JBI seeks new Editor in Chief

JBI seeks new Editor in Chief

The Journal of Bioethical Inquiry (JBI) is seeking a new Editor in chief. The JBI is an international, peer-reviewed scholarly journal of bioethics established in 2004 and published by Springer in both print and on-line forms. It aims to:

  • foster an interdisciplinary approach to bioethics by publishing original research at the intersection of ethics, social theory, philosophy, law and other disciplines;
  • to represent the variety of contemporary perspectives on ethical issues in health and medicine;
  • seek new approaches to old problems; and
  • identify common ground by creating a forum for dialogue across conventional academic disciplinary and other boundaries.

The JBI publishes articles that increase theoretical understanding of ethical issues in medicine and health care, the health professions, and the biological sciences as well as articles reporting qualitative and quantitative empirical research.

The JBI also provides a forum for critical reflections on medicine and conventional bioethics; the nature of health, illness, and disability; the sources of ethics; the nature of ethical communities; and possible implications of new developments in science and technology for social and cultural life and human identity, among other foundational and groundbreaking issues. The JBI seeks to explore the legal dimensions of contemporary bioethical issues and encourages contributions that are at the interface of law, ethics, and healthcare. It particularly welcomes contributions from perspectives and geographic locations that are less commonly represented in other  journals in the field.

Additionally, the JBI has a series of regular features, including discussions of cases with bioethical implications (In That Case); book, film, and art reviews; and a “Recent Developments in Law” column.

The JBI initially published three issues per year but moved to four issues in 2008, of which one is usually a special thematic issue. The JBI was founded by the Australasian Bioethics Association (ABA), the Australian and New Zealand Institute for Health Law and Ethics (ANZIHLE), and the Otago Bioethics Centre and is owned by an incorporated company whose shareholders are the Australasian Association of Bioethics and Health Law (AABHL, formed in 2010 by the amalgamation of the ABA and ANZIHLE) and the Otago Bioethics Centre, whose representatives are the directors of the company and comprise the Management Committee. Members of the AABHL receive a subscription to the JBI as part of their membership.

Overall responsibility for content and the production of the JBI rests with the Editor in Chief, who receives support from the Editorial Board (a subset of whom constitute the Executive Committee), the Associate Editors, a Managing Editor, three Copy Editors, and the International Advisory Board. The Editorial Board is responsible for the development of policy, appointment of personnel, and management of financial matters. Associate Editors, who are appointed on the basis of their expertise in key fields or approaches in bioethics, provide assistance with the acquisition of new material and review and editing of submitted manuscripts. The Managing Editor is employed part-time, reports to the Editor in Chief, and provides direct support to him or her, particularly for administrative tasks as outlined below. The International Advisory Board provides general advice and support for the JBI. Three Copy Editors, also employed part-time, provide additional support.

Key Areas and Responsibilities

The key responsibilities of the Editor in Chief are to:

  • Prepare issues of the JBI by the Publisher’s copy deadlines;
  • Make decisions about the publication of submitted manuscripts across a range of disciplines, taking into account the JBI’s stated mission and aims and recommendations of reviewers and of the relevant Associate Editor(s);
  • With the assistance of the Copy Editors, edit accepted articles to promote readability, provide consistency of style, and ensure compliance with stylistic requirements (with the assistance of the Publisher’s production department);
  • Implement policy decisions made by the Editorial Board; and
  • Liaise with the Publisher regarding matters relating to the publication of the JBI.

Specific Tasks and Administrative Responsibilities

The Editor in Chief is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the JBI, including the following tasks:

  • Corresponding with authors in order to: communicate editorial decisions; provide guidance on responses to reviews; provide assistance with copy/proof corrections, where needed; ensure that authors comply with JBI policies by completing author declaration forms and copyright transfer statements in a timely manner; and solicit feedback about authors’ experience of submitting and publishing their work to the JBI;
  • Maintaining and expanding the database of reviewers;
  • Working with the Executive Committee to: plan forthcoming issues in accordance with the JBI’s stated mission; raise issues with the Editorial Board that require further policy development; draft JBI policies for consideration by the Editorial Board; and ensure that policy decisions of the Editorial Board are implemented;
  • Working with Associate Editors to: provide advice and assistance on manuscript review; finalize acceptance/rejection of manuscripts; tailor the online manuscript management system as needed; ensure that copy deadlines are met; and ensure regular features are submitted by the assigned Associate Editor and published in each issue;
  • Corresponding with editors of special issues to: ensure compliance with JBI’s policies; provide advice and assistance on manuscript review; and ensure that copy deadlines are met;
  • Corresponding with the Publisher in order to: negotiate copy and publication deadlines; transmit final copy to the Publisher with the appropriate forms; tailor the online manuscript management system to suit the JBI’s editorial processes and policies; deal with copyright issues as they arise; improve and update the JBI’s website for use by readers and authors; respond to Publisher queries; and ensure all contractual terms are met;
  • Corresponding with societies (the ABA, ANZIHLE, and Otago) in order to support the societies’ relationships with the Publisher (e.g., provision of member/subscriber lists) and respond to other matters that may arise;
  • Corresponding with the International Advisory Board as required in order to inform them of JBI progress and plans and request assistance as needed; and
  • Overseeing the work of the Managing Editor.

The Managing Editor is responsible for maintaining: records of submissions and decisions on manuscripts; correspondence with authors, reviewers, and associate editors; minutes of meetings of the Editorial Board and Executive Committee; records of JBI policies, guidelines, forms, marketing/promotional material, and all other JBI-related correspondence, etc.; and the online manuscript management system.

Key Selection Criteria

The successful applicant will be expected to show leadership and vision that further the aims of the JBI and provide guidance with respect to the development and refinement of its editorial policies and administrative processes. He or she will be able to carry out the required managerial tasks outlined above, including supervision of the Managing Editor.

The principal criteria for selection are as follows:

  • Experience in writing and editing scholarly manuscripts;
  • Experience in a relevant discipline;
  • Written and verbal communication skills sufficient to carry out the duties of the position; and
  • Experience and skills in administration of projects and management of personnel.

An additional criterion that may be relevant to selection is availability of institutional support (e.g., release time, space, computing support, or other in-kind support) for the Editor in Chief.

Applications, Appointment Process, and Conditions of Appointment

Expressions of interest are welcome from all qualified candidates regardless of location or field of expertise. Potential candidates are invited to consult the JBI web site and to contact Professor Paul A. Komesaroff, Chair of the Editorial Board, for further information.

It is anticipated that, following a six-month probationary period, the appointment will be for a two-year term, renewable for an additional term.