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Seeking Guest Editors


The Journal of Bioethical Inquiry accepts proposals and guest editorships for both Symposia and Special Issues. We currently are seeking proposals for JBI issues slated for publication in 2015 and beyond. (Proposals will be evaluated during 2014, with final selection before the end of the year.) We invite proposals from all disciplines and all regions of the globe. To submit a proposal, please follow the guidelines listed below.


August 31, 2014

The Important Role of Symposia and Special Issues

Thematic components of academic journals such as Symposia and Special Issues are an important part of the JBI and fulfill many functions. The JBI aims to include one Symposium per issue and one thematic Special Issue per year. Both Symposia and Special Issues:

  • Allow for exploratory discussions of issues that are pressing or are foremost in the public consciousness;
  • Enable scholars to extend the focus and depth of examination of specific issues;
  • Provide a means for the detailed re-examination of “old” issues through different methodological or disciplinary lenses;
  • Offer a first step for academicians to learn valuable editorials skills; and
  • Broaden access to new and diverse readerships.

The main difference between a Symposium and a Special Issue is that the former does not aim for the same kind of depth made possible in the extended format of the latter. Rather, Symposia are intended to spark further debate and bring together disparate voices working in related areas.

Submitting Symposium and Special Issue Proposals

The JBI accepts proposals for Symposia and Special Issues on an ongoing basis. Proposals should be addressed to the Editorial Board and consist of a one- to two-page outline that includes:

  • A description of the proposed topic;
  • The names of the proposed Guest Editor(s) (i.e., the Convenors), including a description of their previous editorial experience;
  • The rationale for the proposal;
  • The significance of the topic;
  • The likely readership, including why readers of the JBI would have an interest in this thematic issue and why this thematic issue would attract a new readership to the JBI;
  • The names of four to eight potential contributors, taking into account that there is often difficulty in securing academics of international standing and a potential failure rate of up to 50 percent among those approached;
  • A statement about the kinds of disciplines that will be represented in the thematic issue and how it will contribute to the commitment of the JBI to promoting interdisciplinary dialogue;
  • A list of proposed authors and/or papers, if possible; and
  • Whether any of the manuscripts have previously been published in part or in full in a book, monograph, or journal (print or online) and the status of obtaining permissions to reprint these articles. It is the JBI’s preference not to publish works that have been published elsewhere, unless there is a compelling justification for doing so.

Editorial Assistance and Responsibilities

Acting as a Guest Editor is incredibly rewarding, both professionally and personally, and enables scholars to expand bioethical discussions and dialogues with others from around the globe. Although this can be time- and labor-intensive, the Editor in Chief of the JBI assists Guest Editors at every step of the process. As needed, assistance is available for disseminating calls for papers, becoming familiar with the JBI online manuscript submission process, ensuring manuscripts are moving through the peer-review process in a timely manner, etc. All final copy editing and production tasks are handled by the JBI’s Editor in Chief. Guest Editors are not responsible for these.

The Editor in Chief and Executive Committee of the JBI also maintain overall editorial responsibility for Symposia and Special Issues, and the Editorial Board is consulted on topics and proposals and, as necessary, any issues that arise. All manuscripts, whether invited, are subject to the appropriate level of independent peer review and invitation to submit to a thematic issue does not guarantee acceptance and publication.

Guest Editors oversee the submission and peer-review processes and are responsible for ensuring deadlines are met in a timely fashion. The Editor in Chief will maintain ongoing communications with Guest Editors regarding deadlines, processes for peer review, and the preparation of manuscripts.

It is expected that Guest Editors will make every effort to solicit contributions from international experts in their chosen area.

All manuscripts must be submitted through the JBI online system and prepared in accordance with the JBI submission instructions.