Tuesday 23 July 2013

FDJ - Faculty Dental Journal - experience and character rather than audits and experiments

FDJ's branding: style and substance
FDJ (Faculty Dental Journal) has been shortlisted for the ALPSP Award for Best New Journal 2013. Here in a guest post, Head of Marketing, Marius Müller, explains how they have harnessed their pool of specialist knowledge.

"The commissioning of the FDJ (Faculty Dental Journal) began with the premise that the dental community did not need yet another submission-fed journal offering original research and science with a few book reviews and some editorials thrown in.

But how could we compete with specialised journals providing niche content to small, loyal audiences? Besides, authors would rather submit to established (and/or specialist) journals with high impact factors. 

This led to the question: what have we got that no one else has? Answer: we have unrivalled access to the leading specialists in dentistry as well as policy makers, senior managers, service commissioners and regulators. So, how do we turn this pool of specialist knowledge into a saleable product while side-stepping the saturated original research marketplace? We do this by occupying a contentious, hither-to untouched area of surgical journal publishing: opinion – experience and character rather than audits and experiments.

We had found our market position and set out to create something that would complement (or supplement) the usual tranche of research journals healthcare professionals are obligated to read for CPD points. A journal that could showcase our strength (our USP): access to experts and their opinions. The FDJ would not attempt to replace a research journal or supplant a dentist’s other journal subscriptions – and when the time came to sell it, we made sure the subscription was affordable to an individual dentist. The community of dental surgeons did not have a professional journal, an equivalent of the Health Service Journal or Nursing Standard - now they would.

FDJ team at the British Dental Association conference
We needed to make sure that the look and feel of the FDJ reinforced its editorial agenda of opinionated, topical content. The design of the journal needed to be crisp, contemporary with some wit and quirkiness. We commission cover art for each issue, originate and source in-article artwork to support the copy and adopt a ‘consumer-magazine-lite’ approach to pull quotes and stand-firsts. 

"We believe that the FDJ is one of the best looking products on the market, without compromising ease of access or putting style over substance."

The editor-in-chief, Professor St John Crean, was appointed because his personality and extensive peer network to source content were a perfect match with the business proposition of the journal and to deliver the agenda we wanted for the FDJ. Professor Crean was committed to the same ideal, well-placed in the dental community, had a keen eye for controversial topics and, importantly, was not too concerned about chasing an impact factor.

And so the FDJ was born: there is original research; there is evidence; and all the content is peer-reviewed. But, and it is a crucial ‘but’, if you disagree with an FDJ article it probably has more to do with it contradicting your own opinion rather than a dispute over the research methodology or sample size. Our first cover and our strap line to this day is ‘The voice of dentistry is here’."

Marius Müller, Head of Marketing, has over thirteen years of experience in academic and commercial publishing and marketing. Marius joined the RCS at the beginning of 2010 and has global responsibility for the direction and coordination of the College's sales and marketing activities. He is a Fellow of the IDM (Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing) and has extensive experience in on- and offline direct marketing and advertising, media planning and buying, website design and optimisation, social media, market research and international strategy.

The ALPSP Awards finalists will be given the opportunity to showcase their journal or innovation in a rapid fire session at the ALPSP International Conference on Wednesday 11 September.

The winners will be announced at the Conference Awards Dinner on 12 September. Book now to secure your place.


  1. We wish you success in this new publication.
    Find a space in the crowd is not always easy, but get the satisfaction is even greater.
    Best regards.

  2. The commissioning of the FDJ (Faculty Dental Journal) began with the premise that the dental community did not need yet another submission-fed journal offering original research and science with a few book reviews and some editorials thrown in. Arbutus North Dental Centre

  3. I found this post very exciting. I think you will have any other post on this topic? I am also sending it to my friend to enjoy your working style.

  4. Good post ! Its nice to see..