Quality Improvement Briefing

Quality Improvement Briefing

The BSPD Quality Improvement Briefing (formerly the Clinical Effectiveness Bulletin) is a peer-reviewed publication aiming to disseminate quality improvement and clinical governance projects. The QIB forms an annual supplement to the International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry (IJPD).

The first QIB was published in October 2021 and can be accessed here for reference..

How will the Quality Improvement Briefing differ from the Clinical Effectiveness Bulletin?

The QIB aims to be more inclusive of projects that lie within the broader remit of quality improvement. Alongside the articles submitted via the usual route, the QIB will also publish one commissioned article in each edition. The commissioned article will have a focus on topical issues in quality improvement.

The submission and reviewing processes have also been updated. Authors are now able to submit manuscripts to the QIB at any time throughout the year. Articles submitted after the cut-off for consideration in the QIB for that year will automatically be considered for publication the following year. The cut-off dates can be found in the submission guidance for authors below. A new submission process has also been introduced using Google Forms to improve the efficiency of this system.

In light of the increased number of submissions the supplement receives each year, and our difficulties in identifying sufficient reviewers, the QIB has introduced an editorial screening process. This will ensure that reviewers are only asked to peer-review articles that meet the submission requirements of the QIB. The reviewing process will also now be undertaken using Google Forms.

Editorial Committee

The editorial committee is comprised of three elected members, each typically serving two years in their position. The Trainee Representative is then promoted to the role of Assistant Editor, whom in turn is promoted to Editor. The Committee report to the BSPD Quality Improvement and Research Committee (QIRC). The current committee members are listed below:

Editor: Cheryl Somani
Assistant Editor: Armaana Ahmed
Trainee QIB Representative: Claudia Heggie  

Submission guidance for authors

Submission requirements

The QIB publishes reports of audits, service evaluations and quality improvement projects in novel areas. Authors are advised to consult previous editions of the Clinical Effectiveness Bulletin to ascertain if their chosen topic has been covered within the previous three years. We receive many more submissions than we have space to publish each year. Areas that we have already published extensively in and are therefore unlikely to include unless there is an especially novel approach include the following:

• Periodontal status recording/BPE
• Consent for GA/Sedation
• Pathways/referrals for acute trauma
• BMI measurement
• Record keeping for sedation
• Theatre utilisation
• Paediatric-orthodontic joint clinics/opinions

Audits with only one cycle are unlikely to be published. Projects undertaken in settings other than hospital dental services are especially welcome.

Manuscript preparation

Project manuscripts should be submitted without reference to the author name(s) or institution(s). This is to facilitate the double-blind peer-review process. These details will be provided separately during the online submission process and can be added into the manuscript at a later date if accepted for publication. If necessary, asterisks can be used to indicate where these details would be inserted.

Manuscripts should be prepared in Microsoft Word and formatted with double line spacing to fit A4 paper size. (Font: Times New Roman, Font Size: 12, top margin = 2.54cm, bottom = 2.1cm, left and right margins = 3.17cm).

Authors are advised to look at previous editions of the Clinical Effectiveness Bulletin for examples regarding manuscript style. It should be noted that the bulletin has limited space and submissions should be limited to 1500 words (including references).

Manuscripts are expected to broadly follow a format as described below:

TITLE: Should be clear and concise, with a maximum of 12 words.
INTRODUCTION: To include rationale or need to undertake the project. Previous projects/publications as available can be refereed to and if appropriate the cycle number of the audit and the effects of previous action plans.
AIMS: A clear list of the project aims.
STANDARD(S): Should be quoted if available, though these may not be appropriate in service evaluations and some quality improvement projects.
A clear explanation of the project methods should be given.
RESULTS: Text to describe the results obtained. Results can also be given in table or graph form if more clearly represented this way (see below). Text should avoid simply repeating findings shown by graphs/charts. Clarification or explanation can be given if necessary.
ACTION PLAN or IMPLEMENTATION OF FINDINGS: The author’s plans for implementation of findings to change practice as necessary, or to audit further should be described.
DISCUSSION: As appropriate.
REFERENCES: A maximum of six references. These should be listed using the AMA reference style as per the International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry Author Guidelines. In text citations should use Arabic superscript numerals.
CONFLICTS OF INTERESTS: To be declared here if applicable.

Tables, Graphs and Charts

There is very little scope to include graphs/charts within the space available and limited scope for tables. These should therefore be used sparingly and where possible, tables are preferred to graphs and charts. There should be a maximum of two tables, graphs and charts per submission. Articles will be printed in black and white and therefore no colour script/tables/graphs should be included in the submission.

Tables should be incorporated into the Microsoft Word document. These should be succinct with a limit of 10-15 rows to fit comfortably on the page. If graphs or charts are included, these should be created in Microsoft Excel and pasted into the Microsoft Word document.

The accompanying legend should be concise and in bold e.g. Table 1 ……, Figure 1 ……

Manuscript submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online here. Authors should ensure the submission form is completed accurately. If the author submitting the manuscript has a Gmail account, they will be able to upload their manuscript and any associated files using the online form. If the author does not have a Gmail account, they will be asked to complete the submission form and then email their manuscript and associated files to the editor directly at

A covering letter is not required, though you will have the opportunity to write a short message to the editor within the online submission form.

Submissions can have a maximum of six authors, though it is possible to enter a submission on behalf of a collaborative or group. An enquiry should be made to the QIB editor before attempting to submit any manuscripts that do not adhere to these authorship guidelines.

Students and trainees are advised to seek guidance of their supervisors prior to submitting their abstracts. There are governance issues around publishing clinical governance and quality improvement projects and therefore supervisors’ approval is essential to ensure compliance.

Confirmation of receipt will be returned by the QIB editor. In the event of no reply from the editor within ten working days, the principal author should enquire.

Editorial screening, peer-review and editing

All submissions will undergo initial editorial screening to ensure they meet the QIB submission requirements outlined above. Authors will be informed within two weeks if their submission does not meet these requirements.

Each submission that passes the editorial screening will be subject to anonymous, independent peer review. Referees are drawn from senior trainees in paediatric dentistry. The peer review process is double-blinded. The referees’ reports are utilised by the editors to decide upon inclusion and recommend amendments for those to be included. Submitting authors will be sent a copy of the reviewer feedback for their consideration.

The editor reserves the right to edit the manuscript. Printing and distribution is at the discretion of the BSPD.


Submissions are welcomed at any time of the year, though the cut-off for consideration in the following year’s publication will be the 30th November. If approved at the editorial screening stage, the submission will proceed to peer-review. Authors will be informed of the decision by the 28th February in the following year, at the latest.

For consideration in the 2024 publication, submissions must be received by 30th November 2023. Authors of submissions that have undergone peer review will be informed of the outcome by 28th February 2024. Any submissions received after the 30th November 2023 cut-off will be considered for the 2025 publication of QIB.


Q: Can I be first author on two submissions?

A: Yes, you can be a named author on multiple submissions. Each submission should be made separately.

Q: Can I submit a manuscript with more than six references?

A: No, unfortunately the Quality Improvement Briefing supplement has a limited space for publication and so there can be no flexibility on the manuscript formatting guidelines.

Q: I have conducted a service evaluation and introduced changes to the service as a result of this, though the impact of these changes has not yet been evaluated. Can I submit a manuscript of this to the Quality Improvement Briefing?

A: The Quality Improvement Briefing is keen to publish projects with a demonstrable impact on a service, or the care provided. As such, projects where changes to the service have been evaluated will be prioritised. Nonetheless, the editorial team will consider projects without an evaluated impact if considered to be particularly topical.

Q: When will I find out whether my submission has been accepted or not?

A: All manuscripts are initially reviewed by the editorial team, who will determine whether your submission meets the requirements of the Quality Improvement Briefing. The editorial team will advise you within 4 weeks of the submission deadline if your manuscript does not meet these requirements. All manuscripts that are approved at this stage will be sent for peer review. The results of the peer review process are then discussed by the editorial team at an annual meeting in February, who make the final decision regarding which submissions to include in the Quality Improvement Briefing. Authors will be informed of the outcome in March each year.

Q: How can I become a reviewer for the Quality Improvement Briefing?

A: Peers reviewers for the Quality Improvement Briefing are identified from the body of senior specialty registrars in paediatric dentistry across the UK. Senior registrars are invited to peer review for the Quality Improvement Briefing in November/December each year. Occasionally more junior registrars will be invited, providing they have previous experience in peer review.

Contact us

If you have any queries related to the QIB or the submission process, please email We aim to respond to your query within ten working days.

The QIB editorial team would like to thank the British Society of Orthodontics, whose Guidance for Prospective Authors formed the basis for this document.