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December 31, 2003

Penn-based American Journal of Bioethics selected as 'Best New Journal' by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals

Annual Council of Editors of Learned Journals Awards Competition recognizes outstanding achievement in scholarly journal publications

(San Diego, CA) -- Calling it " ...the equivalent of Nature for the field of bioethics, in that it covers critical issues from a wide range of biomedical sciences and is cited frequently in the peer-reviewed literature," the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ) selected the American Journal of Bioethics (AJOB), based in the Department of Medical Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and published by MIT Press, as 'Best New Journal' for 2003. This prestigious award, which was announced at CEIJ's annual meeting in San Diego this week, was awarded to AJOB from among more than 200 entries submitted by more than 50 presses, as the most outstanding new journal by its peer jury.

AJOB was singled out for its technological and scholarly innovation. It is the first journal ever reviewed, according to CELJ reviewers, which involves 'a level of interdisciplinary interaction in the production of a paper and online journal.' The American Journal of Bioethics has daily updates, free articles, a book review archive, a job-search service, and dozens of other innovative online services in addition to the MIT Press paper edition. It carried more than 150 articles in the three years since its inception, most of which were published by senior scholars or rising new talent, and many of which were singled out for their innovation in the field of bioethics.

The Journal was also praised for its strong policy on conflict of interest, which one reviewer termed "... the strongest I have ever seen - stronger than anything suggested by any panel ... ." Journal Editor-in-Chief Glenn McGee, PhD, explains, "Under AJOB's policy, editorial conflicts of interest as well as peer reviewer conflicts of interest, including mandatory disclosure of all sources of income by all members of the editorial staff, are regularly subject to review." McGee, who is an Assistant Professor in Penn's Department of Medical Ethics continues, "In addition, the Journal maintains its conflict of interest disclosure policy on both the MIT and Penn AJOB websites."

According to CELJ award guidelines, the selected new journal must be in publication no more than five years. Entries are submitted in dozens of disciplines and areas of study by scholarly presses which are members or whose editors are elected members of CELJ.

The American Journal of Bioethics is the first journal edited at Penn to win this award.

The editorial offices of The American Journal of Bioethics have been based at Penn's Center for Bioethics since the founding of the Journal in 2001 by McGee and associate editor David Magnus, PhD, formerly of Penn and now of Stanford University. Master of Bioethics student Kelly Carroll is Executive Managing Editor of the Journal. Electronic Media Editor is John Kwon (MSE '00). Book Review Editor is Mark Aulisio, PhD, of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and Special Features Editor is Paul Root Wolpe, PhD, also of Penn.

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The American Journal of Bioethics may be found online at www. bioethics.net

PENN Medicine is a $2.2 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and high-quality patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System (created in 1993 as the nation’s first integrated academic health system).

Penn’s School of Medicine is ranked #2 in the nation for receipt of NIH research funds; and ranked #4 in the nation in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent ranking of top research-oriented medical schools. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

Penn Health System consists of four hospitals (including its flagship Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, consistently rated one of the nation’s “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report), a faculty practice plan, a primary-care provider network, three multispecialty satellite facilities, and home health care and hospice.


Release available online at http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/dec03/AJOB.htm