During the sixteen years I have served as editor of the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, the editorial staff and I have been relentlessly focused on one single goal for ourselves and our journal: to consistently produce the best work possible. That is a very broad goal, to be sure, but it is one that encompasses a myriad of elements. The work we publish must be interesting; it must be timely; it must be well-written; and it must be useful for our many, many readers. It should go without saying that this goal could not be achieved without our many hundreds of terrific authors, guest-editors, and peer reviewers, who have made the journal what it is today. Thanks are due to all of you, as always.
The staff at JLME could not be so focused on this end unless we had a support system in place that believed in what we were trying to accomplish. There are copious indicators of an academic journal's strength, from simple sales and subscription numbers to its impact factor. We are always well aware of these different numbers, and we do try to be responsive to what those numbers tell us. However, because of the unending support of our many Editors-in-Chief over the years, backed by the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics's superb Board of Directors, we have consistently been instructed to be aware of those metrics that measure journals, but to never be slaves to them. Keep producing quality work, we were told, and let the numbers follow.
And follow they indeed have. In August 2018, tech giant Google released their 2018 “Google Scholar Metrics,” indicating that JLME was now the third most-cited bioethics journal in the world, (beating out most of our better known and better funded peers) and that the journal was also the 15th most-cited law journal in the world (not health law, to be clear, but 15th of any law-related journal.) We are justly proud of these numbers and again direct your attention to our authors and peer reviewers. But how did we respond to the news in general? As we always have, by keeping our focus on the work. In this issue of JLME, we are proud to present not one but two wonderful symposiums, “The Medicalization of Poverty,” guest-edited by Robin Fretwell Wilson and Lois Shepherd, and “Perspectives of Alzheimer's Disease,” guest-edited by longtime contributor Bob Sade. These two very different symposiums return us to the basics of what our journal does best: the articles they contain are interesting, timely, well-written, and, we hope, of great use to our readers. If they are, then we have done our job, and the metrics and accolades will again follow.