The AMA Journal of Ethics exists to help students and health care professionals navigate ethical decisions in service to patients and society. Each monthly issue is focused on a specific theme topic (see Issues). The journal publishes cases and expert commentary, medical education articles, policy discussions, peer-reviewed articles for journal-based and audio CME, visuals, and more. Since its inception as an editorially independent journal, the AMA Journal of Ethics has promoted ethics inquiry as a public good. All content is free and available to everyone in perpetuity. No author fees are charged for manuscript submission or article publication.

Which kinds of manuscripts does the AMA Journal of Ethics review?

The AMA Journal of Ethics welcomes unsolicited manuscripts for peer-review consideration that are original contributions on bioethics topics (see Call for Papers). Submitted manuscripts should be one of those types listed in the Instructions for Authors.

Manuscripts submitted to the AMA Journal of Ethics for peer-review consideration will be reviewed and assessed according to the following criteria:

  1. Does the manuscript offer an innovative exploration of an interesting and important issue of ethical complexity that is of interest to clinicians, clinicians-in-training, or educators interested in bioethics?
  2. If so, the managing editor assigns peer reviewers to read the manuscript, to advise the editors about the manuscript’s strengths and weaknesses, and to advise authors about potential next steps in the manuscript’s development.

The AMA Journal of Ethics also solicits manuscripts for inclusion in monthly theme issues. Solicited manuscripts are subject to peer review with a few exceptions, such as Art of Medicine and Personal Narrative article types (see Instructions for Authors).

What are criteria for publication consideration?

Submitted manuscripts must not have been previously published by or be under review by another print or online journal or source. Manuscripts must be submitted as Microsoft Word documents and images as JPEG files. Manuscripts not meeting the criteria listed below and in the manuscript submission instructions will be sent back to authors.

What are relevant policies for authors and editors?

Authors are responsible for the accuracy of ethical and empirical claims made in the content of their work, including those revised during editing.

Authors’ permission to publish requires each author’s separate (one author per form) confirmation of authorship and originality and transfer of copyright to the AMA. Authors retain rights to circulate or link to their work online.

Authors must disclose any conflicts of interest, financial or professional, related to the content of their manuscript in an acknowledgement section included on the manuscript’s final page.

The AMA Journal of Ethics editor-in-chief and managing editor make final decisions about manuscripts’ content; authors make final decisions about whether the AMA Journal of Ethics has permission to publish their work, which is granted by handwritten signature, scanned image of a handwritten signature, or a validated e-signature.

Manuscript titles, ordering of articles within each issue of the AMA Journal of Ethics, and placement of articles on the AMA Journal of Ethics website are determined by the editorial staff.