Monday, September 29, 2008

The Demise of a Journal: "Organizational Ethics" Publishes its Last Issue

A note came with the most recent issue of "Organizational Ethics" announcing that publication was ending. The explanation was - "Support for the journal has been strong from a small audience, but in the past four years of publication this audience has not grown."

I've subscribed to and appreciated the journal since its inception. I wrote the equivalent of a condolence letter to the managing editor. She explained that because Organizational Ethics did not accept advertising or sell the names of its subscribers, it was completely dependent on its readership for support. It could have been self-sustaining with just 100 subscribers, but wasn't able to sustain that level of support, despite efforts to publicize the journal at conferences and meetings and through advertising programs.

I was shocked at this news - not being able to maintain 100 subscribers in the English speaking world. It's a wake up call to all of us who see organizations (and health systems) as central influences on the ethical quality of health care.

At present this blog, despite its wonky url, has close to 2,000 unique visitors each month, and the number has gradually been growing. The journal may have suffered from the global move away from subscription journals to the web.

To the journal "Organizational Ethics," we can only say R.I.P and thank all those associated with it for their efforts. But the field isn't going away, and will only become more important with time.

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