Bioethics Blogs

Who is afraid of the big broad bioethics? A dialogue between authors of “Highlights in bioethics through 40 years”

Guest Post: Pingyue Jin and Mark Hakkarin 

Article: Highlights in bioethics through 40 years: a quantitative analysis of top-cited journal articles

Dear readers of the JME’s blog, we hope this short dialogue below may prompt your interest to join us in this journey that explores the depth and width of the field of bioethics.

Everything starts from somewhere…

Pingyue: I think it all started with a blog post. Around May 2015, I found this webpage “Top 50 Bioethics Journals and Top 240 Most Cited Bioethics Articles Published Since 2009”, and I thought to myself: “What a fantastic idea! I wish I could have started with these papers when I first came to this field.” After that, this idea of identifying seminal bioethics papers lingered in my mind for weeks. Finally I picked up all my courage and wrote to the author of that post, Mark, who was then a total stranger and now a good friend. In the end of the email, I cautiously mentioned if I could join him in a project (funded only by our enthusiasm) to examine the part of bioethics represented by these highly-cited articles. Luckily, he said yes.

Mark: Though using top journals and most-cited articles was a preliminary idea, it is the very foundation of our work. My original approach was to retrieve the top 1,000 cited articles from bioethics-related journals, which covered 100 journals and 52,000 articles. After some discussion, we decided to focus on the top 20 articles each year, which we boldly refer to as the “highlights of bioethics”.

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.