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About PEHM

This page includes information about the aims and scope of PEHM, editorial policies, open access and article-processing charges, the peer review process and other information. For details of how to prepare and submit a manuscript through the online submission system, please see the instructions for authors.

Aims & scope

Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine considers articles on the philosophy of medicine and biology, and on ethical aspects of clinical practice and research.

Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine is an open access, peer-reviewed online journal that encompasses all aspects of the philosophy of medicine and biology, and the ethical aspects of clinical practice and research. It also considers papers at the intersection of medicine and humanities, including the history of medicine, that are relevant to contemporary philosophy of medicine and bioethics.

Open access

All articles published by PEHM are made freely and permanently accessible online immediately upon publication, without subscription charges or registration barriers. Further information about open access can be found here.

Authors of articles published in PEHM are the copyright holders of their articles and have granted to any third party, in advance and in perpetuity, the right to use, reproduce or disseminate the article, according to the BioMed Central copyright and license agreement.

For authors who are US government employees or are prevented from being copyright holders for similar reasons, BioMed Central can accommodate non-standard copyright lines. Please contact us if further information is needed.

Article-processing charges

Open access publishing is not without costs. PEHM therefore levies an article-processing charge of £1370/$2145/€1745 for each article accepted for publication. If the corresponding author's institution is a Member, the cost of the article-processing charge is covered by the membership, and no further charge is payable. In the case of authors whose institutions are Supporter Members, however, a discounted article-processing charge is payable by the author. We routinely waive charges for authors from low-income countries. For other countries, article-processing charge waivers or discounts are granted on a case-by-case basis to authors with insufficient funds. Authors can request a waiver or discount during the submission process. For further details, see our article-processing charge page.

Indexing services

All articles published in PEHM are included in PubMed, the most widely used biomedical bibliographic database service, which is run by the US National Library of Medicine. Other bibliographic databases that index articles published in PEHM include:

  • Citebase
  • DOAJ
  • EmCare
  • Google Scholar
  • OAIster
  • Philosopher's index
  • PsycINFO
  • PubMed
  • PubMed Central
  • SCImago
  • Scopus
  • Zetoc

The full text of all research articles is deposited in PubMed Central, the US National Library of Medicine's full-text repository of life science literature, and other digital archives including e-Depot (The Netherlands).

The full text of all research articles published by BioMed Central is also available on SpringerLink.

PEHM has an unofficial Impact Factor of 2.03. BioMed Central is working with Thomson Reuters (ISI) to ensure that citation analysis of articles published in PEHM will be available.

Publication and peer review process

Criteria for publication

Research: original contributions to the intersection of philosophy, ethics, or humanities and medicine.

Reviews: comprehensive, authoritative, descriptions of any subject within the scope of the journal.

Commentaries: short, focused and opinionated articles on any subject within the scope of the journal.

Case reports: reports of clinical cases that can be educational, or describe a philosophical or ethical dilemma.  In particular we seek BIOETHICS CASES: ANALYSIS AND REFLECTION.  We seek submissions of clinical and research case studies (sufficiently de-identified, reconstructed, or used with the permission of stakeholders) that raise ethical concerns coupled with an analysis of the ethical tensions, preferably from multiple perspectives (e.g., philosophical, anthropological, theological, psychological, literary, narrativist, historical, socio-political). Ideally, submissions will illustrate the way in which case analysis and reflection can engage interest across the disciplines. Submissions offer authors the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues across disciplines and institutions, and we welcome and encourage such collaboration.

Book reviews: summaries of the strengths and weaknesses of a book. They should evaluate the books overall usefulness to the intended audience and are usually 400 to 2500 words.

Meeting Reports: short descriptions of a conference that an author has attended, which should focus on the key developments presented and discussed at the meeting. The meeting report should give your impression of a meeting, present its most important aspects and explain what is happening in the field. For particularly large meetings it is preferable that more in-depth information is given on a few selected topics, rather than a brief account of absolutely everything presented. The main content of the meeting report should focus on new research discoveries and the application of this knowledge.

Peer-review policies

Associate Editors will appoint two reviewers for each paper. Preferably one reviewer will have clinical expertise, and one reviewer will have expertise in philosophy or ethics. A standardised rating sheet will be used to help the co-editor reach a final decision about whether a manuscript should be accepted for publication.

Authors will be able to check the progress of their manuscript through the submission system at any time by logging into My Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine, a personalized section of the site.


High-quality, bound reprints can be purchased for all articles published. Please see our reprints website for further information about ordering reprints.


PEHM will consider supplements based on proceedings (full articles or meeting abstracts), reviews or research. All articles submitted for publication in supplements are subject to peer review. Published supplements are fully searchable and freely accessible online and can also be produced in print. All full length articles (proceedings, reviews or research articles) are indexed by PubMed. PubMed displays the title of the supplement only in the case of meeting abstract collections. For further information, please contact us.

Editorial policies

All manuscripts submitted to PEHM should adhere to BioMed Central's editorial policies.

Citing articles in PEHM

Articles in PEHM should be cited in the same way as articles in a traditional journal. Because articles are not printed, they do not have page numbers; instead, they are given a unique article number.

Article citations follow this format:

Authors: Title. Philos Ethics Humanit Med [year], [volume number]:[article number].

e.g. Roberts LD, Hassall DG, Winegar DA, Haselden JN, Nicholls AW, Griffin JL: Increased hepatic oxidative metabolism distinguishes the action of Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor delta from Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor gamma in the Ob/Ob mouse. Philos Ethics Humanit Med 2009, 1:115.

refers to article 115 from Volume 1 of the journal.

Why publish your article in PEHM?

High visibility

PEHM's open access policy allows maximum visibility of articles published in the journal as they are available to a wide, global audience. Articles that have been especially highly accessed are highlighted with a 'Highly accessed' graphic, which appears on the journal's contents pages and search results.

Speed of publication

PEHM offers a fast publication schedule whilst maintaining rigorous peer review; all articles must be submitted online, and peer review is managed fully electronically (articles are distributed in PDF form, which is automatically generated from the submitted files). Articles will be published with their final citation after acceptance, in both fully browsable web form, and as a formatted PDF; the article will then be available through PEHM, BioMed Central and PubMed Central and will also be included in PubMed.


Online publication in PEHM gives authors the opportunity to publish large datasets, large numbers of color illustrations and moving pictures, to display data in a form that can be read directly by other software packages so as to allow readers to manipulate the data for themselves, and to create all relevant links (for example, to PubMed, to sequence and other databases, and to other articles).

Promotion and press coverage

Articles published in PEHM are included in article alerts and regular email updates. Some may be included in abstract books mailed to academics and are highlighted on PEHM's pages and on the BioMed Central homepage.

In addition, articles published in PEHM may be promoted by press releases to the general or scientific press. These activities increase the exposure and number of accesses for articles published in PEHM. A list of articles recently press-released by journals published by BioMed Central is available here.

Authors of articles published in PEHM retain the copyright of their articles and are free to reproduce and disseminate their work (for further details, see the BioMed Central copyright policy and license agreement).

For further information about the advantages of publishing in a journal from BioMed Central, please click here.