Bioethics News

Interview: Julian Savulescu, editor of JME

Julian Savulescu / photo copyright John Robertson 

Julian Savulescu is the editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics, one of the world’s leading platforms for academic debate in bioethics. Australian-born, he is Uehiro Professor of Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford. Xavier Symons, deputy editor of BioEdge, asked him about the nuts and bolts of editing.

Xavier Symons: How did you get involved in the Journal of Medical Ethics? Editing a monthly journal must take a huge amount of time!

Julian Savulescu: I first edited the Journal of Medical Ethics in 2001. It was a fantastic career opportunity for me at that time. I began a second editorship in 2011. This time my motivation was not career — I had more than enough to do. Rather it was because of dissatisfaction and frustration with publishing in the field of medical ethics. I also had a group of very talented young medical ethicists who were keen to work together on the project. We wanted to make a difference. We wanted to improve the philosophical quality of work in medical ethics.

XS: How do you measure the journal’s success? By the h5 index? By the impact factor? By subscriptions?

My main measure of success is that when I pick up an issue, I find the articles stimulating, original and philosophically rigorous. We introduced the Feature Article section to attract more substantial philosophical contributions. Over the last four years those feature articles have included a number of high quality, rigorous and novel contributions to debate by philosophers and ethicists.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.