new knowledge, insight, or interpretation; and discussion, conclusions, and recommendations. These reports begin with a non-structured abstract. At least four keywords are listed at the end of the abstract.

Critical Issues in Dental Hygiene – Limited to 4,000 words (excluding cover page, abstract, references and tables/figures).

The purpose of this category is to highlight challenges and opportunities pertinent to the future directions of the profession of dental hygiene.

Text: Articles in this category should follow the basic structure for text outlined for Original Research Reports.

Innovations in Education and Technology – Limited to 4,000 words (excluding cover page, abstract, references and tables/figures).

The purpose of this category is to feature short reports of innovative teaching applications and techniques as well as new technologies available for increased communication and learning in dental hygiene education.

Text: Articles in this category should follow the basic structure for text outlined for Original Research Reports.
Manuscript Preparation and Style

Standard usage of the English language is expected. Manuscripts should contain one-inch margins, double spacing and Verdana 10 pt. font. All pages should be numbered, beginning with title page and ending with references.

Title Page: A title page must include: 1) title of article, which should be concise yet informative, 2) first name, middle initial and last name of each author, with academic credentials, 3) each author or coauthor’s job title, department and institution or place of employment (if other than academic), 4) disclaimers/disclosures, if any, 5) name, address, all contact information of author responsible for correspondence about the manuscript, and 6) funding sources for the project, equipment, drugs, etc.

Blinding Manuscripts: All information that can identify the author(s) (such as author name, institutional affiliation, IRB approval, acknowledgements, etc.) should be included in the title page. Manuscripts must be blinded and any of the above identifying information should be removed from the text for the review process. If a manuscript is accepted for publication, this information can be added back into the manuscript for publication.

Keywords: When submitting a manuscript, please choose four to six keywords.

National Dental Hygiene Research Agenda: Identify how the study supports a specific Area of Research and Phase of Research from the National Dental Hygiene Research Agenda. For example: This study supports the Area of Research: Education and the Phase of Research: Discovery. NDHRA categories and a description of topics that fit in each can be found in the Conceptual Research Model of the National Dental Hygiene Research Agenda: https://www.adha.org/resources-docs/7111_National_Dental_Hygiene_Research_Agenda.pdf

Author Biography:Please include a brief biographical sketch of each author at the end of the cover letter. List names, credentials, titles, affiliations and locations. Example: “Mary B. Jones, RDH, MA, is assistant professor and clinic director, Department of Dental Hygiene; Bill R. Smith, DDS, MEd, is associate professor, Department of Pediatric Dentistry. Both are at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.”

Disclosure: Authors are obligated to identify any actual or potential conflict of interest in publishing the manuscript. This includes association with a company that produces, distributes or markets any products mentioned, or with funding provided to help prepare the manuscript. Disclosures should appear at the beginning of the manuscript.

Acknowledgments: Be brief and straightforward. Example: “The authors thank Jane Smith, RDH, for her assistance in developing the survey instrument.” Anyone making a substantial contribution to the conduct of the research or the resulting report should be appropriately credited as an author.

Acronyms: Spell out abbreviations and acronyms on first mention followed by the abbreviation in parentheses. Limit the overall use of abbreviations in the text.

Medication/Product/Device Names: Throughout the text, use generic, nonproprietary names for medications, products and devices. At the first mention, state the generic name followed in parentheses by the trade name with the register® or trademark™ symbol and the manufacturer’s name and city/state.

Example: Chlorhexidine (Peridex®; 3M ESPE, Minneapolis, MN) coded or abbreviated as CHX

Visual Aids

Do not embed tables and figures in the body of the text. These should be provided after the references. All tables and figures must be blinded for the review process.

Tables: All tables must have a title that is brief but self-explanatory. Readers should not have to refer to the text to understand a table. The main body of text should not overly depend on the tables. Indicate explanatory notes to items in the table with reference marks (*, #). Cite each table in the text in the order in which it is to appear. Identify tables with Roman Numerals (example: Table I).

Figures: Includes charts, graphs, photographs and artwork. All should include a brief caption and use Arabic numerals (example: Figure 1). Cite each figure in the text in the order in which it will appear.

Photographs: High-resolution digital photos are preferred, with a resolution of at least 300 pixels per inch.


The JDH follows National Library of Medicine (NLM) citation style. Please refer to http://www.wsulibs.wsu.edu/quickguides/nlm for specifics.

Each reference should be numbered in the order it first appears in the text. If a source is cited more than once, the first reference number it is given is used throughout. Each reference in the text should be in superscript format. Continuous references should be connected with a dash (example: 7,8-10). ADHA editorial staff does not assume responsibility for verifying references. For more information and detailed examples, please visit the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors at www.icmje.org. Please ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list and vice versa. Citation of a reference as “in press” implies that the item has been accepted for publication.

Please list all authors. Capitalize only the first word of the journal article title, and use the NLM journal abbreviations found at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=journals. If more than six authors are listed, list the first three followed by et al.

Examples of reference citations:

Example Article in a Journal: Michalowicz BS, Hodges JS, DiAngelis AJ, et al. Treatment of periodontal disease and the risk of preterm birth. N Engl J Med. 2006;355(18):1885-1894.

Smith MA, Jones BB. Curette sharpness: a literature review. J Dent Hyg. 1996;77:382-390.

Book citations: Spolarich AE, Gurenlian JR. Drug-induced adverse oral events. In: Daniel SJ, Harfst SA, Wilder RS, ed. Mosby’s Dental Hygiene: Concepts, Cases and Competencies. 2nd ed. St. Louis, MO. Mosby/Elsevier Publishing. 2008. p. 259-276.

Internet citations: NLM requires the standard elements of a citation for an Internet resource, with a few modifications. The main elements required:

Polgreen PM, Diekema DJ, Vandeberg J, et al. Risk factors for groin wound infection after femoral artery catheterization: a case-control study. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol [Internet]. 2006 Jan [cited 2007 Jan 5];27(1):34-7. Available from: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/ICHE/journal/issues/v27n1/2004069/2004069.web.pdf

Poole KE, Compston JE. Osteoporosis and its management. BMJ [Internet]. 2006 Dec 16 [cited 2007 Jan 4];333(7581):1251-6. Available from: http://www.bmj.com/cgi/reprint/333/7581/1251?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&andorexactfulltext=and&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&volume=333&firstpage=1251&resourcetype=HWCIT
Manuscript Submission

Manuscripts must be uploaded as a word document. There is no charge for submission. You will receive an automatic email indicating your submission has been received.

All papers are reviewed by the editor, blinded to remove any author identification and assigned to three judges. The editor reserves the right to return, without review, any manuscript that does not meet Journal criteria for formal review.


Accepted manuscripts are edited and sent to the principal author for approval of technical accuracy. Editors reserve the right to edit or rewrite copy to fit the style requirements of the Journal. All authors must sign agreements that permit the article to be published and to transfer copyright.

For further information, please contact the Journal of Dental Hygiene by phone at 312-440-8900 or by e-mail at communications@adha.net.

Author’s Responsibilities

Personal communications and unpublished data

The Journal requires that authors request and receive permission from each person identified in the manuscript as a source of information in a personal communication or as a source for unpublished data. By submitting their manuscripts, authors represent and warrant to the Journal that such permission has been obtained, if applicable. The Journal strongly recommends that such permissions be in writing and that authors should maintain the signed statements in their records for a reasonable period of time after publication of their work in the Journal. Authors must specify in the manuscript the date of the communication or the data, as well as whether the communication was written or oral.

Example: Additionally, the efforts of the office administrator, with regard to accommodating schedules and financing, could have been a factor (Vaccari, personal communication, April 2008).

Copyright transfer

The American Dental Hygienists’ Association owns the copyright for all editorial content published in the Journal. An author agreement form, requiring copyright transfer from authors, signed by each author, must be signed before the manuscript is published in the Journal. Manuscripts without a signed author agreement form will not be published until the Journal’s Editorial office receives a valid, executed author agreement form from each author. If the manuscript is rejected by the Journal, all copyrights in the manuscript will be retained by the author(s). All accepted manuscripts and their accompanying illustrations become the permanent property of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association and may not be published elsewhere in full or in part, in print or electronically, without written permission from the ADHA’s Communications Division.

NIH Open Access Policy

National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy: Authors’ Responsibilities – The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy implemented a law passed in December 2007 that affects authors who receive funding from the NIH. As of April 7, 2008, all peer-reviewed articles that arise, in whole or in part, from direct costs funded by NIH, or from NIH staff, that are accepted for publication by a peer-reviewed journal—including JDH—must be deposited with the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central, in the form of a copy of the manuscript’s final version on its acceptance. Please see the following NIH site regarding questions that authors may have about the policy: http://publicaccess.nih.gov.

For Journal papers, when the author deposits the accepted manuscript with PubMed Central, he or she should specify that the manuscript is not to be made available until 12 months after publication (not acceptance). Thereby, the manuscripts will be made publicly available by PubMed Central at the same time that the Journal makes its full text available to the public free of charge.

JDH holds the copyright to all published material except for material authored solely by U.S. government employees. Please see the Journal Author Agreement form (PDF) for further details. The Policy applies to any author of a manuscript that is peer-reviewed, is accepted for publication on or after January 1, 2011 and, arises from one of the following: any direct funding from an NIH grant or cooperative agreement active in Fiscal Year 2008 or beyond, any direct funding from an NIH contract signed on or after April 7, 2008, any direct funding from the NIH Intramural Program or an NIH employee.


If your submission is selected you will receive the following award benefits:

  • An engraved award
  • The winning manuscripts will be published in the Journal of Dental Hygiene
  • Recognition in Access Magazine, ADHA's official publication
  • Recognition during ADHA's 95th Annual Conference in Columbus, OH
Questions? Email chrish@adha.net