A Time to Give Thanks
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Although there may be great diversity in terms of actual practice, reciprocity is a human universal. There are times during each day, during the year, and during our lives when we think about reciprocity and engage in it. We may do so in grandiose ways or modest ones, openly or anonymously, out of a sense of social obligation or from more personal desires. We may benefit from giving back and giving thanks and we may carry this out in culturally prescribed ways, but we also know that to do so is, even in small part, to practice the “good.”
As with any scholarly, peer-reviewed journal, a multitude of tasks must be taken on by a variety of individuals and groups acting in various roles. A publication such as the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry could not exist, of course, without our contributors, who submit thoughtful and thought-provoking manuscripts that have required substantial time and effort in terms of conception, research, writing, and revision. These authors continue the discourse and dialogue that are the basis of the philosophical and scientific traditions. Our readers are an important part of this conversation as well. They are more than just the “subscriber base” that pays for periodical production; they are active members of this community and often become contributors, peer reviewers, and/or editors themselves. Any publication also includes a network of editors and advisers who carry out the journal’s mission and guide the direction of every issue, in both the short- and long-term. These individuals are often unpaid and unseen but remain committed and continue to serve even with other duties crowding their plates. Moreover, the only way any concept or conversation is made concrete is thanks to a dedicated publishing, marketing, and production team. Excellence in copy-editing, pagination, design, and dissemination appears, on the surface, “effortless”—a support system for such scholarly presentation and discussion that is rarely noticed. The same can be said of the work of peer reviewers and their essential contributions of time and expertise.
Thus, we at the JBI would like to continue a tradition begun last year of formally thanking those who have made the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry possible. We do so, first, by publishing the names of our peer reviewers in this, the fourth issue of volume 9. Although this list appears at the end of a calendar year, due to the nature of the academic publication process (i.e., the several-month lag between submitting manuscripts to production and the printing of the actual journal), included below are the scholars who have peer-reviewed one or more articles from September 2011 to September 2012.
Missing from this list, however, as intimated above, are the names of all of our contributors, advisory board members, editorial board chair, executive committee members, associate editors, managing and copy editors, vast publishing team, and readers. We hesitate to include them individually here only to save trees and ink and because—other than our publishing team and readers—one may find their names in other places in the journal … although these brief mentions are in no way sufficient reciprocations for the parts they play in the JBI.
We also acknowledge that our new annual tradition of “giving thanks” in a short column may be comparable in worth to those thank-you notes to grandparents or aunts and uncles that parents to this day must prod their children into writing.
We at the JBI do, however, with full sincerity appreciate this patchwork “sweater” all of you have helped to knit, and we promise we will not only cherish it today but also wear it well into the future.
Thank you all for yet another interesting and inspiring year at the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry.
Dominic James Wilkinson
Floris van den Berg
Gail van Norman
Immaculada de Melo-Martin
Jackie Leach Scully
Kate Padgett Walsh
Thomas David Harter
Thomas Lawrence Long