• publication ethics;
  • impact factor;
  • plagiarism;
  • digital publishing


This article by one of the Editors of Bioethics, published in the 25th anniversary issue of the journal, describes some of the revolutionary changes academic publishing has undergone during the last decades. Many humanities journals went from typically small print-runs, counting by the hundreds, to on-line availability in thousands of university libraries worldwide. Article up-take by our subscribers can be measured efficiently. The implications of this and other changes to academic publishing are discussed. Important ethical challenges need to be addressed in areas such as the enforcement of plagiarism-related policies, the so-called ‘impact factor’ and its impact on academic integrity, and the question of whether on-line only publishing can currently guarantee the integrity of academic publishing histories.